Patrick Miller

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So any specific reason you don't like Tekken or is it that you just grew up with Street Fighter so prefer it more? Also thats a lot of Japanese fighters you listed, did you live in Japan? wat the heck man plus how are you so tall when philipinos are usually avg 5'7ish? would love to train w/ Henry

I'm not a huge fan of Tekken because I like games that build a lot of gameplay around range and positioning in neutral engagements, and 2D fighters usually do more of that than 3D fighters do.
I lived in Japan for a year and a half - six months in Tokyo (trained at Paraestra Tokyo) and a year in Nagoya (Alive Academy). And yeah, Henry is a beast. I've been whooped by a lot of great fighters, but rolling with Henry is the closest I've gotten to feeling like the aggressive rando who gets calmly dismantled by a kung fu master.
I'm half Filipino. Mom was tall for a Filipina (like 5'9" or something i think?) and my (white) dad is like, 6'1".

Wow 13 years, how old are you? What's your training background?

Turning 32 next month. Been training BJJ since 2004, that's where I put most of my training time, but I've also done boxing/Muay Thai for many years (worked as an amateur boxing coach for a year, that was fun) and picked up a bit of wrestling and judo along the way. And I did Shotokan Karate for six months before all of this.
I've had the honor of getting beaten up by several notable fighters, including Gabe Ruediger, Darren Uyenoyama, Hatsu Hioki, Daisuke "Amazon" Sugie, Shinya Aoki, Yuki Nakai, Brian Stann, Henry Akins, Vlad Matyushenko, Antoni Hardonk...probably a few more folks in there I'm missing.
Back before I worked full-time in games or journalism, I was planning on making a career out of MMA + BJJ. Goal was to train and teach until I could get a few fights and use those fights to start a gym. But then I saw how much you have to sacrifice elsewhere in life to make that work, and realized I didn't want that for myself. I still train though.

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Are you a fan of Tekken? Do you have a favorite character or at least someone you like to play a lot?

I am not a fan of Tekken. The only character I've played for more than 20 minutes is Steve Fox in T5.

If CM Punk also has prep he might have you beat. He has the money to train with the best in the world, he is old tho. Idk your skills since idk you or have seen you fight but I would have to give it to CM based on his resources. (not a fan of his btw)

CM Punk started training in January 2015, I started training in January 2004. Money helps and he can certainly afford a great team, but there's a lot of stuff you have to learn yourself. I don't think it's a lock, but I'd put fair money on me.
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Who is the strongest fictional character you could defeat in one-on-one, unarmed combat? No prep time.

This is an excellent question! I was just thinking about this the other day, actually.
If we're saying this is like, a no rules cage match or something, I like me vs. the following characters. Not saying it's a guaranteed win but I think I'd be able to take 'em on a good day.
-Most of the Harry Potter universe (they need wands to cast spells, right?)
-Any of the Power Rangers
-Dan Hibiki from Street Fighter. Think I could probably take Karin or Sakura too.
-Star Lord without his gear/team/resources seems pretty free
-All the regular-ass samurai from Last Blade 2 (like, Kaede, Hibiki, Moriya, etc., I'd probably get bodied by Lee and the big dudes)
-CM Punk
I could go on but I think that helps establish my approximate space on the tier list! Open to specific inquiries.

What is your ethnicity?

Mixed race filipino and white (most likely German, but my dad was adopted so don't really know)

Do you think running on instinct is a flaw while trying to improve in FGs as opposed to studying and understanding decisions, yours as well as your opponent's?

The way I think of mental improvement in fighting games is basically "study and understand decisions until it becomes instinct." Do both, don't choose one or the other.

The short question: What do you think about Skullgirls in terms of your Fighting Game eBook? The long question is on pastebin. http://pastebin.com/reD95bx8

Long question! Really glad you asked this.
The core loop in pretty much any fighting game can be described in two simple phases -- the "neutral" phase, where both players are freely able to control their characters and play to land that first hit, and the "resolution" phase, where the player that lands that first hit gets to convert that into an advantage.
Depending on the game, the "neutral" can look like footsies (SF games), or navigating around fireball zoning and assists (Marvel/Skullgirls), or full-screen poking with big ass moves and crazy air-dashing and teleporting (Guilty Gear). The fireball/DP stuff still exists in SG, but it's a smaller % of the neutral game when you have assists and air block.
And once you land that first hit, the game might be designed to only give you a little more damage and screen control (say, c.MK xx fireball), or you might get to kill your opponent's first character with a 10 second combo (Marvel/Skullgirls).
I like ST/HDR as a starting point because you need to have decent execution to perform moves consistently in those two games, and because the "resolution" phase is pretty small; you hit someone, you maybe get a small combo, or a knockdown that gives you a positional advantage, and then you play the neutral game again. (As you get better at the game, these things can get more important -- a Ryu in the right spot should be able to shut Honda down pretty badly -- but for newbies, this often isn't as much of a problem.)
In Marvel or Skullgirls, if you give up that first hit, there is a good chance you lost the game. (Seriously -- most Marvel games end up coming down to who lands the first clean hit in my experience.) On one hand, this means that learning the neutral game is incredibly important (one mistake and you might lose!), but because the game allows you to convert one hit into a character kill, it means that you need to learn how to do that before your neutral work will matter. It doesn't matter if you can beat me in the neutral game 80% of the time if you need to land 10 clean hits to kill my character and I only need to land one.
If you want to learn to play Skullgirls, you're gonna have to put some work into practicing combos. If you want to learn ST, you're gonna have to get good at performing reversals. All of these are fundamental fighting game skills! But games will stress them differently.
As far as writing about fighting games in a way that would illuminate these differences: It's something I've thought about, but honestly, I don't think it'd be that useful yet, because IME most would-be FG players don't really have a wide range of choices when it comes to the games they can easily find people to play locally with, and if you're into FGs for the competitive/social aspect, it's better to play a less-than-ideal game like SFV with people than a niche/older game by yourself. For this crowd, community size is important -- it means you're more likely to find quality online/offline matches.

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I have a question about fighting games that's longer than 300 characters. What would be a good place to ask it?

twitlonger! or ask a multipart q if you like.

Do you do replay analysis, if so what's the best way to get a replay to you?

MorseCrubert’s Profile PhotoCody Morse
I haven't been able to commit to this regularly, but if you tweet at me with a YouTube link I'll try to watch it and offer notes.

How do I justify listening to hip hop (or consuming any media) with "problematic" lyrics/content? Do I even have to think of it as something to justify?

Pretty much any kind of consumption in our world has some kind of ethical issues. The phone you used to ask me this question probably uses conflict minerals; the bus you rode to work on probably pollutes.
You don't need to justify your consumption to anyone, but you also can't get mad when people judge you for what you consume. In this case, it sounds like you're into some shit that people would judge you for, and you have a hard time reconciling that with your image of yourself as someone who's generally a decent person, so you'll probably have to think pretty hard about it!
In the course of living a pretty average day in my life, I will have been complicit in all kinds of interlocking systems that are pretty shitty, and if anyone were to call me out on them, I'd have no choice but to agree. Instead of thinking about good politics as a certificate you earn, think of it as a way to reflect on your habits and beliefs and change your behavior accordingly. After all, plenty of feminists listen to hip-hop; the difference is how they engage with, deconstruct, critique, and shape it into something better.

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I've only played 3d games, I hold directions, and returning to neutral multiple times in succession (jump canceling) blows my mind. I can improve at specific combos but in a match I will hold up-forward like this is Dark Souls and I need to stay behind Potemkin to survive. Any recommended exercises?

Relax. Let go of the stick a little bit to return to neutral instead of clutching it in a death grip where it's always pointed in one direction.

Is there anything wrong with picking different characters in different games in a series as opposed to playing the same character in different games? eg playing Ryu in all SF's as opposed to playing say Ryu in ST and V but Ken in 3s? I don't feel particularly attached to character aesthetics so idk

Yes it is unacceptable. Just think about how your poor characters feel.
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Is there such a thing as "gifted talent" in fighting games? I try not to think about it when I'm trying to improve but I just feel like I improve much slower than some people I've started playing a game with at the same time, even if we put in the same amount of work.

Think of fighting games as a network of clusters of micro-games: every given matchup, under every given range, is about as complicated as a set of small Wario Ware (or Rhythm Tengoku) mini-games, and getting better at FGs basically consists of teasing them out, studying what you need to do to win them, how you need to do it, and learning to recognize when they're about to happen.
Some people will be better at this than others, at first. Maybe they come from other activities that demand similar kinds of practice and experimentation. Maybe their previous games experience in other genres makes them a little more familiar with some of the games at play. Maybe they're actually not that thinking that hard about it, at all, and you're so busy thinking about all the things that you're losing before you can do anything. There are all kinds of reasons why one new player would see success earlier than another new player.
The funny thing is, over time, the difference in learning curve tends to balance out. Maybe one person in your crew gets good early, and then the others level up trying to figure that person out. Then someone else hits a spurt and starts to lead the pack, and you have to learn to beat them. People usually don't improve at a consistent rate in the short term, and over the long term it's more about consistently putting the work in than it is about your peaks and valleys.
I do think that there are mysterious gaps in people's ability; when I think about all the high-level players I've gone up against, they all tend to have at least one thing that they are absolutely excellent at (Ricky's footsies, for example), but I hesitate to describe that as "natural."

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On average how much does it cost to train bjj/mma in Cali? bonus: you still training? Do you think its better to just learn how to fight then stay in shape and avoid brain trauma?

Average gym price in California tends to be around 170 from what I've found. And yes, I'm still training BJJ -- it's a great workout, marvelous for self defense, and low risk of brain trauma.

I've noticed that my play is very hot and cold in terms of quality. I'll get off to a rocky start, then start playing better than ever, but I quickly revert to old habits of jumping in when I shouldn't and sweeping too much. Do you have any advice or techniques on how to address and fix this?

MorseCrubert’s Profile PhotoCody Morse
When you revert to your old habits, it's because you've stopped paying attention to the new habits you're trying to inculcate (sweeping and jumping less). Put a sticky note on the monitor that says SWEEP AND JUMP LESS and see if that helps.
Liked by: Raj-el Cody Morse

On a scale of DMV Visit to Kid in an Arcade with Free Play, how excited are you about the Riot acquisition?

Nothing besides being a Kid in an Arcade with Free Play will ever get me as excited as that, but it's much closer to that than a DMV visit. (Though, Riot's old office was close to a DMV...)
When I left Riot, I made sure it was clear that I was leaving because I wanted the chance to work with a fighting game dream team. Now I don't have to choose between the two. That's pretty rad!
I have to act a little grumpy about it though because otherwise my Rioter friends will think I missed them and we can't have that.
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There are a lot of videos for SFV in terms of how you should play with X character. How do you decide what is worth paying attention to and what is not?

Take notes, try stuff out for yourself, and see what works for you and what doesn't. Videos are a starting point for learning, not the end point.

So we've got a couple days with SFV and despite the rocky start how do you feel about the game personally? Does it stack up to other fighting games out currently, does the lack of indepth training mode hurt it as much as people say?

HidekiT0J0’s Profile PhotoToJ0_
I'm not currently thrilled with SFV, both from a product-quality standpoint and from a fighting game perspective, but if there's two things I've learned about new fighting games, it's these:
1: The first SF in a new series always sucks.
2: It's hard to know if a game is going to be good or not until we've played it for at least a year or so.

Recently, I was told that my SF play lacks and identity. With further reflection, I realized that I feel like a rushdown player caught in a zoner's autopilot. Moving forward to SFV, how do I overcome this plateau and break out of these habits?

MorseCrubert’s Profile PhotoCody Morse
In general, the best way I've found to break habits is to identify the specific things you're doing that get you blown up. And that means watching your replays!
If your problem is that you're rushing down too much, try playing matches with the goal of taking as much time off the clock (win or lose). If you're feeling committed, do push-ups each time you don't end in time over. All of a sudden you'll find ways to pace yourself :P
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