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TheInterviewer's News

Posted by TheInterviewer - 1 month ago


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Interview No. 183

Interview By: @The-Great-One

Patreon Post Date: Apr 6, 2022


Today's guest has delighted Newgrounds members throughout the year of 2020, during the pandemic, with his Stickmen Series. Not only that, but he's also told us stories with characters such as Teddy in im eating goldfish and takeout. He has addressed the pandemic with coronavirus video. And he would complete the series in 2020 with bankrupt. His style has not been seen on Newgrounds. The writing and animation are some of the funniest movies on Newgrounds. Without further ado, I am privileged to welcome, @wavetro.




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


A: I always heard about Newgrounds here and there while I was a kid since the site has games, and this was during the golden era of free Flash games. I would really only play on Miniclip though, as well as Nitrome and Club Penguin. I was really just a Super Mario kid that didn't like anything that was even slightly-aggressive on my senses. I didn't even like playing games like Halo or Zelda lmao, so I may have tried playing on Newgrounds as a kid once but got off-put by its edgy appearance. I would only start to see the creative value of Newgrounds once I entered my teen years and got into 3D animation. This was when I was known as @RobotUnderscore. I created my account and tried uploading some animations, but I didn't recognize that the site doesn't have any pressure to upload like YouTube did. Instead, I thought I was under pressure to make super-polished things only, so I didn't stick around much until I finally came back with @wavetro and have since truly learned what the Newgrounds community is and how integral it is to the site. I know it's pretty boring but that's basically how that went down lol




Q: When you were younger your first was "computer". Could you tell us the full story behind this?


A: Yeah I was 2 or 3 and my parents always saw me get fixated whenever they would use the dusty beige desktop the family had. I kept trying to say "computer" but instead said "pooper" or "puter" as my first words. Quite the foreshadowing




Q: How and when did you become interested in animation?


A: In 2008 I had a friend come over and introduce me to "movie making" in general, which were basically plush videos but instead of putting them on YouTube I would burn them on blank DVDs for my family. Prior to that I was making "comic books" with Microsoft PowerPoint and its shape tools, although I have to give my older sibling credit for coming up with that. Jumping forward to 2010, I had recently bought toy figures from a series called Gogo's Crazy Bones, and their website had a special section for making your own Gogo's videos that you upload to the site (which reuploaded them to YouTube so that they didn't have to pay for video hosting. Clever!) As I tried to figure out what movies to make for this new website (instead of DVDs) with my new Gogos (instead of plushes,) my siblings were watching an episode of iCarly in which Spencer suffers while making a stop-motion animation. I saw that and went "oh yeah I could do that." And coolernow123 was born.




Q: You and I have something in common. We both made comics in MS Paint and PowerPoint. Have you drawn comics by hand? How would you describe the transition?


A: Oh I used to draw comics on paper! I completely forgot that there was a point in time when I did that. However, every time I would try to draw with a mouse on the computer in MS Paint, it would look like dogshit. My time with that program was short-lived after I found out about shape tools in PowerPoint instead. It was way easier to control and make comics, and it also allowed me to use the cool magical box (the computer) more. The characters were a lot more abstract since they were just made of basic shapes, but I saw this actual "drawing" process as a mere barrier that I just needed to jump over so I could get to the cool part where I make the characters do stuff. My hand-drawing habits only then really existed as me doodling in notebooks during school, and then faded away completely. I guess that's why I never really had an interest in drawing anatomy or making 2D animation




Q: You and I have also filmed movies and edited with Windows Movie Maker. What stories can you recount for us?


A: I loved the shit out of Windows Live Movie Maker. The new one Windows 10 has is nowhere near as stellar as that thing. I learned how to use it to edit my plush movies and burn them onto DVDs. When I started making stopmotions in 2010, I learned to set the image durations to 0.03 seconds to make the characters move, and my peak with the program was when I made that coolernow123 movie called 4:15 To Nowhere. At some point in my teen years I eventually graduated to Sony Vegas, and then on to other video editors in general. I have this huge issue with Blender 3D where I cannot figure out how to do the same 3D things I do in that program in its competitors (Cinema 4D, Maya, etc) but when it comes to video editors I can jump into any of them and quickly figure out how to use them to get what I need. Sorry I don't really have "stories" about them other than that, I don't remember much outside of me just making the videos




Q: You were inspired to make stop motion animation from an episode of iCarly. What episode was it? What about it gave you the inspiration?


A: It was in Season 1 Episode 15, the iHate Sam's Boyfriend episode. I can't find a clip of it on YouTube, but there's this pivotal scene where Spencer is adjusting the characters, taking a picture, and then doing it over and over while complaining his hands hurt. It was the most efficient stopmotion tutorial I had ever seen. That scene alone + my Windows Live Movie Maker knowledge was literally everything I needed to go "oh I can do that" and then start making coolernow123 videos.




Q: What can you tell us about coolernow123 and the Gogo's Crazy Bones series?


A: Oh man, that was such a good time while it lasted. I have really poor long-term memory because thinking about making my next video has consumed my daily life for the past decade, but rewatching my coolernow123 videos makes me remember the childhood memories or story behind most of them, like my dad taking me to his workplace in Drawing Wars or the Lego houses I was gifted in Angiru Gets Rich. I love those videos dearly. The biggest events on coolernow123 by far (other than my stopmotion movie 4:15 To Nowhere) were the live-action vacation movies I did, where my family would save up to take the family on international trips, and I would take my Gogos with me. Most of them are currently privated because they contain doxxing information, but I want to remaster/reupload all my coolernow123 videos into definitive collections on that old channel at some point (and also remove the doxxing vacation scenes since they're not integral to the story so that people can enjoy them again.) It's a little tragic how I wasn't more firm on ending coolernow123 and my YouTube run after I got tired of making these videos in 2013 (since I let myself get guilted to continue making videos,) but I hear horror stories about other people who also found fame at a very young age like me, only that they were way more successful and ended up way worse as a result. I guess I'm lucky I didn't end up worse too. Plus, I wouldn't be here right now if I actually quit that year, nor would I have the same online friends I do today. Life is weird. As for the Gogo's Crazy Bones era, I had no idea how huge the toy series truly was at the time. I see people today notice the coolernow123 characters in my 3D videos and mention how they loved Gogos as a kid, which is really cool! Not to discredit coolernow123's legacy though- I mentioned before how there are STILL people today who make coolernow123 videos in the same footsteps of what I did eleven years ago. Though a lot of the time, I most frequently think about where the other members of the Gogos YouTube community went. F139HEY, supereggy5, TheElipticTensaitchi, and more- some of them I can go digging to see where they are now, while others simply vanished without a trace. I did want to shout-out one of the OG YouTuber friends I had from this era though, WackyBrothersHQ. He's still here creating the same videos on Newgrounds as @ShaeGuy! We did a video together recently actually.




Q: What was the transition of Gogo's Crazy Bones to idiots.exe?


A: So we already established that around 2013, I was getting tired of making Gogos stopmotions. But I didn't want to disappoint my fanbase, so I began to learn Blender 3D to continue the videos in a more adventurous format. It was really surprising how I was able to go from complete beginner to a finished pilot episode of idiots.exe in under 2 years. There's a lot of other things I did during this training period, from running the This Is It webcomic to filming my (only) live-action movie. It's way too much to talk about, but you can find all of it neatly-organized and documented at https://robot.wavetro.net/




Q: When did you start attending college? What degree have you pursued?


A: I started attending college in the fall of 2017 for a computer science Bachelor's degree at the "stern recommendation" of my parents. It was horrible- I may not remember much of most things, but the lowest point of my life was September 2017, hands-down. I tried for three semesters but ultimately fell behind, and transferred to a much easier major to graduate on time in spring 2021. I don't really want to say the degree anymore for my own privacy, but just know that it's kinda useless. No offense to the professors or the fellow students- they were really nice! Looking back I can see why my parents or most other families try to give kids who finish high school something to occupy yourself with until you turn 21, because you're still emotionally-turbulent at 18 even though you're technically an adult. (Sorry but it's true!) That being said, I feel like my time at college was really just a way to delay entering the real world for another 4 years rather than an important academic cornerstone in my life or something. If you are an American high school student, do NOT go to a university just to "figure out your life," especially if you need student loans for it- you need to actually make a plan for how you'll make money in the real world and properly decide if college is right for you, and almost no US high school prepares you for that. This was my senior year experience with the public education system in New York City anyway- the high schools were too busy showing off their college acceptance ratings to parents who had kids that just finished middle school




Q: Your first movie on Newgrounds would be under RobotUnderscore entitled rich dinos. What do you think of this movie looking back now? Why didn't we see more from you on this account?


A: I already mentioned earlier how I felt pressured to be my absolute best creative self on Newgrounds while I was still RobotUnderscore, hence the lack of any videos on there. (I was even worried that my Stickmen 2020 videos didn't have enough effort to be on this site back when that was still around!) I fondly remember rich dinos because it was the first proper feature of my voice actor friend @KindaDrake. He was originally going to voice Angiru on idiots.exe before that show collapsed, but I managed to debut him with this animation instead. It's short, sweet, and doesn't waste that much time. A good video I think!




Q: You would make a new name for yourself that is still in use today. That being wavetro. With it your first movie on the site, cavefolder (Andy and Bulb). I absolutely love the story in this and was truly wondering where it was going to go. Why the name cavefolder? Where did the idea come from?


A: Yep, wavetro is my third (and FINAL) username for the internet. Anyways, the funny thing about cavefolder was that it was created with almost no thought in mind. There was a semester-long college assignment where we all had to learn project management, and cavefolder was basically my homework. Everything about the animation was pretty much thrown together randomly- the name, the characters, the story, etc. It seriously doesn't get deeper than that. I had no idea it was going to be as popular as it became when I decided to try YouTube again with it, and I really really REALLY wish I never promised it as a series. Cavefolder was really just meant to be a flash in the pan, but it turned out to be one that people still really love it seems. The show is now in the public domain so anyone can make something with it if they'd like




Q: im eating goldfish is one of the funniest damn things I've ever seen. The set-up is brilliant, but as it keeps going it just goes off the wall completely. How did you come up with this? Why this animation style?


A: I'm glad you're picking out all the landmark videos! im eating goldfish was a test animation to try out the "mouse-puppeting" technique that I saw 2D artist YouTubers like CircleToonsHD use to quickly make videos. I started with the dumb premise of "a fish eating Goldfish" and just built it all out from there. Teddy suddenly became my most important character because of how he unintentionally set up the foundation for Stickmen 2020 to happen. While I don't have much to say about the actual writing of the dialogue/plot since it's just something that comes naturally to me from my years in YouTube and such, this video is super-important for being the key animation discovery that made my 2020 so successful. I chose this animation style because it was the only thing I've ever used that can keep up with how fast I wanted to bring my ideas to life: I could think of anything and put it online as soon as possible, instead of spending too long on an idea and getting tired of it halfway through




Q: food cart is the start of the Stickmen series that would go throughout 2020. What made you decide on stick figures?


A: Here's the thing- I really try to keep my character designs as neutral as possible. Not just because of my love of iconography/symbols/minimalism that probably developed from my years of vector PowerPoint comics, but because I want people to approach my videos with no expectations. If I use specific kinds of characters (like certain animals,) it will attract specific fanbases that will associate me with them, which takes away the control I have that allows people to discover my work without any preconceived notions. Of course, I can't entirely avoid using animal-based characters since I made some that were fish or birds, but I try to keep all of their appearances simple. It allows people to not get distracted by the character designs and just focus on the story. (This is in direct contrast to art communities like Twitter that value character designs themselves and the simple joy of bringing them to life, rather than what those characters actually do. This opposite thinking I had made creation exponentially harder for me of course, and I'd say it's even borderline disrespectful that I treated the actual art/animation step as "an obstacle" to what was actually the completion and sharing of my story ideas via video.) The stickman design I tried out in food cart was the perfect abstraction of literal humans. It let people watch my videos with visual interest but without feeling alienated by the character designs. I finally recognized what I had on my hands with this video and RAN with it that year, which was the start of Stickmen 2020...




Q: I first became introduced to you through your movie pigeon. I don't think I ever laughed this hard at a Newgrounds movie in quite a while. How did you come up with the idea of bread evolving pigeons throughout civilization?


A: It's actually called "pigeons," but I had to take out the "s" because the Newgrounds upload page said I couldn't call it that when "there's an existing popular video of the same name." As it turns out there is a famed Newgrounds animation from 2000 called "Pigeons," and now it's literally impossible to upload a video of the same title- try it sometime! Anyways, I can't say much about how I came up with this idea, it was just "another video" to me. I tend to view Stickmen 2020 as a whole rather than individual videos with their own backstories, save for the coronavirus video which I actually couldn't rewatch for a while when the pandemic got worse! Sometimes I wonder how many more videos we would've gotten if I never made a Patreon and just kept my mometum going past "math prohlems guy," since early 2020 in general was my golden era for my work and "pigeons" became the most popular video of the series (which I think is deserved)




Q: Through multiple episodes of the Stickmen Series you have touched on issues in the world. With gamestorecoronavirus video, and airbnb just to name a few. What is it about these events that inspire you to create comedy around them through animation?


A: Comedy is making fun of real life- that's all it is. I grew up loving it and it's my way of expressing my thoughts on the world in an entertaining format, because all good writing has a point of view or something to actually say. Comedy is in a unique spot this generation, as it seems other Gen Z people like me really resonate with it in an otherwise horrifying world of dystopian technology and manmade horrors beyond comprehension. But memeing everything helps all of us get by one day at a time




Q: A string of events occurred that lead us to where we are now. It seems to have started with bankrupt, lead to moving in (Teddy and Ben), and the culminating to I quit. I know the video has explained your journey. Why it has brought you to where you are now. I was wondering though if you could elaborate a bit more into starting a series and dropping it. You started cavefolder, dropped it. And now Teddy and Ben is dropped. With the Stickmen series being a completed series. What was it about the Stickmen series that made you keep going?


A: For those of you who don't know what this question is referring to, it's talking about my video "I quit being a YouTuber" that announced the end of my one-man animation career. You can find it on YouTube or Odysee and go to the timestamp 8:50 for the full explanation why I disappeared for half of 2020 and returned with the show's end via the "bankrupt" video. If you don't want to watch that, the quick summary was that I discovered that there was no possible way to make these online videos my career, since I heavily disagreed with taking ad revenue for a living, and also that direct donations (Patreon) were just not a feasible income source. Not much more to say here that the video didn't already explain. As for making a series and then dropping it, it was really painful that I had to constantly relearn that I'm simply not meant to promise such elaborate projects as a single person. I haven't learned yet how to delegate the animation work to others (especially because I was VERY particular about how my videos turned out) and I constantly want to do various different projects all the time. You have to make a "series" of some kind if you want to thrive on YouTube though- you almost never get views if you literally "do what you want," since most people only subscribe to you for one type of video format. Stickmen 2020 barely survived even though it should technically have died. A huge motivator to keep that show rolling was not only to make great videos with this amazing format I found, but also to prove to myself that I didn't peak at coolernow123. It was also the only series I came up with that was barely feasible-enough for one person to do, but the moment I tried to make anything slightly more complex like Teddy & Ben or cavefolder, things just got boring and fell apart after the first episode




Q: What is in your opinion, the definition of animation?


A: This is a funny question to answer after refusing to call myself an artist or animator for almost my entire run. There's no way around it- animation is when you simply make anything non-human on a screen move in a deliberate way, and that makes me both an artist and an animator. The online art community (from my old point of view) depicts being an online artist or animator as someone who loves the literal process of making art, draws/designs detailed characters, and is totally okay with spending years of their lives on something creative because the journey is fun for them. I didn't really identify with most of that, so I refused to associate myself with it out of fear of being called a fraud. (It's the reason why I called my work "videos that happen to be 3D" and not just 3D animations.) I thought it was too late for me to stop animating and make a change since I've been at this for so long, but eventually reality finally caught up to me, and now I know that the animations I do are not for me. It's also a weird feeling when you're someone that has a hard time finding a place to belong online. I've been almost completely alone on this entire journey, and that's only changed during recent years when the wavetro videos started to gain traction, and when Newgrounds basically showed me it was okay to not be the ideal internet artist with the love it had for Stickmen 2020. Even though the type of creative I am (whatever the fuck it is) may not be common or prominently represented, I've now since learned to not overthink things- anyone can be creative and accepted in a community, and you don't have to force yourself to learn something you don't like just so you can feel like you actually belong.




Q: What can we expect from wavetro in the future?


A: I want to start this by mentioning how there was an error in the recent Tank Tribune that said I would keep "making movies" for Newgrounds after I quit. This statement isn't really true- all these animations I made alone are basically dead forever. I'll still be creating online things in general, but I have no idea how many of them can even go on Newgrounds. I first have to take some time off and do nothing for a little while, slowly ending the daily stress I had on myself thinking about the next YouTube animation. This should help me figure out what I actually like to do. You'll always be able to see what I'm up to at https://wavetro.net though. If I ever DO return to movies or animation, I refuse to let myself do it again without a team. I know there are people who really don't want me to throw away all the creative abilities I built up from making these videos, and I promise I won't! I'll find ways to keep them alive, albeit more sustainably. I'll also still keep uploading any videos I may want to make for myself on YouTube/Odysee/Instagram too, but those videos obviously won't be polished animations anymore. I also want to make sure whatever I do doesn't come off as "YouTuber behavior," in which I accidentally create expectations for me to post on a regular basis. I don't owe anyone anything anymore, and if I ever teeter close to a "solo online career" again, please make sure I stay the fuck away from that path LMAO. There's a big problem right now where giant tech companies are dominating child & teen upbringings with infinite piles of free content and never-ending social feeds, and it's raising a generation of people to think that everything is either a performance for online fame or a hustle to get online money. Please listen to me when I say this: it's okay to be a nobody. You will do a whole lot better in life without all that stress compared to a person that bases their own self-worth on their work, fanbase, or bank account. Take it from me, a guy that let his life be defined only by his videos for 12 whole years...




As stated in this interview, I first learned about wavetro from pigeon. His series reminds me somewhat of the asdfmovie series. The biggest difference is where asdfmovie goes for the random factor, Stickmen has more concise comedic writing with incredible timing. I love everything he has made here on Newgrounds. I don't know what he has planned next. I can say though, without a shadow of a doubt, that it will be amazing.




The Tank Tribune is a part of Dohn's Desk Productions

SUPPORT ON PATREON | SUPPORT NEWGROUNDS ]


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Posted by TheInterviewer - April 6th, 2022


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Interview No. 182

Interview By: @The-Great-One

Patreon Post Date: Mar 30, 2022


Today's guest has graced the Audio Portal with inspirations from a comic artist in the Art Portal with the entries, Polymer Sunrise and Lurkers. To participating in the Newgrounds Tankmas ADVENTure 2020 with Fizzy Snow. They are also the winner of Best Audio for Pico Day 2021 with Nechromatic - World Wide Web [FULL EP]. I am most pleased to welcome @ARAMort.




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


A: So, I didn't have a computer at home, right? I was a new kid in a new country with nothing to his name, but I did have one friend that showed me around a local library and imagine my shock when I found out that they had computers! And I could use them for like, a whole HOUR every day??? At the time I didn't really know much about the internet, I just loved fiddling with computers. So imagine how flabbergasted I was when my friend told me that there were HUNDREDS of games online that I could play for FREE????? Seriously, huge revelation to me.


Problem is, it was one of these stinkin' sites that reuploaded stuff from Kongregate, Armor Games, Miniclip and of course Newgrounds. I kept seeing all these logos pop-up in games that seemingly had nothing to do with each other, and I think it was either Madness Regent or Accelerant that made me want to click on one of these things.


I instantly realised that I hit the source, and not only did the website look cooler but it also had CARTOONS???? Somebody hold me!!!


This was a really subconscious thing, but seeing that all these games weren't made by some mysterious 'Newgrounds Corporation' but rather just other people like you and me, it completely turned my life around and gave me purpose. I joined Newgrounds around 2009 swearing an oath that when I grow up, I would make something as cool as the most awesomest coolest people on the site!


In short: thank god for pre-loaders!




Q: At what age did you become interested in music?


A: Basically ever since I joined Newgrounds haha, so I guess when I was around like 9 years old. I wasn't really interested in music that much until I heard Cheshyre's work on the Madness series (pls interview him next thx). I swear to god I thought it was the coolest shit ever, he's definitely one of the reasons I've been infatuated with texture in music from a young age. When I found out that I could listen to all of these tunes on their own, without any of the gunshots or gore sound effects, as much as I wanted, and then put that stuff on my own CDs????? blew my mind. YouTube was blocked on these library computers so I relied exclusively on Newgrounds for music for quite a while. Good times.


Now, music making? Until like 5 or so years ago that was just a pipe-dream for me. I really wanted to do it, but it always seemed so inaccessible. It's a fact that music has a high barrier of entry. All the tools and instruments are expensive, and if you don't have anyone to show you the ropes you'll just keep bashing your head in frustration without making any progress.


I'm glad that this has been changing this past decade though, with tutorials and digital synths and instruments being so easily available and accessible to anyone with a computer. I probably wouldn't have gone anywhere with music if I wasn't able to acquire this stuff digitally.


Don't pirate software tho! Piracy is very bad and very illegal and you'll definitely go to jail! Just felt like saying that for no reason in particular hehe.




Q: What can you tell us about Animal Collective and their inspirations on your work?


A: You see, before discovering them, I only really listened to EDM, Dubstep and whatever I found on Newgrounds, which were great don't get me wrong, but I was kind of closed-off of anything that wasn't rhythmic and electronic. For whatever reason I was very against singing in music as well. Didn't like it at all. I think M83 and some instrumental post-rock bands were as far as it went for me.Damn do I really talk about them that much? There's too many things to say... so if anyone ain't interested in me gushing about my favorite artists y'all can skip this one lol. Seriously, this is gonna be corny as fuck.Now, I think every person that creates stuff has that ONE artist that completely changed some intrinsic aspect of themselves, and for me that's the band Animal Collective.


Then, out of nowhere, 'In The Flowers' comes in on a YouTube video and hooooly shit, I couldn't believe what I was listening to, it was like somebody flipped a switch. After that I devoured their discography, and what these guys ended up doing to my brain is that they completely warped and expanded my perspective on what music and art in general can be. I also discovered them when I was at a crossroads with art, I didn't really know if this was something I really wanted to pursue, I was seriously on the brink of quitting, but their music really reignited my desire to keep on going.


There's so many reasons as to why they are so influential to me. The way they use texture and melody is unlike anything out there, I don't think I've ever heard electronic music sound so alive before, with their soundscapes being so vivid and dense. And with all the details they cram into their songs, I keep discovering new sounds everytime I come back to them. They also keep re-inventing their sound with every single release, and I truly mean re-invent. Seriously, if you have the time take a listen to these 5 tracks in succession and tell me how the hell are these the same people making these songs?


1 2 3 4 5


And all of this without any pretensions of being deep or aggrandized egos, just normal dudes completely in tune with themselves, playing the music they like.


Again, this will sound super corny, but their way of doing things has made me realise that I can do anything and be anyone, without having to box myself into one thing. I work in so many different mediums now, and have so many diverse interests, and it's in great part thanks to their music.


Another fact when it comes to my sound work, I didn't actually start out making music, but rather mixing it. These dudes are super gracious when it comes to archiving live shows, they encourage people to record whatever they can and as such there's a whole community out there doing it. So a hobby of mine was to take these live recordings, mix them in with the album versions and then create my own personal versions of their music, all of this in Sony Vegas too! It was all very sloppy but it taught me a lot about properly EQ-ing and leveling stuff, and through this I also kinda managed to uncover some of the ways that they themselves make their music work.


So here's a tip, if you wanna make music but have absolutely no idea where to start, I recommend starting small by doing something like this, maybe loop that part of a song you like, maybe just slow it down and slap some reverb on it, and if you're feeling really adventurous maybe try making a mashup. Making the music you like your own in that way is super gratifying and you end up learning and connecting things together that'll help you later down the line.

It's kind of a roundabout way of getting into music-making, but hey it worked for me.


Of course Animal Collective aren't my only musical point of reference, far from it. I would love to make a write-up on all the artists that I love, but if I did this interview would be like 20 pages long AT LEAST lol. Join me next time for my dissertation on Za! and Oneohtrix Point Never.


In short: STREAM TIME SKIFFS NOW.




Q: You first song on Newgrounds is entitled Powered Chaindrill where you played around in Fruity Loops. What did you learn when playing with Fruity Loops?


A: That track is complete ASS!!! I don't really remember what I've learned per se, because it was the very first track I made in FL Studio... I guess I've learned that I've yet to learn a lot of things... yeeeah...


Shit, now I remembered, I was so clueless about how to use the damn thing, that I didn't even know how to make multiple patterns, nor how to export a track. If I remember correctly, I think I made that little synth loop and then I recorded the playback in Audacity in real time and put in all the percussion at random, on the fly, while the whole thing was looping every bar. All I remember is feeling completely demoralized after, I honestly don't know how I didn't quit making music haha.


What I did take away from that though is that I really liked playing around with synths. Twisting knobs and faders on a synth and making cool new sounds has to be one of the most fun and relaxing things on the planet.




Q: Primordial Soup, Polymer Sunrise, and Lurkers would be inspired by Amunito by @Hambonous. How did you come across this comic? What about it inspired these tracks?


A: @Hambonous and I have been bffs for a long time now! @Wandaboy and I, we kinda forced him into making a NG account. AT GUNPOINT. He was just ruminating on the idea of making this cool-ass comic inspired by the works of Moebius and the primordial soup. I was in a bit of a creative rut at the time, but this shit was so inspired and compelling to me that I made a batch of tracks in like, I think an hour or two? There wasn't even a comic page to draw inspiration from yet, I just went by his own descriptions. Those 3 tracks I uploaded were the best of the bunch. Hopefuly they are not the last tho! I would love to make something more 'official' later down the line, if Ham ever wants to do that... idk, time will tell I guess.




Q: Why was there a three-year gap between Powered Chaindrill and your Amunito inspired tracks? What were you working on during this time?


A: I was in my training arc, getting stronger and taking my vitamins 😎😎😎


After putting that first track on NG I knew that I had a huge road ahead to improve and learn. Most of this time I mostly spent on learning the tools and principles behind everything and toying around with plugins rather than actually making any music. There were some tracks here and there that I abandoned, and that's something I've learned to make peace with. Abandoning your work for whatever reason doesn't have to be painfull as long as you learn something from it, and luckily for me, that was the case most of the time. The few tracks that I did finish were kinda shitposty and inside-jokey, and I only really shared them with friends. Not really sure who else would even wanna listen to that stuff lol.


I also have a bunch of tunes I recorded on a shitty accoustic guitar. I would've liked to re-record some of them later down the line with a better mic, but the guitar broke and the mic never came. Such is life.




Q: You would be a part of Tankmas ADVENTure 2020. Your track Fizzy Snow would be featured. I really like this song, it gives me a sense of nostalgia of being at my parent's Christmas Party. You said it didn't start off as a festive holiday song, but pushed it in that direction. What was the song's original intent going to be? Why did you make the shift?


A: It's super good to hear that it evokes those feelings! I oftentimes wonder if the intent comes across in my music so it's awesome to hear that it does.


Originally this track was just a little FEZ inspired ditty I made around 2018, and it sounded something like this. Years pass, this thing rots on my hard-drive, and then one fateful night, my good friend @NoMoreChie approaches me and tells me that they needed some last-minute tunes for the Advent collab.


I wasn't sure if I could make something new in time, one of the organizers in that collab told me that I could send 'em whatever tracks I had that sounded wintery-ey.


So naturally, what I did was take this old-ass track that sounded vaguely cold, completely re-worked it and then I said to myself "yup, not good enough" and then just created a completely new part that sounds nothing like the first. All with sounds (mostly) made from scratch of course, couldn't help myself. I think Take Pills by Panda Bear kinda inspired the whole vibe and shift it took in the end with it being a two parter. It's really jovial sounding but you can't quite make out the details. It was a fuzzy year for all of us I think and that kinda reflects on the track




Q: You won the Best Song for Pico Day 2021 with your entry Nechromatic - World Wide Web [FULL EP]. Why did you release a full album for Pico Day? How did this project begin? How did it accumulate into a full album? What were your thoughts on winning Pico Day?


A: Yeah, WWW was kind of an accident lol.


It was really a spur-of-the-moment sorta thing, there was so much momentum on and around NG and that made me super invigorated to try my hand at something. In the beginning I wanted to make a couple short tracks in the style of some Newgrounds musicians that I loved from way back in the day, but I thought that'd I'd kinda be doing those artists and myself a disservice. After that I thought of remixing a couple iconic tracks, but it wasn't really turning out the way I wanted to, so I shot that idea down just as quickly as the last.


I took the risk of doing my own tracks my own way, mainly to take some pressure off. The main idea now was to make tracks that, while not directly referencing Newgrounds itslef, would evoke the sounds and vibes of Newgrounds and the internet from way back then. Leaning into making this a genre pastiche really helped me to get an idea of how the finalized idea would sound like and to not worry too much about it. I only intended for maybe 3 tracks max, but then it went completely out of hand. It went so out of hand in fact that I missed a ton of classes just to finish the thing. Probably the best decision I made that year lmao.


I'm not gonna delve too much into the process since I made a whole write-up that goes over every song, so if that sounds interesting to you then check it out!


As for winning, I'm honestly still suprised.  Not because I think that WWW didn't turn out awesome, I wouldn't change anything about it. It's just the fact that I took the risk to do something more personal and it paying off. I listen to it from time to time and when I do I'm like "Did I really make this? Me? With my own two hands?", almost like an outsider. And my outsider self says that it sounds really fuckin' cool!


I used the prize money to get my first MIDI controller and let me tell ya, that's already changed the way I'm doing things. Seeing tangible change from my work is something I seldom see.


And this interview? Man, that's super awesome too. I mean just taking a glance at your past interviews, a lot of those people are a key reason in why I'm an artist in the first place. I dunno if I'll ever have that effect on people, but man is it cool to have a little corner here next to the greats. 


Also, gotta shout out Elikapika and QueenBoo for making some badass art based on the EP. I seriously do appreciate it.




Q: What is in your opinion, the definition of music?


A: The more I've come to learn about music the more broad that definition's become. In this time and place, I feel like music is just assembled sound and as long as the intent is for it to be music, then it's music. Simple as. Merzbow blasting vaccum cleaners for 2 hours? 100% music in my book. Yoko Ono's dissonant yelping? Absolutely. It's all just as musical to me as The Beatles and The Wiggles. Doesn't mean I like it all, but there's definitely a lot of value to it.




Q: What can we expect from ARAMort in the future?


A: I could honestly ask you the same question haha. School's completely sucked all the creative juices out of me, so it's hard to make any plans rn.


I need to get back to drawing more, so hopefully you'll see more on that side come summer. I also want to finally get into animation, as that's what I set out to do when I joined Newgrounds in the first place. It'd be awesome to finally make some fun shit with my friends. As far as music goes... I mean I'm always fiddling around with stuff. I probably have like 2-3 albums worth of unfinished tracks that'll never go anywhere. Because of that, I'm trying to kind of un-learn and re-learn the way I've been doing things for the past 5 years. I want my stuff to sound more fleshed out and let myself loose, but doing so within the rigid framework of a DAW is kinda hard when you're doing all of this in a vaccum. Hopefully I'll also collab more in that front. I wanna LEARN from other cool musical people!!! I just haven't really had the chance to do so. So if you're a cool musician with cool tricks up your sleeve and u wanna make some cool noise hit me up lol :DDD


Also, here's a lil track for making it all this way (INTERVIEWER EXCLUSIVE!!!). It's not really a sign of anything I might do in the future, I just wanted to revisit and remake one of my very first tracks. Future stuff will be tastier and far different from what you might've heard from me until now, I can assure you that much.




ARAMort is a musician here who is always building upon their craft. The hiatus spent, coming back better than ever. To taking a small project and making a full album. ARAMort is indeed an underrated talent here on Newgrounds. Recognized? Sure, absolutely. They should be taken notice of more though. Here's to seeing what else ARAMort has in store. Perhaps something grand for this year's Pico Day.




The Tank Tribune is a part of Dohn's Desk Productions

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Posted by TheInterviewer - March 30th, 2022


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Interview No. 181

Interview By: @The-Great-One

Patreon Post Date: Mar 23, 2022


Today's guest is one of Newgrounds biggest collaborators on the site. With his contributions to Everybody Loves Raymond!, Pico Day Cartoon, and recently the Evangelion Collab. I am pleased to welcome, @Wandaboy.




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


A: Honestly I forget, I think it was because of OneyNG, Spazkid, Psychicpebbles,and sleepycabin mostly back in 2015. I joined cause i wanted friends to animate with or just talk to while i animated.




Q: When and how did you become interested in animation?


A: Probably around the same time, 2015. Just growing up on youtube and seeing alot of newgrounds animators and videos reuploaded there made me want to animate! It helped to be around talented and amazing people on newgrounds also. without the push from my friends to keep animating i don't think i would have continued or came this far.




Q: You started off on Newgrounds in a number of collaborations. Do you decide to join a collab or are you sought after? What draws you to a collab?


A: When I first joined the site in hopes of making friends, My good pal @HenryEYES introduced me to many of my friends! Everyone was having fun and I got invited to join their little collabs!




Q: When did you become interested in voice acting? What can you tell us about your work on ShoeNan?


A: I don't consider myself to be a voice actor lol but my friend @carmet just asked me and @henryEYES to voice for his cartoon. and of course we had to! his cartoons are amazingly animated and super funny!




Q: How did you become a part of Duncan & Jones? What can you tell us about working on this series?


A: Well when Henry introduced me to everyone when I first got involved on the site, I met snackers. He is an amazing and talented animator and artist. I just offered to clean up or animate any shots he needed! then one day he asked me to voice the bad guy in one of the episodes! I was really happy, getting to work on the cartoon is one thing, but being a character in that show really made me happy.




Q: One of my favorite collaborations that you have participated in is Everybody Loves Raymond!. @heyopc and @Droid were the collab organizers. How did you become part of the collab? What was it like to work on it?


A: Oh man that collab was really cool, I dont remember how I got invited but there were a shit ton of people apart of it! The voice chat was super full of people screaming and animating. It was a chaotic server haha but man the vibe of everyone working on it together was fucking awesome!! Everybody went crazy when this youtuber/twitter meme guy Ricky Berwick joined the server for a part lmao. It was a super cool collab.




Q: You and multiple other Newgrounds members would work on a movie for Pico Day 2021 entitled Pico Day Cartoon. Who organized this collaboration? How did it come together?


A: I got everyone together with the help from @Ninjamuffin99, We just make pico day cartoons every year with our friends! so it doesn't take alot to get everyone together to work on it haha. Picoday is a great time for everyone but especially for all my friends cause it means we get to make a cartoon together and make something funny or badass! i can't wait to see what we make this year!




Q: What happened with the Evangelion Collab? How did the collab start and what were the delays that lead to its now recent release?


A: heheheheh...Well I SWEAR to god it's almost finished. we are just waiting on one more piece of art then we are gonna upload the cartoon!!! The delays were mostly just people needing more time, everybody was going at their own pace and it was very chill I think. Also i had pc issues that couldn't be resolved for half a year so it took me awhile to finish my part, i almost didn't make a cartoon for it cause i was just super depressed and felt like i had every problem hitting me. but luckily my friends snackers and phantomarcade helped me finish the cartoon. i appreciate them a lot for helping me with the animation. This collab has a lot of love put into it, my pal Magibuable made sure it was edited perfectly!! and Ninjamuffin made sure we have nice ass music for the credits. I know im rambling but all the animators,artist,editor, and people who contributated and helped are fucking amazing and i love them all!!

well i made the release window about 2 months lol. and nobody finished that early so we just decided fuck it who gonna wait for this collab. and we all took it at our own pace, alot of people are working jobs or take longer (like me) so we didnt mind. we just released and im so happy. the site looks awesome and everyone did amazing submissions for it. @arkoisangel made a amazing background which pulls it all together, im so thankful for everyone help with the collab!!! thank you magi, ninjamuffin, arko, phantomarcade,snackers and tom you guys helped make this the greatest collab ever!!!!




Q: What lessons can you give to those looking to start a collaboration or join one? What pitfalls should they look out for?


A: if your gonna make one just let anyone in, for your first collabs and if they are shitposts like alot of mine are lol just let anyone in! its fun to meet the community and mingle! And joining collabs... just join the ones you think you will enjoy! it never hurts to try right? honestly just look out for troublemakers! and try to meet your deadlines lol unless you all are taking it slow and relaxing hehe




Q: What can we expect from Wandaboy in the future?


A: i hope to show some better animations and funnier cartoons! music and 3d stuff also (i've been learning a tiny bit recently) Newgrounds is the best place on the internet, the people i've met here and will continue to meet have all been so amazing. without this site i definitely wouldn't have been an animator or maybe even alive! I can not explain enough how much this website has changed my life for the better! there isn't a day that goes by where i'm not thinking of newgrounds and the amazing friend group i've met here. Also sorry if this sounds preachy or sappy im just very happy that im around a community where everyone is so talented and cool, i hope anyone who is reading this will go around and collab and meet people and post awesome stuff! im not always free but if you hit me up to collab or whatever feel free to! Thanks again for listening to me ramble and for the Interviewer for Asking me these questions!




Wandaboy is one of those collaborators that came together with HenryEYES and ninjamuffin99 to make some of the funniest and creative animations on the site. If Wandaboy's name is attached to a project, you better believe it will be something to jump into. For the notoriety, the chance to work with some of the site's best, and most important, for the fun.




The Tank Tribune is a part of Dohn's Desk Productions

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13

Posted by TheInterviewer - March 23rd, 2022


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Interview No. 180

Interview By: @The-Great-One

Patreon Post Date: Mar 16, 2022




[ PART 1 | PART 2 ]




Q: Let's talk about your winning entry for Pico Day 2021. You would work alongside larreth, ScratchPit, and Vinski for MADNESS: Off-Color. A combination of Madness and Pico, that's a pretty clever idea to start. How did you flesh it out from there. Was there perhaps inspiration taken from Madness Accelerant?


A: I hadn't played Madness Accelerant prior to starting work on Off-Color. The initial idea was just to make Madness Interactive but HD and with a control scheme that felt comfortable in the year of 2021. I wanted it to be much more juicy and have more variety in its gameplay than the original, so I started out just by remaking some of the mechanics and systems from Interactive. I was keen to collaborate with people from Newgrounds, so I asked Tom Fulp where would be the best place to find people to talk to/share progress on it. He suggested I use the Collaborate feature on Newgrounds itself and also suggested the Newgrounds Podcast discord. Through the Collaborate feature, I received a DM from Larry. I got him to draw some mockup character sprites and then at the end of the second day of development, the game looked something like this:



The game got people's attention and it was a lot of fun to work on. All of the programming was systematic, so all of the guns and weapons worked the same but just needed variables to be tweaked. After all that had been set up, it was just me making content. Levels, guns, melee weapons. The parts that took up most development time were the boss fights, but I'm glad I spent so much time on them because they're the highlight of the game now. It was about half way into development that Larry started getting a bit unsure of himself and the workload, so he asked if he could bring on a friend Scratchpit. I was keen to get more people onboard and I'm glad I did because he drew some of the coolest looking weapons in the game. When I was showing some videos of the gameplay in the Madness Project Nexus discord, Vinski DM'd me and asked if I needed sound effects for the game - so he'd shoot through sounds for anything new added in. For the OST, I tried reaching out to some metal/dubstep artist on Newgrounds but the deadline was approaching fast so by the time anyone responded, there simply wouldn't be enough time. I was listening to the Somewhere In Nevada album throughout development and it just seemed like a perfect fit, but I didn't feel comfortable taking music made by strangers. I checked the songs pages on Newgrounds and all of them were marked under the terms of being able to use so long as credit was given, and when I started posting videos of the game with the music in it - the clips made its way to the actual artists of the songs and they reached out, super excited for the game and THANKING me??? Like, I was the one who stole YOUR music for MY game and you're thanking me? It was a very eye-opening experience, because we're all just hustlers trying to work on cool shit, and we can respect homies also trying to make cool shit (so long as we're properly compensated for our work) After the game came out, the songs got more listens + reviews on their NG pages, which felt awesome.




Q: A collaboration between Andyl4nd, milkypossum, and yourself that would win Best Game in the 7th Annual Pixel Day and Best Game of January is called Olive's Art-Venture. This collaboration reminds me of the Power of Three game collabs, that involve a programmer, an artist, and a musician making one game. The most well-known being Toss the Turtle. How did you three come together to make this game? What was the process behind working on it? From the first pixel to the final frame.


A: I specifically remember a morning when I was living out in the bush. A bright light was coming through a piece of plastic in the roof that made for an impromptu sunroof. My mattress on the floor, I lent up and scrolled down Youtube. I didn't want to go into Melbourne that day to look for work/an education that would take in a loser like me, but I was feeling more and more guilty for being such a burden to my friend's parents. Scrolling down Youtube while tying up my shoe laces, I saw a video called "All you can eat!" by Andyland. It was such a cute video! I loved the fact that it looped and it used mixed media. I subscribed to him, turned on notifications and then that was that. I would watch every Andyland animation that would come out from that day forward. I was a huge fan of his content for such a long time, but it wasn't until I'd follow him on Newgrounds that I'd get an interaction from him. He followed me back there AND on Twitter. I went ballistic! This person who I had been watching for over a year now was now watching ME? It felt unreal.


I didn't want to bother him at first but since we were mutuals on Twitter, I saw him tweet out that he was streaming on Twitch and decided to jump into the chat. He was working on a music video collaboration, but we started talking about horror films and games and all kinds of things. I felt bad for basically spamming his chat with this back and forth conversation, but he said he liked my games and that made me really happy. I said if he ever wanted to work on a game sometime, he could always DM me and he seemed cool with the idea. The stream ended and I figured nothing much would come of it - a good interaction with one of my idols and I was happy! Then not even an hour later, he shot me a DM on Twitter and asked if I'd be interested in collaborating on a game for Pixel Day. I specifically remember him saying something along the lines of him having a friend who was competing and him being jealous that he wouldn't be able to without a programmer. And like, I didn't care what I had going on. I needed to do this! It was a once in a lifetime opportunity!

We started chatting on Discord the next day, where he would send me this string of ideas:


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I wasn't initially keen on the idea because I already knew there would be difficulty with getting a game to recognize drawn shapes, but after doing some mockup programming we decided to give it a shot. Andy also sent me this screenshot the next day:


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If there's one thing I can say about Andy, it's that he's amazing at coming up with mockups and initial concepts. He goes with his gut and just makes the best selling argument for them. After seeing this image, it was basically impossible to imagine making any other game than the one we ended up making. This was the very first mockup image and you can just see how much made it into the final game. The main character, the two enemies, the overlay hud, they all made it into the released game. Some of those sprites being the EXACT ones he drew for this mockup. Isn't that just insane?

We got the movement working, we got the character casting a basic waterbolt spell and I used sound effects from Mario Paint/Wario Ware. This is what it was looking like:



The game was coming along really well at an incredible pace. The talk of music came up and knew exactly who to reach out to. I had never collaborated with Milkypossum prior to this game, but I had listened to her music a lot and I just knew she would be the perfect fit for the project. It was like the stars aligned to inject cybersonic rays into my skull, informing me of a godly prospect - MESSAGE MILKYPOSSUM, it said. I willingly obeyed the call. Now that the game is done, I don't think there was another person on the planet who could have done the game justice. The OST milkypossum made for the game is phenomenal and I'm thankful she was available to work on the project otherwise it would have simply been a worse product. I'm not saying I don't know any other talented musicians, but this project specifically and the genres of music it required were MADE for Milkypossum's touch.


The team worked asynchronously. We would wake up, and someone would have posted their work. Whether it be a new song Milky was working on, a new animation Andy had finished or a brand new build of the game I had posted. It was rotationary, never stopping. None of us had to kick the other up the ass. We just kept working and pulling our own weight. It was so incredibly seamless I am convinced one of us signed a deal with the Devil and will lose their firstborn five years from now.


The first draft of the boss was added in half way through development, but it was super buggy and unpolished. Just me playing with the sprites Andy had made, and I promised I would finish it later that week... It took me a lot longer to get around to the final boss fight again. I think it was only in the final week that I buckled down and resumed working on the boss once more. I got feedback from playtesters during this time and made the game easier in a lot of ways, because most people simply couldn't get past Floor 2.


I don't think I could have imagined working with anyone of either Andy or Milky's caliber a year ago. The world truly is a small place and things can change so quickly. You just have to keep going until your turn arrives - otherwise you'll miss the opportunity and hate yourself.




Q: You and quite the handful of Newgrounds members are working on a game entitled SHOOT TRIP DIE. Hopefully getting it on Steam. How was this project formed? What advice can you give to those looking to form a collaboration for Steam? What is the game about?


A: I wouldn't be the one to ask about this. LeviRamirez is the one who is spearheading the operation, being both the primary artist and programmer for the game. He spent a lot of time working on it by himself, but it's only after a while he decided to show all of his friends (including mwa). We gave feedback on the game and got to draw boss portraits. Maybe you can ask these questions to him directly, if you get around to interviewing him! It should be noted that the game is 90% Levi doing everything, with us just playtesting and making music/additional art.




Q: Your latest game is quite the concept. Wordly Defence involves a way to submit data to Twitter in an automated post. Quite ambitious. How did the concept turn into a game? Have you worked on this any further? Is there potential to make an automated tool for Newgrounds?


A: Andy and I are looking to work again in the future, collaborating on a game and pitching it to a company (to hopefully get paid for our work on it). Since it's to advertise a specific website, the ability to automatically post scores to Twitter and promote said website could potentially be a really vital selling point. The idea was tossed around, but I didn't know it was possible until digging my hands in and testing with it. Once I had developed the test, it took very little to make the rest of the game and give it some polish. 


It's done by taking a Twitter URL and appending specific information onto the end of it. A very long string where the spaces and emojis are replaced by unicode. It was a case of trial and error. I don't think it'd be possible to make an 'automated tool' that could be used universally, but I have thought about making a writeup on it to share what I learned and how others can apply it to their game. Food for thought!




Q: What is in your opinion, the definition of video games?


A: A game is an interactive problem that must be solved. We love solving fun problems - and it being a video game allows us to add fun things like sound effects, music, animation and special effects. Imagine a Rubik's Cube but each time you turned it, it emitted a firework and made a fart sound effect. It would be the best Rubik's Cube ever made. Not all games have inherent 'problems' to solve, but rather, we create them by wanting to learn more or uncover mystery or experiment. Games like Garry's Mod might not seem very challenging, but it's up to us to tie a balloon to a chair and discover what happens if someone is sitting in it.




Q: What advice can you give to those looking to start making games? What programs would you recommend? What pitfalls should they avoid?


A: If you want to start making games, you just need to pull up your pants and open a game engine. People will lead you to believe that you need to learn other programming languages before learning a game engine, but that's not true. I tried learning C# through online tutorials prior to using Gamemaker fulltime and it didn't let me apply my learning to anything specific. Yeah, I was making dinky little math equations and word scramblers, but it wasn't what I wanted to be doing. If you start with a game engine, you are able to see the fruits of your labor the moment you press that play button. You're able to interact with your creation in realtime. It's extremely motivating and you will find out what problems you have to learn to solve, rather than a website providing them to you about things you don't care about. You will CARE about the game you're making and have fun doing it. Screw the books, come back to them later, open up Unity or Gamemaker and get cracking with the fun stuff. Unless you're getting paid to do it, there's no reason to act like you need to do things the boring/difficult way.


Start with 2D development, and try 3D development once you've figured out whether you like the program or not. Gamemaker is the easiest program I've used, so I will always recommend that. But Unity is also great, so is Godot, so is Construct, so is Scratch. I wouldn't recommend Unreal because of how bulky it is. It's really hard to get feedback from your friends if they need to download a 100mb file just to test a walking simulator. It's overkill for indie development, in my opinion. If you use Gamemaker, you can always DM me if you need programming help!


Use Aseprite for drawing basic Pixelart, you can compile it yourself for free. If you don't know how to do that, just use Paint.net. Use BFXR for generating sound effects and use the Newgrounds Audio Portal for finding background music. With all of those, you can produce a game that thousands of people can play online. You just need the time and patience.


Watch a lot of tutorials. Having them running in the background like a Netflix series. Passively absorb information simply because you want to. If game development isn't fun for you, then you aren't going to get very far. You get good at the things you enjoy doing even when you're bad at it. Those are the people who rise above everyone else because they spend their free time addicted to their hobby.




Q: What can we expect from Stepford in the future?


A: I'm going to be looking into ways for me to earn some passive income so hopefully a Steam release or two. Aside from that, I just want to make fun and crazy shit. I've made the games I wanted to make when I was younger and I've got the connections I wish I had when I was a small Stepford, so now I'm just gonna do silly stuff. Beyond financial concerns (like paying rent a year from now), I've accomplished what I wanted to do in life and now I'm just enjoying myself. There are a few projects in the works (like an NSFW game with Arzonaut, the Tarot Card collab, a game for CoolMathGames, the pitch Andy and I are collaborating on, etc.) but you'll just have to wait and see! I'm very excited to show you in due time.




Stepford I've crossed paths with firstly on the forums. Their works on multiple game projects has made them one of the best programmers to collaborate with. Stepford and the team behind Olive's Art-Venture reminds me of the days of the Power of Three. They're collaboration on a multitude of projects have brought many a Newgrounds member together. Who knows? This may lead to bigger games on the site and beyond Newgrounds going forward. I can only see a bright future ahead for Stepford.




[ PART 1 | PART 2 ]




The Tank Tribune is a part of Dohn's Desk Productions

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7

Posted by TheInterviewer - March 23rd, 2022


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Interview No. 180

Interview By: @The-Great-One

Patreon Post Date: Mar 16, 2022


Every tenth interview we touch on an underrated, deserving, or up-and-coming talent on the site. This interview will be no different. Today's guest has been a huge hit on the site with their works on Olive's Art-Venture, Wordly Defence, and recenlty 360 Degrees. Their first entry on Newgrounds was also their first Daily Feature win, Gun Knight (by Stepford). I am most pleased and privileged to welcome @Stepford.




[ PART 1 | PART 2 ]




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


A: When I was around 10 to 12, I was a huge fan of the animated content that would make its way to Youtube. Madness Combat, Eddsworld, Happy Tree Friends, etc. I remember sitting in after school care in the computer lab in primary school where a lot of websites were blocked including Youtube. My friend had found a way around it though, by going to Bing and searching for the titles of videos and then using the embedded Bing player they had for the video links. That's where we would show each other these cartoons and I specifically remember watching SKYRIM IS EPIC by psychicpebbles. We were too poor to have internet at home, so I would try and get in after school care as often as I could to use the internet they had. On the laptops they let us take home, it had a copy of Flash so I tried making my own clone of Eddsworld that had all of my own friends instead of the main cast. I remember exporting it but having trouble uploading it to Youtube ( probably because it was a flash file instead of an MP4 but I was too much of a stupid child to figure that out. ) With my love for all the previously mentioned media that also had its roots embedded in Newgrounds culture AND conveniently needing a website that I could upload FLA files to, I'm sure it's no surprise that I'd eventually register an account here.


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In the Newgrounds dump, there are still some files that I uploaded back when I was a stupid little goblin child. This was one of the characters for the Eddsworld clone. This was when I would have been 13 when this was uploaded.




Q: What was the first video game you ever played?


A: I remember being at my dad's place when I was around 7 or 8. Nobody was in the house except my stepmother who I disliked at the time. My dad had gone to work and I can't remember if I was crying because I missed him or because I wanted to go home to my actual mum's place. Either way, my stepmum asked me if I wanted to play on the Playstation 2 to make me feel better. She put in "Men In Black II: Alien Escape", and I remember it being that because the loading logo practically drilled into my brain. I was holding onto the controller, heart racing. I had watched my older brother and dad play the Playstation, but never had it all to myself. Watching the logo spin over and over... and nothing happened. The game just didn't load. I watched it spin for about 10 minutes before knocking on my Stepmum's door and telling her that nothing was happening. She then put in "Futurama" for the PS2 and I specifically remember trying to hit literally everything with the hammer. I also remember how difficult it was to move around in a 3D space with an analog. I was sliding against the walls to move where I wanted to go and I don't think I even got anywhere in the game, but I remember it being so fun I could feel my chest expanding and lowering.




Q: What inspired you towards being a game developer?


A: I really wanted to be a porn artist initially. Having free access to the internet at such a young age infected my brain with all kinds of maggots. At the time, I looked up to people like Spazkid, Shadman and ZONE. The fact they were so artistically talented that they could SURVIVE off drawing hot ladies sounded like the perfect career choice. (The brain of a 15 year old is a very rudimentary one. (I'm going to be 22 this year.)) I remember buying a WACOM tablet and trying my best to become an artist. I would have tutorials playing on one side of my screen with a pirated copy of Paint Tool SAI on the other. I tried to draw just about everything but it honestly felt like trying to light a match on a windy day. There would be times when a drawing would start out amazing, or there would be glimmers of something I really liked - and then POOF. Gone. Unsalvageable. I would trace over other artist's works with my own changes, remove their layer and feel tears form in my eyes as I looked upon the monstrosity I had created. Even while cheating, it was impossible for me.


This trend continued in my other mediums as well. I tried to learn piano but could just barely follow along with the simplest of Youtube tutorials. Learning very little about playing the piano, rather just learning how to play specific notes in a specific way to make it KINDA sound like this one song. I might as well have been playing Guitar Hero instead. I tried all kinds of creative mediums but anything I would make would disappoint me so much that I no longer wanted to attempt it. 


I was in Year 9 at High School when I attended an IT class, where I would be learning how to make games in Gamemaker 8. I was familiar with Gamemaker 8 because years and years ago my older brother had also gone through this class, taking the program from the school computers and putting it on our home computer. I watched him make a platformer once and I drew the sprites for it. It was called 'SuperFly' and it had Superfly by Curtis Mayfield playing in the background. From that experience, I was familiar with the interface and I was able to make games faster than other people in the class. I enjoyed using the program so much that I would do class work at home and show my teacher/friends the next day. 


Even though I was bad at it (just like drawing/music/etc), this time it was different. I didn't hate my creations despite them being bad. Even though they were buggy, awful and downright UGLY, they were still games to me. When I drew poorly, it wasn't art to me. When I played poorly, it wasn't music to me. But coding poorly didn't make it any less of a game. My friends would laugh and were excited to try my games. That's what made this medium click for me. I had been on this super long and depressing journey of hatred and self doubt, but I finally made it to the ending. And I haven't looked back! That feeling of watching someone else play my games has never left me, hearing their reaction to the little details. There is nothing like it. Why am I on this Earth if it's not to leave a positive feeling in the minds of my friends? The fact that I can make them experience something with nothing but my bare hands, a computer and enough time, it's fucking magic!!! I don't care if nobody remembers my name when I die. I don't care if my obliterated corpse is never recovered and nobody learns what happened to me. As long as there is a singular person out there who plays something I made, and it provokes them. It makes them think that they can make something. That they WANT to make something. Just like how other games inspire me every day, that butterfly effect is nitrous in my fucking veins.




Q: You have a Bachelor's Degree in Game Design. What school did you attend?


A: I don't have a bachelors YET. I'm currently studying at SAE in Melbourne. I hope to have my bachelors by the end of this year. I put that on my profile just to show what I am currently occupying myself with study-wise and don't doubt that I will get that bachelors... with enough time. It's difficult to stay focused on studying while things have been prolific online. Why do I need to learn how to make games when I am already doing it, y'know? But I need that piece of paper. I need to show my family that this isn't just me sitting in front of a computer for nothing. 10 follows, 100 follows, 1000 follows, hundreds of thousands of views. It means nothing to people outside of the space. But that piece of paper will mean a lot.




Q: When Butzbo was here, we talked about the education Newgrounds members attain from school versus Newgrounds. What would you say the differences are?


A: As someone who dropped out of highschool, uni has been incredibly useful for me in terms of my skills as a person rather than a creative. Setting deadlines, waking up at the right time every day, eating well, good hygiene. If it wasn't for uni, I'd waste away. I'd sit in the corner of my dark room in front of a screen, living off of delivered food - sleeping at 11 AM and waking up at 9PM. I still struggle with that stuff but uni forces me to try and be better. I've heard stories about drunks who still manage to make their way home every night because they have a dog/cat that needs feeding. Even if we'd rather just live our lives as hedonistic sloths who do whatever the hell we want, it's useful to have promises we must abide by. Rules we set for ourselves don't mean squat without consequences and I don't want to fail my classes (any more than I already have) so I gotta kick myself up the ass and continue to try to be a contributing member of society.

Newgrounds is where you find people who are interested in the same things you are and have the same creative drive. If I need someone to make music for my game, I can rely on a member of Newgrounds more than someone I've met in person simply due to the fact that this Newgrounds member will be making music every day REGARDLESS of whether it's on my project or not. Due to the much smaller pool of possible people you're able to meet in real life, it's unlikely that they will be as skilled and self motivated as someone you can DM online. They're there to learn, but it hasn't consumed their life yet. Newgrounds is full of people who have found their ignition and you can truly make something special when you're both on the same wavelength. And of course, due to the nature of it being an online platform - you need to learn how to market yourself. Use proper capitalization, use aesthetically pleasing formatting, inviting people to follow you and your content. It's the kind of stuff being in a classroom doesn't teach you, you just need to jump into the water and drown in it. Choke on the water, lights becoming stars, vision turning colors. Are you going to die or are you going to start trying all kinds of things until you start lifting back to the surface? Classrooms wont put you in those situations.




Q: Your first submission to the Portal and your first Daily Feature win would be for Gun Knight (by Stepford). What can you tell us about this game? Looking back on it, what would you have done differently if you made it today?


A: I had played Friday Night Funkin on Newgrounds a few days prior to posting it onto the website. In my mind, Itch.io was the only viable online gaming platform - but here I was, getting addicted to a game on Newgrounds, a website I hadn't used in ages! I had never successfully built a game for HTML5 because Gamemaker 1.4 was so rife with bugs for the online platform. It took a lot of guesswork and finagling. But I was determined!!! I wanted to try and get my games online rather than being downloadable. I took my most popular game on Itch.io, that being Gun Knight and spent 4 hours trying to make an online build for it.


Gun Knight was a game I had made when I lived out in the Bendigo bush. I had ran away from my mother's home and was living with a friend whose parents bought a plot of land in the outback. I didn't have a job and I wasn't studying. They were just letting me live there because they felt bad for me. There was rarely hot water and I would wake up with bats or massive spiders near my bed. I applied for a few different unis but I would have to go in person on different days, so I spent a LOT of time on the train between Bendigo and the middle of Melbourne while applying for these schools. The only thing I had on me at the time was my phone so I would write down game ideas on these super long train trips. I remember writing something like "vertical resolution, it's kinda like gungeon but the runs are way shorter. just move upwards. roguelike item hoarder but items change gun parts rather than the character." I got home from being in Melbourne that day and told my roommate all about the idea and they were like "Go on then." encouraging me sarcastically. I got a build of the game running the very next day. You could only change between three triggers and it only had slime enemies, but the shooting was already feeling good. 


It was my first game to get any attention, as it received a banner position on Gamejolt after it had officially released. It got lots of views and downloads on Itch as well. It motivated me to keep updating the game. I showed the game to the representatives at SAE, and despite me not passing Highschool, they let me on an "Experience Based Entry". So I have Gun Knight to thank for me getting into school as well! The game only had one boss originally, but I came back a year later to add two extra ones and a lot of new items.


About half a year after that is when I started working on the HTML5 build for the game to upload to Newgrounds, and I would never have guessed how many more eyes would see it once a web version had been uploaded. It still gets about 1.5k views daily on Itch, which is insane because I had never had a game go over 200 views in total prior to posting games for the web platform. Just the fact that Tom Fulp had seen it made me go crazy. Those 4 hours I spent making a web build was the greatest decision of my entire life. In terms of minimum input to returned output, nothing will ever top what I got out of posting that game to Newgrounds and I will be forever thankful. I have been the happiest I have ever been all of my life since that day.


The one thing I would change about the game is the art. It's so disgusting. So many different mismatching styles and sprite sizes and color palettes. It's vile. When you aren't an artist and you're a small fry, nobody will collaborate with you. You either have to suck it up and use your own crappy drawings or use free art packs from across the internet. Gun Knight used some of those and I truly hate looking at the game because of that fact. Nowadays, I do the art all myself or I get a friend to collaborate with - something I'm so thankful to be in the position to do.




Q: When Piconjo made his return, a holiday for him came with it. You would participate with Piconjo: AFK. Why a fishing tycoon game?


A: I really wanted to make an idle game and just apply as much juice as possible. The next holiday didn't really matter too much to me. I'm sure if Clock Day was up next, we would have got Strawberry Clock AFK instead. Piconjo being the main character worked extra well due to his inherent hatred for traditional Newgrounds culture, so him fishing them out/exploding them didn't seem too random. And due to the fact he had been gone for so long, the whole "GONE FISHING" thing just worked. So it could have been any character, but I'm glad it was Piconjo.




[ PART 1 | PART 2 ]


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9

Posted by TheInterviewer - March 16th, 2022


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Interview No. 179

Interview By: @The-Great-One

Patreon Post Date: Mar 9, 2022


Today's guest is a highly praised creator here on Newgrounds. His animation style moves seamlessly between his movies and games. From hit such as 'Save the Sock', 'DUCKS!', and 'Brain-Toasting Dungeon', all of which have won him the Daily Feature. To works as Win & Corn - 'Draw a Card' and 'Dogs of the Planet', which have won him the Triple Crown, the Daily Feature, Review Crew Pick, and Weekly 1st Place awards. With 'Dogs of the Planet' winning multiple accolades outside of Newgrounds. 'Brain-Toasting Dungeon' would win the 1st Annual Flash Forward Jam for Best Movie with Interactive Elements. I am pleased to welcome @Butzbo.




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


A: My first approach to NG that I recall was from a friend from school showing me the classic video game sprite animation Rise of the Mushroom Kingdom, it was so much fun to watch so I continued looking for more sprite animations and over time I kept finding them hosted on Newgrounds.


As a spanish speaking kid, my english was super limited at the moment, but thankfully there was a good amount of animations without dialog, and over time I slowly began finding my way around the site and portals.


I also kept finding more of the other unique animations (highlights like the YuYu and Salad Fingers), and probably after a few months of watching and playing Flash (by 2006) I finally began goofing around with Flash 5 and a tiny Genius tablet, and decided to make a little animated project to see what could happen, so around that time I finally made an account.




Q: When and how did you get interested in art and animation?


A: Not the most surprising answer, but as a fan of cartoons as a kid I spent a lot of time just drawing and trying to make my own characters, inspired by shows I liked (Rocko's Modern Life, Dexter's Lab, Spongebob just to name a few).

I was intrigued to try animating with more classic attempts such as flipbooks and making stop motion with toys. During school I never considered it as a possible 'career' at all, it was much more of a curiosity, but once I discovered the accessibility of Flash I got more seriously intrigued to focus on animation.


Since a big starting influence were sprite animations, I actually made a few attempts with videogame sprites, but quickly grew bored and decided to try my own weird characters to see what could come out. After managing to finish my first flash cartoon (Solar Burn) I was eager to keep using this new found power.




Q: What brought you to Design School?


A: When I was finishing 'Enseñanza Media' (the Chilean equivalent of high school) I wasn't 100% sure of what to study, I actually liked maths and physics and considered something closer to that, some kind of computer engineering or even aiming at something like astronomy.


However, after learning a bit of drawing and digital editing softwares (extremely basic stuff, but good enough for the time) I got more inclined to study something in that line.


By that time I was already interested in animation, but that was a pretty new option to study in Chile so I wasn't as convinced with the alternatives available at that moment. So finally, design school seemed like a decent balance between creativity and technology with (hopefully?) enough occupational fields.




Q: What can you tell us about Loopdeloop?


A: Loopdeloop is a community event in the form of bi-monthly challenges where participants make a loop based on a theme, then those loops go to their site and are screened at a few locations.




Q: What can you tell us about your works on Pencilmation?


A: Around 2015 I was ready with Design School, and had just started doing freelance work, that's when I was contacted by Ross Bollinger, the creator of the series, who had seen my animations on NG, to begin collaborating on a new batch of episodes for his channel.


It was among my first commissioned cartoon animation works, and an entertaining one at that considering the simplicity of characters and the graphic gag-based humor, since these shorts were simple in elements, there was an important design vision to them to make the most out of these simpler assets and keep a clean composition, which also made it a good challenge, they've done quite well on Youtube so it's surprising to see how much reach those cartoons have gotten.


I animated around 6 episodes around that time, and later on I continued working on color palette design for many more of them.




Q: How have sponges inspired your works?


A: While that's more of a goofy profile line, when I try to describe my work I usually think of my characters as squishy and spongy creatures in the way they move and have usually large eyeballs, so I guess that kind of counts, haha




Q: Your first movie here on Newgrounds is entitled Solar Burn. What can you tell us about this first movie? How do you feel looking back on it?


A: Ooof! That was the first time I decided to upload an animation to the internet, I remember just learning how Symbols worked on flash and being excited to make characters walk and run through the screen with the basic 'Motion Tweens'! it took me about a week and I was really proud at the moment, especially as it wasn't blammed! (It may have entered the portal with around a 2.50 score, phew). Now, looking back it is a bit of a mess, I had no idea about how to animate a run cycle at all and I recorded some audio which may be kind of painful to hear, haha.


But anyway, with details like the pictures of food and the explosions in between, it does feel like a 'very mid 00's' flash cartoon to me, so looking back there may be a little bit of charm in that sense.




Q: What can you tell us about the Chilemonos Animation Festival and the Mantequillo animated shorts?


A: The Chilemonos Animation festival is the biggest animation festival in Chile, and also a big one South America, one of my favourite events which I rarely miss. They bring international guests of all kinds, and get a great selection of shorts every year.


It also has a latin american specific category where I've participated with shorts a couple of times and is always a great event to meet creative folks.


In 2016 the festival had their first version of a Cartoon Network Latinoamérica pitching contest. where artists from the continent could pitch a show idea in front of content executives. My pitch was this small series called Mantequillo, a kid made of butter who had to face the daily challenges of being slippery and easily melt down (based on a small round of webcomics I had made with the character), it was the winner of that year contest and we later went into a phase of production for a couple of small shorts (the length of interstitials (15 seconds) shown on commercial breaks), there wasn't much more development after those mini episodes, but even to this day I'm surprised by the fact that a short cartoon of mine aired on Cartoon Network.




Q: You have participated in the Newgrounds Annual Tournament of Animation in both 2013 and 2014. What drew you to these competitions? What was it like competing with the other animators on Newgrounds?


A: Similar to events like Loopdeloop, when I have the time I try to join these creative contests to keep practicing and have an excuse to explore different ideas. During both years I was still in design school, so it was challenging to make a small short film in around 3 weeks for each round, but I was eager enough to participate even during more demanding exam seasons.


The competition was a lot of fun, they had a theme for all animators, and in each round, after uploading my take on it, it was also a great reward to finally watch how the other animators gave their own spin to the theme.


In the 2014 event I made it to the finals against Stejkrobot where we had to make something inspired/in the style of the other animator based on what we had seen on our previous submissions, it was kind of an epic animation showdown. My short was Chicken castle, an action short with robots which was easily the most complex short I had animated at the time (maybe even anime-like in some aspects, but that's stretching a bit). I ended up pretty close with 2nd place. It's quite fun to go back and rewatch those shorts. Those 2 tournament events were pretty unique experiences, and for me it was like taking a bit of a crash course to keep up the animation practice, I highly recommend these types of events, such as the more recent NG Animation Jams.




Q: What can you tell us about animating in Mario Paint?


A: That was a fun curiosity, shout outs to the Gaming Historian for making a documentary on it focusing quite a bit on the creative aspects of the SNES software.


Once in a while I would find some medium that looks fun and weird -but also approachable- and just give it a go. In my case I sadly don't have the original Snes setup so I found a way to make it on my PC by animating on my tablet. I made this tiny animation with 'fish' characters.


It was a fun experience to try animating something with more basic technology, for example there's no 'onion skin' so you would have to animate by copying the previous frame and editing it. It takes a while but the retro interface is fun to interact with so it had its charm.


Also you could use the music from the Mario Paint composer so you could do a bunch more stuff with it.

I don't think I would recommend it for something more complex due to its limitations and setup required, unless the 'retro charm' of animating on a SNES is enough to intrigue you.




Q: You won the first annual Flash Forward Jam in 2021 for Brain-Toasting Dungeon. You have stated in the description...


"So for the Flash Jam I wanted to make something technically simple but taking advantage of features I miss from the 'golden age' of Flash animations, I really liked the simple interactivity of buttons getting you to different segments of animations, so I focused as much as possible on this simple 'mechanic' to make a little adventure. Enjoy!"


The process behind this is a lot of history in working with Flash. How would you describe the golden age of Flash?


A: To me this was the era of early to late 00s, I would describe it as an era of sprouting creativity, when all of the sudden making animated cartoons became more approachable, with absolute freedom on what you wanted to make, from parody content, to completely new and refreshing original animations which wouldn't have a chance in other spaces

at the time. One thing specific to my Flash Jam submission was the interaction with buttons which in flash can be freely customized as you'd like, even including details such as scene selection, easter eggs or mini-games within animations, it's a unique feature which is pretty much gone in the more contemporary and standard landscape to watch video/animation online.




Q: One of your most ambitious projects which would win you the Daily Feature, Weekly 1st Place, and Review Crew Pick on Newgrounds hitting the Triple Crown, as well as multiple awards and recognition outside of Newgrounds would be entitled 'Dogs of the Planet'. A project that you worked on for half a year. When AlmightyHans was here we talked about The Ballad of CrippleKane. A year long project that consumed his life. How did working on 'Dogs of the Planet' affect you? Where did the project begin and when did you know it was done?


A: Dogs of the Planet began as a little innocent Loopdeloop submission for DOGS, I had asked my musician pal Moralo Gonzalez to make an acoustic song for that loop describing each of those dogs. Months later I kept on thinking on how this animation could evolve into something larger, kind of a musical-short or video-clip, and decided to give it a go!

Narrowing it down, it probably took around 3 months pre-production (everything from choosing and designing these dogs, making an structure for it and working with Moralo on the first rough version of the song) and then 3 months of continuous non-stop animation, those last months were much more heavily dedicated to the project, I was animating around 4 hours per day after I was done with my regular job, and even more during the weekends, so I would agree with the life-consuming bit, but on a shorter scale in this case. As much of my free time as possible went straight to continuing with the short.


I think every involved personal project that takes more than 2 or 3 months to complete comes with an extra challenge of endurance, over time you question if you're making progress, if it will be worth the effort and even if you should be doing something else with your limited time! Not the most exciting part, but I've found ways to get through defining some clear reasons and motivations to finish it, which helps a lot to get over those dry moments, also working with Moralo was fun and helpful to always share and discuss the progress and gags.


In terms of calling it done, I gave myself the deadline of hopefully being able to screen it at the Chilemonos Animation Festival, thankfully I managed to make it and send it over just in time - and pretty glad I did! it had a pretty good response at the premiere-. I could have taken more time on details, but the deadline helped me to prioritize finishing it.


Dogs of the Planet was also my first 'serious' shot at going through a bit of a festival circuit, and for a first time, it was quite decent. It got 10+ selections in animation events, and a couple of awards! One of the most notable being "Ojo de Pescado", a Chilean festival focused on shorts for children, where it had an awesome response.




Q: Your art style is not only unique, but it's a style that you transition seamlessly to both movies and games. What differences do you approach in animating movie scenes versus gameplay?


A: One example is what happens with anticipation, one of the defined 12 principles of animation, with the idea that a character should show some build-up to each relevant action they take in order to make it stronger and more believable, for example if I animate a character jumping, it would normally go in a squat position before rising up. But if I'm working on a platformer game, when a protagonist jumps, the player commonly expects it to be jumping as soon as they press the button, so in that case, this anticipation is either reduced to a minimum, or completely skipped.


An opposite example in this case could be an enemy character, for example on an action game, while animating an enemy or boss, the way it moves should give some information to the player on how (and when) to react, so if a boss is about to throw a punch, it should be clear and telegraphed enough so that the player has a chance to move away. Meanwhile in a short film it would be all planned so there's only one defined outcome to that moment and the timing for these movements would instead be in service of a more engaging visual display.




Q: One thing I've noticed when interviewing so long is that those who go to school and come to Newgrounds learn from both. What are the differences in education from schooling and Newgrounds?


A: On my case, while I don't do much 'standard' design work, I did get a lot of takeaways from Design School, being there in person I practiced presenting projects and explaining design decisions, and also technical things like color and composition, and there's also the recurring highlight that you hopefully meet people with similar interests, in my case with my previously mentioned pal Moralo González who has made a lot of music for my animations.

But also in general the concrete learning is that you get what the school's program is focusing on. One unique thing about my school is that there was a good variety of classes you could choose from, for example I could have gotten more into industrial or textile design but that was faaar from my interests so I went more towards graphic design and even motion graphics when it was an option.


In comparison, in Newgrounds you normally participate voluntarily on what you personally want to try out, so the main different would be that the Newgrounds experience teaches you to be more proactive and try to solve problems even if they are out of your area, either by reaching out to collaborate, or just motivating yourself to explore and try out something different. In my case, most of what I've learned about sound editing -which may be quite basic, but decent enough for my animations- has been by making stuff for Newgrounds.


On that note I really like the concept of Newgrounds as an open school of some kind, where you participate in projects and learn stuff while sharing it with the community.




Q: BoMToons has collaborated with multiple members here and has expressed interest in collaborating on a point and click adventure game with you. Perhaps turn your latest work 'Klecc and the Marble of Time' into a game?


A: That's right we've yet to make a collaboration! should be fun for a jam or something of the like, I think one should always have a little extra time reserved for collabs.


The little loop of 'Klecc and the Marble of Time' took quite a while with the experimentation with a recorded moving background, but at the same time it makes me think of how much fun it would be to make a whole Point and click game with that aesthetic, I'll have to think about it!




Q: What can we expect from Butzbo in the future?


A: A few things, hopefully, the semi-recent experience of making an animated short from beginning to end (Dogs of the Planet) and attempting the 'festival circuit' for a while was a pretty satisfying one, even with the required effort and discipline.


So I have the plan of continuously working on shorts when I get the chance, I do have a few possibilities around which I hope to develop over time.


On the other hand, making art for games is also one area I'm pretty interested in. I'm currently working making artwork and animation for the indie game Bounce Castle, a mix of a strategy/skill game I'm working on with Robot Monkey Brain, hopefully we'll get to publish more updates soon, that's one area I'd definitely like to keep working on.




I first found out about Butzbo through his game 'DUCKS!' while doing The Tank Tribune. It was a Daily Feature win. After I looked through his other works, I chose him as a Featured Artist for The Tank Tribune. After that I put him on my list of potential interviewees. I offered an interview with The Interviewer as a prize for the Flash Forward Jam and he won! I got a chance to see all of the incredible works he has done. It is amazing that he was introduced to the site the same as I was. Through Randy Solem and "Rise of the Mushroom Kingdom". I am glad he was. His knowledge and art are greatly appreciated here on Newgrounds.




The Tank Tribune is a part of Dohn's Desk Productions

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12

Posted by TheInterviewer - March 9th, 2022


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Lost Episode: 8/24/2007

Interviewed By: @The-Great-One


POST COMMENTARY

Talk about cringe. Looking back on this one I had quite the big head on my shoulders. I was one of the 06' users who signed up. We all thought we were hot shit. We knew everything there was to know about the site. Bullied anybody and everybody we came into contact with. Hoo boy. Let's just say this user has been scrubbed from the site and you're probably not gonna find that old thread anytime soon. I wanted someone as a highlight, going full tabloid. Here are the results.


Ladies and Gentlemen. I bring to you pure gold! I sent a very intellectual interview to theNGpro through a Myspace Message and his replies are hilarious! For those of you who don't know theNGpro he is the King of n00bs here on Newgrounds. I suggest you read his Photoshop thread first if you don't know him. Now then since he was not a very good contributor to Newgrounds I had to limit my questions to only five. If I get enough comments on here then I will post the Myspace Link here and on my Interviewer Thread in the General Forums. These statements are theNGpro's direct answers, and not made up in any way (these answers are so funny even I couldn't make them up). I hope you enjoy!




Q: Well apparently you have made yourself famous on Newgrounds as the biggest n00b of all time by posting this Photoshop Thread. Were your reactions really true or was this 100% fake?


A: go fuck ur self fag




Q: Do you have any advice for other n00bs about not doing what you have done? Or do you just have any basic advice for them?


A: Yea heres some advice fuck the admins and fuck em hard




Q: According to your Myspace blog entry "Retard Awards" you stated the following...


"Winner #1 this kid is about the biggest fucking douche you've ever met. He litterally started crying when he I insulted him after he called me a fag. The kid is a flaming homo sexual check his main pic, it looks like hes getting anal."


Apparently I see you as a hypocrite for saying something like this since in your thread you stated the following below.


"Guys fuck you all. You fucking made me cry YES CRY! Im not even joking. Im fucking leaving the BBS for ever you ass holes. Im fucking also telling my dad to report this site to the police for threats made against me and verbal abuse you can all go to jail. FUCK THE BBS!"


What do you have to say about these statements?


A: Uh fuck your self?




Q: In your Myspace blog you say that the mods have banned you "forever and ever" is this true?


A: No




Q: Even though you really did humiliated yourself on the Internet (not in a good way either) do you ever plan on returning to Newgrounds to try and redeem yourself?


A: Of corse i fucking am there 24/7 i just never post on the forums cuz everyones gay as fuck




The 3rd to be interviewed by The-Great-One.

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It didn't take me long to realize that these interviews were garbage. This is one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to relaunch The Interviewer and make it into something better. This is one I was personally ashamed of in 2009. The only reason I have dug up these old interviews is because everybody starts from somewhere. If you're afraid of making something that you will hate. Doesn't matter. Make it. Get it out of your system. Get it out into the world. You will learn from your past to make the future better. The past can hurt, learn from it though.




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Posted by TheInterviewer - March 1st, 2022


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Interview No. 178

Interview By: @The-Great-One

Patreon Post Date: Feb 22, 2022


Today's guest is one of Newgrounds most amazing stories. Starting as a small game developer and musician here on the site, being a host of The Newgrounds Podcast, and a Supporter of Newgrounds in more ways than just a badge on his profile. I am most pleased to welcome @ninjamuffin99.




Q: Normally I start these interviews off with How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join? However, we know that you came here to share an animated loop which you posted to your Dumping Grounds. You forgot about the site for a while and came back to find music for a game you were working on. What game was it? What made you want to stick around?


A: The game I was working on at first was called “Terrible Game With Terrible Writing”. It was a Ren’py visual novel about my high school teacher in a high school of dipshit memes at the time. Very much inspired by “John Cena’s Sexy High School Adventure!”. Wanted background music and whatnot, somehow I found my way back to Newgrounds. I feel like I was adjacent to Newgrounds for a while. It wasn’t until I started both MAKING music in dinky FL Studio demo, and asking musicians for music for ANOTHER game I was working on “Bad Kitties: Psycho Kitties gonna be psycho”. One day I will make a follow up to this and post it to NG since I got the new version of RPG Maker with HTML5 export heheh.


I think as I was looking around for music, I initially logged back in so that I could save the music to my favs so I could come back to em later. If you look at most of my early people I followed, it’s a lot of musicians. I think as time goes on I naturally got more and more into the habit of using NG, until we got to the point where we’re at today!




Q: When and how did you become interested in music?


A: Relatively “recently”. Growing up I never really gave a shit about music. There was some stuff I’d like to listen to, but it wasn’t until 2015 or so, when I was 16 years old, when I really started feeling everything out. Listening to stuff on spotify, discovering musicians. Diggin thru the crates of Newgrounds musicians. I’m really open to listening to whatever type of music at all. Mostly I love hip-hop and rap, but just as much I love crazy ass hyperpop and general pop music. I really do lov music, and I feel bad that I don’t dig into it as much as I’d personally like to. I also feel bad that I don’t listen to as much NG music as I used to back when I was teen. All it takes though is a few REALLY good NG musicians that I’m addicted to.


Before FNF, kawaisprite was the musician i was addicted to and listened to every upload. I’ll use dis spot to shoutout NG music people I love right now. Shoutouts @tsuyunoshi lov their crazy ass music especially their collab wit kawaisprite, I love any rap that @maxxjamez is a part of, HOLY SHIT SHOUTOUT @THICCBURGER one of the most under rated musicians on NG. and love to @siximpala lov u katt and crew <3




Q: You started making music through Fruity Loops in 2016. What made you want to pursue music?


A: This one is a funny lil silly one. In late 2015 (when I started gettin into music stuff), Undertale had just come out. I didn’t even play the game, but I liked some of the music. In high school, I’d neglect my work and I’d boot up some web browser piano bullshit you could play with the keyboard, and I would play and practice MEGALOVANIA by looking at those Youtube Synthesia piano vids or whatever. I still know that first little section by heart. Then eventually my foster mom nabbed a piano, and I liked dabbling around on that, slowly teaching myself how music works. Eventually found my way to FL Stu, and dabbled around with that a lot.


Another piece of the puzzle is Stardew Valley. Even back then I wanted to be a indie game dev, and Stardew Valley was made by just one dude, ConcernedApe (Eric Barone). He did all the art, music, code, etc. That still is VERY inspirational to me. Thought piece by piece, over the years I could slowly become this jack of all trades like he is, and I still hope that to be possible. Missing piece right now is I need to get good at art!




Q: When did you become a part of A Couple of Crickets and later on The Newgrounds Podcast? What can you tell us about your experiences with both?


A: ACoCK I pulled up for the first live Discord podcast they did. Imma take credit, cuz NGP STILL does that format to this day. We was the pioneers. I found ACoCK cuz at the time I was listening to a LOT of podcasts, and I saw it on the frontpage or Tom mention it or something. It was relatively early on in it’s life. I listened to a bunch and I really was hooked. GoodL and littlbox were the tastemakers. Kawaisprite is incredibly talented, but I would have never found out about him as early as I did without ACoCK. I think it was GoodL that found him. So many Newgrounds goodies like that. PapaLegba was early on and i love all his stuff, they frequently shouted him out. He is VERY popular online nowadays, but it doesn’t feel too long ago when MeatCanyon was just a humble Newgrounds fella that they’d shoutout. Before he even had 1K on the site! ACoCK really was somethin powerful. Littlbox and GoodL also were very good pals, so I stuck around and helped out wit stuff. I made Discord bot to play Newgrounds music directly through discord for them!

NGP sorta came out of WillKMR wanting to do lil somethin different with GroundsPatrol, as well as ACoCK easing out as they reached their final episode, episode 50. For NGP I was there early on editin episodes and whatnot and hosting, and having various inputs. Over time (especially as I got busy with FNF) I slipped away and things changed and whatnot. But still lov and appreciate NGP it is interesting to see all the changes and different things it’s done. Maybe I just haven’t listened to it in a while though, I feel like there’s an aspect of both ACoCK and Grounds Patrol that NGP misses though. Maybe it’s just the nostalgia in me talking tho heheh. I still got respect




Q: You have also touched on animation, one thing to look at are the 12 Principles of Animation by Alan Becker. When and how did you come across the 12 Principles? When did you become interested in animation?


A: When I was 15, I started dabbling around in SOURCE FILMMAKER, and making dipshit little animations. Over that summer, I didn’t have access to a computer good enough to run the software, but I did have youtube, so I sorta “studied” and went through those videos by Alan Becker lolol. Those concepts to this day still has helped me out a lot in both animation stuff, and working with animators, etc. Then I went into this class in high school where it taught you how to use different software. I went with the one that taught me adobe flash, for no particular reason really. Then I was able to use the concepts in that flash course and I felt super cool heheh. Really though it was just making ball bounce, but with SQUASH AND STRETCH, and EASING and shit lol.




Q: How and when did you become interested in programming?


A: I really wanted to make video games, and I found out that to make video games, you sorta need someone to program! My mindset has always been that it’s good to learn as much as you can about the process, so that if/when you work with other people, it goes a LOT more smoothly, and the process and output quality increases because of it. I think naturally I’m good with numbers and computers, always been good at math class in school and whatnot. It was probably around high school, that 2015/2016 era when I started doing programming and making games. VERY close to when I started using Newgrounds. I like that aspect, where Newgrounds pretty much DID get me going with everything I do, and you can see my progress over the years in real time, people were able to watch me improve and become part of the community and whatnot.




Q: When making games you have recommended Stencyl in the past. Do you still recommend it to newcomers?


A: Probably not. Not anything against Stencyl, I think I’m just generally hesitant to recommend a single specific tool. I think it’s best if people try out as many different things as possible, until something feels like it sticks. Try Unity, Godot, Unreal Engine, Construct 3, Stencyl, HaxeFlixel, Phaser, etc. etc. The list goes on. Unlike animation where most people just roll with either something like Flash, or Toon Boom or somethin, Game development has a LOT of options, ESPECIALLY geared towards newcomers and people who have absolutely 0 experience with coding. So much that it can be overwhelming. If you are a newcomer to game development, get your hands on EVERYTHING you can. You will get frustrated with one, and give up. But then you can go onto the next one. You will eventually get frustrated and give up so many times, that you will eventually get frustrated at YOURSELF for giving up and being frustrated so often. And out of spite of your past self, you will continue on past that initial point of failure. At least that was my experience.




Q: When asked how to be a good programmer you offered this advice...


Learn how to be a good problem solver and don't give up early because you don't understand


Could you elaborate further? What hurdles have you had to come over?


A: I think very early on (and even far into having experience), it is VERY easy to give up on something when there’s absolutely no comprehension. It ALL feels very overwhelming. But part of that process to overcoming that is the excitement of LEARNING how and why you don’t comprehend things. When you’re just starting with something like coding, it’s tremendously difficult to even know how to LEARN. You see a line of code that you don’t understand. How do you figure it out? Well one aspect is to check the documentation. But then if you’ve never EVER read anything like programming documentation, how do you even find your way around THAT? In fact how do you even know that you should look at the documentation in the first place? There’s so many different aspects and considerations with stuff like that I feel. I think many people have this idea of what “talent” is. I feel most people are sorta under this understanding that no one is born with any particular magic brain powers that makes them more or less skilled in certain areas. I like the way that Satoru Iwata talks about it in his book. At first when you’re just starting something, you give it all of your energy. Labour, money, etc. Once you have a response to what you’ve done, and whatever feeling you experience, is your REWARD. When the reward feels like it’s greater than the energy you’ve expended, you don’t give up. If left to your own devices, naturally you will get better at things you feel you’re good at. When you know more about computers and programming, you will find the joy and reward of LEARNING more about computers much more fulfilling (same with art, music, ANYTHING). Then talent is just the ability to FIND rewards and fulfillment. If you are fulfilled when you make a new art piece, a new song, a new game. Even if it’s complete dogshit, you will continue to make those things. You won’t give up. THEN discipline comes in when you either fight past that small section where it feels like the reward isn’t worth the effort, or where you dig deep and MAKE that reward outweigh the effort INTERNALLY or whatev. This is all from Iwata’s book “Ask Iwata”, he is the one with the insightful words of wisdom!!!! Me explaining it was basically just nabbed from his book!! BUT NEVER GIVE UP EVER.


One of the VERY EARLY main hurdles was even just setting all the code stuff up. Code and programming can be complicated if you don’t know the procedure. What I gotta install from command line? How tf does the commandline work? I gotta use a package manager? What’s a package manager? Is that installed when I install the game development tools, or the programming tools? SO JUST KEEP BASHING YOUR HEAD AT THE WALL UNTIL SHIT WORKS LONG STORY SHORT




Q: What all can you tell us about 50 Shades of Pizza?


A: LMFAO these are sum deepcuts. As mentioned in this awesome ass thread, I thought it would be funny to share some of my dipshit high school assignments I worked on for English class. I think the topic of this one was to make a dialogue of some sort between two characters. The 50 Shades Of Gray movie was sorta the hot trendy thing around that time when I was going through high school, so I remember having an epiphany of just ripping the dialogue and replacing it with…. I guess these sentient pizza’s. Somethin about how it’s so absurd and silly and zany. I actually had to read this out to the entire class, and as far as I know they really loved it. Or they thought i was a psychopath. I do remember a lot of people laughing about it genuinely. I’m still just a shy socially anxious dipshit, I have no idea how I pulled that off. I NEVER talked in high school, I was basically mute, so I think it’s funny that the only things that people have heard from me is me having to read out this dumbass sexual tension between these two pizzas. It’s like the shit of the quiet kid is always the psychopath. That shit is true, I’m a maniac. Anyways one last little anecdote about that is I remember one of the cool girls recorded it and posted it to her snapchat (in a “good way”) and it found it’s way to my foster sister who is much more outgoing and popular than I was in high school. IDK somethin about that felt like two entirely different worlds colliding. Hard to describe.




Q: Your first game on Newgrounds is entitled The Disco CatYou made it for Kitty Krew Day, drawing inspiration from Cat Dance by everydaylouie. How much about the Kitty Krew did you know about at the time? How did you come across Cat Dance and what about it inspired The Disco Cat?


A: I was dipshit Newgrounds user looool. I didn’t really know or understand kitty crew. I just thought it was a cute day dedicated to cats!!! Now I got respect for Kitty Krew lore and culture. But I look back at that game and it makes me laugh at how I just made something that didn’t really understand the point of Kitty Krew lol


I think that one Cat Dance game I remember coming across it and being like “hey, I could probably make something like this!”, I believe I just randomly stumbled across it on itch.io when I was neglecting work in high school. I think it’s very cute game hehehe and everydaylouie does cool stuff




Q: You listened to Nina Freeman's GDC 2015 Indie Soapbox Talk that lead to Breathing Simulator. What can you tell about Nina's talk and the development of Breathing Simulator?


A: Nina Freeman is one of my heroes. A lot of her work has had a genuine profound impact on me. That talk in particular still speaks to me I think. It talks a lot about making games that are genuine and honest, games that felt REAL. Her games were about HER. Cibele being a game about an online relationship she had. How Do You Do It being this jam game about playing with dolls and pretending they were having sex. Very REAL experiences. I think all creatives put an aspect of themselves in the work they do, but I think there was something about it being RIGHT THERE that is still powerful. If you look at some of my games, they have had a certain aspect of being very personal. Decryption, OSO, IN-FAMOUS, Lost Connection, Sick Day, ninjamuffin99 twitter simulator, and yes, even Blacks/Whites Only. Those games are about ME. Different games obviously have different levels of connection depending on what you look at in them. But I put myself into that shit. I don’t think it’s some profound thing, I think a lot of creatives do that. But I think with a LOT of people there’s a hesitance towards it. It’s VERY hard to be vulnerable. It’s VERY hard to make a game about yourself, and be honest like that. People’s judgements of the game aren’t only about the game, they are about YOU. However it’s NOT just about you. It’s also about the person playing it. It’s about the person who relates to it on this deep personal level. About whatever shared experience you’ve both had, as PEOPLE. That’s why heart break albums are so powerful with people. Many people experience heart break in some form or another. But the ones that REALLY touch people are the albums where the creator put every last inch of their fuckin SOUL into it. Where they were incredibly vulnerable with the feelings they felt. PUPPET AND IFHY AND AWKWARD BY TYLER THE CREATOR!!! THINKIN BOUT YOU AND SELF CONTROL BY FRANK OCEAN!!!! ESSENTIALS IN THE PLAYLIST EVERYONE!!!!


Anyways, Breathing Simulator itself is a little less PROFOUND or whatever than all that bullshit lol. In Nina Freeman’s talk, she mentions a comment she got from a person who was upset with one of her games. It went something like, “you don’t see ME making a game about the mundane act of breathing!” or whatever. And I thought it would be funny to make a game about that. A game literally about breathing. I made the simple “mechanic” of it, and asked around for an artist, which BrandyBuizel stepped up to the plate. Pure development was just very light on and off work for a week or two heheh. I miss makin dinky lil games like that, I wanna hop back on that bullshit.




Q: What can you tell us about the thought process behind Whites Only and Blacks Only?


A: I wanted to make something that had some VERY edgy name, but have some twist to it that invalidated the edginess to an extent. I did a bit of a writeup about it after it came out I think. I have it here.


That writeup is generally what was going through my mind at the time as I was making it




Q: Alright, let's talk about FRIDAY NIGHT FUNKIN'. It started as a Ludum Dare. The team came from PhantomArcade who said you two should work on something together. You had already worked with KawaiSprite on Ritz. However you have stated that you didn't know evilsk8r until you started to work on FRIDAY NIGHT FUNKIN'. How did you come to meet evilsk8r?


A: Yeah me and PhantomArcade have been meaning to do some stuff together for a looooong ass time. Since 2017 or so. We worked on and off with each other on different games that all fall through from us getting distracted with other work/projects. Pretty much every time though I think we find each other easy to work with. When I worked with kawaisprite on Ritz, I found him easy to work with too. He can so easily whip together a track that just immediately matches the exact tone, personality, and style of a project, before the full project is even fully realized. I'll jack him off here, I think kawaisprite isn't just a pure musical genius, I think he's a creative genius as well. He knows aesthetics, knows how to make a cohesive project. His albums Chuckie Finster, and FSOST stand toe to toe with some of my favorite albums ever. Before FNF already I felt so grateful to have him as a close friend who very much inspired me. And now that same fact applies to the rest of the FNF team. I'm incredibly grateful to not only work with PhantomArcade, but become closer as PALS. I work harder when I see his work ethic. I worked as hard as I did on the original game jam prototype because I didn't want to disappoint him. I wanted to put in just as much work as I saw him put into the game, even if it was just a small little game jam at the time. Shit like that is the magic of COLLABORATION i think.


Evilsk8r I got put in touch with from kiddbrute (rest in peace may god bless his soul). KB I messaged because I really loved his style of that early 2000s ass cool shit. I think the vibe of the game itself came from that. Looked at his style and thought of “what is a cool ass game that would suit this style”, and then I messaged him. I think he was either busy, or uninterested, but he tossed me evilsk8r’s way, and asked him if he was down for a cute little weekend game project. I really loved his stuff too and his touch has definitely increased the coolness factor of FNF. At the time he was pretty fresh young 17 year old. He got the YOUTHFULNESS. It's very inspiring to have him on as a young lil lad. It will be very interestin to watch evilsk8r grow as CREATIVE over next few years. One thing is I hope FNF doesn't restrain him too much. lov dat boy




Q: How did the idea of FRIDAY NIGHT FUNKIN' come to fruition? Was it a singular idea that grew from input or a group brainstorm that became a hurricane?


A: The classic tale goes that before the Ludum Dare game jam even started, I wanted to make an early 2000s ass parappa style rhythm game. Simple and straightforward lil project. Asked PhantomArcade, evilsk8r, and kawaisprite if they all wanted in and they were all down. When talking to PhantomArcade about the game, he more or less came up with a bunch of the MEAT of the game concept. Boy rap battling the rockstar dad to get the girlfriend. That’s pretty much the LORE of game jam, it all came VERY naturally. I think it’s good to just go with the flow for shit like that. Let other people have input just as much as you want input on a project yourself. I don’t think we debated for a second whether or not to do a rhythm game, it was just the choice from the start. What we were INSPIRED to do.




Q: The game has become an Internet phenomenon. To the point where the Week 7 Update crashed Newgrounds. That is unbelievable. You made a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a full release game with the goal of $60,000. It has amassed over $2,000,000. You have spoken on the appreciation and gratefulness to Newgrounds, the fans of FRIDAY NIGHT FUNKIN', and the Supporters of Newgrounds. Throughout this time period you have also become somewhat of an ambassador to newcomers on the site. How have you and the team reacted to all of this?


A: I think we all very much love the NG community and are very proud to be this SENSATION or whatever that is so closely tied to NG. If I didn’t make FNF, I can absolutely say that FNF would be my favourite game ever, just for the fact that it’s this internet influential game that is bringing people to Newgrounds and showing the creative and collaborative spirit of Newgrounds. FNF is a game that’s made by 4 different people from the sorta different sides of Newgrounds. Musician, artist, animator, programmer, all working together to make this cool ass project. It still just scratches the surface of NG tho, there's a crazy amount of talented voice actors, writers, stuff like that on Newgrounds. But at the end of the day I think FNF still has that pure collaborative spirit to it.


Me and PhantomArcade especially love Newgrounds, and we’ve been trying to push it forward long before FNF. We are just two of many. I think it’s good to let people know that Newgrounds isn’t some chump shit. More projects like FNF can happen. It’s just a matter of time. If you asked if a game from Newgrounds would come out and break the fuckin internet a month before FNF existed (September 2020), no one would believe you at all. No one would believe you if you said that there could EVER be a game that broke through and reached to be the most viewed submission of all time on the site. People make games, and if it’s successful, they just simply make a Steam or console version of it right? No one sticks around to keep Newgrounds culture thriving right? Nah, shit happens if you make it happen. If you truly care about Newgrounds, Newgrounds will care about you back. There will be a game that surpasses FNF. It’ll be like mf Avatar shit. Maybe it’ll come in 10 years, maybe it’ll come in 5 weeks. But when it does, it will 100% feel right. Going forward games like that will be a part of the newgrounds culture and history. It will be by people who care about Newgrounds just as much as we do, if not more. Web game culture isn’t what it was in the 2000s. If you are currently posting your stuff onto Newgrounds, it’s because you give a shit about Newgrounds, so ur already halfway there. If you want to be the thing that dethrones FNF, giving a shit about Newgrounds is the first step. We wouldn’t be where we are if we didn’t care about Newgrounds as much as we do.




Q: When it comes to game development you have branched out in a multitude of genres. When you decide to make a game, where does it begin and when do you know the game is completed?


A: I’ll answer the second part of the question first. For a long time I been very much adhering to DEADLINES. That’s why I roll with gamejams a lot. In Tina Fey’s book, she mentions working with Lorne Micheals on SNL. “SNL doesn’t go live because it’s ready, it goes live because it’s 11:30”. SNL has a lot of shit, but also, it has gold. That’s pretty much any creative medium or whatev. You need to be VERY picky about the projects you really put your time and passion into. Even with FNF, there have been MANY times we’ve released when WE thought things weren’t ready yet. Original gamejam version, the Newgrounds version, Pico Update, Mommy update, week 5, 6, 7…. Now that I think about it…. Pretty much none of the FNF updates have come out when they felt “ready”. But however it did feel RIGHT to post them when we did. A gut instinct between us that has come from both developing the game itself over time, as well as just creating things in general over the years. Knowing what’s “good enough” for an update, and knowing the workflow, and what comes from a “release”. Pros and cons and shit. Even though it’s no longer a gamejam version, we do have these self imposed deadlines of sorts. I think that keeps a lot of things on track.


Onto the first part of the Q, usually things begin on a WHIM for me. Make things when I feel like it. Wake up in the right mood, and I can just work all day on something completely new. I also like to do different new things. For each new genre, there’s different design considerations, different programming things to know. I think it expands my brain to work on different genres.




Q: What is in your opinion, the definition of video games?


A: I won’t say some profound thing or nothin, I think video game is jus lil digital thing put together that you can interact with in some way. Doesn’t even need to be a GAME per se. Just literally anything that can be put together digitally that you toy around with in some form or another. Although I do like the way Phil Fish put it in Indie Game The Movie, “video games are pretty much every creative medium, all wrapped into one, and thats why it’s awesome”. Not his exact quote, but I think thats somethin special about video games.




Q: One way you described yourself in the past was...


I'm bored and I make silly stuff like 3 star animations and games.


Do you still see yourself in this light?


A: I’m a lot less bored nowadays, and I think I’ve gotten better at making things where at least I will make stuff that is 3.5 stars I think. Yeah somethin like that. I still make silly stuff.




Q: What can we expect from ninjamuffin99 in the future?


A: I am going to prison. Keep this screenshot and post it to one of those “poorly aged tweets” twitter accounts or whatever in 5 years or so, whenever the "conspiracy" allegations come out.




ninjamuffin99 has been a long time reader and fan of The Interviewer. To see how he grew in success has made me proud to see the new faces he has brought to Newgrounds. New eyes on the site. As well as new creators. He has brought a resurgence to the site that has happened since the Tumblr exodus. All from a Ludum Dare game. Who knows what will come from him next. It is sure to be wonderful. That I am certain.




The Tank Tribune is a part of Dohn's Desk Productions

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37

Posted by TheInterviewer - February 23rd, 2022


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Interview Update

Interview By: @The-Great-One


Greetings Newgrounds Members! Greetings readers of The Interviewer! I am so happy to be back to doing interviews for The Interviewer. There is a change though. I have recently started a Patreon in hopes of making a little extra money and maybe one day do this full time to support myself. That is a pipe dream in the making though. As a perk for my patrons and as a way to keep me on track completely all future interviews will be posted a week before they come to Newgrounds.


Interview with ninjamuffin99


The latest interview is with the developer of FRIDAY NIGHT FUNKIN', @ninjamuffin99. He has been a reader and fan of The Interviewer for a long time and now one of its guests. As of right now this interview is available to ALL TIERS on my Patreon Dohn's Desk.


After this only those who are part of the Producer tier will be able to see these interviews ahead of their Newgrounds post date. Upcoming interviews will still be posted for all tiers. The research papers will still be posted for Supporter and higher.


So if you become a Patron for Dohn's Desk today this is what you will get for each tier today! An * means special event just this one time.


TIP JAR

  • *Exclusive Interview with ninjamuffin99
  • Upcoming List of guests for The Interviewer


SUPPORTER

  • *Exclusive Interview with ninjamuffin99
  • Upcoming List of guests for The Interviewer
  • Research Papers on upcoming guests for The Interviewer
  • Feature on the Wall of Appreciation


PRODUCER

  • *Exclusive Interview with ninjamuffin99
  • Upcoming List of guests for The Interviewer
  • Research Papers on upcoming guests for The Interviewer
  • Feature on the Producer Section of the Wall of Appreciation
  • Interviews ONE WEEK ahead of Newgrounds release date


If you can't afford to support me on Patreon, then don't despair. I honestly ask that you put money towards Supporting Newgrounds first and foremost. Without Newgrounds there is no The Interviewer. Thank you all for reading for over thirteen years now. It truly means a lot to me. I only hope these interviews are able to pass down some fun stories and lessons for the future creators of Newgrounds.


10

Posted by TheInterviewer - February 16th, 2022


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Interview No. 177

Interview By: @The-Great-One


Today's guest is an underrated gem here on Newgrounds. From his inspirations from the cirque with Quick Playtime. To his outspoken words in Black Lives Matter. His range is beyond anything imaginable here on Newgrounds and his knowledge of music is quite different than others we have had the fortune of speaking with. It is with great pleasure that I welcome, @ZipZipper.




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


A: I’d love to think many Millennials could trace some weird animation they once saw when they were 11 back to the notorious NG. It’s essentially how I found the website. If I had to specify, the Salad Fingers series from the illustrious phalanges of David Firth (@Doki) kept me coming back. I had a couple friends in high-school that would show me all the raunchy and strange content you had no choice but to at least smile at. And although I’d known about the site for years, it wasn’t until I started ZipZipper that I realized Newgrounds hosted musicians. So I joined just to share my content with others, and ended up getting a lot more than I thought. Mostly good stuff. I promise.




Q: You have stated that circus music, namely Cirque Du Soleil, is an influence in your own music. One in particular is the song entitled Jeux d'Enfants by Rene Dupere. There are many loves in this song that you equate toIt is ultimately a song that you listen to when you're feeling overwhelmed and confused. How did you become interested in circus music? How did it bring you to this piece?


A: Music never clicked with me until I heard Yann Tiersen’s soundtrack to the film Amélie (https://youtube.com/watch?v=AA4deEZjnBA). It’s brimming with quirk and playfulness; un jeux d’enfants à propos de la vie. The instrumentation ranges from solo accordion to full orchestra. It represents the spectrum of joy you can gather in the details and coincidences that happen every day if you care to pay attention, which is one of the main themes of the movie. I think it was through the quintessential French sound of valse-musette, or waltzing accordion music, that I took interest in Cirque du Soleil. I believe lots of people would associate that sound with a street performance circus, so that’s why I define circus music as such. My parents also noticed my interest and took me to see my first Cirque show, Quidam, when I was around 9 years old. That surreal experience hooked me even more, and I still keep an eye and two ears out for their discography to this day. But I dunno...I can’t coherently describe how the oom-pah-pah gets me every time. It’s a punchline that never gets old to me, and that piece Jeux d’Enfants embodies the concept perfectly.




Q: The hardest part about making music for you, you have this to say...


"It all seems such a blur to me that I can't really point out the hardest part. I think creating something new is always difficult because the inspiration is a big bang and then you have to play the part of God by organizing the stupendous disorder."


Could you elaborate on this point? With the song You Wanna Kill? as an example?


A: You tryin’ to kill me with homework prompts? Funny thing about that song is that it was at a time I knew nothing about jazz. But I always loved the cool cat sound of a walking baseline and piano sting chords. So in terms of that quote, that was the inspiration. But then, with no foundational knowledge of what to do with that sudden bang, I had to provide structure to the chaos, and the result was that tune.


This’s actually a great example of toughing out the music making process, especially when you have the desire to create. Because if you really wanna kill, you’ll finish the job. Otherwise, it’s not meant for you. I have A LOT more know-how about jazz styling, so listening to that song again is cringe. But y’know what? I think the actual hardest part about making music, or acting on one’s creativity at all, is finalizing and revealing the ultimate result. And that’s why I still have some of my old content available on here, to provide reminders that I’m brave enough to try.




Q: There are two different points when discussing music. The first one I want to talk about is music theory. When Phonometrologist was here he talked in great deal about music theory and its importance. You two would talk about this subject in detail on the forums using Philip Glass as an example. You tend to take a different approach to music theory than he does. How would you describe music theory? What importance can be placed on it? Can we ascertain a hard definition of music with or without it?


A: Laugh OUT loud. I forget I’ve taken rigorous stances on the importance of music theory, and I believe Phonometrologist (@Phonometrologist) places importance on emotionality and overall humanity more so? This answer will end evenly, but I’ll extrapolate on my side first.


I’m personally tired of the ‘yeah bruh feelings are dope' stance because it’s a no-brainer that we all have feelings, except for a statistical few. And I’ve typically found that guys swooning over vague truths every day can’t clean a table or fold a shirt at the same time. We can do better than the minimum requirements. And music theory provides us with the history of minimum requirements so that we can actually do better. Otherwise, you’re gonna embarrass yourself when your magnum opus is accused of being some renaissance composer’s symphony no. 8 out of 8,000 that they wrote before puberty. So theory is important if you want to take music seriously. It definitely doesn’t mean you have to analyze the purpose of every passing tone in every Buxtehude cantata while filling out a twelve-tone matrix, but I highly suggest taking an intro class because the formal environment itself will displace the studious from the stupid.


This leads me to the other side of the coin and the last question of your question. You can ascertain a hard definition of music with AND without theory. It just depends on your mood, or your blood sugar. When I started formally studying music at school, I found immense purpose with the calculated rules of the baroque period, the likes of Bach and Mozart. That required a lot of music theory. Then after I graduated, I studied Francis Poulenc on my own. He was a 20th century composer that incorporated some of those rules with a fanciful, threatening style that’s extremely unique. He’s now one of my biggest musical influences and his music tapped into my theory wellspring while also revealing to me what about music sparks my own emotions. Now I’m a more balanced artistic identity since going through several years of exploring both sides. The journey isn’t quite over, but I would have never gotten to this level of comfort without formal education, and my Associate of Arts isn’t even so taxing of an investment. Don’t do drugs, you stupid kids. You’ll forget who you are faster. Save those tears for after school. Whether it’s a classroom or a job, active learning can teach you how to utilize those tears effectively instead of wasting them on unsustainable tissue.




Q: The second point on discussing music is composition vs. production. The layman may be confused with these terms, and rightfully so with musicians debating on where they sit in terms of creating and listening. Could you break down these terms and how much weight you put to them? Perhaps use Jeux d'Enfants as an example?


A: Oh? More homework? Composition is the bare structure of a piece. What’s the speed of it? How long is it gonna take? How many instruments are there? What instruments are there? You gonna paint freely or use a coloring book? It’s like the composition of a recipe. You could stick to a certain stir fry or throw some rice in a pan and fold in some miscellany as you go.


Production is how you’re going to present that stir fry to your guests. You could all eat it out the pan while squatting on the floor like savages, or garnish it with celery on your finest chinaware in a dining room you can’t afford. Different audiences expect different presentations, but they all showed up for you to cook something so they’re probably gonna eat it either way.


Music production, to me, is a relatively new concept with the advent of the information age making music extremely accessible. In the old days, music production was basically the acoustics of the listening space, the position of the players, and the tuning of the instruments. I suppose you could add instrumentation as a factor, but that was basically it. For Jeux d’Enfants, that would be easy to follow in real life. But nowadays, you got speakers and headphones to worry about since music consumption is primarily through those outputs. For Jeux d’Enfants, they had to think heavily about the volume and frequency balance between all the performers. They ultimately chose a very balanced approach, but a manager could’ve stepped in and said nOT eNuFF tRiAnGLe! and added a triangle recorded through a walkie talkie blaring louder than the rest of the mix. That’s a production choice. Someone studying the effectiveness of walkie-talkies might like that production better. I might like it because I like being attacked by music.


But at the end of the day, I personally put more emphasis on compositional quality because melodic instrumental music engages me most. People more interested in pop or electronic music will need to have more emphasis on production quality because there’s a high standard, thanks to technology. Like how knowledge and feelings are one bread knot in the foundation of music, composition and production run a similar dual stream, the difference being the latter two gained prevalence only recently and are largely dependent on how you want your music to be perceived.




Q: At one point you ventured out to Los AngelesWhy Los Angeles?


A: Laziness. Clearly, there are many other routes I could’ve taken to properly get to the teenage dream of being a revered blockbuster composer, but instead I decided to go straight to the source because it’s about who you know not what you don’t know, right? The answer is an astute yes. My approach was old-fashioned and I largely ignored the disadvantage of my severe introversion and my lack of knowing any peers in the industry already.




Q: Things did not go well for you out in LA. You wrote about it in your article Giving Up So Soon. This was surprising to me seeing how your past self spoke about music.


"You have to be comfortable with your own way of doing things. Don't aspire to be just as good as your idols, because a big part of what makes them good is unique to them. Ergo, you literally won't ever be as good as them because you will never be them. Learn from them but don't craft yourself on who they are. Craft yourself on who you are. My personal view on music is that nothing is perfect anyways because that definition is so loose within the art culture in general. What's intolerable to you can be golden to someone else, kind of like how you said you did with writing in a different genre. Explore that, I suppose. Don't hype over the definitions that exist and instead formulate your own."


What happened between those six years that changed your outlook? What lessons did you take from Los Angeles? How are you feeling nowadays?


A: Nothing has changed about that outlook. I definitely shaped my musical identity to a strong level of self-confidence before I went to LA to try and start my own shelf on the wall of trophies. But, many other factors I largely disregarded made it more difficult for me personally, and I think there was bad timing in several regards. I guess I should’ve eaten my own words in that quote when it came to my impatience. But can you wholly blame me after almost 10 years of work in music? The ironic icing on that cake is in the advice I was given out there.


So here we go…


My excuse for physically relocating was to attend UCLA Extension in Film Scoring. Their extension school is for all their certificate programs. And here’s some of my own advice: when you look at certificate programs in other renowned schools, check what the actual university is best known for. Then, remember to pay attention in class! These certificates, especially those in creative fields, don’t mean much more than what you care to take away, whether it’s information or connections. I’m glad I had the maturity to understand this when going into the program because I almost allowed my apathy to plunge me through a scam school deeper in the heart of Hollywood not that long before. This is why the first class I took was in music business, and taking it there was even more impactful because my teacher knew lots of people relevant in the industry that he invited as guest speakers. Now here’s the sick irony:


My biggest takeaway? I was told many times that it takes approximately 10 years of actually doing work and promotion for others in the industry as an uncredited drone before someone eventually thinks ‘wait a minute…who was that uncredited drone again?’ and you might start getting work of your own. And once you’ve achieved that, you’re flooded with nearly impossible deadlines and have to orchestrate complex scores that directors with not a musical muscle in their body must approve of. This isn’t unique to the music hemisphere. It’s just the reality of today’s art world that I couldn’t fully accept until I tried it myself. I suppose I overestimated the value of my catalogue and underestimated the power of money.


Despite expecting these answers, I was still incredibly hurt. I’ve read through thousands of harsh criticisms online and learned to get over it, but I finally heard one directed at me in the classroom and was devastated. And when I told people close to me how alone and hurt I felt, some of their response was that I wasn’t trying hard enough. I became the most depressed I’ve ever been and discussed returning back to my hometown to heal. And once I did, COVID began. It’s truly incredible timing how everything has played out for me so far.


How am I feeling nowadays? Well for the past two years I’ve had such a high frequency of suicidal thoughts that I’ve accepted them as normal. Luckily for y’all, I’m so mentally lost and exhausted from all that experience that I don’t have the energy to formulate anything concrete. I’m also perversely adept at dissociating with myself, scared of doing it myself, and therefore would rather coast along living for the time being. So the only warning I have is that I can see myself suddenly acting on this end-it energy if a significant trigger arises; a first-time moment, like listening to harsh criticism for the first time in real life and then immediately being told by my friends that I’m a wimp. Sorry not sorry. That’s my own harsh truth that only I have the power to wrestle with.




Q: You once had an interest in attending Julliard. What made you not go? Have you thought about changing your mind?


A: Laziness. And discouragement by how much more passionate and effective true music lovers are. I actually don’t like music. It makes so much noise! It’s so annoying! The space I’d take up in a prestigious school is better spent on someone who vibes with their emotions bruh. And in all seriousness, I’ll likely go back to school, but probably not in music. And most definitely not in music to that level of focus. In fact, it’s the opposite; I wanna get better at Sign Language.




Q: What can you tell us about the Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra?


A: Try saying that name 5x fast. Anyways, these people…they give me hope. The WMGSO is a nonprofit organization of amateur and professional musicians, located around the Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C. area, that perform arrangements of VGM, usually written by members. I’m one of the arrangers of the group, as well as a vocalist and piano accompanist. The org tries to hold full orchestra performances biannually at local venues, which incidentally included MAGFest in 2018. We’ve also officially released an album and are in the works of creating a second one. WMGSO simply being an alignment of casual musicians with an aggregate of opportunities to write and perform has, and continues to be, an immense help with cultivating myself as a musician.


When I was damaged by my Hollywood experience, Hex-perience if you will, it was the GSO that gave me hope in not throwing away my involvement in music forever. Unfortunately, COVID appeared, but I’m still hanging on with them and we are trying to safely return to a state of regular events soon. Don’t fret, there’s other GSOs out there. I got a chance to see a performance of the one at UCLA actually. If you like video-game music, or just want a safe space to perform and practice in real life but don’t feel like you have much expertise, I very much suggest finding one. Or starting one! 




Q: The first song you have here on Newgrounds is entitled LugubriousIt means "looking or sounding sad and dismal". Would you care to elaborate more on this? Looking back on your first submission to where you are now, what are your takeaways?


A: Fun fact: I used to have my entire backlog of work hosted on a site that is now unfortunately defunct (http://icompositions.com). That track was one of the newest ones I had at the time I started the NG account. There also used to be another username on that other site that I went by before ZipZipper… 


But anyways, me elaborating…that title is sometimes what I look for in music. I like finding sadness or stories that invoke it, but I think my judgement on what characterizes art as such is different from most people, which is why I found some out-of-the-way synonym for sadness. In a similar way, that’s the descriptor I’d use when I think about my music back then compared to my music now. Ironically, my overall demeanor both in my sound and my personality has shifted from that of being lugubrious to being facetiously comedic. But, I also think most of my listeners stick with what I churned out during my emo phases. And now that my style is much more peppy and complex…I don’t have as much consistent or influenced feedback, which saddens me because I feel much more like myself with this developed sound. Oh well; c’est la vie. I have taken note of this and believe my next chapter involves learning how to incorporate the simplicity and empathy of when I began music.




Q: The first song I ever heard by you was when I was gathering songs for The Tank Tribune's Phonograph, called Quick Playtime. I fell head over heels for this song. I love the accordion waltz in it. I can certainly see your inspirations in it.


A: It’s the simplicity of songs I’ve done like this that I think I need to punch in more. I guess I should do more circus music! I just wish I wasn’t so sapped of energy from being an adult. 




Q: Jazza, Jabun, Troisnyx, MistyEntertainment, JohnnyGuy, Hania, and Cayler, are all singers that have joined us on The Interviewer. You are added to this list. When going over your works I have come across songs where you have lent your vocals, one being Make A Scene. At what age did you start singing? Using Make A Scene as an example, how do you prepare for a song where you have to sing or lyrics are to be incorporate?


A: Another homework prompt?! My earliest recollection of singing was in middle-school choir, so I was in my early teens. When I got my first keyboard around the beginning of high-school, I started writing my own short indie songs, since another one of my biggest musical influences is the immensely versatile Imogen Heap. Sometimes I’d take that keyboard to a nearby cafe for open mic nights and sing. But it wasn’t until many years later that I got whipped into much better singing shape, when I officially started majoring in music.


Not only did singing classical repertoire at school help me unlock my voice to its fullest potential, but I also learned to sing overtones around that time, which helped me a lot with my tuning and breathing. One of my hugely supportive friends that I met in school runs a different nonprofit group, Harmonic Introductions, that specializes in this technique; the ability to sing at least two pitches at once. We’re actually one of the only singing groups in the U.S. that exclusively does this. If you wanna have meditative droning at your next birthday party, I can hook you up.


So how do I prepare for a song that includes my voice? Having all that previous practice in various disciplines is the best preparation, and funnily enough I didn’t have any of that formal training before recording Make A Scene. I also try to sing a little bit regularly, whether that’s along with Imogen Heap in my car or overtone-ing in the elevator at work and scaring the pedestrian people trapped with me. Of course there’s the other normal stuff to do right before singing, like warming up, hydrating, taking breaks, but those are easy. The hard part is practicing. And school forces you to do that. Don’t do drugs, you stupid kids. They can irreversibly damage your voice.




Q: My absolute favorite by you is without a question Naptime Near The Forest Floor. It was made for a competition where the challenge was percussive instruments only with a jungle theme. You took your own turn on it though. What can you tell us about the competition and how the song evolved into the finished product?


A: Oh I loved the NG Music Triathlon! I think it’s the most complex music contest NG has ever held. There was a general theme and a certain limitation with each of the three rounds, and users involved voted on each track anonymously. It was a great challenge! When I went into that round, I assumed most others were gonna strictly focus on drums, which ended up being true of the entry pool. I, however, focused on vibes and string chops, making my entry unique in that it made the most use of melody. So much so that I originally had to make the strings entirely plucks and remove the main vocal line and animal sound effects you hear in it. But once that round had ended, I posted the song as I intended, which is definitely cooler. I’m glad you like that track! It’s also one of my faves.




Q: Black Lives MatterYou have spoken about the response and backlash the song has gotten. I'm not here to talk about your stance or beliefs in Black Lives Matter. It's not often songs for protests or movements are seen on Newgrounds. What made you want to take your stance and transfer it to song?


A: It’s gonna be very difficult not to dip into my beliefs with that question posed, but I will try my best. A grotesque amount of warnings were given before 2020, but the year 2020 has proven that we don’t have the collective maturity to keep filing our serious debts, our fears, and our prospective happiness in a cabinet for later review. It became a humongous fire hazard and it exploded. I come from one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the whole country, and after Los Angeles…I returned to it. One of my most incredible influences and closest friends is a self-made Black man that continues to experience the subtle problems this country unconditionally imposes on him with lasting effects. What made me take a stance was frustration…because the answer seems so obvious to me:


We all need to seriously take a stance and wear our feelings on our shoulders. We all need to take responsibility for ourselves individually and stop relying on fate to define our outcomes.


There has to be way more honest and open communication with each other. Music and entertainment are great forms of that because it’s actually through those outlets that our brains became twisted with rotten cultural ideas. And we can untwist them the same way…


If anything, as an adopted person, America is all that I’m familiar with. Might as well participate in its problems to some capacity. The social ones definitely have importance across the world as well, so I ask anyone reading this: are you participating? 




Q: You have answered this question in the past. With everything you have seen, heard, and experienced I must know. What is in your opinion, the definition of music?


A: Either the result of boredom or the result of fury. Music is the epitome of madness because it can cause people to willingly sit at a desk for 15 hours without eating or peeing. Think that’s crazy? Well sometimes it makes people so infatuated with someone else that they try killing them. Other times, a musician will accidentally let loose a weird fart and immediately be gifted $100,000. Why hasn’t music been outlawed?!




Q: What can we expect from ZipZipper in the future?


A: I’m not sure…


What ZipZipper wants is to get back to being involved with online music communities, especially Newgrounds. But, the internet’s getting too fast and hip for grandma Zipper not to dangerously wobble around with his walker, so she may very well keep to himself in the real world. Currently, I’m having trouble saving money with a semi-management job at a popular retail chain you’ve probably shopped at called ______. I’ve been thinking about a potential company program that funds college education to try moving up the corporate ladder a bit. I also mentioned I like Sign Language and might invest in becoming an interpreter. But no matter what I do, I’ll never completely stop making music…and sharing it eventually. 




ZipZipper I interviewed back in July so this interview is quite late, that's on me though. I happened to come across his music just browsing the Audio Portal. Wanted to know more and read he was giving up music. That just blew my mind and I wanted to know more about his story. I'm thankful that he was willing to share his story and his craft with us here today. Any aspiring musicians here on Newgrounds should take note of his story. Some helpful advice, lessons, and a bit of humor can be ascertained from here. I can't say for certain if ZipZipper will be one of the world's greatest composers, but I know for a fact he will be one of the music industry's greatest teachers.




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