TheInterviewer's News

Interview with kisame

2013-04-01 01:12:54 by TheInterviewer
Updated

[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 117
Interview By:
The-Great-One

HAPPY APRIL FOOL'S DAY

Today's guest is best brony ever. He is a regular on the Newgrounds forum and an active member of the most tolerable loving club Newgrounds ever had, The Official My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Crew and is the best member of that club! He is the one and certainly the only... kisame!

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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: It was sometime in 2005, a few months before Hurricane Katrina. I was messing around on Albinoblacksheep forums and I clicked a link that lead to you guys and promptly forgot about it until 2006. As to why I joined, It was either curiosity or boredom.
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Q: How did you come across the Newgrounds Forums?

A: The same as anyone else. I clicked the forum button.
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Q: You are a member of quite a few clubs here on Newgrounds. One being the NG Mafia. What drew you to the mafia?

A: I'm only a member of one club. The rest of my "contributions" to other clubs consists of me being an inflammatory asshat.
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Q: In your thread You see this? you told us about the Brown Headed Cowbird. What made you want to bring this to Newgrounds attention and what else can you tell us about these birds?

A: They're winged little sociopaths that have been terrorizing my house,ruining my garden, and harassing the other birds.
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Q: You are a brony on Newgrounds, a fan of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. How did you become a fan of this new incarnation of the show?

A: I'm glad you asked this question. I've been a fan of this franchise since G1 and I've always believed that a cartoon is only as good as it's production team and the Hub spared no expense at finding the best and brightest in the animation business. Such as Rob Renzetti and Lauren Faust Even going so far as to selection an animation studio based on their expertise at animating four legged creatures. Well that and the clop.
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Q: Whose your favorite pony and why?

A: Fluttershy. I not sure why, but I'm pretty sure It's because I find the color yellow attractive.
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Q: What are your thoughts on cartoon shows today compared to the cartoon shows of the 80's and 90's?

A: It's kinda of a grab bag nowadays. It has to do with the fact that cartoons are rather expensive to make and most networks are either unable or unwilling to fork over the cash. But you get a few like Adventure Time and MLP:FIM that push the envelope.
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Q: What are your thoughts on Toonami and Naruto?

A: It warmed my heart to see Toonami return. Naruto is an average anime compared to other works such as D. Gray man and Madoka Magika.
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Q: Fellow brony tox made a thread about you. However it was locked before anyone could reply. It was a letter to you entitled Dear Kisame. What are your thoughts on this thread?

A: I'm glad I was able to make him laugh.
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Q: Would you one day like to grace us all by being a forum moderator?

A: Why? So I can be a childish, two faced bastard like poxpower? Screw that noise!
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Q: If you could change anything about Newgrounds. What would it be and why?

A: This layout. It looks like someone took a piss all over my monitor. I'd also stop trying to turn it into Twitterbook 2.0
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Q: What can we expect from kisame in the future?

A: I'll let you know when I find out.
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A god among men? Nay! (pun intended). He is a god among GODS! A true testament to what the Newgrounds forums needed for so many years. If you are not yet a fan of kisame you really should be!
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HAPPY APRIL FOOL'S DAY


Interview with Sarkazm

2013-03-27 13:00:55 by TheInterviewer

[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 116
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest, is one who is quite possibly responsible for introducing a lot of us to Newgrounds. His movie Smile! was probably one of the first movies seen by many members of Newgrounds. Recently he has gotten quite the fame for his movie LUCKY DAY FOREVER. He is a brilliant animator with a lot to offer to this site. Please welcome, Sarkazm.

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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: It's moments like those when you realize what an old fart you are - it's been at least eleven years ago and I honestly can't remember. I remember I stalked the portal for some time before I joined, and I joined because I wanted to upload my own stuff.
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Q: When and how did you get into art and animation?

A: I've been drawing for as long as I can remember, and have drawings of mine that go beyond that. I guess that's when I got into art :) I'm not sure if the question's about professional, or actual beginnings. I could say I got into art when I studied art but that wouldn't be true. It's not much easier with animation - where did I "get into" it? When I was doing flipbooks in kindergarten? When I did horridly painful 3D animation at twelve or something, on trial software that wouldn't let me save so I left the computer on for days only to have it crash eventually? When made my first Flash animation, or was it when I showed my first Flash animation on the internets? I know I always wanted my pictures, be it in my mind or on paper, to move but I'm having a hard time trying to point the exact "when" to it.
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Q: Your first two movies on Newgrounds are entitled Aura and Aura: story mode. You state in the description that it has been moved from Newgrounds. What can you tell us about Aura and why it was moved from Newgrounds?

A: Indeed. They can only be remembered by the most hardcore battle-bruised Newgrounds users. There is a pretty good story attached to Aura's departure from NG.

Aura was my first project posted on Newgrounds, my first completed animation ever published, anywhere. A dark dystopian black-and-white short with some odd humor to it. It was received well, well beyond my expectations. Tens of thousands of views may sound silly now in today's Internet, but in 2003's Newgrounds - with a frontpage feature and a flood of reviews - it was a big deal. It gave me big confidence, that using animation as a method of expression/storytelling could actually work for me, that people actually wanted to watch what I do. It was only confirmed with Aura: Story Mode.

A few months after the release of Aura: Story Mode I was approached by a LA-based producer, who more or less promised me Aura -an animated feature film, with me as writer and director. Here I was, barely 20, about to conquer the world in Hollywood with my very own animated feature! It was a kid's dream come true and I jumped all in. I removed the flashes from Newgrounds - and from everywhere - as requested and went on to write the script. I almost dropped studies just to work on the film full-time. I wrote several versions of the script, made hundreds of artworks, a new teaser trailer, but it never really moved from there. Years passed and the dream corroded. We couldn't go on until the script was good, and despite attempts it still wasn't good enough. I finally had a breakthrough with the script but by that time I was forced to drop Aura to dedicate myself fully to other, more urgent projects. The lessons I learned in writing turned out to be invaluable.

Today Aura is put on indefinite hold but I still really, REALLY hope to get back to it, in one way or the other. As ideas come and go Aura is still the one project I have greatest fondness for. And after almost 9 years (!!!) it's been offline, people still e-mail me about it! An awkward niche black-and-white flash from 2003/2004, non-existent and not viewable anywhere on the Internet for the last 9 years, and it still managed to stay in people's heads all this time. If anything has me convinced about the potential sleeping in Aura, it'd definitely be this.
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Q: When I first came to Newgrounds, one movie that piqued my interests, was a dark little piece entitled Smile!. I as I'm sure others have had our own interpretations on this movie, perhaps you could fill in any possible blanks we might have. What can you tell us about the inspiration, story, and message of this movie and the three months work put into it?

A: I'll spoil everything if I just blurt out what I tried to do with it and why! Besides, I like the fact Smile! still gives birth to discussions, its message - whatever it may be -didn't age with it. It's a greatest compliment for a creator to see the message behind their work survive the test of time, and even outlive the work itself. Flash gets dated faster than any other animation medium I can think of, most flashes from the time Smile! was made make today's viewer cringe.
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Q: We go from Smile! a dark movie, to something a bit more disturbing with Polsupah. It is interesting to take a shot at not only door to door salesmen, but products as well. Where did the inspiration come from to give this such a dark twisted nature?

A: Well television, of course!
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Q: One movie I am quite curious about is Hanged Man's Elegy. I imagine that there is quite the story behind this movie. What all can you tell us about it and the process you went into making it?

A: It started as a retelling of an 18th century poem and went completely off track as I progressed. It became a story about things I wouldn't then imagine I had the courage to speak about, and I don't think I even realized this when I made it. But hey, I'm spoiling everything again.
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Q: 1001 Tips.Zombie Holocaust gives us the first tip on how to survive the zombie holocaust. You say it is based on comics that you do occasionally entitled 1001 Tips: What to do in case of a Zombie Holocaust. You state on your website your method on drawing comics as thus...

"My methods remain more or less the same - I grab a pen, draw one empty box, fill it, then draw another. No sketches or pre-conceptualizing whatsoever. VERY rarely I know what's going to happen in the next frame. And, believe it or not, results often turn out so much more interesting than boring super-calculated panels of graphic-novel dullness."

What is it about planning out each panel that you find unappealing? What would you say is the difference between your comic writing and animation writing?

A: The spontaneity! Unpredictability! A planned, self-conscious effort can has incomparably higher potential to result in something great, meaningful, or just plain impressive, but I truly miss sitting down at the drawing board, drawing the first frame of some story and having absolutely no idea what will happen next. Animation - at least as a storytelling medium - doesn't really allow it. I think it's because everything takes so damn long. What's a single frame in a comic book is a at least a sequence of drawings in animation. The vision of i.e. a joke turning not-so-funny-as-you-initially-thought after 3 hours of work makes your pen freeze, think twice. It pushes you to take precautions, plan ahead, make sketches, story outlines, scripts. That creativity rush that got you started deflates like a sad balloon.

Most of my animations that are here Newgrounds have been done in this unpredictable manner - from Aura to Hanged Man's Elegy, when I started work I didn't know how it's going to end or how long it's going to take me. I only knew it will probably take me more than last time. As I learned the craft things took more time to get done instead of less. And it wasn't just the drawing. I also wanted the stories to be better, longer, with more dimensions to them. Ambition's a terrible thing. In a middle of this I had this outrageous idea I want to make a living from animating and each fucking second of my life suddenly started to cost money. I'm almost thirty and a family to feed, I can't spend time on an idea that can turn shitty, or worse - not turn a profit!! In effect, as a professional I create much less than I used to as an amateur.

In the world I'm in right now, I can't start animating without a script, budget, storyboards, a pitch and a hundred meetings with people I fooled into thinking my project's really cool.

But I got sidetracked

To answer the question short and sweet - I find my comic writing more fun, and my animation writing more thoughtful. "My" being the imperative word here, especially now there are really a lot of people who animate without a single thought in their mind and have absolutely no trouble with it. In my case, animating just takes more time and I can't help to think what I'm doing every now and then.
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Q: Multfilm (Opa Novy God!) is an interesting collaboration. It reminds me of the old days of animation, when it was new and fascinating. As well as the experimental passion normally seen by animation students. How did you become a part of this collaboration and what was it like working with these different artists and animators?

A: See here, a good example of the "fun" way to do animation, obviously no script or budgeting was involved. I was approached by Andrei Bakhurin aka Scarydoll to join this collab and just come up with something small and handdrawn. I enjoyed it, although saying I "worked with" all these animators would be a bit much - I just worked on my bit and saw the result only in the finished product.
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Q: We now come to what I believe is your best work. It started with a trailer and two years later you would present Newgrounds with LUCKY DAY FOREVER. With this movie I can see you took some elements from Smile! and really played with it. How long did it truly take to get this movie made? What was the inspiration behind it and your writing process? What is your overall reaction to the feedback and praise this movie has gotten?

A: I'll try to keep this relatively short not to bore both the dear readers and myself, as I already wrote about LDF quite a bit.

It took long, way too long. I started working on it sometime after Hanged Man's Elegy, the first piece of concept art's dated November 2006. Lucky Day Forever premiered in summer 2011. If one believed the math, that's almost 5 years in the making!

Even though luckily it wasn't the only thing I did with my life during these years, LDF still took a good chunk from it. It was really a big deal for me to make this film my true "pro" debut, not a silly flash done in mom's basement but a proper short film, done in an animation studio with a professional team, a project with scope!

I still made the film in a basement and a lot of sweat and blood was spilled to at least come close to the desired epic scope of my dream debut, but it was a good fight and I think the film turned out pretty ok eventually. The actual production - which took about a year - although challenging was rather straightforward, therefore simple. Real battles took place in development. The struggles! Paper used, crammed with pictures and text! Forms filled! Heated discussions with all kinds of people! Quests for financing, headhunting for the right people for the team! Mischievous twists of fate! It's a material for a whole different story of its own.

My reaction to praise once it was done? Heartwarming, of course. A nice reassuring feeling I didn't waste my time after all and people liked the baby my team and I gave birth to.
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Q: What advice would you have to give to different animators and writers here on Newgrounds?

A: Uh, believe in your dreams? Listen to your heart? Never give up?
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Q: What can we expect from Sarkazm in the future?

A: New animations! You may also see a little game from me sometime this year.
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Sarkazm is certainly quite a creative animator, and an amazing storyteller to boot. His stories have meaning, but the interpretations come from his audience. You never know what he has in store for you next and his creations bring forth a life and a message. There really isn't much to be said, because his works already say it.
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Interview with WoodTick

2013-03-20 12:36:21 by TheInterviewer
Updated

[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 115
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest is an up-and-coming animator whose works vary with each new creation he brings to us. From his start with an action thriller, Precision Strike, to a comedy with Boredom in Mordor, to a somber story with In Solitude, to where we are now with an homage to different genres of music with Nyan Cat - Genre Hopping. A jack of all trades, I ask that you please welcome, WoodTick.

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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: I've been a fan of silly internet videos ever since silly internet videos were a thing, and when I discovered that gems like this, this, and this could all be found in one place, I started lurking around the site. I didn't actually join until I realized that I might have the desire and wherewithal to contribute something, although I think the real catalyst for that decision was a friend who worked at Adobe who was able to get me a copy of Flash at a pretty phenomenal discount. As I recall, this was back in '07, when Adobe had JUST acquired Flash. Now I feel old.
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Q: When and how did you become interested in art and animation?

A: Like most other kids, I grew up watching He-Man and TMNT and whatever animated shows were on, but unlike most other kids, I never really outgrew it. When I got a little older, it was Ren & Stimpy and The Tick, and when I got older still, it was Invader ZIM and The Simpsons, and now that I'm an adult, I watch... pretty much the same stuff. But I've always been an artistic person (read: "nerd") and animation as an art form has always appealed to me. I used to make flip books out of anything I could get my hands on. In 7th grade, every single one of my school text books was completely filled with crude animations of stick men decapitating each other and motorcycles crashing into stuff and exploding. It's fun to make a world come to life, and that's what animation is, at its core. The day I discovered that Flash existed was like a dream come true. All that time spent doodling in notepads was suddenly useful for something.
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Q: What year did you attend the Lewis & Clark College of Arts & Sciences and what did you study while there?

A: I'm not entirely sure how you know that about me, but yes, I did go to Lewis & Clark, where I majored in music composition and was also fairly active in the theater department. Nice school. Beautiful campus. I got to take a lot of different courses there, from philosophy to history to poly-sci, and everything I learned impacted me in some way. I think a liberal arts education is tremendously valuable, if any of you kids out there are thinking about it.
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Q: While at Lewis & Clark College you did a number of plays. Tell me, why the jump from stage to animation?

A: I don't really consider it a jump. Everything I've learned as a musician, a playwright, and a stage actor shows up in my animation. Teller (of Penn & Teller) once said that he really should have been a film editor, and the only reason he stood out as a magician is because he thought like a film editor, filling his act with Hitchcock-esque surprises. Likewise, Shakespeare stood out as a playwright because he thought like a composer, filling his plays with musicality. For me, working in theater was a way to expand my storytelling, which I've been doing since I was a child, and I think part of the reason my animations stand out is because I think like a storyteller and a composer, rather than an animator. I've also just always loved animation.
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Q: Your first movie here on Newgrounds is an action thriller entitled Precision Strike. What was the inspiration behind this movie and why haven't you continued to expand on this idea?

A: That was literally my first attempt at real animation using Flash. I had to learn everything on the fly, and in retrospect, I don't think I really grasped how work-intensive a project of that size would be. You can see the spots where I got lazy and recycled animations and the points where I just said, "fuck it," and used tweening for important moments rather than taking the time to draw things frame by frame. There was no specific inspiration for it, but it's a prototypical example of the kinds of projects I like to do: music-driven, storytelling pieces with a lot of Star Wars references. While I have no plans to revisit this concept, the next animation I'm working on will return to this style in a big way. Stay tuned!
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Q: We go from an action thriller to a subtle comedy with Boredom in Mordor. When Appsro was here, we talked about how he and some guys got together and started shooting ideas back and forth about what to make, and those ideas came to make Prostitute Mickey. Could the same be said for Boredom in Mordor? Also will there be any follow-ups to this idea?

A: That's exactly how this project came about. My roommate and I had just finished watching all three LOTR movies back-to-back (EXTENDED EDITIONS. Seriously, it took, like, the entire day), and we noticed that orcs are fairly one-dimensional characters. We started joking about what an ordinary day in the life of an orc looks like, and then we just sort of improvised a bunch of stuff into a microphone and then I animated it. Incidentally, if you happened to notice that the sound is TERRIBLE, that's because it totally is. The microphone we were using somehow got disconnected, so everything we recorded was actually picked up by the onboard laptop mic, three feet away. Oops. It would have been too much trouble to redo it (is what I heroically said), so that's what happened there. Probably shouldn't have told you that. I actually had a few ideas for a follow-up video, but I shelved them, mainly because I'm not a huge fan of the genre. Rambly improv usually makes for boring animation. Usually. There's some pretty good stuff out there, too.
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Q: In Solitude is a very beautiful and dark piece that I feel is your best work. It can connect with different people on different levels and it certainly connected with me. What is the story behind this movie? Does it have an emotional impact on you?

A: That work is based on a piece of music I wrote a while ago, when I was in college. I'm usually a pretty methodical composer, but that song sort of emerged spontaneously and took on a life of its own. I've always felt that it had a very powerful, emotionally evocative quality to it, and I decided that I wanted to pair it with some imagery. First, I rearranged it with better VSTs, and then I listened to it over and over again and tried to picture what kind of story it was telling. I came up with the idea of solitude and the different facets of being alone, and then started animating from there. It was a very intuitive process, and I think that's a big part of what people connected to. It's more emotional than logical. On a personal level, I've spent a good portion of my life being alone, and whether that's a good thing or a bad thing depends on your perspective. So in a way, it was therapeutic for me to work on this project and hash out all of those ideas, and then to get such a positive response from the viewers here, who seemed to really understand the feelings I was expressing.
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Q: Nyan Cat [original] is a YouTube video that has amassed millions of views and has become very popular on the Internet. Many spin-offs and spoofs have been made off of this little video. Your contribution would be the song Nyan Cat - Genre Music and the movie it would be used in would be entitled Nyan Cat - Genre Hopping. Which did you have the idea for first, the song or the movie? How did you come up with the idea of having Nyan Cat go through multiple genres?

A: My introduction to Nyan Cat was this amazing video I discovered on YouTube. If you didn't watch it, it's a Slipknot video with the audio removed and replaced with the Nyat Cat song, so from the beginning, I was already primed to hear the song in ways it was never intended to be heard. While I was obsessing over that Slipknot video, I did another search and found the "a cappella" version of the Nyan Cat song, in other words, just the vocals. And then I started thinking about all the cool things I could do with that, and that's when I had the idea to just cycle through as many genres as I could manage. Of course, I instantly wanted to turn it into a video as well, so I started brainstorming visual styles as I brainstormed musical genres. Pixel-art was a no-brainer, since I have some experience doing it, and the original Nyan Cat was done with pixel animation. For those of you who find this sort of thing interesting, there were a lot of genres that I wanted to do that didn't work out for one reason or another, like jazz, rap, baroque, and even a Simpsons version. The main problem was the tempo. I couldn't keep speeding up and slowing down in the middle of the song, so I had to stick with the original tempo, and a lot of those genres just don't work at that speed.
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Q: What can we expect from WoodTick in the future?

A: I don't actually have much content on NG at the moment, and a lot of what's up there is stuff that I rushed or threw together. NG deserves better. I'm currently working on a pretty epic animation project, and I'm trying to take the time to do everything right. I'm not going to give away much, but I will say that it's action and music driven, and it will combine several of the more successful elements of my previous work here. But, you know, don't hold your breath. It's taking forever.
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WoodTick is sort of similar in a way to scriptwelder. They both don't stay in a comfort zone. Each creation they bring to the table is different and unique. If you were to look at two different kinds of their works you wouldn't be able to guess that the same person made both. However if you do look very closely at their works you can see small similarities working in them. WoodTick is quite the fascinating individual who mainly creates what seems to tickle his fancy, and that is what I love about animators like him. It is what I love about storytellers like him.
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[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 114
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest is one who should is probably most recognized around Pico Day, with entries Picoday-Penillian Battle, which won 3rd Place for Pico Day 2006, Uberkid's Revenge, which won 3rd Place for Pico Day 2007, House of 1000 Cats, which won 1st Place for Pico Day 2008, Pico's Portal Party, which won 3rd Place for Pico Day 2009, and Picoday Pinata Party, which won 3rd Place for Pico Day 2011.

Besides these works, Zombie-Pimp has also done works on Cadaver, which won him 5th Place for Halloween 2012 and has contributed to Aladdin 3150 and Street Fighter Collab. He is a very talented artist, writer, and animator. He is none other than Zombie-Pimp.

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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: Mindchamber first started showing us newgrounds from his forum. He linked to the website a bunch of times and we all started getting curious, and we eventually migrated there. I'm one of the only animators from the Mindchamber forums who is still 'active' on newgrounds.
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Q: When and how did you get into art and animation?

A: I was always interested in art since a young age. I saw art as a means of storytelling. I loved making comics and inventing my own characters. I didn't start trying to animate until I was introduced to flash by the Mindchamber forums. It gave me way more storytelling freedom and I found myself extremely motivated to spend hours upon hours animating.
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Q: What are the MindChamber Forums?

A: Our family started getting internet a bit later than most households. I was around 13, I believe. I immediately started looking for artists and artist communities. The first artwork I found that really captivated me was an illustration of a boy and a robot looking curiously at each other, drawn by Mindchamber. I immediately started exploring Mindchamber's website inside and out, and I eventually found his 'forum' section. I didn't know what a forum was at the time. Mindchamber was holding a 'robot art contest' when i got there, where entrants would design robots to be used in a game that Mindchamber was making called "Botz Attack". I was still terrible at drawing and I submitted 2 or 3 entries and they all got rejected, of course. I think I was a bitter little brat about it, but Mindchamber was nice to me even when I flamed on his forum, so I decided I would stay and try to improve my skills rather than whine. Basically the Mindchamber forums were a huge turning point in my life which have taken me in the direction I am, as an animator/artist. We were a tight-knit community of about 20 artists who all knew each other really well.

I also learned a very important lesson on Mindchamber Forums one time, which I should confess to right here. One time I posted artwork that I had heavily referenced from another artist, but I didn't give any credit to the other artist. The similarity was pointed out, and I felt humiliated for not having mentioned that a reference was used. I was ridiculed by the other artists for a bit, but they understood that I'd made a mistake and that I'd learned my lesson. It was definitely an important lesson and I was lucky to have learned it at such a young age in the supportive environment of the Mindchamber Forums.
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Q: Your first movie is one that I find funny yet disturbing. The Sinister Truth. Who is Sinister Mentor and what did he do to have this coming to him?

A: LOL Ok, to explain that monstrosity, I'll have to first tell you who Julius is. Julius was an artist on Mindchamber forums, him and I teamed up to make the "Zombie-Pimp" account. Julius is gone now but the earlier flashes under my account were all collaborations between the two of us. Julius and I made The Sinister Truth in one night over msn messenger, and we were laughing hysterically the entire time as we sent back and forth voice recordings and animation clips. Basically, Sinister Mentor was another artist on Mindchamber Forums, but he was more of a 'troll' artist, like you would find on TheBackAlleys or KittyKrew. The cartoon was made in good spirits and with playful, teasing intention, as a friendly way to poke some fun. The inspiration for the cartoon was that Sinister Mentor collected transformers action figures, and regularly posted pictures of his collection on the forum.

We decided to base the cartoon on the premise that Sinister Mentor was sexually attracted to transformers (ignoring how it must have made us look that we were the ones who searched for and even created pornographic material for the cartoon). We honestly thought he would find it funny himself, but he ended up finding it a bit offensive, from what I could tell. I would regret making it if I found out that it really hurt his feelings or anything, and if he wanted me to take it down today I would be fine with that. If you pay attention, the cartoon itself is kind of clever though. The 'bad review' that we had Sinister Mentor write in the cartoon was a compilation of flame-posts that he'd posted on the forum over the months. Also, during the scene where Optimus Prime is screwing Ultra-Magnus, we used actual audio clips from the original Transformers cartoon that sounded somewhat sexual. Like when Ultra Magnus says "This doesn't feel right, Prime" and Optimus says "I feel the power of the matrix flowing through me", those were actual sound clips from Transformers episodes.
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Q: Francis the Dragon is a delightfully awkward funny movie. Where did this idea spawn from?

A: That idea was all Julius. It was based on a classmate of his. I had very little if anything to do with it. I think it's really funny too, and it reminds me that I miss Julius, since we've unfortunately lost touch over the years. The Zombie Pimp account has been all me for years now.
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Q: Limiter Removal: Prelude is quite the action packed start to a potential series. Sinister Mentor was the artist of a sketch that started all of this, what was the sketch and what about it inspired you to make this movie? Why haven't we seen more of Limiter Removal?

A: Yes, originally Sinister Mentor and I wanted to make Limiter Removal together. A sketch he posted on Mindchamber forums inspired the idea, and I contacted him to tell him my idea for the series. Despite Sinister Mentor being a troll, he was quite a talented artist, and a great story-writer. We had quite a story set up, but it was just way too ambitious. Our art styles were also very different, and he was a bit ahead of me in terms of his ability to create clean lineart (something I still struggle with today), so that probably frustrated him as well. He eventually abandoned the series, so I was left to do the series on my own, which I could never have done, given how big it was. I'm glad I didn't go on with Limiter Removal, because later on I watched the anime Scryed, which was basically more or less the exact same idea as Limiter Removal, so I'm sure everyone would have just thought I was copying Scryed anyways. I have rewritten Sable, the main character of Limiter Removal, into another series, which I still plan to make one day, maybe when I'm finished school but hopefully sooner.
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Q: Looking at your Pico Day animations one really caught my eye and that was House of 1000 Cats. Taking a shot at the spam group The Kitty Krew, you also give sympathy towards their leader in some way. For your past Pico Day movies you had them fighting just one entity. Why the Kitty Krew for this one?

A: Kitty Krew was 'ruining' newgrounds in the eyes of many, but in my opinion their presence was welcome. I found their spam delightfully amusing, and their comraderie and their synchronized ability to work together, even if it wasn't for the most productive cause, was something I found very commendable. My goal for House of 1000 Cats was to make something that everybody would like, I wanted the haters of the Kitty Krew to like it but I also wanted the Kitty Krew themselves to enjoy the cartoon. I just wanted something that would bring the whole community together, and to really capture the dynamics of the newgrounds community in 2008.
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Q: The year 2009 would be strictly collaboration work for you. We'll start with Pico's Portal Party. It was your idea of exploring genres with the Pico characters. How did you come forming this team of animators and what was it like working with them?

A: I need to clear up any confusion about Pico Portal Party. Even though I was the main collab organizer, the idea of exploring genres with Pico was FleckoGold's. He told me the idea and I immediately wanted to be a part of it. FleckoGold was a bit more shy than myself so we both agreed that it might be best if I try to approach other artists for recruitment. I contacted all the artists through PM, and gloated that "We already have the amazing FleckoGold on board, the animator of Aladdin 3150". That attracted some of the best talent on newgrounds, because FleckoGold was the man of the hour after releasing his masterpiece of animation. So even though I personally recruited the members, it was only through name-dropping FleckoGold that I was able to attract any attention.
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Q: You are one of the multitude of animators who participated in the Street Fighter Collab. How did you come across the Street Fighter Collab and what was your experience working with others who participated?

A: The collab didn't really involve any collaboration, since each animator acted on their own and simply sent their final products to Stamper, who somehow managed to compile them into a single flash. I read the front page post on Newgrounds and immediately wanted to contribute to the collab, but I honestly thought my idea of Zangief piledriving Sakura was kind of stupid. I explained the idea to FleckoGold, and he told me the idea wasn't that bad and that if I executed it right, it could be funny. He also offered the idea of showing the 'panty-shot' of sakura, which I think really improved the cartoon. I think if it weren't for FleckoGold's support in that instance, I probably would not have contributed to the Street Fighter Collab.
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Q: You would take a break from animation for 2010. Where did you go?

A: Prior to 2010, my life really had no direction. I was in a bachelors of science, but I was just sort of drifting through life, without any idea of what I would do for a living after school. For a number of reasons, in 2010, I decided that I wanted to go to medical school. It was a tough year because I knew I needed to focus more on school, and I wouldn't have as much time to draw or animate. I did well in school, but not animating gives me this sick feeling in my stomach, like I want to hate myself. Now that I'm in medical school, I have even less spare time to animate, but I always make sure to manage my time, and set aside 'me-time' dedicated to making stuff for newgrounds.
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Q: 2011 you would return giving us another Pico Day movie. Picoday Pinata Party. Not exactly what I was expecting the day I watched it on Pico Day. Where did the inspiration for this one?

A: The premise of Picoday Pinata Party, even if it didn't necessarily come through, was that friends of all the previous Pico Day villains had formed a team to get revenge on Pico. The lion was a friend of the fat kitten from House of 1000 Cats, the robot was an Uberkid, and the Penilian was friends with the first Penilian from "Penillian Battle". I really wish I had more time for that one. I had envisioned it to be much greater and more well-paced, and I feel like the final product fell short of my vision. Luckily, I had Hulalaoo helping me, and he did an incredible job with the final fight, which I think really saved the day.
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Q: Looking at your Pico Day entires, I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say that you're a fan of anime. If so what animes do you enjoy and which ones did you draw upon when making your Pico Day entries?

A: Of course I like anime! I would say my favourite anime would have to be One Piece. It just has such a captivating, epic story, and some of the most confident character designs ever. I love some of the older 26ers like Cowboy Bebop, Champloo, Trigun, and some more recent stuff like Gurren Lagann, Death Note, and Code Geass, have been very moving and inspirational. I appreciate animes that have really compelling stories and expressive, smart animation. My Pico Day flashes are inescapably inspired by anime. House of 1000 Cats drew heavily from Gurren Lagann, and Uberkid's Revenge was heavily inspired by Afro Samurai.
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Q: We now come to what I believe is your best work and that is Cadaver. For those who don't know a cadaver is a medical term for a corpse used for dissection. I won't spoil what happens in this movie for my readers. Could you shed some light on the inspiration of this piece? Also there was a certain horror turn that you could have taken, but you decided to take a different route. Why did you take the different route?

A: Thanks! It was one of my most expressive pieces, and I'm really glad you consider it to be my best. Cadaver was pretty much a representation of how I felt when we started dissections during medical school. At first, seeing a dead body can be quite scary. You're faced with some difficult feelings that most of the time we don't really think about. I wanted the cartoon to be scary at first, but in the end, I wanted the cartoon to reflect my respect for body donors, who want to contribute to medical training, and who if they could come to life, would surely be kind and caring.
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Q: You are quite the talented animator, but you're an even talented artist. One piece by you that intrigues me is the realistic approach to Pico entitled High School Musical. It was an independent art design for your school where you were allowed to do any form of art you wanted to. Why digital art and why this interpretation on Pico?

A: Digital art is definitely my comfort zone. It really comes down to the flexibility and inexpensiveness of working in that medium, and also the muscle memory I've developed over the years. I just wanted to pump something out quickly for my art project for school, because I was fully devoted to working on House of 1000 Cats that April. Since I was animating that flash, I was already drawing Pico hundreds of times every week, so it seemed natural to make a Pico themed artwork. Our art professor loved 'provocative' and 'edgy' work, so I thought I would address school shootings, which is a twist on the premise of the original Pico's School game. The title "High School Musical", if I remember correctly, was from a joke that Mindchamber made about the illustration when I showed it to him.
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Q: You have spoken highly about collaboration and how it has affected you as an artist and animator. What advice do you have to give to those looking to collaborate? What are your thoughts on the new Collabinator feature?

A: Collaboration is everything. Especially in my case, where I have other responsibilities as a student, the only option is to work with others, so that I can make most of my time and complete projects. I wrote a 2000-word blog on the importance of collaboration on my userpage, so I don't want to repeat myself too much here, but basically I think that Newgrounds at its core is founded on collaboration. I think the most important thing when collaborating is open-mindedness and making sure you work with people you can get along with on a personal level. For example, end meetings about projects with a bit of small talk, to get to know the person you're working with. The Collabinator is an amazing feature. I posted on it and I've already been contacted to make a game, which I'm very excited about working on.
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Q: What can we expect from Zombie-Pimp in the future?

A: For now, I want to focus on games. Jungle Destruction, with Eviludy, was a great experience. Working with prorgammers has been particularly challenging because of the lazy and disorganized nature of SOME people out there who call themselves programmers. I've been burnt in the past but I'm really excited about the programmers I've met so far on through Collabinator, and I think that this time around I'll be able to come out with some nice flash games. Eventually, I want to come back to animation, and hopefully turn some of the ideas that are floating around in my head into actual series. I also want to one day make the greatest Pico Day cartoon ever. I already have the idea in my head, but I'll need some time to level up my skills first.
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To be perfectly honest, I barely knew who Zombie-Pimp was. I rememberd seeing House of 1000 Cats and Picoday Pinata Party on their respective Pico Days, but I never thought about who made those. That is until FBIpolux suggested him for an interview. Once I started doing some digging around, I found a very talented artist and animator. He has amibtion and he most certainly has the drive. I am confident in saying that anything this man touches will surely turn to gold. He has one many animators wish to have whenever they pick up a pen or touch a mouse and that is the Midas touch.
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Interview with scriptwelder

2013-03-06 07:55:22 by TheInterviewer
Updated

[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 113
Interview By:
The-Great-One

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Special Thanks to liljim without whom this interview would not be possible.
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Today's guest is one who has given us quite the variety of games. From a puzzle platformer that relies on using your brain than simple teasers with Gates of Logic, to a horror point and click adventure with Deep Sleep, to preventing a cataclysm with 400 Years. He has been ever-changing in terms of what games he makes, he is scriptwelder.

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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: Well, how do you find Newgrounds? It's just there and it's hard to miss. I've been around for few years - but I only registered when I was ready to submit my own games. I didn't want to share unfinished or silly things, so it took me a while. Well, I wasn't waiting to join, I simply didn't feel the need until I had something to share. Seeing how great community people at Newgrounds form, I have to admit postponing the signup was a mistake. I've probably missed lots of fun!
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Q: What was the first video game you ever played and what impact did it have on you?

A: If I remember correctly it was Contra by Konami. I used to play it with my brother on my first gaming console - Pegasus - which was basically a clone of NES, very popular in my country while the real NES was very hard to get.

I'm not sure what impact did Contra have on me, other than I loved video games right from the start! Other great games that I loved playing were my Amiga 1200 favorites: Superfrog, Theme Park and Dune 2. All those games had definitely a huge impact on me.
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Q: When and how did you decide to start making games?

A: There was no single point in time when I said to myself "this is what I'm going to do". I think this desire to create was within me for the whole time. In primary school while having no programming knowledge I was creating "games" with my friend by making nested-folders-labyrinths with txt files presenting plot and descriptions, good to play in DOS or Norton Commander. But I was never limiting myself to computers. I was creating "paper point-and-click" games which basically meant I had a notebook with hand drawn locations and items and my friend who was playing was telling me what item does he use and where - to which I replied if it worked or not, often presenting his progress by handing next/updated location pictures. As I think of it now, it seems I have created more than one full-length Monkey Island style game.

When playing Heroes of Might and Magic (II and III is my era) at some point I was more into making maps and campaigns than actually playing them. Same goes with Star Craft map editor, although I never managed to finish any of my Big Projects there. I guess I realized the limitations of a game made by someone were too restricting for me. I needed more ways to express myself, I need to have something that was 100% mine - and this is why I abandoned mapping/modding, without even realizing how wonderful things people can create with good modding tools (just see Dear Ester and Antichamber).

I kept making stuff with various environments (I've even tried using Power Point at some point) until I've discovered Flash, which for me was a perfect combination of freedom of programming whatever I wanted, ease of adding graphics and - most importantly - sharing the whole thing with friends on the web.
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Q: Your first game on Newgrounds is a puzzle platformer entitled Gates of Logic. Games like this normally involve nothing more than mouse clicks. Why add the platforming element to it? Since you added the platforming element to the game, why not have the mouse do some of the work?

A: Gates of Logic is my oldest game that has been publicly released - and it kinda shows. Many games and projects came before it, but none of them was both finished and good enough to share.

The idea was: I need a game that will somehow represent something from my surrounding, something smart presented in accessible form. So I went with logic gates because it was one of the basic things at my university. Platformer genre seemed like a good idea because I didn't want to have a game where you put gates on a board with your mouse. As I saw it back then, it wouldn't be a game, it would be an exercise for Logic class. Sure I could have done a platformer with some mouse control - some ideas are just not so obvious at first :) But that's not the main problem with this game.

Looking back at the project, it contains many design flaws. The game is playable but lacks some depth. Part of the puzzles are just too hard to deal with, because they literally require solving equations, rather than coming with smart, natural ideas. I tried to make the game more interesting by making it more complex - and this was a mistake.
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Q: We then come to an interesting little game entitled Meteor Launch. A game whose story involves getting a little meteor home. There are a multitude of launch games out there that involve upgrades and witty dialogue. Learn to Fly !, Toss the Turtle, and Hedgehog Launch have all done this before. When BoMToons was here I asked him about his contribution to this genre, Luis LAUNCH and he had this to say about it...

"Those games are addicting cuz they play on our human desire for upgrades and improvement. We're so curious what's beyond the next horizon. It's kind of manipulative, but I thought being propelled into the sky by your own bean-induced farts was pretty funny."

What was your inspiration for making a launch game and do you agree or disagree with BoMToons statement. Whatever your answer, could you tell us why?

A: Luis LAUNCH was one of the obvious inspirations for Meteor Launch, together with other games you have mentioned. And yeah, those games are addicting because they feast upon human nature, a desire to reach for more. It's a classic RPG mechanics concept stripped to bare bones. Do things repeatedly, gain points to improve something, try again. We all have this "oh next time is going to be so much better than this attempt" feeling when playing launch/grind games. And - as we constantly seek better things - it keeps us playing.
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Q: From a happy launching game, to a nightmare, we enter into the Deep Sleep. Was this based on an actual nightmare? What was the process you took into making a point and click adventure game and when can we expect the sequel to come?

A: It wasn't based on an actual nightmare. In the history of my life I tried to become a writer. I've crafted a couple of short stories. In the end not much came out of it, other than a letter from one of Polish science fiction writers explaining why they are not going to print my story in their magazine :D So I was left with this and some unused/unfinished ideas. One of those ideas was a concept of a story about aspiring lucid-dreamer that learns that there is much more out there than he had ever suspected. I have never finished this story and it was left abandoned for years until I decided that it would be a perfect theme for a game I was making for a contest (theme of contest's itself was "escape" with a hint that they are hoping for point-and-click games). The plot underwent huge changes, of course - first Deep Sleep game feels more like an introduction, I have not even revealed half of what I had in mind. Also, the sequel will definitely answer some questions that were left unanswered.

I have to finish my current project, then maybe another small project and after that I'm going to continue my work on the sequel. I don't want to sound like "it's done when it's done" but it's hard to estimate an exact date now. Kinda April-ish, perhaps...?
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Q: Your latest game is certainly an interesting one. Using patience you have given us 400 Years. Where did the idea of having a head from Easter Island prevent a calamity come from?

A: I was on a train, it was a long 4 hours trip and I was on the verge of falling asleep. 400 Years is probably a scrambled projection of my mind waiting for the train to arrive at destination - mixed with the view of blurred trees passing outside the window. The base of the entire idea was a concept of an immortal being somehow influencing primitive humans village and then waiting ages to see what happens. Obviously this idea was influenced by things like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Populous and Black and White, although in my game you don't throw people around with your divine powers.

And why Moai? Well... I knew the protagonist would have to be a rock from the start, because what else can wait for ages in one place - possibly underwater - without moving and being disturbed? So with things I had in mind: a stone figure, a village, grassy lands and a sea shore as a starting spot - making the hero a statue similar to Easter Island ones seemed like a logical next step.

This plus the fact that the most of existing Moai statues are made of compressed volcanic ashes. Yeah. I guess the game's story goes deep.
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Q: There has been criticisms about your game 400 Years that you weren't really clear on the instructions of the game. You were very clear on instructions in Gates of Logic, but come off as a bit vague in 400 Years. Why is that?

A: Gates of Logic is a different story - as I said earlier - an old project that isn't the best example of how games should be made. In 400 Years instructions are clear when they are supposed to be clear. Some instructions sound like riddles because, well, they are riddles of sort. Riddles as a part of your gaming experience.

When you play the original Mario game, there are no instructions, nobody tells you that touching an enemy will kill you. When you reach an end of a level nobody says that if you jump and grab the higher part of the pole you're going to get more points. You discover things as you go and it's a part of your experience. Most of modern games are depraved of that, guiding player on how to perform every single possible action.

Don't get me wrong here, teaching how to play isn't bad and is very important. But there's a difference between a tutorial and guiding player through the game. In 400 Years, there is a tutorial. You learn how to perform actions when you need to. You learn how game mechanics work - one step at a time - and that's it. You learn how to walk, you learn that water doesn't kill you, you learn that you can walk over it in winter and that you will have to plant things sometimes, if you find seeds - and that you have to look through different seasons, not just winter/summer. Sure, I could have said "wait for autumn and grab a chestnut, then plant it near the wall". But in my opinion learning through memorizing isn't as fun as learning through discovery. Meanwhile, it would seem that some people are mad at me because I am not throwing chestnuts at their faces.

If I - spoilers ahead! - would have replaced the famous "he needed a helping hand" and "people were hungry" with "plant some wheat to feed humans so they build you a bridge" - would it still be a puzzle of any sort? No, it would be an instruction telling what to do, taking away the main concept of gameplay's core. 400 Years puzzles are more about figuring out what to do, rather than how.

Of course, I'm not saying the game is flawless. For instance, I could have hinted more visibly that player has to wait few decades after feeding the villagers. I know some people just felt that this action accomplished nothing and didn't want to wait blindly and "waste" the time reserves to see if anything happens or not. I'm still learning how to avoid mistakes like this.
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Q: What programs do you use to make your games and what advice can you give to future programmers and game designers?

A: I use FlashDevelop to code, Paint.NET / GraphicsGale combo for graphics and Audacity to mix audio. All are free to use and provide you with everything you need to start working on a game! And my advice is: KEEP IT SIMPLE. I know almost everyone has this "I'll totally make a full length RPG" phase and almost everyone fails. Best ideas = simplest ideas, especially if you're on your own to make everything from scratch. And avoid walls of text - especially if you're making a Flash game. Nobody likes walls of text.
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Q: What can we expect from scriptwelder in the future?

A: On the contrary to what I've said a moment before - walls of text :) That's because I'm currently working on a text-based game, another little experiment. Because of its nature, texts are difficult to avoid. After that (and possibly another, this time really small game) hopefully I'll get back to work on Deep Sleep sequel, which I left in December at about 30% completion. I have many ideas but unfortunately they just have to form a line in my head and wait for their turn.
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scriptwelder is different from other game makers I've seen. Instead of sticking to a certain comfort zone he adapts and gives us something different with each game. Deep Sleep transitioned to 400 Years certainly shows this. I can only hope that he will be giving us something different and new for many years to come.
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Interview with Sabtastic

2013-02-27 04:41:24 by TheInterviewer

[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 112
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest is one of the first artists that caught my eye when the Art Portal was launched. Her works range from cartoony comics with Sleep Talker and Miracle Treat Day to stylized pieces with Waiting and Royal Flush. She has won two Daily 3rd Place awards for A Sabtastic Sketchbook and A Sabtastic Sketchbook 2, showing off her sketches. This is just a small portion of the works of the talented young artist, Sabtastic.

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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: Gosh... I think I was 14 when I first found out about Newgrounds. Never bothered to make an account until I was 19, though. Just lurked. I have an artist friend who always showed me the animations that Ego, AlmightyHans and HappyHarry made so I liked the talent that Newgrounds had to offer right from the beginning. The reason I signed up was because of the launch of the art portal in '09. I was ALL. OVER. THAT. SHIT. Seriously. Before that, all I had was DeviantART.

That, and once I figured out that I was scouted by Jose, one of the mods (Mindchamber), I felt super honored and didn't want to disappoint. From then on, the reason I stuck around was because of how welcomed I felt by the community, here.
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Q: When did you get into art?

A: I have a lot of strong artist role models to thank for my interest in the arts. My mom was a talented artist back in the day, so I always had a source of support and encouragement as a child. My 3rd grade teacher was also an amazing artist. Even to this day I can only hope to be a teacher half as good as she was. My compulsive need to doodle in class wasn't seen as a problem to her, but more of a talent that needed cultivation and direction. Now THAT is teaching.

About the time that Pokemon came out in 2000-ish is when I really started to get into drawing. I drew the playing cards for friends and eventually tried drawing the gym leaders and trainers--which got me an early start at drawing people.
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Q: When and how were you introduced to video games? What was your first video game?

A: Basically the second I popped out I was playing Nintendo. My parents had pretty sweet taste in games. Castlevania I and III were favorites of mine. Mom and pops played Super Mario Bros. on the original Nintendo while I was just a little baby fetus.
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Q: Your first art piece on Newgrounds would be entiteld Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft. You state that you are a fan of the old Tomb Raider games. What is the process in drawing a human person? What is it about drawing a video game character that adds to the process of drawing a human person?

A: Funny story about that one, actually... My first boyfriend was a huge fan of Angelina Jolie, so this was drawn as a gift for him. His version... was less... safe for work. I don't have a copy of said picture to this day, but that's why it the drawing you asked about even exists--FIRST PAIR A' BARE TITS I EVER DID DRAW.

Anyway, back to your actual question. My process for drawing a person is pretty common. I look for references, find a pose that I'm content with drawing (usually from a photo reference) and compile my sources into one completed drawing. The Angelina Jolie piece was entirely drawn on Photoshop, so back then, that was out of the ordinary for me. Normally I'd sketch out my work in pencil/pen and scan it in to be altered digitally. I also used a photo reference for her face.

The reason I tend to stick to video game characters is a preference thing. I have more fun drawing subject matter that actually interests me personally--like many artists out there.
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Q: One comic of yours that I am intrigued by is entitled Sleep Talker. This is based on a true story, could you elaborate more on it? Why did you put it in comic form? Will we be seeing more comics like these in the future?

A: Man... This interview is a real nostalgia trip! I forgot all about that comic.

The only reason this got drawn was because of my hopeless binge-gaming problem. I was trying to beat The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for like two days straight, so when I finally took a break, it was all I could think about:

There's one part in the Goron Mines where you first get to use your iron boots on those magnet arm things. You walk around upside-down and Link's hat happens to defy gravity by a) not falling off, and b) not flopping down to point towards the ground. Even Link's hair stays perfectly immaculate while upside-down. This was just too much for my brain to handle, apparently, so I had a dream about it later where I actually criticized Link for having such a gravity defying hat.

Also yes, I do plan on making more of these comics in the future. They just sort of happen at random, unpredictable intervals.
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Q: You have only two animations here on Newgrounds. One entitled Here Goes Nothing! and the other entitled Left 4 Dead Chomski. How old were you when you were introduced to animation and what made you decide to give animation a try?

A: I can confidently say that if it weren't for Newgrounds, I wouldn't have gotten into animation at all. If I remember correctly, I was most inspired to try animating when I was given my first Bamboo Fun tablet during the Wacom giveaway back in 2009. Newgrounds was also responsible for this, so I owe the staff here a lot in terms of my personal development and motivation as an artist.
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Q: Prismacolor OC Portraits has me intrigued. You state that these are characters that you have created and have written stories about them. Do you have any plans on bringing their stories to life in animation?

A: Some day I will, yeah. Right now there's no free time for me to do so... They've just been kind of sitting on the back-burner because there's no real way I can invest the time into developing a story around them.
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Q: Art that is used to express one person's own life I tend to find be the most tragic or in some cases the most humorous. Miracle Treat Day would be this case. When SardonicSamurai was here we talked a lot about his works in which case was mostly venting through his art, one of these was Wii Are Sold Out. Do you feel at times that you vent through your work as well and what else can you tell us about Miracle Treat Day that you didn't in your description? Also I spotted 20 DQ logos.

A: HAH! There are 21! Look closely for those suckers... They're tricky!

But in all seriousness, yes. A lot of the artwork I draw is therapeutic. The act of drawing for me is calming, self-gratifying, and sometimes even financially rewarding. I might not necessarily draw 'sad' things when I'm sad, or 'happy' things when I'm happy, though. I don't find my emotions alter my subject matter a whole lot, as I'm normally a pretty happy / optimistic person overall.
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Q: One thing I have an odd fascination for is seeing Pokemon drawn as if they were real life animals. My Pokemans - Team Tastic shows this in a creepy while also adorable way. When were you introduced to Pokemon and when drawing why this team of six? What is the process you take from adapting them from their video game form to realism?

A: This team was a selection of my favourites from Gameboy's Silver version. I drew them as an excuse to hop on a bandwagon that my friend Arvalis had started, putting a little realistic spin on it. I don't think I'm ever going to grow out of Pokemon. There's so much you can do with the characters, the styles, etc. I don't think there's ever a time when I DON'T want to draw them. Usually my process involves relating the Pokemon to a real creature, or parts of a creature. i.e: Pikachu being a mouse/rabbit. Once I narrow that down, I grab reference pictures of that animal and mentally piece those things together until it looks decent.
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Q: I really love your comics, I really do. We come to Babies Hate Ugly People. I imagine that there is a story behind this, would you care to share it with us?

A: Haha well, that one was based on a real-life event, too. My sister and I were out shopping at London Drugs (some convenience store) and saw this baby in line with her mom. Mel (my sister) being the fountain of useless trivia that she is, pointed out that babies like looking at symmetrical faces, and that they like to mimic your expressions, so naturally, she smiled at the baby. The baby was beaming back at her right up until I peeked over Mel's shoulder and it caught a glimpse of my apparently hideous mug. It promptly burst into tears.
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Q: Out of all your works, I have to say my absolute favorite by you is Waiting. It originally started off as a picture of Sheik, but it changed into an original character by the name of Rogue. Why did it change as you kept going? What was the process took into making this?

A: This artwork just goes to show how hap-hazard some of my stuff can be. I never know entirely what I'm doing until I'm at least a fifth of the way through. Very rarely do I fully plan out my sketches and organize composition LIKE EVERY GOOD ARTIST SHOULD DO... I'm very fickle when it comes to art, so I think that's why I don't tend to do a lot of comics--THAT TAKES PLANNING.
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Q: Myra In Her Study was a personal project for you. A mage that is a lot of fun to draw. What is it about her that makes her fun to draw and why is this character personal to you?

A: Myra is a very versatile character. When I draw her, I get to play with light sources because of her magic, I can create outlandish costumes because mages tend to wear weird shit, and I get to experiment with interesting visual effects because she can do all sorts of summoning/elemental spells. Myra is always a go-to character for me when I have artist's block because I can pretty-much pull an idea out of my ass and draw what I think a 'dragon summoning spell' would look like, and it will usually turn out to be a good learning experience for me. That and I really like light sources, so she's the best excuse to draw them with.
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Q: One piece I am drawn to is Royal Flush. Brad is quite the handsome man you have drawn here. Where did the inspiration for Brad come from and what was the process in making this piece?

A: Sorry to keep bothering everybody with my shitty characters. lol I literally thought them up when I was 12 years old. Most of them are based off of characters that I liked in the video games I played. I think Brad was based off of the thief in Dragon Warrior III for the Gameboy. hahaha

Anyway this particular artwork was drawn traditionally, inked with a pigment liner, and enhanced digitally when scanned into Photoshop.
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Q: A Sabtastic Sketchbook and A Sabtastic Sketchbook 2 show off a lot of your work. Some impressive stuff in both. How important would you say it is for an artist to have a sketchbook? What kind of sketchbook would you suggest they have?

A: Sketching = Practice and practice makes perfect!

If there's any one piece of advice I could give to new/aspiring artists, it would be to carry around a sketchbook all the time--or leave them in the places you go most often. AND NONE OF THIS LINED-PAPER BULLSHIT THAT I KEEP SEEING WITH ALL YOU 'CASUAL DOODLERS'. If you like to doodle-- why not recognize it as something that's worth more than a scrap of cheap lined paper? Anyway, the key to being good at ANYTHING is to keep up with regular practice.

Sketchbooks vary from artist to artist. I get the most out of using Moleskine sketchbooks because I find that they're high quality, they have a nice tooth to them, and when I fill them up, I have a neat little bounded book to put on my shelf, rather than a stack of unkempt papers in a box. If you REALLY have to draw on loose-leaf paper, make your drawings on double-weight paper or card stock. Heavy paper that isn't straight out of your printer cartridge. People are way more likely to buy art when it's made on quality material.
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Q: What would you say in your opinion, is the definition of art?

A: Woo! That's a... really big question...
I don't want to come off as some pompous scholar by answering with something really long-winded/philosophical (because I'll just sound like a complete idiot), so I'll <search desperately for something cool to say on the internet, and> let Pablo Picasso say it in his own words:

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."

Take that one in for a second. It's a good'n.
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Q: What can we expect from Sabtastic in the future?

A: A new game, actually! I'm making something super low-brow, just for the sake of practice, but it's going to be a 2D game inspired by Space Invaders. Believe it or not it's actually a small project for a University class! I'm learning how to program, so MSGHero and I are working on translating it to Actionscript... It should be up on Newgrounds any day now!

Art-wise, I'm not up to a whole lot. Aside from the occasional art commission, I've been taking back-to-back semesters full-time at the University of Alberta, (my Education Undergraduate studies) so I haven't had a lot of time to myself. Gotta pay bills and keep food in the fridge, so I'm working about 30 hours a week at my reception job for a local pool on top of that. Doesn't leave me with a whole lot of time to pursue all of the ideas I've got cooking, which sucks, but I should be taking an intensive drawing/painting 'boot camp' in April, so let's hope that puts a fire under me!
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As I stated at the beginning of this interview. Sabtastic is one of the first artists who caught my eye when the Art Portal was launched. She is a brilliant artist who I have put off on interviewing for quite a long time. She shows that anybody who simply doodles can become a great artist here on Newgrounds. A great place to learn, collaborate, and make friendships. To show off your works to the world. Sabtastic is truly a gift to this site.
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[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 111
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest is a web programmer for Newgrounds. He is the one behind a lot of developer features here on Newgrounds. From the Newgrounds API, Newgrounds Chat, and a new feature in the works, the Newgrounds Passport. This is just a small sample of the features and works that he has put into this site. He is also a game maker winning awards for games such as Pico Roulette and Alkie Kong 2. He is Josh Tuttle, or more known on Newgrounds as PsychoGoldfish.

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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: It all kind of started around 1998 or so, when TechTV had some show that mentioned this amazing new product called Flash 2. I was breaking in to the web design business, and took a huge interest in this fully animated website made by Gabo Mendoza (as preserved here: http://www.thefwa.com/flash10/gabo.html).

I knew learning Flash was going to open up a world of potential for me, but I also figured out you could use it to make some really simple games. Curious to see if anyone else was on to the same idea, I typed "macromedia flash games" in altavista.com, and found a bunch of sites. But this one site... it had this funny ass game about teletubbies getting high. It was just so stupid, and hilarious. It was the personal site of one Thomas J Fulp, "New Ground Atomix".

I made a handful of simple button games, in the same style as Telletubby Funland, and threw them up on the web for my friends to enjoy, then I kept on pursuing my web design career.

I checked in with newgrounds off and on to see if Tom had done anything new. When Flash 3 was out, he pushed the shit out of it with the original Pico. But when Flash 4 came out, he made Samurai Asshole. Thats when I knew Flash games were truly going to be legitimate. I started coming up with some more advanced, but still simple, games around that time.

Eventually I made Virtual Driveby 2, which was a pretty lame game, but I was proud of it at the time. Tom had been slowly collecting and posting work for a bunch of Flash animators and Newgrounds was growing it's user base pretty quickly, so I sent him a copy of my game to get in on the action. He wrote me back telling me there was a new automated portal I could submit from, and so I joined the site.

The game actually did pretty well, and the reviews I got just fueled my passion for making games.

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Q: You are one of the old members of Newgrounds and one of the old men of the Internet. Could you tell us your experiences of seeing Newgrounds from humble beginnings and through the evolution of technology where it is today?

A: Like I said earlier, the original newgrounds was a seed of inspiration. A lot of It wasn't about making money or getting famous then. It was just a bunch of kids making fun things and newgrounds became the place we all went to share with each other. It was like this exclusive club, and you were just proud to be a part of it. The rest of the site was all just angsty kids having fun and being stupid. It was the wild west.

The site started changing when the next generation of users came in. We were still young, but we certainly weren't kids anymore, and the new users were. Newgrounds has always been appealing to a younger audience. A lot of users from my generation just started leaving. Some just hated the new users and felt THEIR newgrounds was gone (a sentiment that would be repeated with EVERY generation), while others just grew up and got jobs, had families, whatever. I had a job and a family too, but I kept on making games because I loved doing it.

As the next few generations came through, you could really start to see Newgrounds grow as a respectable community. Where we used to get mouse-drawn tweened clock spam, we started getting highly detailed art and animation popping up. A new community of audio artists was emerging. Collaborations were getting more and more popular. The bar was raising on a daily basis, and the old feeling of being an elite community started to come back.

I'm happy to say, Newgrounds just kept heading in that direction.

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Q: For those who don't know, could you tell us what Radiogrounds was and about DJ Goldfish?

A: Radiogrounds was an internet radio station started by a handful of old Newgrounds regulars like Swaenk and Captain Bob. It was basically just a small group of NG users playing music and chatting with listeners on IRC. It had a lot in common with classic Newgrounds in that it was a smaller group of like-minded people just entertaining people for fun. It had enough of a listener base that we ended up using it to reveal the results of all the major audio portal contests. My Saint Patrick's Day shows were pretty awesome too from what I can remember...

But Captain Bob (who owned the domain and the streaming servers) did what so many men do when there is a woman involved and abandoned his Internet hangouts, so Radiogrounds pretty much died off. Swaenk still does some audio streaming now and then via the old Radiogrounds facebook page, but I don't see it ever coming back.

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Q: The Newgrounds Wiki - Staff Page states that you are a Web Programmer for Newgrounds. You came on board in 2008. How did you come into contact with Tom about doing programming for the site? What features have you done for Newgrounds that other members may not know about?

A: I was actually offered a job at Newgrounds a few years before, but I still had a lot of stuff I wanted to do solo and part of the deal was moving to Philly so I could work on-site (I was making my living by banner ads on PsychoGoldfish.com and had a ton of freedom to pusue my interests).

2007 was a rough year. Ad rates started declining dramatically and it got to the point I had to pick up freelance work and beg for sponsorships on my flash games to pay the bills. I even threw a resume up on Monster.com just to see what nibbles it would get.

Tom was sponsoring what would be my last major game, Alkie Kong 2. I asked him if Newgrounds had any way to track how well their sponsorships performed, just because I felt like I had mastered distributing viral games and wanted him to see that his investment would be returned.

I was amazed when he said no. Newgrounds had sponsored a TON of content, and had no way to track how well that sponsorship did. I decided to just write some tracking software for Alkie Kong 2 so he could see how it all performed.

At the same time I was also writing game reviews and getting into some bigger issues with my Web Game Magazine site. I started getting contacted by some startup sites, including Mochi Media about applying for various positions they were looking to fill, and liked what I had done with the review site.

Pretty much the same day, I was chatting with Tom again about the Alkie Kong 2 stats, when I told him about the offers I was getting. When he realized I was a free agent, he asked if I could work part time from home to make Newgrounds a system for tracking sponsorships and getting something together so users could implement the new flash ads that he was testing out with CPMStar.

So I took the part time job, and the Newgrounds API was born. The Flash ads performed well and we started playing with other add ons like medals and score boards and cloud saves. The part time job turned full time within a few months.

Since then, I re-built the entire submission process for the game, movie and audio portals so users can set up authors, revenue sharing and preview everything before they publish. I created the newgrounds wiki wich has tons of good information floating around. I built the long-overdue friend system that will power a bunch of new social features in the future. And I can't even remember all the shit I did during the redesign.
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Q: When Tom Fulp was here we talked about the Newgrounds Chat being around back in 2002. The Newgrounds Chat went down and has returned. Tom said that it didn't integrate with the user system and the moderation was hostile at times. Do you agree with him in why the chat fell back then or do is there something else to it?

A: The old chat was just a javascript IRC client that connected to a channel on webchat.org. It was pretty confusing for must users because you had to use IRC commands to create a username, and because it was a shared server all the common names were already registered. Beyond that, the chat used to be moderated by Wade and a few other users he hand picked, but he eventually quit coming in and delegated the operations to the users. The inmates ran the asylum and it ended up as a big clique that no longer had any ties to NG.
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Q: Could you give us the history of bringing this new Newgrounds Chat into existence? Why is it featureless and will it be updated overtime?

A: The featureless chat was really an April Fools gag. Way before I got hired, I was working on a multiplayer server/api with Brendon, our latest staff member. We were going to use it to power multiplayer flash games, and Tom asked if we could have it run a Newgrounds Chat with integrated logins.

We had an early version working in early 2007 but the server didn't have all the moderation features Tom wanted yet. Brendon also had a full-time job and we just had a hard time getting it finished. The project got shelved while I was doing the Newgrounds API, but we had another programmer come on to help me get it finished. But before that could happen, the Redesign was designated as our priority. It was supposed to only take a few months, but we all know how that turned out.

So all these years of delays and mixed priorities later, the Newgrounds Chat had become a meme all of its own. I would make random posts saying it was done, but it wasn't. I used the version we DID have working for the China Chat april fools gag. I wrote a song about it. And this past year, someone thought it would be funny to just release an open source chat script that has no features at all. Turns out the users didn't care and it ended up staying on the site.
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Q: At one point you spoke about the Newgrounds chat in a thread called Newgrounds.

"What a bunch of whining bitches! First off, I have been a chat regular for a long time.... I will state that I don't always get along with all the operators, nor do I like the way some users treat people. With that being said, the chat is still an excellent part of the NG community."

"It seems a tradition that when a chatter's pride gets hurt they go and whine and seek the sympathy of the BBSers, who have just as many whiney bitches and assholes as the chat, however, unlike the chat, the BBSers have the luxury of only participating in conversations that they find interesting."

What was the old Newgrounds Chat like and do you fear that we may end up on that same route again with the new Newgrounds Chat?

A: That goes back a long way to the early days of Newgrounds before the old IRC chat was left to the inmates to run. It was a great fucking chat back then. The BBS was where most of the community hung out. The chat was a smaller knit group and had a much larger percentage of artists and game developers. It just seemed to attract a higher tier of user back then, and the conversations never ended.

To this day, niche groups of users still create little group chats and hangouts, and the people that frequent them love them. There's a level of bonding and interaction in chat rooms you can't get from a BBS. Conversations just evolve more naturally and there aren't moderators deleting your posts because you went off topic.

The big problem with the old chat, and the old chat users will probably disagree with me, was how it severed itself from Newgrounds in all but name. A lot of the old regulars took pride in the fact they no longer visited the site and were outright hostile to actual fans of NG.

The new chat, as featureless as it is, is actually built into newgrounds. That alone cuts off the odds that it will ultimately be taken over by anti-newgrounds users. However, the current featureless chat tends to be dominated by a small group of people who don't have a lot to talk about. With the current way it's used, it won't gain much momentum. But who cares, it's just a continuous joke anyway... the real chat will be something a little more special.
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Q: Looking through your posts, you were not fond of the Newgrounds BBS, but more for the Newgrounds Chat. When ZekeySpaceyLizard was here, his answer for how to fix the BBS was to delete it. Your thread NG BBS is Officialy > NG Chat certainly had a lot to say. Where is your stance nowadays about the BBS and Chat?

A: Is this interview just based on my BBS Post history? Your journalistic skills amaze me...

I still think the BBS is pretty terrible. At the time of that post, the users running the old IRC chat had pretty much destroyed everything that made it a fun place. Its not that the BBS was actually good back then, it just shows how bad chat had gotten.

The BBS does have some gold nuggets from time to time, and I still enjoy trolling it now and then, but for the most part its regurgitated memes, attention whores and a bunch of whiners who complain about every inch of progress Newgrounds makes as a whole.

The BBS is where users who can't really contribute to any of the portals tend to go to make a name for themselves. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but the sheer amount of people struggling for attention is just unappealing to me.

I know that's really just a description of the General forums, but I have no desire to hang out in the themed forums either. Those forums tend to have a lot of the same clique issues that brought the old chat down.
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Q: Mini Putt is one of your earliest games winning you a Daily Feature and Weekly Users' Choice awards. You would go on to make more Mini Putt games in the future. Why the fascination with miniature golf and bringing it into game format?

A: The original mini-putt was actually a game I made for a startup company. I had like 8 games ready for them, but they went bankrupt without ever paying for them. I didn't really have any plans on making it, but when they asked for a putt-putt game I remembered playing some old top-view games on the Commodore 64 and decided to build the game similar to those.

It was probably one of the first games on Newgrounds that used any real physics, and the responses I got from it were just amazing. I did make a rookie mistake in the first version of that game, however. It had absolutely no branding or links to my website. It appeared in a few magazines and was even on TV back when indy games didn't get any real coverage, but every time it was credited to some site that stole the file from Newgrounds. I'm still a bit bitter about that.

I didn't really have a big fascination with miniature golf at all. Mini-Putt 2 was made primarily because people asked for a sequel. I took a lot of stuff people suggested about the first game and put it into the second game. Changing the formula even just a little had a mixed response, but it was popular enough.

Mini-Putt 3 was more of an experiment to see if I could make an entry using courses that weren't all perfectly flat walls, and the last one was the debut of the Multiplayer Server I mentioned before. Its getting retired soon because we're pulling the plug on the server, but I hope to make another installment in the future.
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Q: Pico's Unloaded: The Game would be you and Mindchamer's entry for Pico Day 2006 and based off of Mindchamber's movie Pico's Unloaded. Whose idea was it to turn it into a game and what was the process you both took into bringing it to life?

A: Mindchamber was working on this Smash TV style game back then, and that gave me the idea of doing something in that vein for a Pico Day game. I suggested we just base it on his Pico's unloaded movie (so we could shave development time and use the original for cut scenes). It was pretty ambitious because the level was in faux 3d and there was no real 3d API for Flash yet. It was a lot of fun getting the 360 degree characters to work smoothly and there was even some jokes that it looked better than Pico 2. I'd still love to do another big Pico game.
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Q: Pico Roulette would be made by you, Tom, and now new administrator BrenTheMan. Did Tom contact you about making this game? If not then where did it start? What was the process took into making it? Also it was stated in the description...

"This game is broken... The multiplayer server that powers it is busted due to a severe database crash. When NG-Chat is ready, this game will get plugged into THAT server and work again."

With the new Newgrounds Chat up, will this game come back with online multiplayer and possibly Medals?

A: When we had Mini-Putt Online launched and it was able to actually use your Newgrounds login, Tom wanted in on the action, but he was pretty busy with something about Crashing Castles at the time. He pitched taking the old Pico vs Uber Kids game and adding more characters and going multiplayer with it. It was pretty easy to do, so I whipped it together and submitted it.

Unfortunately, the old multiplayer server had a pretty significant memory leak that impacted the pico game especially hard. And as I mentioned earlier, the server just never got fixed, so the game has been broken since.

The plan is to rebuild the game, probably using Mindchamber art, and throwing in some new game modes when we have a new multiplayer server in place.
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Q: Where do you think Newgrounds will be headed next with the Internet booming and entertainment coming from a multitude of places?

A: For the first time, Newgrounds is going to branch out. We've been an introverted community for so long it's going to be a big change, but we're ready. We took the first step by launching Passport, which lets people log in to games using the Newgrounds API from any website. Brendon and Mike (and to a lesser extent, myself), just did a bunch of work that will get our library of movies working on mobile and streaming devices. NG Social will be getting more feeds, and we're planning on making tools for users of other social networks to enjoy our content.

While that is happening, we'll also be working hard to give artists all the tools they need to succeed. Newgrounds really is the best place on the web for people to get a start in animation, indy games and music, and we want to keep it that way.
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Q: What can we expect from PsychoGoldfish in the future?

A: The official Newgrounds Multiplayer server and API is my white whale. I have every intent of harpooning that son of a bitch once and for all this year not that we have Brendon on staff. And once that is working, NEWGROUNDS CHAT BABY!

I'm even hoping to go back to my roots and get a game out this year.

Until then, you can always count on some drunken BBS Trolling.
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PsychoGoldfish is certainly an interesting individual. Speaking his mind on a daily basis the first minute, and working for Newgrounds the next. It is interesting to see that we not only used to have a Newgrounds Chat, but to see why it took so long for us to get it back in the future. PsychoGoldfish is an ambitious individual and he has the tools to get them done. All in all, Newgrounds future does indeed look bright. Who knows, PsychoGoldfish may give us some online multiplayer on Newgrounds.
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[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 110
Interview By:
Members of Newgrounds

Today's guest is once again Tom Fulp. He has been interviewed on three different occasions, by myself. Today though is a different day, for I decided to give the power of The Interviewer into the hands of the Newgrounds Members. I allowed them to ask Tom questions in a thread and asked Tom not to enter the thread. I even sent the questions off to him as I normally would, so up until this point, the questions have been anonymous. I supervised the thread and chose which questions passed and which ones didn't. For the most part, some really good questions did come through. Also keep in mind that this was posted months after the questions were asked and answered, so for the Unknown person, chances are either their account or posts were deleted. So please welcome once again Tom Fulp as interviewed by the Newgrounds Members.

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Ryanson: What was the hardest thing about getting Newgrounds off the ground?

A: Newgrounds had such a gradual rise that nothing comes to mind as the ONE thing that was hardest to get off the ground. I would say that as an ongoing issue, the hardest thing about NG is moving it into the future when it has roots in so many legacy features. We are years into a plan to make the content on NG mobile-friendly and available on multiple platforms. For example we are wrapping up software that does best-ever SWF to MP4 conversions and we prepared the Project System so that it could serve out multiple formats for the same content. More than a decade of content will be working its way through that conversion process so that it can be available on platforms that don't support SWF.
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II2none: Any plans to make a new IP or revitalize old ones?

A: JohnnyUtah and I are working on a new console game as well as Cathode Raybots, a web game we plan to release in January. As for old IP, I can't make any promises but I always hope to revisit Pico 2.
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Zachary: Tom, you're the founder of Newgrounds, but can you see why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

A: Because it has cinnamon swirls in every bite?
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Amaranthus: Is Stamper gay?

A: Would it matter if he was?
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Ryanson: What does an average day in the life consist of for you?

A: Wake up between 5-6am. Hang out with kids. Check on NG. Go for run. Drink protein and eat eggs. Shower. Try to be at work by 9am. Attempt to make a game while juggling all the NG stuff. Go home at 6pm. Hang out with kids. Eat dinner. Check on NG. Go to bed.
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Amaranthus: Did you ever feel frustrated because some user on NG was heavily spamming and/ or insulting you?

A: The users who annoy me the most are typically smart guys in college who aspire to build something like NG but instead of doing that, they sit around and criticize us for our failings and inability to get things done sooner. It's a SMALL TEAM and we work really hard to try and make people happy. When you get shitty attitudes in return it makes you want to walk away and move on to something that doesn't involve people.
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Amaranthus: Do you ever plan on giving credit to the current flash groups NG has?

A: It's gotten harder for crews / krews / groups to get collections. If you see something special happening and we seem to be missing it, let me know.
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Entice: What's your favorite and least favorite part of Newgrounds?

A: My favorite part is when a bunch of people come together and make something awesome that wouldn't have existed if they hadn't met on NG. My least favorite part is when someone leaves for YouTube but only comes back to post links to their YouTube on our front page Artist News section.
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Narcissy: Can we please have optional backgrounds?

A: I want user pages, submission pages and collections to have the ability to set unique backgrounds. In terms of letting users select what backgrounds they see while browsing NG, that isn't as high priority.
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Luis: When will you bring back rebelious smoking Tank Girl with saggy boobs? I miss her.

A: Will try to fit her in somewhere some day.
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Ryanson: If you had NEVER made Newgrounds, what would you be doing now?

A: If I kept doing what I was doing, I would be doing web development for other big companies. Or maybe Dan and I would have met on some other website, made Alien Hominid and still formed the Behemoth. Or maybe I would have lucked out and gotten into the game business some other way.
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Sekhem: When will newgrounds get hashtag support?

A: We have tags, do you really need hashtags? I'm curious to know where you feel the need to use them. We are developing feeds based on @username in blog comments and forum posts, so you can say stuff to specific people and it will show up in their personal feed. I'm up for discussing hashtags.
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DeftAndEvil: What are some of the visions for NG's creativity (both short-term and long-term) since NG has seemed to stagnate and languish, especially in regard to "intelligent,""groundbreaking," or even "provocative" works?

A: We're working on better collaborative tools and wider platform support. If the budget picks up we'll be able to sponsor more works. This past year had some of the most impressive movies ever, so the whole question is based on a bad assertion. I would love to see MORE great movies though and hopefully more people will realize how fun it is to make and release web games.
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tonypar16: How many PMs do you receive every day/per week? Do you read them all?

A: I get around 50 per day nowadays and I do read them all.
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Ryanson: What were the inspirations behind your more famous characters? Pico, Nene, Darnell, Samurai Asshole, Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers, etc.?

A: Pico started off with just trying to make something that was "cute but not for kids" but the real inspiration came when Columbine happened right when I was trying to figure out what Pico's game would be around. Samurai Asshole was just me wanting to make a brawler. The character in Alien Hominid was created by Dan and I was wanting to make a Metal Slug style game when he showed it to me, so that's what we did with him! Castle Crashers evolved out of a combination of Dad 'n Me and a game we wanted to make about four adventurers, who became four knights. It was gonna be a platformer but became a brawler.
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Unknown: What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?

A: Be productive at whatever it is you like to do. Don't let other people drag you down. Be nice to people. Go for a run and work your core, you'll sleep better and have a better attitude.
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Mr. Percie: When the hell are you going to give us Pico School 2? Is it being released for xbox and steam?

A: I still hope to tackle Pico 2 some day as a 3D (as in polygons, not glasses) game. It may be a free web game but could also end up being something people pay for, due to the sheer amount of time and resources put into it.
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Unknown: Is the money you get from Newgrounds enough to feed your family and yourself?

A: Newgrounds makes enough to feed the people who work for Newgrounds and to pay a considerable amount to the people who contribute to Newgrounds (relative to what NG makes, at least), but NG does not feed me and my family. For the past few years my salary has come from the Behemoth, so keep buying Castle Crashers please.
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Ryanson: Who was your hero growing up?

A: If a company can be a hero, I was a big SNK / Neo Geo fan. I was also really into special effects so maybe James Cameron since I had a big book about the effects in Terminator 2. Also, Optimus Prime.
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DeftAndEvil: Are there any plans for another Newgrounds Writing Anthology? The Anthology has been released, but the average NG'er has the attention span and literary cognizance of a fourth-grader (no offense; feel free to debate this). Do you see any prospect in what is considered to have a "higher" standard (although it is not necessarily a "higher" medium)? Do you see NG embracing this?

A: It would be great if there was another Writing Anthology but that ultimately comes down to the community, as they pulled that together themselves! I still hope to introduce the Writing Portal (or Lit Portal, still on the fence) and integrate writers into more of the movies and games on NG.
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Unknown: What is your least favorite thing about the current design?

A: I question whether we should have a more fluid design that adjusts in response to screen size. I wish we didn't have to fit ads into the layout.
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MikeyS9607: Did you have a hand in any of the art/programming of this redesign?

A: I didn't personally do any of the art and programming, I just made mockups and writeups and bothered people to do things.
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Sandremss128: Do you care about the users that want a real Newgrounds related chat?

A: Yes. The real chat has always depended on the launch of our social server and that is still coming. We just hired Brendon, the guy who was originally working on it with PsychoGoldfish years ago for multiplayer games.
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Sandremss128: Do you think that the current featureless chat suffices and meets the quality standards of this site?

A: It gets the job done for now.
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Ryanson: Did you ever expect the userbase for Newgrounds to be as... fucked up as it is, for lack of a better way to phrase it?

A: The userbase is a big mix of people. There are tons and tons of amazing people who you might not see in the forums but they are big parts of the community regardless. There are also fine people in the forums.
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FBIpolux: Whatever happend to Bizzaro Tom?

A: He went back to Bizzaro World.
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tyler2513: Did you ever see Newgrounds becoming what it is now when you were starting out?

A: I wanted to make it a big fun place but I never imagined it getting THIS big. A lot of the essence of NG still comes back to my childhood joy of going to the arcade; you never knew what new games might be there and sometimes something new would blow your mind. I want visiting NG every day to be like going to the arcade in the 80s.
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DeftAndEvil: What are your current plans for the Writing Forum? What are some of the "tangibles" that would warrant a creation of a Lit Portal? (Increased output of decent literary works? Increased literary insight among members? Increased involvement in other NG media (via scripts, screenplays, or storyboards)? Financial potential; or, the success of the Anthology?)

A: The Writing Portal doesn't really need any tangibles for me, it just needs to find a good place in the schedule where it won't feel like too much added burden for the programming team to maintain.
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big-jonny-13: How much time and effort do you put into running and maintaining the site and everything about it? Would you say it's typical to a 40 hour work week, or is it 24/7?

A: For the majority of NG's existence it was a full-time sort of deal that wrapped itself into every free minute. Now I have kids and it's a more typical 40 hour work week, plus check-ins at odd hours in the evening / morning / middle of the night.
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tyler2513: How often do you watch movies or play games here on Newgrounds nowadays?

A: I check out stuff every day.
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Sandremss128: What are your plans to increase the user base over the coming years?

A: We just launched NG Social which will hopefully get more people checking in regularly to see what their friends are up to in addition to the artists they follow. We've also been helping MMORPGs integrate with our account system, which has been driving a lot of new sign-ups. Next up is the NG Passport system, which will let players on other websites keep the medals, scores and shared items they get from games using our API. This will drive more people to create accounts, at which point we can encourage them to check out the rest of what NG has to offer.
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DeftAndEvil: What is one to do when a man steals bread to feed his family? If this is too heart-wrenching and you are unable to come up with an answer, then what is your favorite book?

A: Did he threaten someone with a weapon or did he just sneak out of a store with it? I NEED DETAILS! And I don't really have a favorite book but I recently enjoyed the SILO series and Ready Player One. Now I'm reading Atopia.
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big-jonny-13: Out of everyone that you've worked with over the years with the site, who would you say has been your most valuable co-worker and why? It can be either one individual, or multiple people.

A: I don't want to rank the staff but I will say that Ross gets the all-time prize for programming the automated version of the Portal back in the day.
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I-smel: Is it annoying that content creators get good to the point that they move away from Newgrounds?

A: Yes. It doesn't feel necessary to move away completely but life gets busy and people need to make a living. NG is still the best place to get discovered but we need to be the best place to get paid if we want more people to stick around past their college years. Being a revolving door helps make a path for the next generation, as long as the next generation shows up. I'd love to balance it all.
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tyler2513: Do you have any future plans to change systems such as the reviewing, whistle blowing, ect?

A: We still need to get the whistle back up and running, it has been lower priority because we have moderators now who have been doing a great job without it. We talk a lot about a massive voting overhaul but that goes back and forth a bit.
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egg82: How did you get started being a game dev? Meaning what was your inspiration and how and where did you start learning?

A: I just always loved games and I spent a lot of time studying details while Wade and his friends played games. I really loved going to the arcade and playing games like Double Dragon and Rampage. I started learning programming with BASIC while I was in high school, then just worked my way up from there.
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MikeyS9607: When is the Lit portal coming out?

A: No ETA at the moment. I hope we can do it in 2013.
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Ryanson: Can you see yourself, 5 or 10 years in the future? What would have become of you? What would have become of Newgrounds?

A: Five years from now I expect to have another console game released and I expect Newgrounds to still be evolving. NG will likely be around for the rest of my lifetime, regardless of how successful it is.
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I-smel: When you had the choice of selling shares of Newgrounds to help fund what the site was doing, what kind of things helped you make the decision not to?

A: I worry about being unhappy having to answer to people. I also know that if NG took investment, it would ultimately be expected to sell.
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tyler2513: What is your general thoughts of the BBS and it's users?

A: I'd like the BBS to feel more integrated with what is happening on the rest of the site, with more discussion about game development, animation, etc.
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TheCupcakeArmy: Anything you can tell us about Battleblock Theater?

A: It's getting close to announcing a release date!
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Spretznaz Are we going to see any improvements to the search system in the noticeable future?

A: Hard to say how soon improvements to search may arrive. I'd love to just use a Google API that allows us to skin Google results into a page of NG but they charge money for that.
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I-smel: Was the new Supporter Upgrade inspired by Penny-Arcade's kickstarter or what? (Penny Arcade made a Kickstarter to take all the ads off their site and be funded by users instead)

A: No, we were actually working on it well before that. The Penny-Arcade Kickstarter was still inspirational though. I would love to have enough user support to be ad-free.
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egg82: What users do you miss the most? What people do you enjoy having now?

A: I don't really think of people as GONE, people just get busy with other stuff. I enjoy seeing guys like RicePirate and DeathInk who really embrace the wholeness of NG. There are other people I want to name but the more I name, the more I'll offend people I don't name. I really like users who get involved in organizing the community to make cool stuff. Also I-Smel for actually blogging about game development.
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Unknown: When are you returning to the UK?

A: I have a feeling it will be a few years but I'm excited to go back. I just have to prioritize trips now because I feel selfish being away from the kids.
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wreckr: Do you have anything up your sleeve to combat the growing animation community on YouTube? Maybe a way to bring them onto Newgrounds?

A: All we can do is strive to be the best we can. YouTube offers more money and more views to established animators. We still offer more views to unknown animators and people do make money on NG. We just have to keep improving and keep caring. We're a lot more personally available than anyone at YouTube.
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Otto: Will there ever be another Beard?

A: I wouldn't rule it out.
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I have to say that there were a lot of great questions asked. Some straight from a retired interviewer, that being Ryanson. Which if my nagging won't bring him back, perhaps you guys can nag him to come back. All in all though, Tom is just as polite with the many other members of Newgrounds as he was when I interviewed him. Tom truly is a very chill guy, it makes me wonder what he looks like angry. The members of Newgrounds had a lot of interesting questions to ask him about the site and there seems to be a lot more coming to Newgrounds in the future.
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Interview with Emrox

2012-11-19 06:56:14 by TheInterviewer

[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 109
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest was recently named the winner of the 2012 Newgrounds Annual Tournament of Animation. Although he did participate in the 2010 and 2011 Tournament of Flash Artists as well. His works in those tournaments has truly shown his abilities, from titles such as, Cookies, deceit, and such, Flipped., and Animals of the Metropolis. He is a gifted animator, and we are privileged to welcome, Emrox.

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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: I can't remember where I found newgrounds, but I remember it being 'just another flash site' back around 05. The first time I ever submitted anything to NG was a little under six years ago under the pseudonym martinswerld (sic). The submission was a music video for the novelty song "Fish heads" from 1980-something as I was incapable of producing original humor at the time (and still am today!) The blammed submission can be found here.

Devastated, I spent the next few years frequenting one site after another. One of the more notable sites was TheGameHomepage.com, where I got my first game sponsored, which eventually led me back to newgrounds. Along my journey across the various flash portals I met a lot of different people, including Ganon95.newgrounds.com, who I still talk to today. In the two years I spent hopping from one community to another I continued to practice and make little flash projects, none of which were ever released.
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Q: I remember seeing you here on Newgrounds under the name Elfman-Rox. Why the change in your username?

A: It seemed like the hyphen and childish spelling of 'rocks' was a bit too hard to remember, so I got a name change within the last year as I recall. The signature elf-hat stuck, though, hence the christmas colors. Maybe I'll change that someday; red and cyan has always looked nicer.
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Q: At what age did you become interested in animation?

A: When I was nine my Dad took a course in flash animation for work, and he got home he taught me and my two brothers the basics of Macromedia Flash 8. I was instantly fascinated with what you could create with such a simple medium, and I began studying animation as an independent project in fourth grade. That was sometime in October 2005, which means I've been animating for over seven years now (whoa.) When I was in middle school I read a lot about famous guys like Mozart who was writing symphonies since he was, like, two, and I figured that if I was going to be super-famous at anything it'd have to be something I was doing since I was a kid. From then on, my passion in animation from a young age has always been inspirational to me.
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Q: I'm A Pc: Deleted Clips Collab would be the first collaboration you would participate in Newgrounds. How did you come to find it and what was it like to work with and see these other animators works?

A: As someone with little experience on NG, I was eager to get my name out there and collaborate. I didn't really care what I was signing up for, I just liked the idea of a bunch of people contributing to one large project. I was still sorta afraid of other people's thoughts of me, so you'll notice that all of the audio clips in my parts are pitched down to hide my little-kid-on-the-internet voice. For a while I was trying really hard to make myself seem super professional, but over the years I've learned to address people online with a less serious attitude. When it came out I thought my entries were some of the worst of the bunch, but in retrospect, I think my bit was a little bit better than most of those guys'.
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Q: One of my favorite earliest works by you is entitled 60 Seconds of Awesome. The title truly does not lie. You state that you made 10 Seconds of Awesome, but started to make more and more. How long did it take you to make each one and why did you stop at 60 seconds?

A: How long did it take? God, I can't remember. Probably a night or two for every ten seconds. Those were all part of a series that was uploaded to my deviantArt account, but I never really got into the site after my first account got banned. God, that place is cold and unforgiving. No talented artist should start on deviantArt, because the chances of getting the recognition you deserve on there is about a million to one. There was a seventh and eighth installment to the series, but after number seven I was completely out of ideas. One thing worth mentioning, though, is that "10 seconds of pure awesome" was my first attempt at drawing/animating with outline-free shapes, which eventually became my favorite way to differentiate the backgrounds from the characters.
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Q: When HappyHarry was here, we talked about the shock value of setting up one event, but doing something completely different. Harry states he loves anticlimaxes and antijokes. You make this apparent in The Playground Song. Harry states that...

"it's not that I'm setting out to gross out people, or even make them laugh necessarily (though that is a welcomed side effect), I really just want to surprise them with something crazy and I love playing on people's abilities to second guess an ending."

Would you agree with this or do you have a different way of looking at this style of humor in terms of set-up and execution?

A: I agree pretty entirely. I devised a whole theory on comedy as being "something unexpected." Even dry humor, which is actually so expected that it isn't expected at all (which is why young children don't seem to "get" the dry stuff). This is why there is no mathematical equation or scientific formula for producing something funny. As soon as the viewer comes to recognize and expect your formula, your jokes stop being funny, so you have to keep it varied. You have to anticipate what the audience will think and flip it around on them. I could write a whole essay on this stuff (and I might!)
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Q: Po is an interesting look at video games. How some people don't have the patience or time to play them. One reviewer though says that you should make it into a flash game. When will we be seeing the game Po?

A: I made po already. It's in the preloader of the movie, although it probably would have made more sense to put it at the end. Po was created just as a short jab at how Pong is a simulation of a simulation, but is still one of the most recognized games of all time. Then I chose to make a simulation of a simulation of a simulation. Take that, RC Pro-Am.
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Q: Malcolm. How did you come across this song? What made you want to animate it? You also state that you feel it is overrated, could you tell us why you think that in more detail?

A: I made Malcolm a little bit after The Playground Song, which was my first front-paged submission as well as the first to win any daily awards. Once I had a taste of the fame, I made a few generic movies I'm not too proud of. "Malcolm" was a funny song that I decided to animate simply because it was a funny song, and those score well. Also Malcolm has a nose in some scenes and doesn't in other scenes, another reason I cringe every time I watch it.
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Q: You would participate in the 2010 Tournament of Flash Artists on AlbinoBlackSheep, the 2011 Tournament of Flash Artists here on Newgrounds, and the 2012 Newgrounds Annual Tournament of Animation here on Newgrounds in which you would be the winner of. When last year's winner Dave Bruno was here we talked about the tournament. We also spoke with the founder of the tournament Adam Witt. How did you come across this tournament and what encouraged you to participate in them?

A: I can't remember when or where I found the tournament, but I've always been a pretty competitive person, so when I discovered I could compete at one of the few things I'm good at I was pretty psyched to put my animation abilities to the test. The round 1 theme in 2010 was "create a sequel to a previous tofa entry," so I ended up searching through just about every entry from every year trying to find room for originality. Although I never came up with a good idea for that round, I learned a lot about the history of the tournament, which encouraged me to come back year after year.
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Q: A trip to the hospital would be a part of the 2011 TOFA. The subject was game show. Could you tell us how you came about this interpretation and how you were able to get it done in this amount of time?

A: For my entry I did a parody of the gameshow "cash cab," which for those of you who don't know is a very gimmicky sort of show that you should never watch with friends. I can't remember how I came up with it, but I do remember pretending I was sick to get an extra day to work on it. It was pretty rushed, and I think the overall quality suffered as a result. So yeah, no one watch that video. It's bad.
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Q: Cookies, deceit, and such is my favorite by you. Another entry for TOFA 2011 under the subject "Wrongfully Accused". I remember seeing this one during the tournament and was amazed at how you turned this simple children's game into a crime drama of sorts. Where did the idea for this come from and what was the process you took into getting it out?

A: Ah, now here's one I'm pretty proud of. When coming up with an idea for the theme, I noticed that the game 'Who Stole the Cookie' was entirely based on incorrect accusations, so I immediately had a million different ideas on how I could twist the game into something funnier. This was the most doable of those ideas, 'cause I didn't have to lip-sync any of it (heeheeheeheeheeheehee.)
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Q: Your first entry in the 2012 Newgrounds Annual Tournament of Animation would be under the subject of Time Travel. With that we come to Flipped.. This is pretty interesting if I do say so, with the sands of time being flipped and thus the entire move plays backwards. You said you weren't going to do a time machine bit because that would have gotten old. So how did you come about an hourglass and the reversing of time through it?

A: This was actually an idea that I threw away during the open round of TOFA 2010- "Backwards Day." The idea matched the theme well, and I'd improved significantly since then, so why not, right? I didn't really have a plan when I started this as I think you might be able to tell by the lack of a decent ending, so that should be a lesson to all of you storytellers. Don't write a story based on the presentation, and don't be afraid to hold onto a good idea until you have a better idea of how to support it.
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Q: Your next entry in the 2012 NATA would be based off the subject The Elephant in the Room. Animals of the Metropolis talks of an assassin who is an elephant. One line from it that I like is "once he's entered the room, your fate is sealed." This literal interpretation of this phrase is pure writing bliss. How did you come up with this beautiful interpretation and do you ever plan on possibly expanding on this idea?

A: I'd hate to give you another "I can't remember" (I think this makes five), but I completely forgot where this idea came from. I don't think I'll ever be expanding on this story specifically, but I really liked the style and tone of the piece. Maybe I'll revisit it someday, but as of now I don't have any plans to.
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Q: Your next entry in the 2012 NATA would be -partners in crime-. The theme being that of A True Companion. Where did you get the idea of a man and a mouse robbing people from?

A: I think this one was inspired by that movie "Tower Heist." The movie itself wasn't that great, but it inspire me to make something of a similar genre. A lot of these ideas just come straight from the theme, though, which may explain why I can't seem to recall where my interpretation of the subjects came from.
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Q: The Final Fork in the Road. Transit. There seems to be a bit more to this. Something that can be heavily interpreted. You could have done a hilarious movie of a road trip and two friends, but you give us a serious subject... with what seems to be an assassin. What can you tell us about this movie? Also how did it feel to win the 2012 NATA?

A: This movie is a little pretentious, I'll admit. In fact, this is one of my least favorite entries. While it appears that there may be some sort of deeper meaning or message, the parallel images are really only there to tell the story. I'd like to think it's visually appealing though, and the palette was fun to make. It felt great to win NATA, but I kinda feel like there were other entrants that deserved to win more than I did. In fact, there were some really good animators that just couldn't make the deadlines and lost, such as CatFat, VieRickend, coughing-dog, and Fungasm.
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Q: ast*risk is still a game I don't quite understand or even understand how to get its other endings. Perhaps you can help fill in the blanks. This is an art game, so perhaps you could explain it to myself and others who don't seem to grasp the message.

A: I've always disliked art games on NG with their cryptic messages and slow, tedious gameplay. So my brother and I made this parody game to show how easy it is to confuse people into thinking their having fun instead of making a fun game. I'm sure a couple of 'em really do have some super-inspiring messages behind the boring repetitive gameplay, but a lot of the time it seems like the authors behind art games were just being vague and pretentious just because they wanted people to pay attention to their game. Some people saw right through it, while some people wasted hours trying to find endings 1 and 3. But in my defense I wasted four days making it, so it probably evens out.
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Q: What can we expect from Emrox in the future?

A: One of my NATA entries has been finished for two months now, but I still have to figure out how to convert it to mp4 properly. So yeah, that's coming pretty soon I hope. After that, I'm gonna be going back to funny toons for a while. NATA was a fun experience where I got to try out a bunch of different genres of writing, but I think I still prefer humor.
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Emrox is certainly quite the interesting individual. His comedic works are quite hilarious, but I think he doubts himself with his more serious works such as Animals of the Metropolis. His writing is brilliant in these aspects, it is no wonder that he did win this tournament. Truly one of Newgrounds finest.
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Interview with Wade Fulp

2012-10-15 12:16:08 by TheInterviewer
Updated

[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 108
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest is one of the main men behind the scenes here at Newgrounds. He is the one to go to if you're having troubles with your account. See a mischievous troublemaker, or are being abused, then he is the man to go to. He is the Newgrounds Administrator. The brother of Tom Fulp, he is none other than Wade Fulp.

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Q: How did you become a part of Newgrounds?

A: Growing up Tom and I spent a lot of time working on things together. Growing up we made a lot of home movies, starting with an old video camera that connected into a portable VHS VCR. Our father was always into electronics so we ended up getting newer video cameras, some tape to tape editing equipment, and later a computer based editing system. All of this was tape to tape, rather than digital. We grew up in an analog world when it came to audio and video. In our late teens Tom was doing a lot of 2D computer animation on an Amiga and I had set up a local BBS call Chaotic Order. Tom was also taking programming classes at his high school so he started making games for my BBS. Our local BBS got fairly popular in the area, but then started to die down at the Internet took off. Tom had started a personal web page which was hosted by our ISP. I let him use my share of storage as his site grew, as I wasn't doing much with it other than hosting a few images here and there. Eventually Tom moved away to college and the site started to take off. I was an avid fan of his website and was active on the forums and chat room. Eventually things started to grow so fast it was hard, or impossible, for Tom to handle it all on his own and still try and make Flash. Once there was money coming in he was able to hire me away from my job at a retail store. I was the store manager of New York Camera and Video in Quakertown, PA. We sold new and used photography and video equipment, had a professional film lab, rentals, etc. After working in that world for many years I was ready for a change, even if it meant commuting down into the city. It was a bit of a gamble as the future of a website is unknown.
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Q: Tom is your younger brother. What can you tell us about growing up with Tom?

A: Growing up with Tom was fun most of the time. We had our spats here and there like normal brothers. We played a lot of video games together, made videos, roamed around the neighborhood, etc. Tom was always much more into reading about video games than I was. I loved to play them, but he always had tons of magazines and was always up on what was coming out next.
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Q: You are labeled on the staff page of Newgrounds as an Administrator. What can you tell us about your job criteria?

A: Most of my time is dealing with user issues, such as helping users get into their accounts, removing content, dealing with troublemakers, etc. I over see a lot of the moderators and get involved with recruiting new ones with the help of our current mod team. I get a lot of IM's from various mods that have questions or need assistance with issues they come across. There are a lot of people that spam Newgrounds and use hundreds or thousands of accounts to pull that off,
so we're constantly tracking them down and cleaning up the mess they make. I also help feature content when needed, something I did a lot more of in the past when Tom was tied up with his Behemoth projects.
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Q: You have an interest in photography with many of your Oh Snap! threads. When and how did you get into photography? What kind of cameras do you use?

A: I've always enjoyed photography. My earliest experience withphotography was when I was in the 7th or 8th grade and had to take a lot of photographs of plants growing for a science project. I used my father's Canon FTb 35mm SLR camera with a macro lens and a ring flash. You had to manually set everything, so it was challenging and fun. After that I didn't do much with photography until I started working at New York Camera and Video. I was hired there originally to help build turn key computer based video editing systems. We were an Amiga dealer and a NewTek Video Toaster dealer. So I spent a lot of hours tearing into Amiga computers installing various components, or doing repairs. Back then the insides of computers had a lot of sharp wires on the back of the circuit boards, so I often had sliced up and bloody hands. I was only working part time so the store offered to give me more hours working on the sales floor. I started helping in the video department, which was my strength, but eventually learned the entire store. Over the years I learned a lot about photography to the point the professionals would come to me to find out what kind of equipment they needed to accomplish their goals. I got a lot of good deals on used equipment and had a lot of fun playing around with it. I have a nice assortment of Canon FD equipment, which is all manual focus. I also picked up some medium format equipment, such as a Rolleiflex TLR, a Hasselblad, and a Pentax 67. Eventually digital took over and shooting film got to be a hassle and an expense, especially once I started working for Newgrounds and no longer had easy access to a professional film lab with a generous discount. These days I take a lot of photos with my iPhone and a Canon SX200 IS. I haven't had the spare money to splurge on a DSLR, but hope to in the future. They are only getting better the longer I wait.
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Q: When the Art Portal was released it was stated that photography would not be allowed at said point in time, but that might change down the line. Are you for photography being acceptable in the Art Portal and at what point in time do you think it will be accepted?

A: It would be fun to have a photography section, but there are a lot of challenges with that. For one, we would probably see more photo uploads than art, which would require more storage space. Also you run into copyright issues as we would certainly have people submitting other people's photographs. Photographers often aggressively protect
their copyrights and there are a lot of laws on the books that allow them to do that. So we could open ourselves up to more lawsuits by allowing users to submit photography. For now users will have to share their photography on their user page.
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Q: Many people like to collect things. Besides cameras, you collect flashlights, knives, and old-fashioned straight razors. Why drew you to these practical items?

A: When I was young, single, and working full time I had more disposable income. If I knew then what I know now I would have saved much more of my money. However, I was dumb, and collected a lot of things. I had been into knives ever since I was about 12 or 13. I loved to play outdoors and in the woods, so I was always hacking and slashing my way through things. I used to buy a lot of junk knives from catalogs like Smokey Mountain Knife works. For $50 you could acquire 10-20 knives. So a common theme for my birthdays and Christmas was a list of knives cheap knives. As I grew older, and had more of my own money to spend, I refined my tastes and bought less knives, but better quality and more suited for real world use. Working in retail you are constantly opening packages, so razor knife, or a good pocket knife, is a must. I like to collect things that are practical and can be used in my daily life.

As far as flashlights, I didn't really collect them growing up. Growing up I just had your regular plastic house hold flashlight to take out into the night. As I grew older I picked up a Maglite and that was sufficient at the time. At some point I came across Surefire flashlights, who specialize in making flashlights for law enforcement, firemen, military, etc. When I saw
they offered a very small flashlight that put out 60 lumens, twice the output of my big old Maglite, I had to have it. However, it burned up two 3v camera batteries in about 20 minutes. So it wasn't something I used a lot. Years later I saw a small LED flashlight online that was putting out 135 lumens from a single 3v battery, and had a longer running time than my Surefire! So I ordered one and when I got it I was amazed. It was like magic! LED technology took a big leap at this time as far as output, efficiency, and closer to a white light. LED flashlights before this were always fairly dim, and often very green
or blue. So I found the LED technology interesting. It wasn't long until they made more improvements, coming out with better LED's that had more output, used less power, ran cooler, were even whiter with less color tint. One way to try out the latest and greatest LED was to buy a new flashlight that used it. Many of these flashlights are fairly inexpensive so my collection grew. I found them to be very practical as I could carry a small flashlight if I was going out for a walk at night. Being able to put a small flashlight in your pocket that could put out 200+ lumens just wasn't something that was available for most of my life. What excited me was seeing how far the technology was coming and how it would replace our home lighting needs in the near future, allowing us to save a lot of electricity. In addition to the new LEDs there were a slew of new flashlight manufacturers, many of them from China, making all kinds of interesting flashlight designs. Some of them were designed to throw the light from the LED as far as possible. It became a competition between manufacturers to see who could make the longest throwing flashlight. Who would have thought you could light up an object 800-1,000 feet away, or more, with a single LED? It was impressive and a lot of fun to have a flashlight capable of that, but could also fit in your pocket.

I haven't been buying much in the way of flashlights or knives lately, but these days I have a flashlight that can output over 700 lumens from an LED, or dim down to 0.07 lumens for use in total darkness where you don't want to blind yourself. As far a straight razors, this was a spin off from my knife collecting. At some point I decided to learn about knife sharpening, and got very good at it. The type of edge I could put on a knife was more for show than for practical use. Then I realized I could take my sharpening skills to the world of straight razors. Usually barbers would have a sharpening service maintain their straight razors when their leather strop would no longer bring back the edge. I needed no such service, I was the service. So I picked up some old and used straight razors and restored them to shaving condition. It was fun to learn a skill that isn't commonly used today.
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Q: What is Danger Mouse?
A:
Danger Mouse was a cartoon that Tom and I used to watch on Nickelodeon. Google it.
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Q: At one early point in time Newgrounds did have a chat system. Newgrounds now has an official chat, but how did we get from there to here? What problems arose in the original chat that were remedied for the new chat?

A: Early in the history of Newgrounds there was an IRC fan chat. I was actively involved in chatting there and helping to moderate it. It was originally created by a fan, but later I made a new chat room, or channel as it's call on IRC, so we would have full control. We then linked to this chat from our newgrounds.com/chat page. It was never terribly active, similar to the current NG Chat. Over time it became a hang out for the same group of users who became bitter and acted like elitists. They weren't welcoming to new chatters, and even got to the point where they weren't welcoming to NG staff. It was at this point we felt it was time to cut ties with the IRC chat until we could develop our own chat. Chat has never attracted many users so we have never made it much of a priority. Maybe if we saw more interest and more people using it we would pay more attention to it.
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Q: Photoshop Bedn! is quite possibly the most famous Photoshop thread on Newgrounds. When and how did you meet Josh Bend? What made you want to create this thread and what have been both of your reactions to it?

A: Josh was an avid Newgrounds fan. He was active on the forums, the site, and active at contacting the staff. He lived in the area so he always wanted to come meet us, hang out, etc. Eventually I arranged for him to come visit me when I was working at the camera store. After I left the camera store I returned to work 1 day a week on Saturdays just to make a little extra money. Josh hang around the store for awhile while I was busy helping customers. At some point when I was
free I posed for a picture with him and told him I would post it up on the site. The Photoshop Bedn topic was born.
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Q: illwillpress has gotten some bad press over the years here on Newgrounds, so bad that a forum rule was put into place to not knock established Newgrounds groups such as illwillpress or the Clock Crew. You are one of the many to defend him. Some say it was because you regard Newgrounds traffic as higher and therefore put him over the unknown artist. What is your response to this?

A: I will defend any Flash artist. illwillpress never did anything to deserve the abuse he got other than becoming popular. It was all rather stupid that a bunch of jealous idiots felt the need to attack him every time he released a new Flash that they felt wasn't good enough. No one was stopping other artists from becoming popular, and many artists went on to become just as popular or more popular.
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Q: This is it. would be sirtom93's prank upon the Newgrounds forum. Your single post "Leave this topic, authorities are being contacted." would send hilarity and chills down the different members spines. Could you tell us the events of that day and what was going on behind the scenes?

A: I don't know why you call it a prank, as he was apprehended by the authorities and was found to be headed to his school with gasoline, knives, and whatever else he had posted to the forums. My post was to alert our other moderators and staff not to delete the topic as we were actively working with the authorities who were also monitoring
that topic as we were collecting information to track the guy down. I had received an IM from TigerKitty and deckheadtottie about the post on the forums. I got on and looked it over. I started pulling up sirtom's information to try and figure out where he was, who he was, etc. As the pieces came in I was relaying the information to TigerKitty and deckheadtottie and they were relaying it to the authorities. Rig had already contacted the authorities, but I don't think he had much information to relay to them other than some guy was claiming to be planning an attack on his school. Once we had some more information we were able to get his name to the authorities and we even tracked down his school and warned them. I believe deckheadtottie contacted the school directly to warn them. The authorities were able to get to him on his way into school thanks to everyone's quick action. I have to give the main credit to TigerKitty and deckheadtottie as they were the ones to contact me so I could get them the information they needed to give to their authorities.
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Q: Secret Service - Warning to all! was a thread of you telling the members not to make threats to the President. Can you tell us how these events usually happen and have you been contacted by the Secret Service since the thread was made?

A: People need to realize you can't joke around and make threats against the President. If someone reports it to the Secret Service they are obligated to follow up on it, and this has happened several times in our history. You may ask, how does the Secret Service find out? Easy, a Newgrounds user contacts them and reports it. Then I magically get a phone call on my home phone line from the Secret Service asking for details about the user who made the threat. Then
the Secret Service shows up to that user's home and takes their computers away and investigates them to determine if there is a threat. I don't want anyone to go through that over a joke, so I did what I could to warn the users. If they do it anyway, they can deal with the consequences.
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Q: How much mail do you get on a daily basis? Do you read it all?

A: It has varied over the years. We no longer use our email and do everything with the PM system. This isn't the most efficient way to deal with problems the users want to report to us, so we do our best with it. I try to read all my PM's, unless I can tell from the subject it's going to be a waste of time. The most annoying thing is users who can't provide me with the details I need to help them in their initial PM. Like "Can you change my username?" or "I want some of my Flash
deleted, can you do that?' and so on. The back and forth is frustrating. Or I'll write back "What did you need removed" and
they'll reply "Nevermind, someone else got it." and so on.
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Q: When Malachy was here we talked about Rage's gift to you: Abusive reviews. This thread lasted a long time, but was finally put to rest. Could you tell us in your own words the problems that the thread suffered as it went on?

A: I think it got to the point that people were reporting reviews that weren't truly abusive and it was causing the list of flagged reviews to get filled with non-abusive reviews which frustrated the review mods.
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Q: At one point in time you recruited people to keep an eye on the Flash Portal. Now the portal is split into Movies and Games and there are Portal Moderators. Who are the Portal Moderators and what do they do exactly?

A: Before we had Portal Moderators we had Genre Moderators. These users had been helping us by going through Flash movies and games and assigning them Genre's, tags, and ratings. Since these people were very familiar with our content it made sense to transition most of them over to Portal Moderators. We keep a log of what they un-publish so we can easily undo any mistakes. Basically they will un-publish Flash that violates our terms, or has a problem that the artist needs to correct.
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Q: You are simply one man and so the moderators do help you out. However that doesn't mean they should be the only ones. In your thread Warning about illegal images and No more nude images! you encourage people the moderators and staff immediately if they see something wrong. What would be the proper way for someone to go about informing you or the moderators of something like this whether it be a thread, art piece, movie, or game?

A: Simply sending a PM to the appropriate mod or staff member with a link to the content in question, and a brief description of the problem, is all that is needed. When reporting stolen content it's best to link to who it was stolen from when possible.
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Q: Google+ Hangout is a place for Newgrounds members to hang out and talk with one another. There have been past incarnations with the Stickam Chat. What is the purpose of using these other programs, when we already have a forum and a chat. Why not put energy into making a chat similar to the other chat rooms?

A: It would be a big project to create something like Google Hangouts or Stickam on Newgrounds. It is just something we don't have the resources or interest to do at this time. So if people want to cam up and interact with each other, these are popular ways to do that.
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Q: When Newgrounds first started out, it was something new and fresh, alongside many other things on the Internet. The Internet has now since grown and adapted. Do you feel Newgrounds has done the same or is there more that could be done?

A: There is always more that can be done, but we aren't backed by a giant corporation with unlimited funding. Once we developed something new and fresh it wasn't hard for someone to hire a huge team and throw lots of money at it to duplicate our ideas.
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Q: What is the biggest problem you usually face when dealing with the different Newgrounds members problems?

A: As I stated above, many people contact me and do not include the information I need to help them.
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Q: What can we expect from Wade Fulp in the future?

A: Probably more of the same.
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Wade Fulp is certainly an interesting person of the Newgrounds community. He does his job to keep everything in line whether he has to be a professional formal person who can help you, to babysitting a bunch of three year olds and telling them no. He is kind and courteous and always there to help when he can.
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