Sorry for not posting much this year, I’ve been quite busy. I was out of the country for about a month, and when I got back I was putting the gear together to do my latest project- Community: The Australian FGC.
I created this series because of the people around me, in this community that I love. Generally in Fighting Game Community (FGC) media you see the top players get most of the camera time, but in my eyes, a community is not simply made up of top players.
A community consists of so many different kinds of people. Intellectuals, staunch regulars, streamers, tournament organisers, anime lovers, commentators, retro game enthusiasts and those dudes that go 0-2 and keep coming back(me). Everybody is an equally important part of our community, without these guys there wouldn’t be a community for the top players to be the faces of.
I originally had the idea to do some 5-10 player profiles as pre-BAM media, but I thought it would be a great way to shine some spotlight on these less heralded guys, and to also let the greater public know about all the different personalities and figures we have in our local FGC.
BAM6 (May 10-11th) page: https://www.facebook.com/events/683528228336404/?fref=ts
So I grabbed Mike and shot the first episode at CCH with my new gear (AV gear is bloody expensive!) Somehow despite this being the first time I’ve laid hands on a camera- I think the shoot turned out decently okay. I still have a lot to work on for the next few episodes; composition, focus issues, colour correction, video flow and more.
I wanted Mike as my first guest because though Mike isn’t a top player per se, but he contributes a lot to the community being a commentator and he has very interesting things to say being a game academic and having experienced other competitive gaming scenes like Starcraft. I suppose I was still stuck in DBAS mode and the interview went a bit long, but I think that’s fine with Mike being great on camera and having plenty of insights to share.
This actually turned out to be way more work than expected. Luckily I had guys like Yongde from Singapore, Anya who helped me with the graphics, Chad from DC, Igor helped me with editing, even Zan offered some colour correction advice. So while I think it could be much better, and I still have a long way to go, I owe a lot to all my friends who’ve helped me. Thank all of you so much.
Buttonsmash and Zero
So this series is going to keep me busy for a while, and I still have to make time to get good with Zero before Buttonsmash on the 15th and 16th of March! (My guess is that my Zero will not be anywhere near ready by then).
To be honest with you, I’m finding Zero to be a very boring and frustrating character. He’s so fiddly, and you have to hold the buttons and I can’t plink dash anymore so it feels like movement is restricted and more reliant on command dashes…
I think I would have so much more fun learning Magneto with his plink dash and flight movement and the freedom to hit whatever buttons you like, be it stand jab or straight up grab.
But I’ve made my decision, and I think the Zero version of my team, Zero Doom Ammy should be stronger than Magneto Doom Ammy because of the sheer damage factor, and well, Zero being Zero.
I have to say I appreciate Zero players a lot more now. When I watch Flocker and see the things that he does or his intelligent mix-ups, I can understand and admire that now. But I still find watching Zero something of a chore, and I find myself itching to click on Spencer or Doom matches instead. Ah well. My heart is someplace else, but maybe one day I’ll warm up to and fully embrace the Zup Zup.
CouchWarriors and CCH
I actually resigned from the CouchWarriors board last year, worn out by friction and politics in the scene. I had some time off to recover, and realised what a dumbass I was being. I was letting external pressures affect me, I didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes, I was living my (fighting game) life for others rather than doing what I thought was best for the community.
I’ve since given myself a mental kick up the arse, and realised that I should give people more credit. If I do something they disagree with, but if they see that I’m doing it because I personally feel it will help the community, I have faith that they will understand my actions and we can communicate and work things through.
And it’s like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. What’s the point of me obsessing about politics and navigating stormy waters between factions? In the end I’m just causing myself mental stress about things that no-one else gives too much of a shit about. I’ll just do what I think is best for the community and not care about anything else. That makes it easy, actually.
So now I’m back, thick in the midst of BAM6 planning- and I also reopened CCH.
People have been asking me to reopen CCH for quite some time now. I shut it down a year ago because I wanted to give Shadowlogic all the support they needed, that they could have all the attendance and become a self-sufficient business.
Fast forward a year later and my thoughts have changed somewhat. From observing the scene, I now realise the importance of diversity. I see that some people only go to some events and not to others. Back in the pre-Shadowlogic days we had so many different events. Deakin University casuals on Saturdays. CCH on Friday. Werribee GUF stuff being run by David aka DNA and SET in the south-east. We had Couchwarriors ranbats and Boxhill arcade tournaments. Each event attracted different people, be it because of geographical differences or difference in event tone. Some people only wanted to hang out and play casuals, some other people only wanted arcade tournaments.
My point is having a large range of events ensured we had a big and thriving scene that catered to all demographics. Having one big centralised location like Shadowlogic is awesome in terms of convenience, player pool, and equipment, but there were so many faces that I never saw at Shadowlogic that only showed up to say a CCH, or to Bluehouse Friday nights.
So people were asking me to bring CCH back. And at that time I said, sure. Run it yourself. I didn’t want to create any friction. I gave people the old library number and told them how they could set it up.
As time went on nothing happened. People couldn’t commit to doing it regularly, bringing gear was a problem for some people, the library changed its booking policy so that it was now extremely expensive to book the community room with a non-profit ABN.
At the end of last year, Shadowlogic shut down for four months before their impending move to Clayton. The scene just went absolutely dormant. That’s the problem with a centralised location. Everyone is too used to being spoiled and pampered with an awesome venue with tons of sticks and consoles. Once it goes down…what do people do? There’s no place to play anymore!
Now me personally, I am not an ambitious guy. I harbour no illusions about making it big e-sports style and living off this. In my heart or hearts, I just wanna play.
Give me a good location where I can hang with good buddies and play fighting games over the weekend and I could be happy for a few more decades. Sure I would love to see the scene grow and top players and TOs be able to do this full time but personally…I just wanna play!
So with Shadowlogic being down for months and me going crazy because I wanted to play, I started considering reopening CCH again seriously.
It all came to a point when I started negotiating bookings with the library using CouchWarrior’s non-for-profit ABN, and realised that we could not get CCH’s original Friday spot back.
Now as some people in the Melbourne FGC know, Friday is my missus’ only day off the entire working week. That means Friday is my non-negotiable Missus Day. I cannot do anything on that Friday, it is the golden time to butter my missus and enjoy her young body while I still can.
So now that Saturday was in the cards and the people I was lining up to do CCH could not commit…
You know that old saying? If you want something done right, you do it yourself?
I said Fuck It, and decided to run CCH again.
I got Chris Ho (bless his soul) to extract two CW consoles from the HQ, and booked fortnightly Saturdays at the Collingwood library. I had to pay six months in advance for half a year’s worth of booking fees (you have to book in half-year blocks) and CW helped me out with funds which was awesome.
And so CCH started up again.
It’s really great to see so many old faces, but most of all- it’s awesome to be playing again (though ironically some CCHs I barely end up playing at all). We definitely need our local scene to be practicing and playing again to regain some momentum before the 2014 tournament circuit and Buttonsmash coming up.
It’s also heartwarming to see dudes like George stepping up with the Bluehouse tourney and Eugene (Robopope) hosting the House of Dip in Glen Waverly on Sundays.
Let the FGC never die.