Author Topic: Learning without Training Modes (PCB Style)  (Read 283 times)

Offline GetPoint

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Learning without Training Modes (PCB Style)
« on: September 08, 2020, 06:47:18 AM »
Hi there,

I have joined because I would like to gather some information about strategies for learning to clear Cave games with no training mode, as per Arcade PCBs.

Obviously you can just grind it out 'trial-and-error' style, but I am curious as to whether there are particular techniques that players use to make it a more efficient (and less costly!) process.

Does anyone know of formal techniques from Japan that are used by players in breaking down the games and creating routes?

Anyone specific who would know this kind of info?!

Thanks   ^-^

Offline el_rika

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Re: Learning without Training Modes (PCB Style)
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2020, 07:52:44 AM »
In interviews, pretty much all japanese superplayers i've seen say that, in the early stages of learning a game, they credit feed throughout the entire game as to identify all problematic elements in each stage. Then they refine each one, while keeping the scoring as high as possible.
They almost never go with the "let's just use 1 credit" route, many of us are tempted to.

Offline EOJ

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Re: Learning without Training Modes (PCB Style)
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2020, 08:34:26 PM »
Interesting thread topic!

Most Japanese players do play one credit runs, without any credit feeding. This is because people are usually waiting in line to play. In the early stages of learning a game, particularly one with a high difficulty, then yes, they may credit feed if no one is around, in order to expedite learning patterns in later stages/bosses.

I have learned several games on PCB, without using any training or practice modes. Notable achievements are my 855mil ALL in MFBL JP Maniac mode with Reco, 610mil ALL in Futari 1.5 Maniac with Reco (both done before the port was released) and 114mil ALL in Ibara Kuro (long before the game was emulated). Even today I find this method of playing to be more fulfilling, with a greater sense of personal achievement, than learning a game with practice modes on a port, or save states in emulation. However, although I don't use save states at all (I'm not a fan of emulation), I have used practice modes in ports and in some cases I've scored higher this way in the long run. Particularly with chaining games like the Dodonpachis - I can't imagine learning both loops just on a PCB without any practice modes. It would take ages. Some Japanese players have done, this, however. For example, rkb49 got over 800 billion with C-Strong in DFK 1.5 before the port was released.

Basically you need to try out different strategies regularly, plan strategies when not playing the game, and study video (your own replays, or others). You also need to gain a deep understanding of the scoring system, and really study the boss patterns to see openings and exploits. This is quite game-dependent, though. Yagawa style games allow for a lot of boss milking, whereas Ikeda style games usually only have boss scoring (at the end of phases, etc) or simple boss kills.
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Offline GetPoint

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Re: Learning without Training Modes (PCB Style)
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2020, 12:09:23 PM »
Hey- thanks both! This is helpful info.

It's very strange to think about seeing a NEW arcade shmup these days, when every Cave game has detailed notes online. I guess when M2 and Toaplan release their new game 'Senxin' then the world will be in that place again (for a brief time at least!).

EOJ - How many setups did new Cave games usually get in the busy arcades? Waiting in line for a single credit must be quite an experience lol, does it tend to encourage people to use safer strategies that make their credit last longer (like using up all their bombs)?

Offline EOJ

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Re: Learning without Training Modes (PCB Style)
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2020, 06:05:13 PM »
Most arcades only get one PCB, but if the game is really popular the bigger arcades might get two (or three, as was the case of Hey in Akihabara with DDP SDOJ).

I've found safer 'survival' strategies are only used in the early days to see and learn the stages and boss patterns. After that most players will just go for scoring and don't care about their credit lasting longer.
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Offline GetPoint

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Re: Learning without Training Modes (PCB Style)
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2020, 05:13:16 AM »
Hey EOJ, thanks again, and I have now turned on notifications for replies  :angel:

It's really great to speak to someone who has this knowledge of the Japanese arcades. Do you live there now?

Your post above has me curious again! If you only get 1 credit because of the queue, and people play for score soon after the game lands, doesn't that mean your credit can be done quite quickly due to the risk involved, and then you have to line up again? Does the line function as a kind of forum for developing ideas, as everyone gets to watch the game being played and see (and discuss?) what works?

What I'm really keen to know is whether there is some kind of system for taking notes and remembering patterns? Or is it all done by memorisation?? I just can't believe that if you are playing for 1 credit at a time, there is no technique or system for analysing the patterns between plays. Is there something they do over there that Western players are missing?!

Offline EOJ

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Re: Learning without Training Modes (PCB Style)
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2020, 05:40:13 AM »
I don't live in Japan anymore, but I do visit every now and then (well, before COVID). Yes, if there is a queue and your credit ends, it's back to the end of the line. You are right that players watch other players as they wait, and if you get a skilled player in front of you, you can pick up some useful strategies.

Japanese players do literally 'take notes' about the game. They write it all down and study it. They also do a lot of video recording of their plays to watch later to study patterns, and they share videos and watch videos of other players.
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Offline GetPoint

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Re: Learning without Training Modes (PCB Style)
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2020, 06:08:38 AM »
Thanks man, this is super helpful. I think the aspect of comparing notes and strategies is somewhat lacking in the West, and would actually be an improvement if people did it!