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Tetris Aside: Coding for T-Spins

October 13, 2012 3 comments

(the source code and EXE file for this update of SimpleTetris can be found at the end of the article)

One of my Tetris-playing colleagues pointed out to me recently that T-spins do not work in my implementation of SimpleTetris. Although I hadn’t checked it explicitly, I was quite surprised by this as I knew the code I had written should support them just fine.

A nice double t-spin opener.

The orange-coloured T-piece here will fall 2 more rows, at which point it can be rotated such that it will complete the bottom 2 rows. This ‘impossible’ rotation of T-pieces where in real life the piece would be locked into place is the premise of the T-spin.

For those not in the know, the Tetris Wikia T-spin page has some excellent explanations and diagrams of what T-spins are; namely, when you rotate a T-shaped Tetris piece in a way that would be impossible in real life (due to the corners being obstructed by other blocks) such that it fits snugly into a T or notch-shaped hole (see image).

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Top Ten: When The Game Beats You

April 12, 2010 Leave a comment

This is an unedited, uncensored re-print of an article originally posted on another site, included here so that fans can read the uncensored versions.

WARNING! This article is intended as a piece of satirical diatribe. Some readers may find the language and themes within extremely offensive.

Thanks to TSA reader deadpixel for inspiring me with this idea a few weeks ago.

Hardcore gamers can be spotted from miles away by the way they react when they get stuck on a video game. Like the honey badger – known for its testicle-eating abilities – gamers give off signals to the rest of their species, and over time they develop a fixed set of responses to cope with any tricky gaming situation that may arise. Let’s take a look at what happens when a gamer is defeated in battle.

Cuss wildly – usually the first port of call for the disgruntled gamer, stringing together a succession of the worst words you can conjure up is a natural stress reliever. A few deep breaths later and you’re prepared for the next bout. Swearing quantity and volume increases proportionally to the number of defeats, and if there are too many of these said defeats, may be accompanied by a short break and the lighting of a cigarette by the less health-conscious player.

Assault your peripherals – stage two of your rage can be fulfilled by the swift ejection of the controller from your hand in a quick downward thrusting motion. Often combined with cussing wildly for added effect, we have all come to expect that controllers are basically indestructible – my main controller alone has been thrown onto the floor at least 17 million times. And that was just in my last four or five FIFA 10 matches.

Have… just one more go – you know the syndrome. This time I’m gonna nail that little b*stard. I’ve learned from my mistakes, I’ve memorized the route, the map, the timing, the button pushes. This time it’s gonna be perfect! Repeat a dozen times. Two dozen if it’s that bloody Astro Tripper game.

Enter Focus Mode – focus mode is what separates the hardcore from the casual. In Focus Mode, you sit at the edge of your seat, lean forwards, sit right in the center view of the TV, re-position the controller slightly in your hands, stare in tunnel vision at the screen and put your mind in “extra-hard concentration mode”, hoping that reducing your screen distance by 2 inches and the reduced viewing angle will make all the difference. It doesn’t, of course. Yet we never learn.

Google “Name of game + walkthrough” – face it, we’ve all done it: “Mirror’s Edge mall level walkthrough”. We wouldn’t tell anyone though. Personally I’m a n00b – I’m interested in the journey, I have no interest in repeating the same section over and over, so when trouble arises, I will have no compunction to sheepishly resort to gamefaqs.com and find the walkthrough. Besides, if I didn’t, I’d never complete anything.

Change the difficulty level – one for the real pussies, and it raises that awful dilemma: what about those elusive gold and platinum trophies? If I drop down to Only Slightly Hardcore difficulty, I’m screwed for XP. Wimps like me have these days resigned to starting on Easy anyway and begrudgingly sacrificing the silverware, but I certainly don’t expect that kind of slack behaviour from readers of this esteemed publication. Only beta testers and reviewers can be that lazy.

Bust up some n00bs in another game – getting your ass handed to you on a plate in COD: World At War? Try Peggle instead. There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of making it personal: some revenge payback at innocent bystanders in another game will refresh you, restore your confidence and give you that impetus you need to go back and wipe the floor with them.

Lie – an excellent way to look good, if you’ve almost finished the game but can’t nail that last boss, just say you completed it anyway. Hell, what are they gonna know? I did 48 of the 51 events in GRID and couldn’t be bothered with the last three. I said I completed it anyway. “Couldn’t be bothered” is a good PR spin too: instead of saying “I sucked too much to finish it”, you’re saying “I’m so good I don’t need to prove my worth; I have more important fish to fry”.

Cheat – SingStar has a trophy for scoring over 90% on hard on 5 songs. Screw that. If I wanted to witness my ex-boyfriend’s balls shrinking to the size of shriveled little peanuts as he squeals out Leona Lewis’s cover of Run I would just fondle him with some ice cubes. Instead, I took the professional approach and let someone else log into my account to do it for me. I still get PSN mails to this day asking “wow, how did you get that trophy?”. Changing the date and time is good for cheating too.

Never admit defeat – last but not least, this is in fact the very First Commandment in true gaming. Never, never, EVER admit you couldn’t do something. Always have excuses ready for why you only got the bronze trophies. Say you’ll come back to it when you have time. Say your console broke, or the dog ate the controller. Say anything, just whatever you do, don’t admit failure or weakness of any kind. Your street cred will be destroyed instantly – more specifically, you’ll become a gay n00b.

Have a great weekend everybody!


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