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> Interview with Caffeine
ohitsstef
post Apr 20 2012, 04:40 PM
Post #1


Tetris Grand Master
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Caffeine aka Nicholas
Creator of TetrisConcept.com
, 2005-2009
Age 25
Tetris Age 21
Game Boy Tetris era - When the game boy was black and white
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High scores
40L 29.85
Dig Race 14.41
Cheese mode 5.31 (C2)
Jame's CLewett's mode tied #1 (C2)

Tournament standings
1st - Mobile Tetris Tournament - won $2,000 and a trip for 2 to Hawaii
1st - Qualifying Tetris World Champions
3rd - Tetris World Champions
1st - Perfect Clear Fest 2010
1st - Tetris DS Tournament


How long have you been playing Tetris?
I played my first game back in 1991 at my neighbor's house. It was NES Tetris. I immediately fell in love with the game. I played here and there up until the late 90s, when my obssession really started showing. And I've been playing since then.

What games did you move to after NES?
The second game I remember seeing after that was when I was at my cousin's house. They had a new PC and had the Microsoft Tetris version on it. Unfortunately, my cousin and sister hogged it the whole time, and I never got a turn. After that, my friend's parents took us to the beach one summer (four hour drive), and he played Tetris on his Game Boy the whole way. Once again, I didn't get to play. I think these two events are responsible for fueling a life long obsession with the game once I finally got my hands on my own game.
I would pick up whatever games I could find. I got Tetris DX for GBC, The Next Tetris for PC, The New Tetris for N64, and I used to play a lot of Shockwave Tetris.
Meanwhile, I was simultaneously discovering Tetris clones on the internet like Tetrinet. I remember feeling amazed at how fast the other players were going.

Was Tetrinet the first tetris clone you played?
I think I must've downloaded a few dozen before running into Tetrinet. Even back then, Tetris clones were plentiful. However, Tnet was special because not only was it multiplayer--it was competitive. I really enjoyed that about it.

Were you a part of any Tetrinet clans?
haha, sad to say, but no.I did follow rivalries closely. I was a Hellfire fanboy.
Who was on the Hellfire clan?
Spindizzy. I guess I was more of a Spindizzy fanboy than anything. I'd come home and watch him play (he was always the one player at the bottom of his playfield), and I remember being estatic everytime I'd find a new strategy article on the HF website. Back then, the internet was scarce with information related to that sort of stuff, and Tetris strategy has always really interested me.

Back when the Blockbox community was active, I heard of TetrisConcept.com and that you were the original creator. Is that true?
Yes. I mentioned that back in the day that Tetris-related content was rare, so tetrisconcept.com was my attempt at doing something about that. A couple years ago I shut down tetrisconcept.com because I had a lot on my plate. Afterwards, some of its members took it upon themselves to make an alternate website (Tetrisconcept.org). I don't have anything to do with that.

What Tetris games do you current play on?
I've been playing a lot of Nullpomino and Cultris 2 lately. I'm hoping some cool new Tetris games will come out for consoles in the near future, though. For example, I really enjoy talking to my opponents through the headset while playing on Xbox Live. It adds a social element to the game. For that reason, Tetris Worlds Live for Xbox was one of my favorite all time multiplayer online Tetris games. I met a lot of interesting Tetris players on that one.

What game modes on Nullpomino and Cultris 2 do you like?
On Nullpomino 7.6, there's a multiplayer dig race mode where both players get the same garbage and pieces. This is similar to c2's cheese mode. Downstacking's one of my favorite aspects of Tetris. I've always been a fan of normal multiplayer as well, but I'm still trying to figure out what to do in these modes. (I'm not very good at change-on-attack garbage games, yet.)

What are your tips for a new Tetris player?
There's one thing I've noticed some players will do after losing that bothers me. They will blame their loss on things like luck, not being ready, lag, whatever. It's meant make it look like they're actually better than they were (and therefore shouldn't have really lost). If no one cheated and you agreed to the circumstances in which the game was played before you began, then you lost fair and square. It's disrespectful to denigrate your opponenent's victory in that way. Bite your tongue, congratulate him or her, and then honestly look back at the game and try to figure out what went wrong. If you ignore the real reasons why you lost, how can you expect to improve upon them?

What is the most important skill a player should have to become an all around better multiplayer player?
I think the three properties most important to improving in multiplayer are time, effort, and openness to new strategies and ideas. You can get by with one or two, but you won't really become great unless you have all three.

Who is your biggest Tetris rival?
Corrosive and I go way back. We used to be neck and neck over a decade ago, and we still are. Actually, he's better, but I still think of him as a great opponent. bleh, he quits, he plays, he quits. this is the way of the true tetris player

Do you hope to see Tetris to become bigger and more recognized in the gaming world? At the moment more people think of Tetris as a relaxation/time killing game instead of recognizing the competitive side of it.
I agree for sure. I'd like to see it taken more seriously in the future.
I was watching my sister play once (who would qualify as a casual Tetris player), and she talked about how she lost interest once she got good enough to play indefinitely. I couldn't get her to try out a more challenging mode like multiplayer, but I hope to see more players do this in the future. The game actually has a lot of depth, and I think a lot of the casual players unfortunately miss out on this.

How would you rate yourself as a player?
Decent, I think. Maybe B-
.. LOL %%% and tier LMFAO
a B- is like an 80-85 right?
e - e i have like.. LOL no comment
loooooool
lmfao you and David make this way too difficult!
looool
we'll say top 15% ok?
oooh a percentile figure. say 20%

Do you have any goals you want to reach in Tetris?
As of right now, my goal is to figure out how play more effectively at "new school" games like Tetris Friends.

Any final tips and tricks? like a fancy schmany spin you've been holding out on us? Grin.png
That's top secret!
Stingy much?
ok disregard that then. darn it making me thiinkkkkkk.. ok lemme think.
Never ever ever forfeit a Tetris match when it isn't all the way over. Some of my most memoriable games were those where I was one row from topping out but some how made my way back down and won.

Do you have any fans? any girls hitting on you because of your skills?
hahaha [ignore] looooool i can't think of a good answer to that

Do you have any last words?
Big thanks to all my HD buddies! I owe you guys a lot for helping me become a better player!


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salami_pastrami
post Apr 20 2012, 05:22 PM
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cafffffffeine
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Blink
post Apr 21 2012, 04:01 AM
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Sorry that all the responses got deleted caff, your thread had a lot before we lost data.

Since it's been many years since this happened, I'll just ask. You don't have to answer if you're not comfortable with it. As you know I've supported your decisions in the past, but now that the dust has settled can you tell us what is the reason that TetrisConcept.com was shut down a few years ago?
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caffeine
post Apr 21 2012, 04:29 PM
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I had a lot of personal things going on in my life, so I didn't have enough time anymore to keep up with maintaining TC.
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Maske
post Apr 21 2012, 08:11 PM
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If this question should defile HD board or trouble caffeine, delete my comment without hesitation.

ttp://mihara.sub.jp/top/blog/sb203/log/eid10196.html
(to see this link, add "h")

This entry, which was written by Mr.Mihara about 3 years ago, hinted that "something" had put inappropriate pressure on one Japanese and "something" in the western. Then, I had actually heard unsettled episode about TC.com before, from my close friends. (It is hard to say in public.) So, I didn't wonder why TC.com was closed at that time. Wasn't there anything pressure on you ? Ah, could it be Mr.Mihara's bluff ? Foot In Mouth.png


BTW, would you do me a favor? haha, I want your old avatar which was aggressively moving T-pice.

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Not him Sticking Out Tongue.png
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caffeine
post Apr 21 2012, 08:20 PM
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Hmm, I can't remember what my old avatar was (aside from Speed Racer)! It's been too long. Sorry. =/

There was no outside influence from anyone when it came to my decision to close TC. In fact, someone from TOA (I won't say who) even emailed me offering to provide hosting if it was a question of my needing that (it wasn't).
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Maske
post Apr 21 2012, 10:12 PM
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QUOTE(caffeine @ Apr 22 2012, 05:20 AM) *


There was no outside influence from anyone when it came to my decision to close TC. In fact, someone from TOA (I won't say who) even emailed me offering to provide hosting if it was a question of my needing that (it wasn't).


Hmm, I see. I took it for granted that you received external pressure. Since you didn't got into trouble, I've been relieved Gasp.png


QUOTE(caffeine @ Apr 22 2012, 05:20 AM) *

Hmm, I can't remember what my old avatar was (aside from Speed Racer)! It's been too long. Sorry. =/

Alas!
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Shuey
post May 23 2012, 05:44 PM
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Sorry for the delayed reply Caff, but I finally read your interview. I knew you were a pimp, but I didn't realize how much of a pimp until reading this, lol. Nice Smile.png.


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Sisu
post May 14 2013, 10:14 PM
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how did you get into tetris?

EDIT: nvm. u already answered that

QUOTE(caffeine @ Jan 9 2010, 04:58 AM) *

I used to have a bad caffeine addiction. I've tried to quit, but I relapse every now and then. Right now I'm sober one month. (Yes, I know caffeine isn't a serious addiction.)

coffee? red bull? nodoz?

moar explanation plz


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caffeine
post May 14 2013, 10:54 PM
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QUOTE(Sisu @ May 14 2013, 05:14 PM) *

coffee? red bull? nodoz?

moar explanation plz

There was a time when it wasn't uncommon to see like 20 coke cans on my desk. It was bad.
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Sisu
post Jun 24 2013, 01:59 AM
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Should the tetris wikis be merged?

EDIT: Nevermind. You already answered that.

How did you come up with the name Tetris Concept? What did it mean?


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caffeine
post Jun 24 2013, 03:55 PM
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"Tetris" can mean different things to different people. Rules, strategies, and gimmicks come and go, but there is something elusively beautiful about the game deep at its core. It's difficult to put my finger on what exactly about it draws people in. I didn't want my site to be restricted to one type of Tetris, so I wanted the title to capture just this root idea behind all Tetrises. I wanted my site to cover anything that resembled the basic "Tetris Concept." Plus, I thought it sounded cool.
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Sisu
post Jun 24 2013, 06:15 PM
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What were your thoughts on the coterie behind the tc.net clone ban?

QUOTE
[19:29] <muf> 00:23 <muf> i think xkeeper summed it up best when he said we're "kissing a numb ass"
[19:29] <muf> 00:24 <colour_thief> i agree with that
[19:29] <muf> 00:24 <muf> we've turned our back on the community to please an entity that doesn't even care about what we do
[19:29] <muf> 00:24 <colour_thief> but i also agree that it's like some farfetched expensive treatment for some terminally ill person you love
[19:29] <muf> 00:24 <colour_thief> you have to try it
[19:29] <muf> 00:24 <muf> yeah true
[19:29] <muf> 00:25 <colour_thief> the whole thing has me feeling bleh
[19:30] <muf> 00:26 <colour_thief> i've got to say though, i'm pretty sickened by how self entitled the average TC user feels to all this
[19:30] <muf> 00:26 <muf> as i said before the ban doesn't affect me at all, i can't remember the last time i played a clone and i just bought tap, heh
[19:30] <muf> 00:27 <muf> so a few months more or less i don't care about
[19:30] <muf> 00:27 <muf> but i do think it's hurting the community and at some point we have to come forth and say "hey look, we tried, but mihara didn't listen. so now he can go fuck himself"
[19:30] <muf> 00:27 <colour_thief> the average person feels entitled to clones, or at best feels entitled to a $5 downloadable worldwide released TGM game
[19:30] <muf> 00:27 <colour_thief> nobody has respect for the arcade culture
[19:30] <muf> 00:28 <colour_thief> i honestly wish about half our users would diaf
[19:30] <muf> 00:28 <colour_thief> i think i might retire with the new site
[19:30] <muf> 00:28 <muf> no more papa smurf? :(
[19:30] <muf> 00:29 <colour_thief> there's some cool people but if a ican't stand interacting with half the users it wouldn't be very fun for me
[19:30] <muf> 00:29 <colour_thief> and that's what it's all about no?
[19:30] <muf> 00:29 <muf> hmm true
[19:30] <muf> 00:30 <muf> on the other hand my grandma used to say "if you take away little things one at a time you end up eating your dinner off a newspaper"
[19:30] <muf> 00:31 <muf> meaning negativity tends to accumulate
[19:30] <muf> 00:31 <muf> you do also give up that other 50% of social interaction
[19:30] <muf> 00:32 <muf> don't let the selfish people get to you
[19:30] <muf> 00:34 <colour_thief> well, i don't foresee a huge void in my life
[19:30] <muf> 00:34 <colour_thief> not that certain people won't be missed
[19:30] <muf> 00:34 <colour_thief> i've got a few cool original arcade puzzle ideas i wouldn't mind making
[19:30] <muf> 00:35 <colour_thief> it'd be kind of cool to make a polished original game
[19:30] <muf> 00:35 <colour_thief> i think it would be what i most need right now
[19:30] <muf> 00:36 <colour_thief> rather than watch people rape TGM's dead corpe

EDIT: Nevermind. You already answered that.

If you were given a "do-over" on the Tetris Concept retirement, would you change anything? IPB Image


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caffeine
post Jun 24 2013, 07:08 PM
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I would've made more of an effort to understand and empathize with certain members of the community. There seemed to be an "us vs. caffeine" mentality. I think that was due to my failure to do this. For example, many members were more attached to TC than I had anticipated. I could've done better at acknowledging how disappointing this was for some and could have been more sympathetic.

Instead, I became defensive. I desired an graceful exit for TC, and instead I found myself in the middle of a shitstorm. I regret not handling the situation more maturely and in a way that took everyone's feelings into account. I wasn't the only one involved in making TC great--not by a long shot. Still, I had my reasons for shutting down the way I did. I mentioned this before, and there were particular reasons I didn't simply hand it over to someone else. But, due to the way I handled it, I became "the enemy" in some members eyes. I believe this became their excuse for piggybacking off my site's good name and visibility (without my permission) instead of starting their own website.
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Sisu
post May 30 2015, 03:48 PM
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Has it really been 10 years?

QUOTE(caffeine @ May 30 2005)
blah blah blah yada yada yada. blah blah blah yada yada yada. blah blah blah yada yada yada. blah blah blah yada yada yada. blah blah blah yada yada yada. blah blah blah yada yada yada.

everything seems to be working like it was planned. more updates are on their way. peace out.

IMHO the way you have expressed your love for Tetris over the years has had a profound impact on countless Tetrists. Thanks. Yum.png

Can you speak of some of your progenitors in this regard (spindizzy et al.) and the effect they had on you and your writings?

Also, didn't you shoutbox something after TWC about Ben Mullen rekindling your passion for unabashed Tetris geekery? Nerd.png


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