Sunday, April 25, 2010

How to Build and Organize a Local Fighting Game Scene

This is mainly directed for those without a current scene in their area/region. Those of you who may have a local scene already may use this to help broaden and build upon that community.

During the drafting phase of this blog, I’ve managed to come across the latest Wakeup, Shoryuken podcast,] Community Building and You, which coincidently is based on the blog you’re reading right now! I was like, “Damn… a fucking podcast beat me to the punch!” Anyway, this will go into more detail about making this all happen.

Step 1: Establishing the Scene

Probably the first thing you may want to do is to identify the players. You can begin with yourself and a couple of friends that play regularly, then moving on to co-workers, fellow classmates from school, and even your sister’s/brother’s boyfriend/girlfriend. From there you can hit up that arcade of yours that still have Primal Rage, Virtua Fighter 2, and War Gods [url][/url] with the 3D button that never seems to work and get with those guys who you never speak to, but have always enjoyed beating down in Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.

Step 2: Building the Scene

Now that you have established the scene, you want to start building on what you have. Word of mouth has always been a great source for getting the word out. “Hey, did you know that there is a (game of choice here) scene here?” So now the word is out that people no longer have to rely on disappointing online matches with lag or players not on the same skill level and that there are people in the area who plays (and hopefully familiar with SRK) Believe me folks. It’s a small world out there and you’ll be surprised if you’d just ask. [That is how I found people when I was in Okinawa, Japan, ours and SRK’s very own Saotome Kaneda!]

So basically you’re recruiting and you do that by using what’s around you and most importantly… do you care to guess? The internet! In case some of you don’t know (and you should) SRK has a Regional Matchmaking Thread consisting of the following regions: Atlantic North, Atlantic South, Midwest, Northwest, Pacific North, Pacific South, Southwest, Canada, and World. There are other sources of media out there that you can use such as Facebook, Craigslist, Twitter, MySpace, and more.

No access to the World Wide Web? Do you have a local arcade, go to college, and have a few game retail stores nearby? Those are all great places to meet and advertise your scene. On the podcast, Renegade talks about forming clubs in school which is an awesome idea. Hell, try posting flyers up in areas you are allowed to. Mom and Pop game retailers are a great place to put up your flyers as they are not restricted to space purchased by vendors for marketing purposes like GameStop and Game Crazy. As a former Store Manager for GameStop, let me tell you, they will not let you put up ANYTHING that is not in the marketing guidelines or planogram for the company. Sometimes, however, you may get approval from your DM if it can help promote new games, and increase reserves and sales, but don’t press your luck if you’re trying to get something together for something that is played on last gen consoles. Really quick before I go on to the next step… A clever way to pass out your flyers at retail stores is to have them as manual sized inserts. Stick them in every fighting game case in the store and you’ll increase the awareness of the scene in your area whenever a customer purchases that used copy of Soul Calibur 4, Smash Bros. Brawl, or Tekken.

Step 3: Organizing the Scene

How do you organize a scene? After you have a good solid group of players that occasionally meets, you may want to start keeping track of names, phone numbers, gamer tags/handle, and etc. Maybe assign roles or finding someone who is responsible enough (and serious) to organize and keep up with everything. No, I’m not kidding. It really helps and keeps everyone up to date with what is going on and finding out what is going on in your community.

I’ve been following the ‘small’ but existing scene back in my hometown since I left and joined the Marines. Moving back last August, I really wanted to put us on the map and build a scene that everyone can be proud to be a part of. So I created a new thread (which I can edit and organize as I see fit) got names, numbers, etc and listed them on the front page for everyone to have instant access to. I created links to footage of recent tournament matches, pics, tournament results, and even ranking battle schedules! Anything of interest I update in the News section of the post and archive them when we enter a new month. A bit too much you say?

This will help your scene not only grow, but improve as well. Within months of my arrival back home, I’ve managed to increase the size, interest, and importantly the skill level of the scene here. Take it slow first if you’re new to all this, but with time and patient everything will fall together.

Gather together the trades that everyone has to offer too. CSS, HTML, photoshop, video editing, art, stick building/modding, access to venues, jobs at a game retailer, and more. Try to get everyone involved because this is everyone’s scene. Eventually you may want to create a MySpace group, youtube channel, and even a paypal account to fund for traveling expenses to tourneys, food, prizes, equipment, and anything else you can think of.

Here is an example of what we I have done thus far. I already had someone use my thread as a template for their own community and everyone is welcome to do the same. Big shout out to the Arkansas crew!

It is a lot of work, but in the end it is all worth it. With the proper structure and patience, you’ll get your scene to where you want it to be.

Step 4: Managing Progression and Evaluating the Scene

I’ll keep this step concise. The last step is to supervise how well your scene is growing and improving. Toss in some tournaments and when you become comfortable, take it on the road. Test your skills with the next town, schedule team matches or tourneys and work from there. You’ll meet new friends, exchange personal information, form rivalries, trade secrets and overall, learn from the experience.

Remember... there are many useful links here on SRK to get you started. The rest is all up to you, but we're here to help too :tup: I'd like to thank my fellow K-Town members here in central Texas, who accepted my ideas, planning, and organizing to put us where we are today. As a treat, every keep your eyes open for my next set of vids. No Marvel this time, but some SFIV from a recent Central Texas Brawl tourney. You can find older MvC2 matches there too and I'm working on compressing the infamous Clockw0rk vs Dark Prince money match, so that youtube can accept it. Thank you all for reading!

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