Why is Jason Dread so good at this game?

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Why is Jason Dread so good at this game?

Post by Merk » Tue May 10, 2011 10:19 am

Serious topic. Let's discuss how and why Jason Dread is as good as he is at Pump It Up. He is probably in the top 5 in the world and being one of the five people who are the best at something is a distinction I believe all of us yearn for.

Jason, how did you reach your top tier status?

Any good PIU stories or drama?

Do your knees hurt?

How does it feel to be involved in the PIU: Pro project?

What are your favorite charts?

What got you in to Pump?
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Re: Why is Jason Dread so good at this game?

Post by mawx » Wed May 11, 2011 3:05 pm

I approve of this thread. All of these questions are questions whose answers I would like to know.
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Re: Why is Jason Dread so good at this game?

Post by Merk » Mon May 16, 2011 10:44 am

Yes, somebody please flag Jason Dread to this thread. I think he's busy writing step charts and shit but maybe he can find the time and give answers to the questions everyone is dying to hear.
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Re: Why is Jason Dread so good at this game?

Post by yindesu » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:13 pm

Did Jason Dread ever play at D&B and save scores as "DRED"?

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Re: Why is Jason Dread so good at this game?

Post by Fluffyumpkins » Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:57 pm

Yes, though it was only once or twice.
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Re: Why is Jason Dread so good at this game?

Post by yindesu » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:34 am

I wonder if he was up to his usual when he played? (because I ate chocolate)

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Re: Why is Jason Dread so good at this game?

Post by MonMotha » Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:54 am

I'm sure he BSed some things. He usually does. He's also not a crazy mad timing player, but he'll slaughter a level 20 nightmare if he actually cares. His scores in Gauntlet should be "real" in most cases, though.
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Re: Why is Jason Dread so good at this game?

Post by Merk » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:07 am

Pardon my ignorance but what exactly is "Gauntlet?"
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Re: Why is Jason Dread so good at this game?

Post by DAVE101 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:53 am

I was wondering that too...

also what is exactly is "Pump?"
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Re: Why is Jason Dread so good at this game?

Post by Ho » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:11 pm

DAVE101 wrote:I was wondering that too...

also what is exactly is "Pump?"
Pump It Up...a game that exceeds either DDR or ITG in pretty much every way possible except market penetration. :P
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Re: Why is Jason Dread so good at this game?

Post by Jason Dread » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:27 pm

It is without further ado that I would like to take the time out of my day of mainlining cocaine and making stepcharts to give Merk a few answers to these pressing questions.
Merk wrote:Jason, how did you reach your top tier status?
I can't think of any better answer than it just kind of happened. I started playing Pump back in 2003 at a shitty little movie theater that had a Perfect Collection. Like most people that played DDR prior to Pump it was a real uphill battle from the beginning but it was a good challenge that kept me going back and playing more. Eventually the Renaissance Fun Park in Louisville got a fancy new Premiere 2 machine (not the latest mix at the time but compared to Perfect Collection it was an upgrade from hunting food with sticks to using automatic weaponry) and I switched locations. I'd go there about once or twice a week on my off days and I got to get familiar with the GM there. He loved that Pump was there and noticed that a lot of customers would stop to watch and talk about it while people were playing so he was perfectly content with tossing me free tokens and drinks when I was there.

Fast forward to 2005 when the first National tournament was announced. I'd played for a couple years on an average of once a week, we'd organized two tournaments in Louisville (as well as gone to one in Indy which I where I first met Brian, Brandon, and several other people on here), and had a pretty thriving community where it wasn't uncommon to have about 15 people out playing at the Fun Park on Thursday nights. A few of us organized a road trip to North Carolina for nationals and truthfully none of us expected anything at all, me especially. I'd posted a few scores on PumpHaven and talked with the people on there a bit so I had the expectations that I was going there to be outclasses. It wasn't until about midway through the first round of the tournament that I thought to myself "Holy shit, I've actually got a shot at this". At the end of the tournament I was the dark horse that finished second and got a trip to Korea for the world tournament.

I kept playing through 2006 and went to Nationals again that year and finished second in the US again. 2007 was a bit different as they did two tournaments at nationals; one the night before the big one where everyone could enter and the second being only open to a selected few players per region of the US that got to enter. I won the open invite tournament but came in 5th on the big one.

Outside of national tournaments I've been to numerous others in different states like Colorado, Illinois, and South Carolina (the main ones I know off the top of my head outside of the normal Kentucky/Indiana tournaments we've had over the years) so I've seen my fair share of competition and played against a lot of the different people over the (now) 8 years I've been playing this silly dance game.

So to sum it up what I really think it all boils down to experience and perseverance - there's nothing that I've done that no one else couldn't have.
Merk wrote:Any good PIU stories or drama?
How much time do you have? :P

In all seriousness, with any community there is going to be drama contained within and there's always a bit of attitude that some people will give when you're top tier. Overall it's been a peaceful 8 years (except for my stint making content for Pump it Up Pro but truth be told I don't think any of us have enough time for me to finish the spiel I have about that). I have stories for almost every place I've been to and every tournament I've been in and I'm really only limited to what anyone would want to hear. For the sake of brevity I'll share some things about Rocky Mount 8.

Rocky Mount, for those who don't know, was a pretty large and successful tournament series held in North Carolina for a long number of years. I don't believe they still happen since a lot of the organizers in the area have moved on to careers and the like, but the one I went to was in 2007. Everything was slated for 3 days (Friday - Sunday) with two Sat/Sun being two full days of tournaments with the ITG tournament being the main attraction. During there weekend there were also two Pump tournaments, one being no bar on Friday and bar being on Saturday. The no bar tournament had a much smaller showing and I ended up not placing anything worthwhile after WinDEU knocked me out in the second round by 500 points (which equates to less than one arrow back on that mix we were playing). The bar tournament was a big one and had about 35 people show up to play. There were several very close matches but the winners bracket ended up with me versus J Boy. J Boy and I had a pretty good rivalry going on, as he had beaten me to take first place in the 2006 Nationals but in every other tournament we were at, I took the win. It was a 2 out 3 format with the third song being random. We beat each other at our own song picks and random a 14 (Power of Dream for those who may remember). Somehow we both manage to choke on the song to a ridiculous degree, with me getting the win with 8 misses and plenty of greats. We agreed to never talk about that match again.

Well, J Boy makes it up through the rest of the losers bracket as we go to the finals. The organizers stop the ITG tournament and get everyone to focus on the Pump finals, so now there are ~150 people watching (which is a bit more than Pump Nationals ever had) the top two in the US go at it. We once again beat the other at our own picks and it went to a random song. This time a 16 (Run!). It doesn't happen often but I definitely had tournament jitters starting out the song...that was until I heard J Boy beside me say "Fuck! GG." At that point I knew he already had a miss, which is utter death in Pump tournaments. I calmed down a bit to keep myself from making stupid mistakes and finished off with a full perfect combo on the song. That was definitely one of the more intense moments I've ever had playing the game.

This is just a drop in the bucket, though. If anyone has anything they'd like to ask about then I encourage it.
Merk wrote:Do your knees hurt?
Suprisingly not, I've been pretty lucky in this respect despite stepping pretty hard when I play compared to most people. I attribute it to always making sure I wear the right shoes to play in
Merk wrote:How does it feel to be involved in the PIU: Pro project?
It's pretty awesome to think about being a big part in creating a game that's been bought and distributed internationally, but truthfully I used to have a lot more pride in being part of it than I do now. I won't go into all the details as to why, but I did leave the team back in August of last year despite being the senior content producer and I'm quite happy to be gone. It was fun for most of the time and it was also extremely hectic at times (151 half doubles charts to make in the span of 30 days while still doing work and school? Yeah, that's was rough). I also a lot of good people and have a lot of strong skills on my resume because of it.
Merk wrote:What are your favorite charts?
I'm a huge fan of charts which have continuity and that make sense with the music. The latest practices of putting 20 - 30 second long runs in most songs now is not creative and just plain boring unless the runs actually fit with a buildup in the song or what have you. That being said here's a small list of what I'll probably never tire of playing:

A Trap CZ (The one from Exceed 2)
Phantom NM
No. 3 Full CZ (I couldn't find the crazy chart on youtube but everyone should experience the song anyway http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYzxzY658mg)
Beat Sharp No. 4 Full CZ
Run! CZ/NM
U Got 2 Know NM

I'm sure there are more but these are sticking out to me at the moment.
Merk wrote:What got you in to Pump?
Initially it was sheer curiosity and an available machine. In front of me was standing a different looking DDR (I believe my exact thoughts at the time) which was only $.50 to play instead of $.75 DDR. What kept me playing was the music I liked much more than DDR and the challenge of learning a different style of play. Even later than that it was the ever-present difficulty that increased each mix.

This has been pretty fun doing a Q and A thing. If anyone has anything else they would like to ask then feel free :D
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Re: Why is Jason Dread so good at this game?

Post by Jason Dread » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:36 pm

MonMotha wrote:I'm sure he BSed some things. He usually does. He's also not a crazy mad timing player, but he'll slaughter a level 20 nightmare if he actually cares. His scores in Gauntlet should be "real" in most cases, though.
Believe it or not I can PA fairly well when I want to but in this case I was BS'ing on the machine. After spending how long making stepcharts for Pro/Pro2 I can't say I'm super serious in playing most of them. The majority I'm sick of looking at :P
Merk wrote:Pardon my ignorance but what exactly is "Gauntlet?"
Gauntlet was a gameplay mode that I essentially did start to finish for Pro 2. Essentially it's a set of anywhere from 2 - 4 songs depending on length with charts unique to gauntlet mode. Your lifebar does not refill and you have a certain amount of misses you can get or mines you can hit for the entire course. A lot turn the difficulty up quite a bit and are meant for players who have more than a basic understanding of the game and technique.
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Re: Why is Jason Dread so good at this game?

Post by Merk » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:57 pm

Good stuff, good stuff. I appreciate you taking the time to genuinely answer our shit and I'm glad you're enjoying yourself!

Some more questions to keep the thread going:

Are you recognized internationally at all? Are there any players worldwide that impress you?

Have you ever participated in WPF?

Are there any non-gimmicky charts that you can't stage break clear?

Where do you see the community heading? I never hear of dancing game tournaments going on anymore much less PIU ones, is the game much more popular elsewhere in the country?

You mentioned that people give you attitude when you're good at something which I can definitely see happening, has any random player that you've never met tried to start shit with you either in person or on some messageboard?

How is hurtpiggypig doing these days?
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Re: Why is Jason Dread so good at this game?

Post by LikeableRodent » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:33 pm

I second any questions that Merk asks.

I can count on one hand the number of times I've played Pump, but it's still interesting to read what you have to say.

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Re: Why is Jason Dread so good at this game?

Post by ImuyumI » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:46 pm

Merk wrote:You mentioned that people give you attitude when you're good at something which I can definitely see happening, has any random player that you've never met tried to start shit with you either in person or on some messageboard?
I really hope he tells the story I think he's gonna tell :)

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