Author Topic: How to Improve: A General Guide to Getting Better  (Read 1926 times)


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How to Improve: A General Guide to Getting Better
« on: February 10, 2018, 06:23:54 pm »
The core reason all of us play these games is to get better at them and achieve our goals, but many people flounder around a lot, struggle to improve, or never really get anywhere. In this guide, I'll be going over how you should properly set your mentality towards getting better, how to be efficient with practice and learning, what resources are available to gain knowledge from, and to have an effective perspective with what you're doing. Many of these general concepts can be applied to all forms of improvement as well, whether it be school, fitness, socializing, other games, or whatever it is you want to be good at. Learning how to learn is a skill in itself and is incredibly useful to have. :v

First and foremost before anything, you have to understand the challenges you'll be taking on. In Goldeneye, there will be times where you get screwed over by guards, have sessions with garbage luck, be playing terribly, get speedbullied, and so forth. The game itself has some negatives attached to it too with the aesthetic of looking at the floor frequently, handling lag, being a little clunky, and more. Before you end up dedicating hundreds and thousands of hours into the game, you have to realize what you'll be dealing with at times. Recognize all of the positives and negatives before deciding if it's right for you. If you want something more technically rewarding, try out F-Zero GX. If you want decimal places to separate players more, check out Timesplitters. If you want to be more mindful with your gameplay and less demanding with your hands, look into Chess. If you want to be competitive with something that is better for your health, get involved with your local sports club. Always make sure you won't end up regretting the time you spend far into the future. You can be competitive with virtually anything in life; make sure what you're doing isn't akin to competitively drinking mud.

Next is learning to accept that getting good at anything takes times. Lots of time. Nobody gets a free pass either. Natural talent can dictate how well off you are at something when you start, or the rate at which you improve, but you cannot get good without dedicating time. In The Elite, Ace is sometimes characterized as a child prodigy who magically got tons of WRs and untieds, but he has played a ton to say the least, and asked players piles of questions to learn when he was still new. You will too if you want to be good. Everyone who is a great player has paid their dues. Now, Goldeneye shouldn't be primarily where you're spending your time, but most people can improve in a meaningful way by playing a couple hours a day, or more on the weekend, though it still can take many months or years to get to some long-term goals. It can be nice to have the length of improvement be that long so that the game never gets boring too fast. Besides, playing for half a day or so can have greatly diminishing returns as the hours go on and isn't usually very efficient. I suggest playing at least a little bit every day that you can, and being consistent with it. If you have the mentality that people just end up randomly good at things, you've likely watched too many heroic movies and should remove that concept immediately. Even savants in the literal sense still put in time.

Being overly emotional can often be detrimental to your gameplay, and it's good to learn how to relax as you play. That isn't to say that you should be completely stoic, never celebrate, never release any frustration, etc, but if every little mistake or bad luck sets you off, you'll be playing with a very negative mindset and most likely not to your full potential. More importantly, it probably won't be as fun and you're wasting your time if you're not even enjoying the hobby you're pouring yourself into. It helps to learn how to relax, accept that you'll make mistakes, accept that the game screws you over, and to keep going. Do make the distinction that this does not mean being lazy, bored, or uncaring. If you need help with your mentality, look into meditation and self-reflection. The same issues can come up for the positive side of things as well. If you get overly excited at any moment where things are going well and your heart is beating out of your chest, it's a lot harder to be clutch. If you can maintain a neutral mindset and simply play, you'll have better sessions, and you'll choke far less often. It can take a lot of experience and everyone has their first time with a huge rush. Because there is always emotional investment in what we're doing, the physiological effects never go away, but you do learn how to handle them better over time. #NoNervesAllowed

Learning efficiently is pretty simple to do most of the time, but it takes extra effort and some mindfulness. A lot of people fall into bad habits and rather than changing them to be more optimal, they become stubborn and continue playing ineffectively. If you use 1.1 control style, stop and switch to 1.2 immediately. If you play on a laggy LCD, try to get a CRT as soon as you can. If you're using weird strategies that don't help speed or consistency, use something better. Etcetera. Essentially with speedrunning, there is a concept of a perfect/maxed time with every set of strategies used on a level, and your end result is always worse depending on the mistakes that you make, luck you didn't receive, or other happenings. Analyze everything that went wrong. If you got stuck on a wall, avoid it next time. If you turned too wide around a corner, turn tighter. If you didn't get the boosts you needed, try again. If you're consistently making the same mistake over and over, don't waste any more time doing runs and instead throw on cheats and start practicing that particular problem until it's no longer a problem. 10 minutes of practice is much better than 10 hours of struggling. Decreasing the amounts of mistakes from seconds to tenths to frames is what builds your OCB. It's easy to watch WRs or other high-ranking PRs, but it's very helpful to re-watch your own runs and see your own personal mistakes and successes. Whenever you're grinding for a PR, I strongly suggest keeping videos of every exceptional run you get because you can learn more from watching yourself than someone else. Personally, when I went for Bunker 2 Agent 0:24 (which I haven't got around to finishing yet :v), I kept videos of bad dupes I got, a 0:24 fail with a backboost, and others still sitting on my desktop. Definitely do the same thing, and if you want advice and help from sharper eyes, share them with other players to get more opinions.

Absorb as much knowledge as you can. Video games are essentially programming and math at their core; learn how they work and be objective with them. There are many resources around on the boards such as the facts topic, and list of tutorials, as well as a huge community of players who have learned the game on a really deep level. If you're going for the glass opening strategy on Aztec, don't mindlessly copy videos and hope it works, learn how it works, whether it's by asking around or experimenting on your own. It's very easy to end up wasting tons of hours by accidentally doing something incorrectly when all you need is a quick tip. Being social is also a big part of the fun and most people in the community are friendly (so long as you're chill :nesquik:).

OCB is your overall and collective technical ability with the game. It's the physical aspect of playing, which accounts for a good chunk of an effective player. To have good OCB is to execute exactly as you want to do with as much consistency as possible. To get better OCB, you simply have to practice, and practice, and practice. Practice your turns, your lines, your aim, your control, everything. As you get better, you can focus on finer and finer details of your movement, such as taking a very tight spiral in Caverns, swiftly zapping the locks on Train, or moving flawlessly through a technical level like Facility. Learn details like the speed at which you turn, the range you have to open doors and press switches, the way your gun sways as you change your aim, and so forth. You can be a mastermind of Goldeneye, and have incredibly good insight and objectivity with speedrunning, but if you cannot execute, you cannot achieve good times. Practice!

Play according to your goals, whatever they may be. If you want top 100 in Goldeneye, get some big chunks of points, rotate levels a bit, and try to get some of the easier PRs. If you want a sick WR, dedicate yourself to that one level, learn as much as possible about it, and play it a ton. If you want to achieve an untied, you need to go above and beyond what everyone else has ever done, whether it's by significantly better skill, extremely good luck, use of a strategy that is underused, new innovations of your own, or more likely, a combination of all of that. If you want to maintain a healthy life-gaming balance with a good ranking to boot, rotate levels and chase after points like Jimbo and others. If you want to be the Goldeneye champion, grind for times so that they'll maintain their value over the years as you slowly go through every level (see: Grav's playstyle). If you want to dedicate your entire Goldeneye career to one or a couple levels like Luke Pettit, then by all means go for it. Goals can change for various reasons, or you'll meet them and want to strive for something better or brand new, but keep your goals in mind as you play to create a purpose to what you're doing and motivation to keep going. Always play for yourself as well, and not what you think or feel others would expect of you.

Finally, do try to have fun with the game! As I mentioned, there are millions of other things you can be putting countless hours into, so make sure you're actually enjoying yourself with it and find the challenges rewarding. Socialize with the community, meet new friends, make cool videos, go for goofy challenges in the game, maybe shitpost a little :nesquik:, and give yourself a reason why you want to spend the time here in the first place. Chill and have a good time! :v


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Re: How to Improve: A General Guide to Getting Better
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2018, 06:44:14 pm »
Heres my shortlist

1. Compare your runs to the better times. And the worse ones.
2. Time everything, preferably with frame analysis.
3. Optimize for consistency first, then speed.
4. Listen to experts. Listen to experts.
5. Account for ALL time losses so you can fix them.
6. Play until you cant envision yourself improving, or until its not fun.
7. Take breaks at both micro and macro level.
8. Counter established strategies only with proven hard data.
9. Compete against yourself first, then others.
10. Test your limits to expand your limits.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 06:49:24 pm by Grav »

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Re: How to Improve: A General Guide to Getting Better
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2018, 06:53:01 pm »
From discord, might as well post here:

Self-Handicapping isn't cool, guys. You won't be a hero or have "originality" by sticking to a certain playstyle or gameplay that is objectively bad. It's fine to copypaste the best strategies 99% of the time, and be outside-the-box on the other 1% (which is a quite high percentage already).
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Chat highlights not embed so that forums don't get clogged:

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Re: How to Improve: A General Guide to Getting Better
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2018, 07:31:47 pm »
Just a quote from Goose (during his Dam 00 1:57) that I remember:

"A new [player] suggesting things compared to twenty years of expertise and collaboration from the best Goldeneye players in the world. What's gonna win?"

I've seen several troll posts, stupid arguments, and downright degeneracy on these forums and discord in the short time here. But I know that my level of knowledge and experience of Goldeneye does not compare in the slightest to theirs. This is an often overlooked fact about anything. Seek help from the best, no matter how troll or intimidating they seem.
Discord: @JDBlack#9593

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Re: How to Improve: A General Guide to Getting Better
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2018, 08:50:35 pm »
Man, this guide... fantastic
"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."


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Re: How to Improve: A General Guide to Getting Better
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2018, 12:17:21 pm »
As for CRTs, do they need to have RCA jacks? Is a separate RCA to Coaxial box too counterproductive? (The one I was getting had only Coaxial but between a rogue mountain lion and a thunderstorm, life wouldn't let me have it .)
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Re: How to Improve: A General Guide to Getting Better
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2018, 03:28:53 pm »
rca to coax should be fine I think? I suspect there shouldn't be any lag in that conversion since it probably is all analog electronics.
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