Author Topic: Donkey Kong Genius (Corey Chambers' Blog)  (Read 4733 times)

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corey.chambers

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Donkey Kong Genius (Corey Chambers' Blog)
« on: June 06, 2013, 11:25:09 PM »
I suppose it is about time that I start one of these so I can update some information about my game play. As everyone knows I got a new Arcade machine! Yer Buddy! And a nice computer to stream things well. Tonight I put up a decent score while teaching myself to use the machine sitting down with my new stool, being gentle with the joystick I have to work with until I get a proper one, and doing as much grouping under Kong as possible. It was only a 437,700 point game that ended on level 10.5. I suppose that is a 1.033M pace game. Hard to tell. I used a spreadsheet I found on the forum. Here is the game if you are interested in checking it out. I must warn you that there are 3 deaths due to jump timing issues. Still trying to work out the timing with that Arcade button, as long as it is working the way it is supposed to, and if not, I wouldn't know any better. http://www.twitch.tv/clchambers00/c/2389445
« Last Edit: July 15, 2013, 07:47:01 AM by corey.chambers »

corey.chambers

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Re: Donkey Kong Genius (Corey Chamber's Blog)
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2013, 09:31:03 AM »
Well, it has been awhile since my last blog entry. As everyone knows I was two screens away from back to back killscreens during the WCR #3 tournament about a week ago. I was extremely excited over a new two hammer score of 964,500. Why in reality I just ran boards for levels 1 - 4. For a tournament I just wanted to get a good start without hours of wild barrel deaths. And then with level 5 I started using the bottom hammer until about level 15 I think and then I ran levels 16 - 22. I had lost my 3 guy on level 12 so I wanted to safely improve my score since I knew that I would need to press more to get one million. I thought that a tournament was not the place for me to do that when my goal was to just get into the 900K range if not 950K. I was grateful to go more than 450K on my last man. Here is the video if you have not had the chance to see it. Youtube High Score Game

I have not been streaming or watching many streams because I have been analyzing and playing the barrel level. I am in the middle of creating the long awaited Barrel Training Video. I think this is very hard to do in video format since with all the levels it has to do with experience. My purpose int he video is to help people become aware and familiar with certain aspects of the board, which I hope, along with more experience will help to keep that learning curve going up. I have received good feedback from the Rivet Training Video so I decided to spend some extra time with this important board to get it right and do a thorough job. Sometimes I get really technical but I hope that more experienced players may appreciate seeing a step by step analysis of what they already instinctively do. I try to take some common events in grouping and break them down to help give people some fuel for creating these mental triggers. I am extremely anxious to get this new video out as soon as possible but I don't want to do it at the neglect of the video's quality. Right now the video is about 13 minutes long and I think that I may be about 1/3 of the way done. I except it to be at least 30 minutes long, if not longer, when I am done.

corey.chambers

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Re: Donkey Kong Genius (Corey Chamber's Blog)
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2013, 12:41:08 AM »
Early Beginnings

When I was 8 years old I remember visiting a friendís house and learning about the Nintendo Entertainment System for the first time. While feeling enthralled with video games, I was never very good at them. I spent most of my time watching my older brother play RPGs such as Final Fantasy. My father played guitar in a band in bars and while he was busy setting up the stage I was placed in front of arcade games. I remember playing Pacman, Ms Pacman, and Pole Position but I donít recall the other games I may have played. I was not exposed to Donkey Kong on the arcade machine at all that I can remember. I didnít learn about Donkey Kong until I played the version on the NES around the age of 12. I remember that I was not able to time the springs and felt awe over the individual who had reported a score of over two million points in Nintendo Power magazine. Games, including Chess, have played a role in my life, but ultimately no games were an obsession to me, and I certainly was not very good at any of them.

Invitation and Inspiration

While working at a bank a couple years ago, an acquaintance there was fond of watching documentaries and recommended the King of Kong to me. There was no real reason why he recommended this particular documentary but needless to say I watched it on 11/10/11. Both my wife and I were moved by Steve Wiebe and I personally identified with him at levels only I understood. I know what it is like to not be successful or to have lost much in their life. Having lost my father at the age of 10 and my mother at the age of 27, I have had to carve my own way through life.

NES Donkey Kong

Having been inspired I went and purchased a regular Nintendo with the Donkey Kong Classics which included the NES version of Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Junior. I was determined to learn the game and played it for hours. My first million point game was on 1/7/12, with a score of 1,042,000, which was about two months after watching the King of Kong. Two days later I got 1,406,400. Five days later I got 1,795,500. Then thirteen days later on 1/27/12, I achieved a score of 2,808,400, finally being the guy who got over two million on NES Donkey Kong! So I progressed rather quickly and I found it fascinating. However, since it took me just over six hours to complete this new high score, I decided to place my focus elsewhere and spend more time with my family.

NES Donkey Kong 2,808,400: http://www.twitch.tv/clchambers00/c/2417214

MAME

It was during this time I learned about MAME. I had no idea what it was or how to use it. But once I got everything up and running, I was finally playing a version of Donkey Kong that was being emulated like the Arcade game. After playing for several months I reached a plateau of 505,600, which was achieved on 4/28/12. I was discouraged and did not play it very much, but instead I turned to other games, especially to memorize Pac-man, something I found to be rather interesting. I thought that maybe if I learned Pac-man like Billy Mitchell, that maybe it would ultimately help my Donkey Kong game. I started watching Billy Mitchell, Steve Wiebe, and Hank Chien youtube videos over and over again, and also watched the World Record holder on MAME, Dean Saglio repeatedly. So for about eleven months I absorbed these clips and would try things out but with very little success. Looking back I still wonder why I stuck with it, despite the constant failure.

How to Play Donkey Kong on MAME: How to play Donkey Kong on WolfMAME (The video's owner prevents external embedding)

The Break-Through

Then, something amazing happened on 4/1/13, I finally blasted through the plateau and psychological barriers with a two hammer score of 696,800. I was so excited about my game that I wanted to start showing people so I created a youtube account and uploaded the video so I could share the link with some friends. This was fate I think, for as I perused youtube a bit further I learned about a player by the name of Vincent Lemay, and he had linked his Twitch stream page to one of his videos. I had no idea what Twitch.tv was. So I sought him out on facebook and began the slow process of friending a couple people that I knew also played Donkey Kong. It was only a short while before I had made my own Twitch account so I could watch games with the chat function and was introduced to the Donkey Kong Forum.

I had realized that my score of 696,800 was just under the score that Brian Kuh had on the TwinGalaxies website, and I had been joking with this acquaintance at work that my first goal was to beat him, only because we were both familiar with him from the King of Kong. So I started playing again, but this time went back to just running boards only grabbing the top hammer. This was the same time I started streaming my games on Twitch.

Twitch.tv Account: http://www.twitch.tv/clchambers00

Killscreen!

Seven days later after this breakthrough I got a score of 714,200, finally beating Brian Kuh. Then three days later, a most wonderful accomplishment, I achieved a Donkey Kong killscreen, with a score of 893,800. This live streamed game helped people know who I am, since I was still new to the scene. There was about 20 people watching including Vincent Lemay himself. That evening I receive many, many friend requests, and congratulations from many people I have not known. I even got a personal facebook message on my wall from Hank Chien. I was on cloud nine for a couple days.

My First Killscreen: Donkey Kong Killscreen Game 893,800 (The video's owner prevents external embedding)

Donkey Kong Forum High Score List

Ten days later, I never would have thought what would come next. I had been upset over the fact that TwinGalaxies was now charging fees for their submissions and since I had a killscreen I thought that it should be submitted. I began reading discussions where some players were saying that they were not submitting their scores to TwinGalaxies any more, and some started submitting to MARP, or just putting a picture up on facebook. I knew that as long as players were not posting their scores to the TwinGalaxies Scoreboard that over time it would become less accurate and less relevant to people. Inspired by my own desire to have my score posted, encouraged by my recent killscreen, and the general culture that was created by the change within TwinGalaxies, was the catalyst to start the Donkey Kong High Score List, on 4/21/13. I began compiling scores. People helped me learn how to format the list and over time I added new functions to the list such as linking twitch urls, youtube urls, inp files, their streaming page, and noting who had a killscreen, and what scores were a killscreen game. Many, many hours of hard labor went into this list, and lots of debate concerning the precise criteria that we would use to determine whether or not a score had adequate evidence. I began the long process of learning about streaming, inps, arcade machines, and verification processes. Recently I have re-amped the entire list, now enjoining its own sub-forum, reformatting the Submission Rules, and creating an additional thread for Score Submissions. Within the last three days I created new lists that will also track Level 1-1 challenge scores, as well as no-killscreen, and no-hammer, challenges. I began slowing my game play because of the amount of time that was required to create, edit, and do on-going maintenance to the lists. But within the next month of creating the list I improved my with a two hammer score of 915,000.

Donkey Kong Forum High Score List: http://donkeykongforum.com/index.php?topic=366.0

Donkey Kong Training Videos

Within 20 days, on May 12th when I was streaming, a newer player was watching and upon request I began sharing some techniques on the Rivet screen using save states. It was rather helpful and so I highlight it. Then I had the idea of creating a real training video of the Rivet stage that would be smooth, better quality, well thought out, and narrated better. I began looking for free software that would enable me to capture what was on my monitor and started using Windows Movie Maker to clip and narrate. I completed and published my very first Donkey Kong Training Video on May 18th. I had intended at that time to eventually do a video on all the stages in order to assist new players in a way that did not exist when I was trying to learn the game.

Rivet Training Video: Donkey Kong Rivet Training Video (The video's owner prevents external embedding)

Recent Events

On June 23, 2013 I achieved a score of 964,500 for the WildCard Rematch #3/WildCard Division Qualifier #1 placing me in the present list of top 8 qualifiers for this tournament which will be held at the Kong Off 3.

High Score: Donkey Kong Killscreen Game 964,500 (High Score) (The video's owner prevents external embedding)

My most recent accomplishment has been the creating of the next video in my four part series on Donkey Kong. In two parts, I recently released a total of 1hr 23min worth of Barrel board training. Now that I have completed this video, I will be refocusing myself now to make one million point attempts and finally break through that next plateau.

Barrel Training Video Part 1: Donkey Kong Barrel Training Video Part 1 (The video's owner prevents external embedding)
Barrel Training Video Part 2: Donkey Kong Barrel Training Video Part 2 (The video's owner prevents external embedding)


Offline marinomitch13

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Re: Donkey Kong Genius (Corey Chamber's Blog)
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2013, 03:50:21 AM »
Awesome story, Corey! Thanks for sharing!

I'm really glad that you found this community and were able to join it! Thanks again for all your hard work on the HSL, it is top-notch!
ďThou hast made us for Thyself, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.Ē -Augustine, Confessions.
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corey.chambers

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Re: Donkey Kong Genius (Corey Chambers' Blog)
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2013, 09:05:43 PM »
Well, it has been awhile since I posted anything in this blog. I was not as excited about one million as I thought I would be. I have gotten high scores before so in a way I had already considered myself a million point player. So I formalized it recently with my score of 1,008,100. I was at a 1.022M pace all most the whole game and coming into level 21 I was at least at a 1.020M pace. Once I got that far in my attempt at the top 12, I decided to switch to just get one million and to play it as safe as I could. I am glad I decided to take the million and go my way but I also regret it as well. My new DK goal is to aim for 1.064M pace. My goal is now to beat Steve Wiebe's score. I can't say how long it will take but I believe that I can do it eventually.

corey.chambers

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Re: Donkey Kong Genius (Corey Chambers' Blog)
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2013, 10:31:54 PM »
It certainly has been awhile sense I last posted in my blog.

I have several announcements to make:

1) I am officially retiring from managing the High Score Lists. I was very happy to have created them and hash out the criteria. There is still room for improvement and expansion and I am sure that those who decide to take the reins will make it even better. In short I am handing over the list to the community. I believe that this list has and will continue to bless the community to encourage and support players to improve their bests. Why am I doing this? Over the last two months, I began having interest in focusing more on improving my Donkey Kong skills. I am not always good at balancing many responsibilities and sometimes the best think that I can do is to narrow my commitments so that I can do a few things very well, as opposed to not being very good at many things. I have privately asked Chris Psaros if he is interested in editing the list since at one time I believe that he stated that he had a list going but just didn't find the time to put it on the forum. I also proposed to him that may Scott Cunningham would be interested in working with him on the project. Scott has done a wonderful job with all of his game analysis and assisting in the verification of Mame submissions.

2) I will also be limiting my general participation on the forum.  I thought it would be important to mention this in case I am not around for a week at a time or more. The reason for this is the same as my reason for retiring from the High Score List. I just want to take some time to re-evaluate my priorities, and try to focus on fewer things than I have.

3) I want to clarify that yesterday I never had any intent or purpose to demand anything, or to argue on a legal basis that I have a right to anything. I never used this language for good reasons. If there was error on my part it lays at my openness and honesty concerning my thoughts and feelings. Essentially the discussion centered upon what I think I would have felt under hypothetical conditions. And my main focus was upon the right of the human person to be entitled to their thoughts and feelings. The main context for my comments is within a loving, sharing, supportive, community that has essentially become a family. Any attempt to draw discussions like these into the realm of legality, as opposed to the realm of friendships and mutual beneficial behavior would only detract from my original intent. Anything beyond these themes is a complete misunderstanding of my thoughts and feelings. And privately apologized to Ken to make it more personal, and I now officially apologize to the community for any ill that I make have generated towards myself, or any bad feelings I may have created in general.

4) I have mentioned this in the shoutbox, but I want to make a public, official comment concerning the matter. I realized that not everyone would appreciate the Poll that I had created a month or two ago. And I quickly had mixed feelings about it. It was my intent to try stimulate discussion concerning a matter which I saw was irritating people. For some reason, I thought it was my responsibility to step up and see what could be done about it. I had tried different attempts, and I think that my final attempt was perhaps the best, which was to offer a thorough rebuttal to his comments against me. Thankfully, he appreciated my response and I thought that was a much more positive way of addressing the situation than my previous attempts. Therefore, I officially apologize to every one for being perhaps the primary catalyst of driving George away, who after meeting him at the Kong Off I thoroughly regret. 

5) I also want to make a public apology to Brian Allen. I have not always spoken well of him, nor have I always treated him with the dignity that he deserves. I originally attempted to connect with him and made strides to make positive connections. Over time, for whatever reason, I began to speak openly to him concerning my interpretation of his posts, and attempting to understand the man behind the posts. I may or may not have been correct in my assessments, and it may not have been appropriate, giving the level of relationship that we had at the time, for me to critique his posts. In recent days, I have been more of a jerk towards him, and trolling his posts. This is not appropriate behavior, and I officially state that I am wrong in my behavior, and would like to rectify my relationship with Brian Allen, if he is interested. I am sorry, Brian.

If I have left any issue un-addressed, then I apologize; the oversite is not intentional.

With that I will see you guys around in the forum at times, and on the streams.

Have a good night.

Offline homerwannabee

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Re: Donkey Kong Genius (Corey Chambers' Blog)
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2013, 03:01:01 AM »
Well thanks for the great job you did. 8)  This time of year is probably the best time to quit in that the transition period will be smoother given that not many scores are submitted right after the Kong Off.
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Offline hchien

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Re: Donkey Kong Genius (Corey Chambers' Blog)
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2013, 08:11:03 AM »
I can completely relate to how you feel about the high score list.  I felt the same way about my own list.  I hope someone will take over the responsibility.

Therefore, I officially apologize to every one for being perhaps the primary catalyst of driving George away, who after meeting him at the Kong Off I thoroughly regret. 


I consider George one of my best friends.  I was a bit upset when he was driven away.  I'm glad you got to meet him in person and see the good in him.  Now lets try to get him back!
World Record for most insults to Vincent and lowest 1 hour Q*bert score: 395985
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Simpsons99

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Re: Donkey Kong Genius (Corey Chambers' Blog)
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2013, 11:58:04 AM »
I do not know how to feel about this at the moment .. I almost quit this site because of Corey ...  I am glad he realized he was in the wrong by his actions .

Maybe he just needs some time away  and not step down..   I think his Ego got the best of him .

I was happy to watch him on Live Streams at the KO3 ..  I  was proud to see his score there also.

But no he has no rights to his recordings of his games at the KO3 ..  It's like a pro Football Player  asking for complete video of his Super Bowel game.
Yes he owns the rights to that game by putting his Name there as the Person that played that game ..  The credit you will get from that score should be enough..

I try to be friends with everyone .. I have went out of my way to become friends with people I've had problems with before.  Sometimes it's best to move on and just forget ..

corey.chambers

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Re: Donkey Kong Genius (Corey Chambers' Blog)
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2013, 12:47:58 PM »
Brian, my ego did not get the best of me. No one can fault me for my intent. Point 3 clearly identifies my intent. Any attempt to take the conversation into the legal realm or speak in terms of right has absolutely nothing to do with my comments the other day. Any one who thinks differently completely misunderstands and misinterprets my intent and the meaning I put behind my words. I stated: "I want to clarify that yesterday I never had any intent or purpose to demand anything, or to argue on a legal basis that I have a right to anything. I never used this language for good reasons. If there was error on my part it lays at my openness and honesty concerning my thoughts and feelings. Essentially the discussion centered upon what I think I would have felt under hypothetical conditions. And my main focus was upon the right of the human person to be entitled to their thoughts and feelings. The main context for my comments is within a loving, sharing, supportive, community that has essentially become a family. Any attempt to draw discussions like these into the realm of legality, as opposed to the realm of friendships and mutual beneficial behavior would only detract from my original intent. Anything beyond these themes is a complete misunderstanding of my thoughts and feelings. And privately apologized to Ken to make it more personal, and I now officially apologize to the community for any ill that I make have generated towards myself, or any bad feelings I may have created in general." Is there anything in here that a human being can disagree with? No. I had offered an apology to you sir, do not begin to place fault upon me that I have already acknowledged, and do not begin a conversation again using analogies that direct my intent once again into the realm of rights. These analogies that have been thrown around do not address my intent at all and for that very reason are erroneous when applied to the context of my intent.

A closer sports analogy would be when a loving parent films their child playing basketball shows it to others one time but then never offers a copy to their child. I speak in relational terms not legal because we should understand the value and dignity of the human person and not need legal definitions and terms to help simple discussions of sharing between human beings. Friendships are based on something stronger than laws, if we needed laws to regulate friendships then that is a problem. As I have stated before, I have not demanded anything, nor have I argued that I have any formal right to the content. I believe that I have made myself clear. If I continue to be misunderstood and people care more about arguing a point that I am not making instead of looking into my heart as a friend should, then I will not be here. Period.

Again, this is besides the point. Bottom line, I had upset Ken for what it appeared to be an insult to his work and efforts and believe me I have made every effort to unsure that everyone knows that I never had any intent to upset anyone by what I said. I have been on this forum for awhile and I would hope that by now people would begin to know who I am and what I stand for.

Simpsons99

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Re: Donkey Kong Genius (Corey Chambers' Blog)
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2013, 01:04:12 PM »
wait your just a guest now?  anyways I wish you best of luck in your future games ..

Offline ChrisP

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Re: Donkey Kong Genius (Corey Chambers' Blog)
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2013, 01:10:44 PM »
I have privately asked Chris Psaros if he is interested in editing the list since at one time I believe that he stated that he had a list going but just didn't find the time to put it on the forum. I also proposed to him that may Scott Cunningham would be interested in working with him on the project.

I don't know how much work this would end up being, but the one thing I definitely do NOT want  to take on right now is any sort of DK-related obligations/expectations. So I think my answer has to be no.

For the past month or so I've actually been planning to withdraw from all of this after the Kong Off and direct more energy back to non-CAG related things. I don't know what that will entail yet, or to what degree I'm going to "withdraw", but it's important for me to be able to pop in and out of here when and only when I'm inclined to. I don't ever want it to be work, and I fear that the HSL might start to feel like work.

I've been spending way too much time on this stuff over the last few months and I'd like to move in another direction. At least for now!
http://donkeykongblog.blogspot.com

4 Quarters :-* - 800K Avg. Per Qtr. :o - No Restarts 8) - No Proof :'(

7/26/2013   Coin 35,946   710,800   18-1
7/28/2013   Coin 35,947   903,700   22-1
8/16/2013   Coin 35,948   694,100   17-6
8/17/2013   Coin 35,949   893,100   22-1

3,201,700: the $1 World Record?
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Donkey Kong Genius

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Re: Donkey Kong Genius (Corey Chambers' Blog)
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2014, 10:39:45 PM »
With graduate starting in about a month, I should probably mention that the obsession with gaming has now been officially demoted to a hobby. With that said, I will play for fun and enjoy myself. I may not get to play a lot but when I do, it will be for enjoyment. So the competitiveness is mostly laid to rest. I got some decent scores when I put some effort into it. Priorities and keeping it in perspective.

Donkey Kong Genius

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Re: Donkey Kong Genius (Corey Chambers' Blog)
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2014, 10:23:07 PM »
Well, school fell through. Just wanted the right school or the right time. Just been playing games and working on material for a recovery ministry starting in the fall. With that said I wanted to share my newest video about Donkey Kong. Having now beaten all scores associated with King of Kong I had this video in honor of this accomplishment.

Donkey Kong Genius Beats King of Kong