Click this link to see the original guide.
It’s no secret that I absolutely love this game series. If you take a look around the rest of this portfolio, this fact is blatantly obvious.
When the newest iteration in this series was announced, I jumped back into the franchise with both feet. When I did, I started finding players who were much, much better than I was, and they were able to move and play in ways I couldn’t understand. Here I was, a longtime fan with years of time playing the game, running into things I wasn’t able to make sense of.
This bothered me, because there wasn’t anything that was able to teach me how to close that gap, and every time I asked around the game’s many community hubs about how to achieve this, I would receive information and answers that weren’t readily available anywhere else – except in Japanese.
I noticed that much of the information that was available in English was very good, but not structured well. A lot of it was from the POV of people that had a very deep and nuanced understanding of the game and its mechanical depths, and therefore, that information wasn’t exactly creating a method by which the inexperienced could effectively learn how to play. Essentially, I found a lot of information about running, which isn’t all that useful for people trying to learn to walk. Not yet, at least.
So, with that in mind, I picked the brains of a number of high-level players in the Western EXVS scene. Through that fact-finding mission, I created a scaffolding for a curriculum, one specifically designed to not only teach a new player how to play, but give them a stepping stone path towards the true intentionality required to play the game at higher levels.
From there, I organized a plan to take this information, elaborate and expand upon these concepts, and then draft a definitive guide that would achieve the goal of genuinely teaching players how to play, instead of just handing them snippets of do / don’t information. I was spearheading a project with the aim of consolidating an absolutely massive amount of information on this specific game, taken from multiple sources in multiple languages, into a single document that would become the definitive English-language guide on how to play a game that’s dominated Japanese arcades for over fifteen years.
Once we had our written word, I realized that visual aids would be required. To that end, I designed multiple static graphic elements to serve those purposes.
However, I took it a step further: as Google Docs allowed for the embedding of animated GIF format images within a document, I recorded multiple example video clips, and uploaded them to Gfycat, which converts those videos into small GIFs alongside hosting the original files.
The end result was a guide that truly came to life, and it helped open the game’s mechanical complexity to a much wider audience in the West (US, EU, etc.). Responses from new and existing players were overwhelmingly positive, and remain so.