Noob Tournament Handicapping

This isn’t a question from a newbie, but it does have to do with newbies, and I figured this is the best forum for it:

The birthday of an SF-playing friend of mine is coming up, and his girlfriend wants to celebrate it with a surprise party that includes an SSFIV tournament. However, only about four people there will know how to play SSFIV, and only two have been playing fighting games seriously longer than SSFIV (myself and my friend), unless she inexplicably invites her ex-boyfriend (on a side note, she switched from a Ken player to a Ryu player. Chicks dig the shotos, I suppose :P).

My guess is that there will probably be about 6-8 more people coming, most of whom don’t play video games, much less fighting games, so I have to figure out how to set up the tournament so that they don’t just get dominated by the people who know how to play. Let’s face it, the people who know how to play will probably win regardless, so it may as well be entertaining to the crowd. Here’s what I’m thinking:

**- Best of 3 rounds

  • Depending on how many people want to play, best of 1 or 3 matches with best of 3 matches
  • Probably double elimination unless a lot more people play than I expect
  • Experienced (people who have played the game significantly before that day) players get a handicap against inexperienced players.**

I’m either going to put the handicaps in a hat or have some sort of spinner. I need some ideas for good handicaps, but here’s what I have:

  • Random character from low tiers
  • Can’t use EX or ultra meter at all
  • Can’t use special moves
  • Can’t block
  • 50% health
  • Can’t jump
  • Can’t throw or tech throws
  • Can use special moves a limited amount of times per match**

Basically, I want the handicaps to still permit the experienced player to win, but I want to make sure I provide the inexperienced player and the people watching with at least the perception that the inexperienced player could win. Thoughts on these ideas?

I say go standard format, its not gonna make it any easier for the people who havent ever played and its just gonna piss off the people who know how to play. So its really a lose-lose. imo.

I don’t want them to come away wondering why they even bothered, though. It’s hard to muster up any excitement when you just get completely annihilated by someone who knows what to do. I’m definitely going to seed as it is.

Worst case scenario is that I give the people who know how to play byes into the “semi-finals” so that the inexperienced players can have their own mini-tournament. This makes double-elimination a little more palatable, since they can fight an inexperienced player twice.

Fighting games aren’t like shooters where even someone who doesn’t know what to do can get directed to a rocket launcher in Halo and potentially get a lucky shot in for one death. If you’ve never played a fighting game before, it’s not even going to be close.

Why not play lke this for a fun element:
That would make execution a nightmare for anyone !

Are they selling the girl upside down?

just play it normal

these handicaps are assuming your opponent knows how to do something other than mash df df and all the attacks at once, which it doesnt sound like they do

give yourself a giant health handicap if anything, those rules are retarded

its the guys birthday, who cares if scrubs get owned

the first step to geting newbies interested is not treating them like they have downs syndrome imo

I don’t particularly care if they’re interested past this night. Playing in a random tournament isn’t going to win over someone who doesn’t care about video games. I just want them to have an enjoyable time on that night. Pulling out a lucky victory over someone who knows how to play or even coming close would probably accomplish that.

Quality of competition is not my goal. Making the games as close as possible without getting overly gimmicky (hand tied behind back or something) is what I’m going for. This is a random tournament at a college-aged kid’s birthday party, not a ranbat.

I appreciate the feedback, but I think running a normal tournament isn’t the way to go here. I may just stick to health handicapping if the majority of people think other rules is a bad idea.

Health handicap ain’t that bad of an idea. We had a birthday party with a SFIV tournament and no one said anything about health handicap and it turned to be a great time.

Don’t limit special moves just do a health handicap. Tiers wont matter if someone has never played the game before Dan will still beat them every single time. No EX moves, no throwing and no Jumping might be something that is easy to handicap yourself too though. Until someone finds down back and doesn’t let it up

in the end it’s only going to be a 4 person tournament, this is an uphill battle

I think the tournament is a bad idea.

With that said, I think everyone who knows how to play should just sandbag. Might seem kind of smug to explicitly have everyone who plays play one handed for the sake of everyone else who has no interest in entering to begin with.

Honestly, I think it might be fun to watch somebody discover the magic of crouch blocking and have the experienced player try to hit level 3 focuses and overheads the entire time. :stuck_out_tongue:

You’re right about tiers, though. I think I’m going to throw that idea out. I might throw in something that forces the player to pick a character I know they never play, but that still probably won’t work.

you’re making this way more complicated than it needs to be

just get people down to play, i dont see the need for all this confusion if the people who suck are going to lose anyways, just sandbag

its street fighter not super smash bros

When I play with my friends that don’t play fighting games I just pick random. They pick whoever they want, I’ll also typically ask one of the girlfriends which character they want to see. Everyone has fun and that’s all that matters.

There are people who don’t play video games but are still competitive. These people don’t like to get owned but enjoy coming close to winning or winning, even with an immense advantage.

There are also people who play video games and enjoy winning just a little too much. These people don’t understand the concept of playing simply for fun and not to prove dominance. They won’t sandbag.

It’s my responsibility here to get these people to meet in the middle. Sure, I could just not care, but what would be the point of encouraging the other people to play?

I might just have to set up this tournament so that the inexperienced people play first and just live with it. However, I’m not convinced that’s the best way.

Play with your feet. No, I’m not joking. It will be just as hard for each person to do special moves. That, or make everyone that really plays SSFIV play as Seth with 25% health. (SHORYUKEN! K.O!)

Going all random isn’t a terrible idea, either. I’ll consider that. Thanks.