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Interview with PuffballsUnited

2011-08-06 03:31:38 by TheInterviewer
Updated

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

Interview No. 55
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest is a hilarious underrated writer in my honest opinion. His works include a series starting at Breaking the Bank, Escaping the Prison and now today with Stealing the Diamond. He is also known for "We're Stafox!". He is none other than PuffballsUnited.

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

A: I think I've always known about Newgrounds, but I never really visited it. I was following Egoraptor's blog in 2007 and he said he was going to be posting his Awesome Compilations to Newgrounds. I started visiting Newgrounds to see the new compilations but then I discovered the other aspects of the site. I knew I wanted to make animations at some point so I figured I should 'claim my name', that way I could submit flashes when I was ready. After creating my account my page felt so empty, so I updated one of my old flashes and submitted it a few days after creating my account.
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Q: Your first flash submission would be entitled Crossing the Pit. It would involve a stick figure attempting to cross a gap using different ideals. One might say you were inspired by the Coyote from Looney Tunes and if not that then what would be your inspiration?

A: I don't really know what my inspiration for Crossing the Pit was. It probably was all the Looney Tunes and similar cartoons I watched as a kid. Actually, I still watch and enjoy those cartoons. Crossing the Pit was mainly me experimenting with a different use for buttons, other than making just a play button. When I first made it, it actually only had 4 choices but I thought it would get blammed if I submitted it like that so I added the bottom row of choices and then submitted it.
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Q: Breaking the Bank would be the start of an interesting story you would tell us. The goal is to break into a bank, the way to do it is similar to "Crossing the Pit." Is this a recreation or something entirely different?

A: I actually thought about recreating Crossing the Pit but decided against it. Crossing the pit was completely black and white and I wanted to do something that was a little more advanced but still followed the same format. I include Crossing the Pit into the series despite it being so basic. So in a way, Breaking the Bank is a continuation of Crossing the Pit, or another episode if you will.
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Q: "We're Starfox!" is quite possibly the most creative and hilarious dubbing flash animation I have ever seen. Where did the inspiration for this come from and how difficult was it making some cohesive story out of these quotes?

A: I've always been a huge fan of Starfox 64, and I actually quote it in real life from time to time. The idea for "We're Starfox" came when I was talking to one of my friends. I don't remember exactly how we got to the topic but we ended up talking about what it would be like if the Starfox gang went to a restaurant and which lines from the game would be funny in that situation. It was actually pretty tough making the whole thing into a story that flowed together. At first I had several different pieces of conversations that I wanted and quotes that I wanted to use. I had to stitch them all together and still make the story flow. I think I still have the sheet of paper I wrote all the scenes down on. I'll have to dig that back up.
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Q: "Breaking the Bank" was the beginning we now head to Escaping the Prison. What gave you the inspiration to do a sequel and what all did you learn from past experiences?

A: I think my main motivation for making a sequel came after Breaking the Bank got frontpaged. People seemed to like it and many of the reviewers pointed out the flaws in Breaking the Bank. I wanted to improve these things, but also take it a step further. I decided to make it more like a game by actually have a way to win. Again, the style of choices is the same but the addition of having those choices lead you to more choices adds a whole new layer of depth. The main thing I learned from Breaking the Bank was to not make the jokes so obvious. A lot of people said they could see the punch line coming, so I kept that in mind while I was making Escaping the Prison.
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Q: Failiens - Hunger is quite the funny flash of these three aliens trying to abduct cows. Where did this idea come from and will we see more of them?

A: I had been watching a bunch of UFO sighting clips on YouTube. I started thinking "What if those UFO sightings were just some aliens that really suck at being stealthy?" That idea developed into what the movie is today. I kept thinking about how new things would be for aliens if they visited. If aliens came to earth, how would they know what cows are? Who's to say cow is an easy word for aliens to pronounce? Another thing that inspired me with the YouTube clips were how BAD some of them were. I swear some of them were literally filming a star. I wanted to capture that feeling with the hillbilly and the camcorder. I plan on making more to this series. I'm probably going to develop their characters and background a bit first so I have more to work with. I'll probably release a prologue of the three aliens so you know how they ended up in their predicament.
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Q: We now come to your latest work which comes after "Escaping the Prison" and that is Stealing the Diamond. It to is just as hilarious as the previous two and is just as fun. The question remains though why make a third one and will we see another incarnation of Henry Stickman?

A: When I finished Escaping the Prison I had decided it would be the last in the series, but then I was overwhelmed by how well it did on Newgrounds. I got my first ever weekly award. It was even a weekly first so I was really excited! I decided that if I could come up with enough ideas and have it not seem forced or repetitive I would make another one. Turns out I could :P . Will there be another addition to the series? Most likely, yes. People really like the series and I don't want to leave people hanging. Again, it depends on if I can come up with enough content without it being repetitive or stale.
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Q: When looking at "Crossing the Pit" all the way to "Stealing the Diamond" one element is always present and that is the Teleporter. What is it about this device that you like to put into each one of these?

A: Well, the teleporter was the last choice I added into Crossing the Pit and it had a pretty generic fail. When I was making Breaking the Bank I came up with the idea of having him teleport into a wall. Rather than make a new teleporter I thought it'd be fun to bring back the old one. I love to make references back to previous things I've made so having the teleporter keep returning was something I thought would be fun. I don't know if you've noticed, but Henry also presses the exact same button combination on the teleporter in every game.
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Q: You are no stranger to the Audio Portal as a musician, your first music track being Title Scene. Was this just a simple test from way back when or is there more to this song?

A: I wrote Title Scene when I was about 13. The one on Newgrounds is just a version with updated instrumentals. It was originally going to be the title theme for a series I wanted to make. This song was definitely me learning how to use Fruity Loops because it's honestly not very good. I still enjoy the melody of this song though, and I've updated it to make a piano version.
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Q: My favorite song by you has to be The Weather Department. What were the inspirations for this song and how did you go about making it?Also you've stated that you want to use if for a platformer game, will we be seeing this platformer any time soon?

A: As you mentioned I wanted to make this song to be used on a stage in a platformer. In that stage you travel through huge 'rooms', each one affected by a different weather element, from hot to cold to wind to rain. I wanted to capture the feeling of each of these moods in the song. One of my biggest inspirations in composing music is Grant Kirkhope, the composer for the Banjo-Kazooie series, as well as Donkey Kong 64 (I think). These games all have songs that change in mood and style depending on which part of the stage you're at. As for when I'll be making this platformer, it's going to be a while. I do want to make it at some point and I'm getting closer to having the skills to make it. I just need to set up the series and characters first before I make it.
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Q: What can we expect from PuffballsUnited in the future?

A: Well, I've got some small parodies I'm working on now. After that I want to finally begin working on a series I've been planning for a long time. This series was one of the main reasons I joined Newgrounds and I've been making comics and such with these characters since I was 13. I also have a cool idea for a unique game, but I'm still working on ironing out all the rules and such first. I'll also be making another Henry Stickmin game at some point too. I'm also trying out some voice acting for other people. And finally, I want to start getting more involved on Newgrounds by participating in different NG events like NG holidays as well as the game jams. So yeah, lots of stuff planned by me. Keep a look out for it! :D
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As I said at the beginning of this interview, I believe that PuffballsUnited is quite possibly the most underrated comedy writer on Newgrounds and I stand behind that. Each flash feels just as fresh as the last and he doesn't seem to be as repetitive. To top it all off he is a great artist, animator, and musician. If anybody is looking to collaborate with someone then I suggest this guy right here.
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Interview with Littleluckylink

2011-07-25 17:44:59 by TheInterviewer
Updated

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

Interview No. 54
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest is an amazing artist whose work is known throughout Newgrounds. He has been known for his works in Madness one being Day of the Madness which he would win the triple crown for. Although he has works in Madness and stick figures he is working on branching out of these, but his contributions to Madness Day are recognized for their artwork and storytelling he is Littleluckylink.

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

A: I found Newgrounds around the summer of 2004. I was throwing some end of the year pool party and made the decision to invite this one girl I had been having problems with all year. In some truce-type conversation, she mentions a website called "celebritykilling.com". I couldn't find an actual website, but a Google search brought me to the Assassin page, and I've been hooked ever since then.
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Q: Your first flash movie would be entitled Kill Arena. The inspiration could've come from many different big stick artists, but where did it come for you? And looking back on this flash are you still proud of it today?

A: Kill Arena was something that actually came later on after I had originally started animating. I had thought my flashes before Kill Arena weren't good enough for NG, so I sorta refrained from submitting them. Kill Arena was something I made after I became addicted to RingFinger's Battlefield series. I guess just another test.
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Q: When did you come across Madness and what from it inspired you to make Madness Inaguration and despite your description, will we see a sequel?

A: I had always seen Madness on the front page, but never really payed much attention to it until I saw Antipathy on the front page. From that point on, I was hooked. I also played Madness Interactive quite a bit. I started animating my first Madness cartoon on New Years eve of 2006/2007. Animating that movie felt right for some reason, and I really enjoyed it. But of course, it was never submitted. That was when I went for Inauguration. The story was something I just sorta threw together because I wanted to see a character I created in Madness Interactive come to life. The sequel had actually been started, and I got about two minutes into it before I just got bored with it. I have actually had thoughts and visions for a sequel, but no solid plans have been made.
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Q: On September 22nd, 2008 was The 2nd Annual Madness Day. On this day you would give us the start of a small series that would be updated within the next two years starting with Dawn of the Madness. Of course Krinkels Madness series is the inspiration from an artwork standpoint, but this stands out from most other Madness fan animations. Where else did you draw inspiration from for this flash?

A: The summer of 2008 was actually a very important time for me. There were many things going on with my personal life at the time, and I guess you could say it was a bit of a "reawakening" for me creatively. Before and during that summer, I had taken a huge interest in zombie movies. The 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead and the Resident Evil movies caught my interest in particular. The movie went through many different changes early on in production. For instance, some of the art, including the zombies, was changed and recreated with the help of a great friend of mine.
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Q: The following year you would revive an oldie of yours and that is Kill Arena III Incomplete. You have told this story in the description box, however others do not know the story would you share it here with us? Also will we see another Kill Arena in the near future?

A: I was nearly finished with the movie, but unfortunately, my computer just crashed while I was attempting to save the file. It couldn't be opened, and I lost much of my progress and many scenes that would have been really cool. An alien abduction, a scene with a lawnmower, chainsaws, exploding cars and video game shit. I tried finding ways to fix the file, but got absolutely no where and gave up. I have actually thought about a fourth movie quite a bit. In fact, it's in pre-production. I have been sketching out plans for what the arena would look like and I have been thinking of kills I'd like to animate. The main reason I want to make the movie is to bring those unseen kills to light. I am also somewhat disappointed with how KA3 turned out. A remake would be too boring, so I figure I'll just start from scratch.
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Q: The 3rd Annual Madness Day has arrived and with it the continuation of the story with Day of the Madness. It seems that the story could have ended here, but your cliffhanger ending left us all in suspense for a year. This flash not only entertained me on a violent Madness style level, but I was also scared through some of it. What was the process in following Dawn of the Madness and adding more and more?

A: Day of the Madness was- to me- basically shoving in whatever references I possibly could into the movie. I am somewhat disappointed with the lack of original characters, but in the end, I am still proud of the movie. I tried to excel in areas that Dawn lacked. For instance, art, animation, camera angles, and of course, scares. My skills had improved greatly since then, and I felt that this movie really showed how much.
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Q: The 4th Annual Madness Day would be the end of a wonderful zombie survival story. Dusk of the Madness. It was sad to see this series come to an end, but at the same time all good things must come to an end. Why end it off here? Was there anything you did throughout the series that you did or didn't like? Also is this really the end or will there be a "Night of the Madness" for next Madness Day?

A: I decided to end the series because I wanted to branch out beyond Madness mainly. In some ways, I felt that the movie sealed off the series pretty neatly, but in other ways, I felt that it greatly lacked that true substance and heart I had put into the previous two movies. During the summer I was working on Dusk, I went through many different bouts of depression, which hindered my progress to the point where working on the movie felt like a chore. There are only a few things I would do differently, but what's done is done. And no, there won't be another Madness-Zombie movie. However, I do definitely plan to make more zombie movies as soon as I find an animation style that I'm comfortable with.
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Q: When it comes to collaborations. You have participated in a few of them, however some collabs have also dropped as well. Got any advice for those looking to start a collab or join a collab so their work isn't wasted?

A: Starting a collab is actually pretty difficult unless you know what you're doing. Your idea should be something that interests the right crowd of people, and the members of the collab should also have a good work ethic. Otherwise, the collab may fall and go no where, leaving one with only a few animation clips. If you're looking to join one, keep an eye out on the production. If lots of people are joining and it looks promising, go for it.
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Q: As an animator and a writer what advice can you give to those out there who are looking to get into animation or writing?

A: I'd simply just say not to give up. Life is full of situations where you'll have to start out small to work your way up. As long as you have a passion to animate or write, it should take you to great places as long as you don't give up. One other thing- criticism is very important. Instead of taking it personally, let it guide you and correct your faults as you try to see things from the audience's perspective.
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Q: Your first audio submission would be entitled Electrock. You've described it as just some club beat. Would this be your first experimentation with music programs or have you had flops in the past?

A: I've always had an interest in music, but it's never really taken me anywhere. Electrock was made with some free drum program I had downloaded and spent a night or two playing around with. I'm not particularly proud of those submissions or anything, but they may just be the foundation for something in the future. My interest in music just seems to go away and pop up randomly- usually going away due to a loss of interest.
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Q: The mighty kahuna would start an interesting that you would call the Constipated Old Man Choir. I just have to ask this simple question. Where on earth did this idea come from?

A: Oh man, those were good times. Those basically came from some laughs with a few friends in an Xbox Live party. The Constipated Old Man's Choir is somewhat of an inside joke. We often joke about live performances, music videos, records, and clothing lines branded after them.
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Q: What can we expect from Littleluckylink in the future?

A: Zombies and violence for the most part. However, the future is uncertain at this point, as I'm currently not in a great situation in life. These past few months have basically been hell, and I've lost access to my laptop for the most part. It's a troubled situation, but hopefully things may settle within the next three months.. I can't say when these new movies will come, but I can say that they will come. I'm practically making new scripts each day. I also definitely hope to pursue a career in animation later.
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Littleluckylink is an interesting artist. If one thing you have noticed about these interviews everybody here makes a start somewhere whether it be with sprites, stick figures, or Madness characters. The point is no matter what you have with enough imagination and artistic skill you can tell a wonderful story.
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Interview with The Forum Regulars

2011-07-01 04:48:21 by TheInterviewer
Updated

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

Interview No. 53
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guests are members of Newgrounds who are part of the Newgrounds Forums. The following members are Squidbit, ZJ, Travis, and Ryanson. They are four regulars of the Newgrounds forums.

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ANSWERS WILL BE POSTED BENEATH THE _A:_ DUE TO TWO PEOPLE BEING INTERVIEWED PERSON ANSWERING WILL BE NOTED AS SO.
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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A:

Squidbit: When I was little, I saw a couple kids in the library playing Bowman 2, and I figured out that they were on newgrounds, so I went there too to try to find the game. Unfortunately I stumbled onto the portal, and couldn't figure it out at all, so I didn't come back to the site for a long time. I don't remember why I came back.

ZJ: This question is going to require a bit of backstory...In my youth, my father bought me an N64. After that fateful day, I was helplessly addicted to video games. The first two games that I ever really owned and played were Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64, which explains why I'm such a devoted Mario fan. With that in mind, you have to remember that just about everything I did when I was a kid was tied to Mario and Nintendo. I was obsessed with him.

Well, when I was about 11 or 12, I got into the internet a bit more, finding the ability to play games and watch cartoon movies for free to be quite appealing. After a while, I found some flash websites and was blown away by the fact that they had Mario cartoons and shit. I found it awesome that Mario was having crazy new adventures and doing things he would never do in his real games, like shoot Koopas with a shotgun.

So, while looking for Mario flash films, I stumbled upon a flash site known as VGDC. There, I found a guy by the name of Randy Solem. Randy had some of the best production values for sprite flashes on the internet and I fell in love with some of his works like "Mario Gets Lucky". I soon started watching his epic series "Rise of the Mushroom Kingdom". After watching three episodes of it, I eagerly awaited the final installment. When it came out, it wasn't hosted on VGDC, but this new website, called "Newgrounds". After watching the fourth movie, I looked around the website and was amazed by the variety of flash films. Just finding the collection of Mario flash films about had me pissing myself. Also, as I went through puberty, I found the website's dress-up games to be quite amazing. So, after lurking around the website for some time, I decided to become a member. So, on a particularly boring day in July of 2006, I made an account and have been hanging out on here since then. I guess you could say the reason why was for the video game flashes and porn. LOL.

Travis: Way back when the first Madness cartoon was a hot ticket on the internet, me and a friend were mesmerized by it. We found it on Funnyjunk.com and that just stuck with me because it was a great animation and for little kids, it was the violence that was the draw. Fast forward a few years down the road when Madness Apotheosis was released. I did a search on Madness, in Google, wanting to get some nostalgia and Newgrounds was the first link that popped up with a Madness Apotheosis. From there I was basically a lurker until the fated day last year in which I signed up.

Ryanson: When asked, I often say I found Newgrounds with my friends way back when. This is all a true story too, if not terribly boring -- we were deep into DBZ, and when we were "first" getting into girls one of us found a Dress-Up Bulma game. Giggity. I don't know when that was, but after a few visits, I finally joined in 2005.

I don't quite remember why but I assume that is was because of a music video collab called "I Hate It When..." It's a bunch of video game parodies set to the tune of a Reel Big Fish song (coincidentally, my first). I believe this because after looking back (there was some thread that had a link that allowed you to see what a webpage looked like on a previous date) this video was on the front page the same day I signed up
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Q: What is it about Newgrounds that you like the most and why?
A:

Squidbit: The BBS, it's pretty fun. I hardly even watch movies or play games anymore, I just stick around the BBS.

ZJ: I love the community. Most of the people on here and crazy assholes who produce amazing pieces of art and have fun. Just look at the staff members. Those guys run a great website that showcases the talents of countless authors and do it in a fun way. Take for instance the latest staff flash project, Plimpton's Video Falconry. It's basically a spoof on classic video games from the Intellivision era. There's no real reason for them to have created the game other than that it was fun for them to do. There's countless things like this that make this website so amazing and unique. I love the NG holidays like Pico Day and Clock Crew Day and I think they make this one of the most original spots on the internet. It's just so cool the way that this place is all business when it comes to making art, but can still have fun with it. This is like that cool bar with fun-loving professionals in it.

Travis: I like the layed back feel of it the most. There are many things that make this site great once you get past the bullshit. After you comb through the spam flash, you can find some real professional works of art. When you want to listen to some great music, from covers to original works, the Audio Portal is the place to go for music when you aren't feeling itunes.

There is also a great level of maturity on these forums that people look over. If you take a close look at the people who make the jokes about themselves and you look at their serious posts, you find intelligent and mature people. I find it great that people on here can have fun, but be serious when they need to be.

Ryanson: I REALLY like, and I believe that this is the one reason why I'm still here, that there is so much to do on Newgrounds. Music to listen to, art to look at, movies to watch, games to play, things to discuss.... this is a HUGE community.
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Q: What is it about Newgrounds that you dislike the most and why?
A:

Squidbit: Not much I don't like about NG... I guess waiting for the redesign.

ZJ: Like most people on here, I detest the fact that the chat is not working and has been like that for the past few years. I know it probably takes a bit of time to get a full-functioning chat to come to fruition, but goddamn. If this website is serious about competing against the big boys of Youtube as a media outlet, you'd think they'd stop joking around about the fact that they don't have a working chat. Seriously, it's 2011. They can make a chat work and in my honest opinion, they should have already gotten it done. Hopefully it'll be around after the newest redesign. Then I'll have nothing real to bitch about.

Travis: There are several things which annoy me the most on Newgrounds and I have good reason to dislike each of them. One of the things I can't stand are people who treat the forums like a text message and don't understand the difference between a semicolon and an apostrophe. I am a grammar-nazi, but after taking AP English this year in school, I have realized that you can sound quite professional on your writing alone, so I take pride in making no errors and making typos very rare on my part.

Another one of the things I can't stand are the Elitists on Newgrounds. There is no reason to bring something completely unrelated into a topic just because they think their opinion of what's better is a fact. Nobody honestly cares about anything like this because it's all preference. I can't stress enough how annoying it is when you see it day in and day out.

Ryanson: I really hate how seriously some people take Newgrounds.

But that's not really JUST Newgrounds, that's the Internet in general. So how about this: I strongly dislike how so much crap people submit actually makes it through the Portal. Luckily, the exceptionally good stuff is showcased for us on the front page. But still, so have so much crap stuffed in the back of the closet... it'll eventually all come out in one big burst.

Maybe not. Idk what I'm talking about.
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Q: What is your stance on the Forum Moderators?
A:

Squidbit: They do their jobs, I've got nothing against them. Although sometimes Malachy goes a little overboard with backseat modding bans. Helping people isn't always backseat modding.

ZJ: They're just like any other group of people. Some of them are amazing people who are kind, professional, and all-around awesome and deserve to be placed in charge of others on the Forums. Others are complete assholes who go on power-trips with their roles or just take things too goddamn serious. Honestly, when a moderator is taking a weird stance on an obscure rule to ban you, there's some problem.

But for the most part, I don't have a problem with the mods and I think they're alright. I've seen worse mods on some websites and I've seen better, too, but for the most part I think they're alright. I think they're doing a fine job and if things stay as they are, I'd probably be okay with that. Heck, maybe someday I'll be one of them (Oh fuck, I'm not supposed to request it, right?) and then I'll say that mods are the best people ever. Hahahaha.

Travis: For the most part the forum moderators are doing a hell of a job. They have treated me mature in all of my run ins and many of them have had very intellectual and honest conversations with myself. They seem to like me and every one of them that I have had conversations with, both parties have left satisfied.

I want to take a quick moment to say that Bahamut and Avie are both great friends and moderators and they have treated me as an equal and have listened which is what I like best in any moderator.

Ryanson: They're there for a reason, to protect the forums.
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Q: Would you like to be a Newgrounds Forum Moderator? Whatever your answer could you explain?
A:

Squidbit: Not at all, too much shit in the forums, I wouldn't want any kind of responsibility in a place I come to for fun. Plus I would probably ban people just cause I don't like them.

ZJ: Okay, so, the unwritten rule is that you're not supposed to ask to be a mod, but I think I can break from that on here...

I would like to be a mod on the Forums. I think it looks like a fun job and I think that the moderators on here have a tight-knit community. I know that a lot of them even make an effort to go to meet-ups and hang out with bigtime NG regulars and staff members. SO, based on that social aspect alone, I think I'd like to be a mod. I guess I could also give you a nice altruistic reason for being a mod like to "serve the greater good" or "Clean up the spam and shit on the boards", but the truth is that I'm not a Nazi about that kind of stuff. If I were a mod, I'd lurk around and make sure that things were okay and that porn and spam weren't getting posted, but I probably would not be an ass and make sure that every single user follows every single bbs rule, both official and unofficial, to the letter. I'd basically take the mod job just to hang out with the group of dudes and make sure that this place is a better posting spot for everyone. Isn't that what every mod should be like?

Also, I'd like to say that I might not be mod on account of my ban record. LOL. I haven't been banned for that many things, but I have tried to mimic Stamper a few times with risqué photos and I've paid dearly for it. SO, ban record aside, if I could mod my own way with my own principals, I'd definitely like to do it.

Travis: Although it brings an impressive work load and the need for constant monitoring, I would definitely be proud to be a forum moderator. The main reason I would want to be a forum moderator would be to help out Newgrounds and to help the other mods. I would want to be the guy that people look up to as well as the guy that will be fair and unbiased with anyone. Sure, I have gotten in petty arguments with certain people on the forums, but I would treat them the same as anyone else.

Either way, to be a moderator would be a great honor and I would just plain love it. Basically serving the site that brings me joy on a daily basis would be like a dreamjob internet wise. I can't imagine anywhere else on the internet where I would want to help, other than here.

Ryanson: I kind of want it, but I'm scared of having power -- even if that power is virtual. I fear that I may abuse it, or at the very least think of myself as better than most. I might post "Oh, you can't do that... but I can because I'm a mod LOLOLOL"

I don't like that idea.

And then again, I don't want it because being a Forum Mod... it's almost like you can't post on the same level as everyone else. You have to sacrifice your own time and put in effort to make sure others are following the rules. I think I explained that right.

So really... I guess I don't want to. Dammit.
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Q: Which forums do you mainly visit and which forums do you seldom visit?
A:

Squidbit: I usually only go to general, but lately I've been going to the VG forum for the Minecraft thread. I never really go to any of the other forums.

ZJ: I mainly visit General, Clubs & Crews, and Video Games. These are the spots where the most people are and where I can talk about what interests me the most. Really, these are the spots where I can have a good time and hang out with pals. I've also drifted in and out of the politics board, based on whims.

I seldom visit the Network News Forum. Really, that place sucks and hasn't been used for quite some time. LOL.

Everywhere else I try to visit from time to time and post in them when I can. The problem is that I can't post in places like the Audio, Art, Programming, Flash, etc. boards because I don't have the skills necessary to have real discussions in them. Hopefully one day I will, but for now, I'll just stick around and bullshit with the other untalented bums on this website. Hahaha.

Travis: I visit all of the forums other than politics because that's just an argument waiting to happen. Although I visit all of the forums I mainly post in General and Video Games. I would say that I lurk very heavily in the Collaboration Forum. Although I frequent the Where Is/How To? Forum, I would love to get more involved there and help people find stuff.

Mainly, though, my forums are General and Video Games.

Ryanson: I visit the General Forum almost 100% of the time. I've really only ever posted in Clubs and Crews, the Review Request Club and the Sig Maker's Club. Almost no where else.
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Q: Each forum has a way of describing what you can find in it. However this is the definition of the General Forum...

"Talk about the stuff on Newgrounds, chit-chat with other fans, or whatever!"

Would you agree that over time that description still fits to the General Forum?
A:

Squidbit: Yeah pretty much, but I would take the "or whatever!" out, because most of the time posting something that would go under the "whatever" category gets you banned. At least when posting threads.

ZJ: Sure. General has always been the place to chit-chat. I'd say that the place to talk about Newgrounds shit has sorta shifted to Tom's posts on the NG News Board, but not enough to where General has been made obsolete. The fact that the definition of General includes "Whatever" is fitting because anything and everything had popped up on there. The number of memes and inside-jokes that that place has generated is amazing. So, yeah, time has not changed what that description means to the General Forum.

Travis: Oh definitely. General is the "Main Tower" in the "City" that is the BBS for good reason. Anything and everything is talked about there. From dick jokes to popular and weird news stories. The place is great to get a good spectrum view of the internet.

Ryanson: "General" is a wide umbrella term, so I think mostly the "whatever" part is still accurate. The crazy stuff we talk about, haha. It's not necessarily with other fans, or even about other stuff on Newgrounds. It's just... whatever.

I suppose the description still fits to an extent, but maybe not even that. Most of the time I see anyone starting a thread about something about Newgrounds someone will come in the thread and say, Hey, this belongs in such and such forum.
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Q: If you could change anything on Newgrounds, what would it be and why?
A:

Squidbit: "Some account type thingy here"
I'd actually put some account type thingy there, right now it just seems out of place. But maybe that'll change whenever the redesign comes.

ZJ: To rehash what I said before, I'd put the damn NG Chat on here. Why?

Here's Why:

1. We're not some indie shit website. Newgrounds is well-known website that is run by a professional staff and makes a decent amount of money. The fact that we don't have a basic personal chat function that ties into our user accounts is embarrassing. Let's put that shit on here.

2. So that people can stop bitching about it. Won't it be great when the NG staff can finally just deliver on it and allow the users on this website to bitch about something else...like Pico 2? It'll just be one less thing to fix with this website.

Travis: If I could change something in the entire world of Newgrounds, I would probably make a more extreme flash filter. Seriously, some of the shit that gets through on a daily basis is ridiculous. I am happy to see that the staff and friends are purging the spam flash and anything with stolen pictures and stuff.

Ryanson: Mmm. If I could change anything... Idk.
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Q: What can we expect from the forum regulars in the future?
A:

Squidbit: I don't know? I can't really speak for everyone else on the forum, and I'm not sure how to answer this even if I could...

ZJ: You can expect nothing. The beautiful thing about these forums is that you never know what crazy shit is going to pop up on here until you're staring it right in the face. That's what makes this place so much fun. Every day is a new adventure and always a surprise. The only thing you can really expect is that you'll see something cool and new...and that there will probably be some dick jokes. You can probably expect some dick jokes in there.

Travis: All of the regs have their own individuality so you don't know what we will come up with next. You will just have to wait to find out, but I definitely got an unlimited array of tricks waiting and ready to be unleashed on the unsuspecting Newgrounds crowd.

Ryanson: We can expect that there will undoubtedly be noobs or attempted trolls. We can expect that there will be people that current or past regulars will hate the new bunch. But most importantly, we can expect that they will be what Newgrounds needs to continue living on.
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So there you have it. These are four members of Newgrounds who have voiced their opinions on the Newgrounds Forums as well as Newgrounds as a whole. It is sad to see how some members are only here for the BBS and nothing else seeing as how this site has so much to offer. Well we've heard from these four now it is time for the Moderators.
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Interview with FromADistance #2

2011-06-18 02:11:44 by TheInterviewer
Updated

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

NOTE! THE FOLLOWING USER IS NOW REFERRED AS FromADistance. HOWEVER IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THIS INTERVIEW THAT YOU KNOW HIS PREVIOUS USERNAME WHICH WAS Bahamut.

Interview No. 52
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest has been here once before. I chose him for his contributions to Newgrounds and for being a very helpful user. It's funny how he's being interviewed once again for the exact same thing, but now he's doing even more by assisting with the Icon Moderators, he has even won the 2010 Newgrounds Tank Trophy for Best User of Newgrounds. He is once again Bahamut.

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Q: Last time we talked one thing that I brought up was you becoming a Forum Moderator. Now you are also an Icon Moderator. How did you come about getting this position and for those who don't know, what does an Icon Moderator do?

A: I've been an icon moderator since June 2010 when the new icon format was announced. A year before I was one of the original genre mods helping out with Tom to update flashes with genres and tags which will come to full use with the upcoming redesign. When it came to the announcement of the new icon format as well as recruiting icon mods, I didn't even need to think twice about the position since updating flashes with genres and tags as well as making new icons was simply hitting two birds with one stone.

Icon mods update any flashes that have yet to have a 140x90 thumbnail and so far at least 50,000 flash submissions have new thumbnails. It isn't that hard of a job to find a good screenshot to represent the flash movie/game and crop it on Photoshop, GIMP or whatever but the real challenge is the motivation to keep on going. Not only are these icon mods helping out with the upcoming redesign, they're also coming across many great submissions they may have overlooked all this time. I've added at least 90 flashes to my favourites thanks to my icon/genre modding duties.
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Q: You and I have spoken about you winning the 2009 Mid-Year Awards and 2009 BBS Awards for Most Underrated and the 2010 Mid-Year Awards for Best Poster. Now you have received The 2010 Newgrounds Tank Award for User of the Year. What is your response to this and did you think somebody else was going to win? If so then who?

A: I was really amazed how I won the tank award for User of the Year. Out of all the users who visit the site on a regular basis, they awarded the trophy to me. I was 100% sure it was out of my league up until the point when Tom was commenting on the work that needs to be done for the upcoming redesign. It was then I knew I won User of the Year 2010. As for who I thought could have won it instead of me, it could have been anyone with a true contribution to the site. I thought someone like Oney or HappyHarry would have been the ideal User of the Year 2010 since not only do they make flash content that's loved by many, they also make many appearances at NG events and do interact very well on the site.
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Q: You sir are certainly quite the writer. A journalist if you will. Your series "Gaming Bullshit Rants" have been fun to read. You have now started yet another writing project and that is Metal Monday. Could you tell us about Metal Monday and what inspired you to create it?

A: The idea occurred to me when I was thinking of all the underrated songs in heavy metal. I've been looking further and further in underground heavy metal where all these bands would never have a spot on the radio or any music channels and the best recognition some will ever have is a track appearance on Brutal Legend. It also depresses me when they have little to no reviews on Metal-Archives or barely have any comments on YouTube or Last.fm where others can express how good or bad a song really is. The idea for Metal Monday is to talk about songs that are severely overlooked in general and talk about the song as a whole. I can't really do that on Metal-Archives due to the no track-by-track review rule so this is a great opportunity for me to talk about individual songs.
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Q: Whenever someone undergoes a project like the one you've taken on the one hard choice is how do you start it and how do you end it. I think you've started it wonderfully with Black Sabbath - Master of Insanity. You've stated that...

"what better way to start things off than to begin with the band who are often considered the pioneers of heavy metal."

Do you stand by this statement and could you give us a more detailed reasoning to this?

A: I'm definitely still happy with that statement, especially when Black Sabbath are well regarded as the true beginning of heavy metal. Although some metal elements may have been present in the 1960s, it wasn't until Black Sabbath came along that showed what the sound of heavy metal is meant to be like. I honestly couldn't think of a better way to kick off my Metal Monday project than to cover the band that started it all.
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Q: I believe that one of your more interesting posts to Metal Monday is that of Christopher Lee - Act III: The Bloody Verdict of Verden. Christopher Lee has been a favorite actor of mine and this is just fascinating while at the same time bizarre, a combination that can bring forth disaster or pure Rock. How did you come across this and what made you want to write about it?

A: Over the recent years I've mostly known Christopher Lee for his voice role in Rhapsody of Fire's albums (before that it was his role as Saruman in Lord of the Rings). They have him for narrative roles in their concept album series known as The Dark Saga which they started with Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Saga in 2004. For his voice appearance in Rhapsody of Fire's music, it's less surreal to me that he'd make a metal album (well, somewhat) of his own. I just heard about it one day and had to pre-order it as soon as possible. When considering the songs for Metal Monday, I had to throw in one of Christopher Lee's songs for a laugh.
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Q: I dug up something old when I asked you about your first post on the Newgrounds BBS within the thread pokemon fans only. Looking back on that and your posting today would you say you've grown?

A: Most certainly! I signed up at the age of 14 and I'll be turning 21 in July. I'm more relaxed, knowledgeable and more capable of dealing with debates on the forums. Time sure changes on Newgrounds.
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Q: If you could change anything about Newgrounds what all would you change?

A: One thing I would like is the return of the hourly picks on front page. This was on the site up until the 2007 redesign and it randomly picked three submissions every hour that have less than 1,000 views. I think there was another that picked a few submissions daily that never had a daily award but it's hard to recall now, it's been that long ago. Still, bringing that back would at least give the small flashes a chance to shine, even if it's just for a brief period.
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Q: What can we expect from Bahamut in the near future?

A: Just my ongoing work but I do have the London meet to attend in August. Hopefully there'll be another meet event in England sometime in early 2012 just like how we had the Manchester meet back in January but with us moving away from London next year due to the London 2012 olympics, it might be that we'll only have one England meet next year. Additionally, I'd like to attend Pico Day 2012 at the NG office so I'll have to make travel arrangements in six months time. I really should have been there for this Pico Day but what can we do now? Anything else, we'll see what happens but after winning User of the Year 2010, it's really hard to do any better than that. Still, the site will continue to grow and there'll be opportunities to do other things.
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Not only is Bahamut a very helpful user and moderator he is a dear friend to many people here and more than deserves his award for Best User. I'm happy for him for winning it and I honestly don't see anyone more deserving of this than him.
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Interview with xKore

2011-06-10 01:59:48 by TheInterviewer
Updated

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

Interview No. 51
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guest is the winner of the 2010 Newgrounds Tank Award for Best Musician of the Year. He is one of the masters of the Dubstep genre here on Newgrounds. He is none other than xKore.

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

A: I think I joined for the same reason as most other people. I wasn't a musician before I joined or anything. Some friends showed me some funny Flash animations and games on here and that's why I signed up. I then later discovered the audio portal and that was the start of that journey.
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Q: How did you discover music?

A: I really can't remember a time before music for me. I grew up on 90s rap, hip hop and grunge as a child, listening to the songs my older brothers were listening to, pop wasn't really my thing.

The more important part of musical discovery for me was getting into electronic dance music (or EDM), which I produce nowadays. Clubland and Hardcore Euphoria CD's were what got me started.
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Q: Your first song on Newgrounds would be entitled xKore - View. I reviewed it and enjoyed it very much. What was the process you took into creating this song and looking back on it now are you still proud of it?

A: This was when I was more into melodic trance and dance music. I also remember listening to music by The Carpenters around then aswell, and was interested in the chord progressions being used in 70's and 80's pop ballads, which I used as inspiration for the chord progression in View.

Other than that it was standard Vengeance samples and Nexus instrumentation, and me trying to emulate melodic trance but also experimenting with my own techniques.

I would say I'm fairly proud of it, it's one of those songs that the experience of making it gives you the feeling that you are advancing and becoming a better musician, and it was my first step in becoming what I am today.
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Q: Out of all your songs one of my favorites by you has to be xKore - Syntax. What was the process you took into bringing this robotic creation to life?

A: Syntax started out as an experimenal offshoot of my other song Polyphonic. The main meat of the song was a really simply bass sound going into my recently then acquired Guitar Rig, as a kind of experiment, then I tried a ton of different sounds to go with the kick/bass sequence and I thought a glitchy vocal flute sound fitted. From that I made a ton of variation sequences.

The sound effects spotted around in the song came from a Transformers sound effects pack I found on the internet (the Transformers cartoons). Reso's Temjin EP had recently come out around this time which is what inspired me to do this.

I was using some mastering techniques I had learnt from collabing with some other DnB artists, which gave it that really punchy fat sound.
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Q: How do you come up with these ideas? Does the beat just start playing in your head or is it what surrounds you? In other words how does the tune come to be and when does it turn into a song?

A: The way I see it, there are three main ways that ideas come to me, none of them are really purposeful or planned, and they are all quite fundamental and not really ideas for songs, but I then end up making songs around these ideas.

First is idea sex, this is when you take two seperate ideas, and make a new idea out of them. For example, I took the kick/bass hits ideas from some neurofunk songs and combind it with the idea of weird tempo dubstep to come up with the kick/bass sequence to Syntax. Matt Ridley did an interesting TED talk on this.

Second is being experimental. You see a feature on a synth and you think 'what if I used it in this way?' or you use a totally unrelated tool on a sound to create a new and weird sound. For example I've started using Vocodex (an effects plugin meant for vocals) on my basslines because I just thought I would experiment with it one day and lo and behold it sounds really fucking good.

The last is musical accidents. When you set out to do one thing and end up doing something different that actually sounds better. This happens alot to me when I try and make a song from an idea in my head, I end up not being able to exactly recreate the song in my head but end up making something completely different that actually sounds better.
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Q: For those who probably don't understand, perhaps you can explain. What is the difference between Techno, Trance, Drum N Bass, and Dubstep?

A: Techno has a four to the floor beat (four kick drums hitting in a regular rhythm every bar). I'm not too savvy on techno, but it's mainly influenced by a technological kind of sound with drums made synthetically by drum machines and with short synthetic riffs that are looped. Many people confuse techno with electronic music as a whole, it's actually a very particular genre.

Trance has a four to the floor beat, it's similar to techno but originiated in a different part of the world and has different influences. Trance songs usually have more relatively complex chord structures and melodies to them.

Drum n Bass has a breakbeat (kick-snare---ki-snare kind of sound) and is mainly around the 170 bpm tempo range. That's really all a song need to be considered drum and bass tbh.

Dubstep has a half-time beat (kick-----snare------) and is around the 140bpm range. Mainly focused around the sub bass.
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Q: Oza & xKore - Serenade you have given to us just to show us that it exists. Perhaps you could elaborate more into this song's creation for us?

A: Serenade is a song I made quite some time ago to see how the spanish guitar sounded from the free Yellow Independance sample library. It ended up turning into a progressive trance kind of song similar to that of deadmau5 i guess.

Oza was an artist that was signed to the same label as me when I released a couple of trance songs (didn't do too good). He's signed to some pretty big labels now, and said he wanted to remix Serenade, I let him and then called it a collab so we could get it signed easier, which we are in the process of doing now.
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Q: There are many other musicians getting into music. What advice would you like to give them?
A:
I have a few I'd like to say.

Keep making music, it's the only way you'll get better. The people that are really good at producing are usually the people that didn't give up and kept on making music.

Always experiment and try new things, this is essential for learning your tools and developing your own style. For every song you should be trying to do new things.

Reviews are overrated. Get involved in the community, make some friends that are the same level as you and ask them to nit pick your songs if you really want them to. More importantly develop your own sense of critical listening, listen to songs and try and isolate elements and then decide if you think they sound good or not.

Exposure is overrated. Focus on making better music, once you are good enough, send your shit to a label and get signed. Then you can worry about exposure, because that's only when it starts to actually matter, instead of just feeding your ego.

Be open minded about music. If come across music you don't like, at least find something to appreciate about it.

Try and strike the balance between making music for yourself and making music for others. As idealic as it sounds, making music for yourself just isn't how the world works. On the other hand, making music to satisfy others is how you become generic and lose identity.

Try and be organized. You should keep a folder of samples you've made in previous projects and patches you've made. It makes things a ton easier.
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Q: You have received the 2010 Newgrounds Tank Award for Best Musician of the Year. What are your thoughts on winning this award and if you had to choose who did you think was going to win it?

A: I'm happy that I won it, and I'm glad there are alot of people out there that see value in the things I do.

My nominations for the award were Bjra, Sorohanro, Dj-Nate, Quarl. All great audio artists that helped out alot this year in the community. I think everyone should check them out
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Q: In your own words what would you say is the definition of music?

A: I like to agree with the actual dictionary definition of music being 'Art in the form of sound'. Some people can see art in noise and others can see art in natural ambience. I can appreciate that.
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Q: What can we expect from xKore in the future?

A: In the immediate future I have two EPs coming out, Splatthouse and Destroyer, with 3 and 4 tracks respectively. More info can be found on my recent newsposts.

I'm currently collabing with Syrebral and KillBillVolume2 at the moment, with prospective future collabs with Davr, Rig, Centra, Emporer, Breaknoise and TheBiocide.

I have a ton of unfinished projects I need to get done aswell. Also, a remix of Krowe - Juggernaut and a remix for an Activa remix comeptition.

I might be establishing a digital label over the summer depending on how things go.
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Upon interviewing xKore, he is one that enjoys making music and sharing it with us here. He certainly deserves his Newgrounds Tank Trophy for his contributions to Newgrounds. If you haven't checked out his music then you should, his music more than speaks for itself.
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Interview with Monocrom

2011-06-03 16:45:31 by TheInterviewer
Updated

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

Interview No. 50
Interview By:
The-Great-One

For those who have been here reading The Interviewer then you will know for every tenth interview I try to shed light on those who are a bit unknown or not being recognized for their works. For my tenth interview I spoke with James Lee and Hania before they're masterpiece Tarboy came into light. For the 20th interview I chose Jack Bromhead known on Newgrounds as Neo-uk in which his Pelican series is getting small recognition and has received awards for his latest work Love4Dead. The interview with HeRetiK would be my 30th interview and long overdue whose latest work includes 60 Second Life and infect. evolve. repeat. 2. For my 40th interview I strayed away from the usual artist and decided to show a group of people whose goals were to make Newgrounds a better place, they were The Elite Guard Barracks.

Overtime I have recruited others to do interviews as well, so they're contributions are greatly appreciated. More than anyone else would be Ryanson. I thank him for bringing us the interviews with Andrew Huang of Songs To Wear Pants To, who despite not being a Newgrounds member has given his music to the creative minds of Newgrounds.

Today is an outstanding day, the 50th interview. With this mind I would like to keep with tradition and shed some light on someone. He is more known of the writers and older members of Newgrounds. He is known for A little ghost story., "Love Me." (A Short Story)., and 5 Kings. He is the one and only Monocrom.

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

A: I decided one day to mess around on the internet. Typed "My Miserable Life .com" into the search engine. Imagine my surprise when a website with that very name actually popped up. It's not very active at all. But one time it clearly was. Filled with real life tales of misery. The one that I still remember clearly for some odd reason is the one about a young virgin who wanted to please her boyfriend. He wanted anal sex, and she agreed. He gave her herpes down there. She's now trapped in a small town, working a low-paying job just to afford the expensive prescription medicine she needs to keep her condition in check. Family isn't much help since the only older male role-model in her life spends his days in front of the computer, masturbating.

My best friend's brother who I'm friends with as well, we got together one day; and we exchanged sites we knew about. I told him about the one above. He told me about Rotten.com (which has a link to NG.) Found the link, found New Grounds. Found some high-quality flashes. One was very touching. But some jackass wrote a disgusting review. I made an account simply so I could post a better one. I had been lurking on NG since june or july of '05 before then. After having made the review, I decided to check out the forums.
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Q: One of your first pieces of writing on Newgrounds would be a small poem entitled "A LOVE POEM" and it would be posted in the Newgrounds' Poem Competition. Where did the inspiration come from when writing this and looking back on it are you still proud of it?

A: Inspired from a poem done on Saturday Night Live by Eddie Murphy as he recounts how he killed his landlord. Lifted the "What the heck" portion directly from it. Still proud of it. Must admit it was done as a lark. Took me about 5 minutes to come up with it. Practically no effort at all. But it was funny. Others enjoyed it for its humor. That's what counts.
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Q: One of your more famous stories that I am quite eager to question you about is entitled A little ghost story.. There is a lot to talk about here and we're going to take it step by step. First off, what inspired you to write this?

A: It's odd, but story ideas often pop into my head. Ironically, I'll often get the Beginning, the Ending, and one or two scenes first. Then the rest develops on its own. This one developed much faster than all the others. I had been working on my first short story collection at the time for New Grounds. This was supposed to be the crown jewel in that collection. But it wouldn't stop developing in my head. Soon I realized I had a story that needed its own thread. The very first scenes I had were the Ending and the scene in which Alice is held up and prevented from tumbling down the stairs by the ghost. Those two scenes remained unchanged. Sometimes I'll just pick a subject or story idea, and it just comes to me. I wanted to write my own take on a ghost story. And it hit me in the head like a 90mph fastball.
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Q: How did you come about choosing the different Newgrounds members for "A little ghost story" and what say did said members have in their characters?

A: The start of my ghost story topic was back when NG was still full of plenty of the veteran users. I knew most of them. Knew some of the cool users who were a bit unknown at the time. I PMed them, and asked if they'd like to be included. None ever said "no." While I incorporated aspects of their personalities into my story, I made it clear that they had no say as to what happened to their characters or how the characters would behave. None. It was their personality aspects that made it easy to pick which character they'd play. tigerkitty for example is rather warm and caring. (No big secret there for those who read through her posts.) So she got the role of mom, in the story.
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Q: Throughout this story it's certainly a complex one told through different time periods, but all of one location. At one point it's a ghost story, another it's a cop story, then a murder mystery, a science fiction story, but they all have one thing in common and that is they're all drama stories that all link together. When making a connection through these stories it is important to not let certain paths cross until the right time, did you have troubles with this?

A: Oh absolutely! While some have told me they found the title misleading. "Hey, nothing little about it." There was also nothing little about keeping everything in the proper order. I'm actually very old fashioned when it comes to HOW I write. In order to keep everything in order, I used a notebook and a pen. Each event in each timeline had to coincide at the proper moment. When it did, I crossed the summary of the event off of my notebook. When the story was done, each event was crossed out. Nothing left in the notebook.
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Q: Every character in "A little ghost story" are indeed memorable. My favorites being Andersson, Carmilla, and Ozcar. Newgrounds members yes, but were their characters built around part of their personalities on Newgrounds or did creativity spark within you to give us something different?

A: This is where interacting with other NGers is a blast. With Andersson, it was on a related forum outside NG that he used to run. (Gone now, sadly.) With Ozcar, it was in the NG Martial Arts club which sadly has also slowed down greatly. With Carmilla, it was through PMs. Sometimes very funny ones. Taking aspects of all of their personalities, I can easily see them playing the roles they had in my story. (The chapter where Carmilla dresses down a member of the hospital billing staff is taken directly from something I experienced. A very negative experience.)
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Q: Your short story "Infected" would be a submission to the Second Annual Newgrounds Idol and would be the winner in the Story Category of the Idol. For our readers could you tell us what the story is about, without revealing any spoilers in which I mean the fascinating plot twist at the end? Also how did it feel winning the Idol?

A: While many simply enjoyed it for what it was, an intersting story that catches your attention and holds onto it, I wrote it to be enjoyed based on the reader's point of view regarding military discipline. Some feel it's ridiculously strict. Those in the military recognize its importance. I'm not going to lie. I personally fall into the latter category. I've never served. But I do see the importance of honor, duty, and discipline. These are not just hollow words. And they are most important under circumstances that seem silly to hold onto them. It felt fantastic winning the award. I still have the NG T-shirt I won back then. Wore it to the NYC Meet last weekend.
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Q: Your short story "The Guardian" is probably the first story I read by you. It was posted in the Third Annual Newgrounds Idol!. Another brilliantly written story that throws a plot twist at the end. Where did the inspiration come from for this piece and how did you feel about the honorable mention that was given to you?

A: April 10th, 2008. Half an hour past Midnight at the very start of the day. Light rain on the expressway. An idiot in a non-mini van missed his exit. Rather than go on to the next one which would have put him 2 miles out of his way, he decides to flick on his blinker while immediately trying to get across two lanes of traffic as he's about to miss his exit. Being in the lane he suddenly swerved into, I hit my brakes. They locked up because some bean-counter over at Ford decided that cheap anti-brake technology was still not cheap enough to put into a '98 Ford Escort. I got hit. Went sliding sideways into the stonewall of the exit ramp. Car totalled. Miracle I wasn't injured or killed. Sprained left wrist and a headache. (I always wear my seatbelt.) Air-bag exploded in my face and I breathed in the choking fumes from it. It would be 11 months before I could get a new car. (Used the old family sedan for work til then. A '92 Mercuray Sable. Ironically, a car that has anti-lock brakes.)

Nearly getting killed that night was the inspiration. When I got the honorable mention, they didn't know the real story behind it.
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Q: "Flowers from Friends" would be your entry in the 9th Monthly Writing Contest: Spring Forth! which you would win. This story I find interesting, but at the same time I'm not fond of it's ending. Perhaps you can explain why the ending seems a bit missing to myself and our readers? As well as the inspiration for this story and how did you feel winning this contest?

A: One night, I was just imaging what it would be like to attend a swanky Hollywood party. And this story popped into my head. It would be realistic to encounter a very wealthy gay man in Hollywood. Still, I didn't want the standard tale of a rich guy getting whatever he wanted. So, this one came about. The ending was not something I simply put together because I didn't have one. It was done intentionally. The world is a cold, cruel, miserable place. And often, life-changing events do indeed happen in the blink of an eye. While you hope your loved ones will always be there for you. Sometimes they're not, and sometimes they are. But you never know until it happens. Younger NGers sometimes don't understand how quickly life can change, and often not for the better. I loved winning the contest. It never feels bad when you win at something you pour your soul into.
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Q: "Love Me." (A Short Story). is one of my favorites by you, because of the interpretation that can be given to it. It is certainly a great choice for readers to debate about. To hear from the author's mouth is different though. What inspired you to write this story and what is it's meaning?

A: Writers often write about "True Love." But I've noticed that few want to do more than just present it on a plate and write around it. I decided to do more than just scratch the surface of it. So, I grabbed a shovel. I wanted to write my own take on the aspect of true love. You get older, you notice women have the tendency to fall in love far too easily. Many give their hearts away to guys who simply don't want anything serious. Does it count as true love when forced on someone? I don't mean the kind where the guy gets threatened with a butcher's knife if he isn't interested in the woman. I mean the kind where, other than not being able to leave, you enjoy everything. A bird in a guilded cage that is fed the best food, given loving attention and warm, and all that is asked for in return is love. Sure it's forced. But it's far from torture. I even added the shape-shifting element. This one can even be whatever woman you want her to be. An 18 year-old with a tight body and perky breasts, to a more mature woman with DDs on her rack. And anything in between. She offers everything she has and is. All she wants in return is your love.

Many guys out there would indeed change their minds. Key-word being minds, not hearts. Still, for what you get from her, wouldn't it be worth it? That's what I wanted the reader to consider. True love can sometimes be one-sided, horribly one-sided. Something to consider.
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Q: 5 Kings would become your testament to the vampires. This is as you put it not a story for those with a weak stomach, but at the same time it's a breath taking story with twists and turns. When one writes about vampires they usually draw inspiration. Where did you draw your inspiration for this story and how did the Newgrounds members feel about participating in this one?

A: To be completely honest, I simply wanted to write my own vampire tale. But will admit that some inspiration came from the 5 mafia families that ruled NYC with an iron grip. Especially back in the 1970's. One thing I find frustrating is putting a new take on a variety of subjects that have been done to death by Writers from the past. Although I do find that my imagination is quite good at pulling off that trick. Never put a new twist on a plot that someone has done better than you. Unless you truly have something that you believe will be mind-blowingly good. (And you're willing to risk ridicule from others if you fail.)

5 Kings was written back before vampires became cool again. Before "Twilight," before "True Blood." Before any of that. My vampires don't glitter in the sunlight. They burn to ashes! Many of them see taking human life the way we look at a Big Mac. "Mmm . . . yummy!" I knew I could offer something not seen before in other vampire tales. So I went for it. It's easily one of my most popular tales on NG. Those I selected to be in it, loved it. Some more than others.
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Q: The Jade Chronicles is your latest creation. A side story to that of "5 Kings." Why did you feel the need to create a series of short stories for Jade?

A: Sometimes a character comes along that isn't done when the story is. That's the case here. I took our very own Jade. Made her into a vampire. Cranked up the sweet side of her personality to an insane degree. (Her user name on social networking sites is "hug monster." And she doesn't mind at all who knows it.) And then made her insane. It resulted in a truly fascinating character that was too big for just one tale.

To be honest, it was supposed to be a series of short stories involving Jade. Wasn't to have anything to do with "5 Kings" other than a continuation for one character. Then I realized that even though the short stories would be good. They'd be better if I melded them into "5 Kings" as a sequel. Which is what it has become. Although I have taken a brief break from "The Jade Chronicles," I shall soon be posting new chapters. Also, look for more short stories in my Short story collection II over at the NG Writing forum.
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Q: When it comes to writing. Where does the idea begin? When does the pen hit the paper and the first few words come down?

A: With regard to the latter, yes; sometimes story details do come out in the process as I'm writing. Perfect example would be Curtis from my little ghost story. He was actually supposed to be a very minor character. But then he developed literally as I was writing chapters. As for the former, I honestly have no clue where most of my story ideas come from. Some come from thinking about a specific subject. But I've been inspired by all sorts of odd things. TV commercials, an old memory, an overheard conversation while sitting in McDonald's, or a dream. Little things like that.
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Q: To write one must have an imagination to do so. Is creative writing genetic, or can it be taught?

A: No. You simply cannot teach someone to be creative. Either they have a great imagination that runs wild, or they don't. You can't teach someone to love baseball if they're simply not into sports. They can learn the rules of the game. They can sit and watch a game. But if there's no enthusiam there, don't expect them to cheer when a homerun is hit. There's a certain NGer who I'm not going to name. I've encouraged this individual to write, due to their intelligence and love of good stories. But it's like hitting a brick wall. And we both realized a story with their name on it simply wasn't going to happen. A love of good stories and intelligence isn't enough to CREATE a great tale. The imagination has to be there too. And that's not something you can teach others.
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Q: Do you have any writers that you look up to as mentors?

A: Mainly Stephen King. But he's far from perfect. When it comes to sexual content, his writing often degrades to that of a horny 15 year-old. He's allowed Hollywood to remake and change several of his stories. ("1408" is one of his shortest short stories. Yet Hollywood turned it into a feature-length movie.) He has published some short stories that should have been tossed away. And he sometimes overdoes the supernatural element. His least popular work, and even he admits it, is "Rose Madder." Ironically, the first 1/3 is excellent! It would have stood well without the supernatural element added in. Still, he's one of the greatest writers of all time.

Another author would be the late Jeff Copper. Having written mainly technical manuals on firearms use, he has written other books. His collection of short stories titled "FireWorks" is definitely worth checking out.
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Q: What can we expect from Monocrom in the future?

A: Near future will be the continuation of "The Jade Chronicles." And, more short stories added to my still active short story collection II thread. Plus, fewer wait times in between chapers and short stories. I can't type. And it takes me a very long time to update either thread. Usually 3+ hours per each update. I'm buying Dragon software so I can better manage my time. I'm sure my readers will appreciate that.
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Monocrom is one of the masters of the written word here on Newgrounds. A wonder of the plot twist. And overall a very kind and humble person. When the Lit Portal is released on Newgrounds I can see him rising above many. It's hard to describe a writer when their written words already does the job, to do so would be plagiarism.
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So here we are. 50 interviews in. Is this the end? Well if you keep up with my thread then you know it certainly is not the end. I would say it is only the beginning, but that's way too cliché and it's also a lie. There are many artists here on Newgrounds, some whose works have yet to be questioned and others who have given us newer works in time. I intend to get the answers for my faithful and fellow readers. So here's to another 50 interviews.
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Interview with mirosurabu and Xerus

2011-05-28 13:52:58 by TheInterviewer
Updated

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

Interview No. 49
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Today's guests are two individuals in which one is known while the other not so much. Although one has not done as much the other is known for games such as Recoil 1.3, Tower of Heaven, and I Love You 2. However together both of today's guests are known for the flash game Depict1 which has received the 2010 Newgrounds Tank Award for Best Game of the Year. They are none other than mirosurabu and Xerus.

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ANSWERS WILL BE POSTED BENEATH THE _A:_ DUE TO TWO PEOPLE BEING INTERVIEWED PERSON ANSWERING WILL BE NOTED AS SO.
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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A:

mirosurabu: Four years ago I was working on a music industry simulation game and I was in need of fresh ideas. A friend of mine sent me a link to Pico Sim Date 2, a dating simulation game made for Pico Day 07. I clicked the link and a Newgrounds page opened up for the first time in my life.

It took three years for me to join Newgrounds as I really hated flash games, mainly because of my frustrations with AS2. But, in 2009, a couple of developers I respect started making flash games so I had no other choice but to familiarize myself with the platform. I started looking at it, and the more I looked, the more I liked what I saw. But, it wasn't before Adam Saltsman made Flixel that I conquered my flash fears. That guy just popped out of the blue and solved all of my problems.

Within days I was making flash games.
Within months I was teaching other people how to do the same.
Awesome.

But most importantly, I made I Love You 2.
And then I joined Newgrounds.

Xerus: Way back in the day of the early internet on my dial up connection I found newgrounds through a friend that linked me to a couple of flash movies. One of my favorites back then was this classic: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
3484
This movie loads instantly for me now, but when I had to watch it when I first discovered Newgrounds it took probably 15 to 20 minutes to load on my dial up internet, and then half the time Newgrounds wouldn't even load making it even more epic every time I could manage to watch a flash cartoon.

I ended up joining just to make sure I had an account on the site under the name xerus. I didn't really plan on submitting any movies or games or anything like that, I just wanted to make sure my name was registered and that nobody else could snatch it up. In my early days I ended up using my account to leave really shitty reviews on people's animation and games. I was a pretty big asshole to people with my reviews... sorry about that
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Q: mirosurabu - For those who don't know, perhaps you could tell them. What does a Programmer do?

A: Programmer takes all of the game assets and assembles them into a game. If you make games, you are likely to be programmer.

Specifically, programmer writes scripts that describe how one's game behaves. Scripts are textual files written using specific programming language and specific programming framework. Once done, programmer sends these scripts to a program called compiler in order to produce a playable game - a SWF file.

I write code using AS3 programming language, Flashdevelop (code editor), Flex (compiler), and Adam's Flixel framework. I use Flash IDE from time to time too.
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Q: Xerus - Your first flash submission on Newgrounds would be entitled The Possessed Mouse. You stated that this was based on actual events could you please tell us this story as well as why you brought it into a cartoon form?

A: I made the Possessed Mouse as my animation project for one of my classes in school. I was a Digital Arts & Sciences major at Clarkson University, and most of my classes took place in the same computer lab on the campus. Early on the computer lab was kinda shitty, and we had really dark and old CRT monitors and we had these terrible 10 dollar Dell optical mice with no mouse pads to use with them. (It was later upgraded to the max with new computers and all that good stuff.)

So every day or so when trying to work on projects in this computer lab the mouse would just freak out and fly all over the screen. I'd be doing something simple like just trying to draw a line in photoshop or something, and then suddenly the mouse would go bonkers and just choose a direction and fly off in it, and it would usually be a couple seconds before I could regain control of it. The way the mouse would go crazy is pretty accurately depicted in my cartoon actually, except for the part about it drawing the mona lisa. So yeah, basically every student in these classes had to either bring their own mouse or deal with the hardships of shitty dell mice that occasionally had seizures.
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Q: mirosurabu - Your first flash on Newgrounds would be a game entitled I Love You 2. It drove me insane to the point that I went and played I Love You 2 - Revisited. And I as well as others still don't understand the purpose of these mini-games within this one game's "story." Could you please shed some light on this?

A: I'm sorry it drove you insane. XD It's a goofy game I made for TIGSource Adult Competition. The idea was that gameplay alone can cause feelings. So what I came up with is a bunch of minigames that have potential to make you feel certain way. So a fast minigame would make you feel excited; a very slow, laggy minigame would make you feel bored; a buggy one would make you feel annoyed; a loud, surprising, crazy one would make you go insane; and so on. I tried to put this into a context using a story with a silent but "emotional" protagonist. The game was made in two days or so, it was a quick silly project, no playtesting, no nothing, so it ended up being not quite perfect. Many people don't get the underlying idea but laugh at the silly punchline.
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Q: mirosurabu - Atomic Super Boss is a strict one hit kill survival space shooter. What was the process you and jwaap took into bringing this to life?

A: Jan is the man behind Radical Fishing and Super Crate Box. He has a very specific difficulty curve in his games, which I really like. The process we took with creating this game is simple: he made the game, I liked it, so I ported it to flash.
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Q: mirosurabu - Suicide is NOT The Answer at first appears to be a dark game, but then at the end we are greeted with something else. I would not like to talk about this game because the ending is truly memorable, so my only question is this. Whose idea was it and was this fun to make?

A: SINTA was originally made the day after Bentosmile finished Air Pressure just to blow off some steam, and because she can never be serious for that long. It was part of the Pirate Kart II on glorioustrainwrecks.com, so was two hours worth of silly fun!

I thought it was pretty cool anti-artgame, and at the time, sentimental art games were hitting Newgrounds like never before, so I thought it would be cool to make this one into flash.
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Q: Xerus - You are one of the older members of Newgrounds. Being here since 2001. Yet you didn't upload anything until 2006. Why the inactivity?

A: I didn't really register an account in order to submit things. Back in 2001 I was ... 14 or 15 years old, and I think I had a copy of Flash 5 or something, but I really sucked at anything I tried to make. I think I played around with trying to work on an animation, but I just didn't have the patience and I was too busy playing Unreal Tournament 8 hours a day on Instagib LMS servers to really get into it.

I mainly used my account to vote on things and, like I said before, leave really shitty reviews for people's submissions. For a brief period of time I kept getting emails from the portal bot saying that one of my reviews has been deleted because it was flagged as offensive, and all I can say is that I was a 14 year old asshat teenager when I first joined the site. Also I think I said in my profile that I was a 20 year old girl when I first joined because I just filled out my profile with random information when I first joined.

But yeah, 2006 was my first submission with the Possessed Mouse, and I thought that I would get into animating more after that, but it just never happened. I do have another animation that I never submitted, but I don't really think its good enough to go public... it's really long and kinda boring and it's another animation that I made for a class in college. I don't think I have the patience for animating flash movies. I really like doing frame by frame stuff and that takes a looong time to do.
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Q: mirosurabu - Tower of Heaven. What was wrong with you and StefanJeremic when you created this? To say that this is one of the hardest games on Newgrounds would be an understatement and to call it heaven is ironic for I and I'm sure others as well consider this to be nothing short of hell. And we loved every sinful moment. Whose idea was it and what was the process in bringing forth this creation?

A: Tower of Heaven is the brainchild of Askiisoft, a two-man team consisting of Aski (the programmer) and Godsavant (the artist). The game was originally made in Game Maker and the development started sometime in 2007. By the 2008, the game was half-done. That's when the original team decided to contact Flashygoodness to compose music for the game. It took 2 years to finish the game and upon its release in August 2009 it received "indie acclaim".

A year later, Aski asked me to make a flash version. I was busy working on Depict1 at the time, so I decided to assign the work to Stefan Jeremic whom I was teaching AS3 programming at the time. We set to finish the port in one month. We managed to get all of the levels up and running, but we didn't have enough time to polish the game. That's when Flashygoodness stepped in with his programming skills to fix numerous bugs and glitches. He then went on to add level editor, which turned out to be quite an awesome feature!

As for the difficulty, Askii guys like it hardcore. They are really serious about it. I even tried to convince them to include checkpoints but they refused. To be honest, I thought the game was going to flop. Fortunately, I was wrong.
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Q: Well we now come to the flash that you both have received the 2010 Newgrounds Tank Award for Best Game of the Year and that is Depict1. What was the inspiration behind it and what was the process you took into creating it?
A:

mirosurabu: It all started with Verge, a game that won TIGSource Commonplace Book competition back in 2008. I contacted Kyle and asked him if he'd be interested in making a flash port, but he quickly responded with a link to his latest game - Depict1, a game he made in 48 hours for Global Game Jam. I was amazed by what I saw so I decided to put Verge aside and work on this one instead. It took a month to code the flash version and another few months to find a sponsor.

Xerus: depict1 was originally a game that I made in Game Maker way back in January 2010. It was made during the Global Game Jam, and the theme of the jam was "deception." So basically about 95% of the original game was made in just 48 hours. The end boss room was added after the game jam, so I think in total depict1 is a game that took me just 3 days total to make. When it was done I put it up on the internet at http://retroaffect.com for the world to download and play.

A few months later, mirosurabu contacted me with an interest to port some of my freeware games to flash. (Also, check out all my games at http://kpulv.com/stuff/game/ ) I think at first he was interested in porting my game Verge, but then I showed him depict1 and we decided to go with that.

So basically I sat back and let mirosurabu do all the work for a few months ;p Then we went through the long process of getting the game sponsored, and then the flash version of the game was released and it ended up being a bigger success than I could've imagined! The funny thing is that when we were first testing depict1, everyone hated it. We had a lot of feedback telling us that the game sucked and that we should scrap the entire thing and start over, so I had no idea how things would go once we released it... but it looks like everything turned out fine!
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Q: mirosurabu - When it comes to your games there seems to be a high difficulty to them. Is this intentional and if so then why?

A: The reason is partly because I'm not so good at designing proper difficulty curves but also because I like difficult games; if I play an action game, I want a challenging game. And that means deaths. Lots of deaths.
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Q: What can we expect from mirosurabu in the future?

A: I'm moving away from being just a programmer who ports games. My upcoming flash game is a scaled down (but still massive) version of the game I've been working on since 2005. It's an RPG set in music world where you control a wannabe musician on his way to become next music legend. It's a direct result of 6 years of research which means I have very high hopes for it. The game will be released soon, soooo we'll see. (: Apart of that, I have to finish a gun platformer and a Phoenix Wright-inspired game, but right now my priority is Music RPG.
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Q: What can we expect from Xerus in the future?

A: Right now I'm working on Snapshot, which is a pretty big game project that can be found at http://retroaffect.com That's taking up pretty much 100% of my time currently, but down the road I want to be able to work on more flash games. I feel really inspired and encouraged from how depict1 was received, especially on Newgrounds. This is an awesome place and I definitely want to be more involved with it, so stay tuned!
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What a bizarre combination. One who tends to frequent Newgrounds and one who was here practically at the start and rarely contributes a thing. Together they brought us one amazing game. Hopefully these two will join forces once again, however though that seems unlikely. They seem to the type to finish one task, bask in it's light, and move forward. Which is a wonderful aspect of any artist, but at the same time when a duo does something splendid you wish for them to ride once more into the sunset.
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Interview with MasterAardvark #2

2011-05-07 04:20:39 by TheInterviewer
Updated

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

Interview No. 48
Interview By:
The-Great-One

Before I begin I would like to state that the following interview is indeed short, mainly due to our guest appearing here once already within this interview. We spoke of his flash works there and his arrival here on Newgrounds. I suggest you read that first before going on any further here. Today's guest is a brilliant mind and he's here to share with us today his thoughts on some of his newer works, the creative process, and his thoughts on winning the Newgrounds Tank Award for Best Flash Movie of the Year. He is none other than MasterAardvark.

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Q: The last time we spoke we discussed your flash works and one of those has won you the 2010 Newgrounds Tank Award for Best Flash Movie. That flash would be The Pigpen. You have told us about this flash extensively. How did it feel not only getting nominated for this award, but winning it as well?

A: Tom announced that I would be nominated back at the start of the year, which I felt quite honoured by, though back then the idea that I would win seemed ridiculous. When they announced me as winner I was ecstatic, but I also felt quite guilty that I haven't submitted much at all since Pigpen.
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Q: You submitted The Pigpen on January 1st, 2010. At the beginning of the year. Looking back at both this flash and your first flash Yoghurt how do you feel as an animator?

A: To be honest I think I only just get away with the title of animator. As far as free internet cartoons made by teenagers go I think I'm ok, but when I look through animation history I think I've got a long way to go before I can deem myself a proper animator.
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Q: Madness: Lactation would be your entry for Madness Day. Although your animation style works well with Madness this film was short. Do you have any plans on making a longer film for the upcoming Madness Day?

A: Lol no. Ah well, I don't know. It hadn't crossed my mind. I did one for shits and giggles and I'm happy I did, but if I made another one it'd be complete nonsense like the last one. I don't think I could pull off a serious action short.
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Q: One thing I like about your animations is your style. Did you adapt your style from inspiration, a mentor, or did it spawn from your own creativity?

A: The style kind of evolves. I'm constantly drawing, and with each thing I draw, my idea of what things should look like changes. I'd like to upload more sketchbook stuff, because that experimentation is the thing I enjoy most about drawing, as well as what I most enjoy seeing other people do. There are also a lot of things I draw constantly, but never make it into animations or art pieces because they're not part of any idea. I flick through my sketchbooks and watch how my art changes, but that stuff doesn't make it to the internet.
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Q: Where does creation begin for you? Does it start with a doodle, a script, or a thought that enters your mind? In a more forward way how does your mind produce these thoughts?

A: Doodle or thought, never script. I usually doodle while I'm thinking anyway. I'll be drawing, and either I get an idea and start drawing it and working out how it looks in real life, or I'll happen to doodle something I like and then start trying to build an idea around it.
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Q: What can we expect from MasterAardvark in the future?

A: Something, probably. There's a lot of things I want to do but haven't, and being given an award now for something I made in 2009 has made me realise how little I've submitted lately. So I really need to start executing these ideas, for my sake.
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Here before us is an outstanding creative mind filled with disturbing imagery and what better purpose than to share it with the world and see what they make of it. In my past interview with him I stated that he reminds me of ZekeySpaceyLizard and I stand by that statement to this day. I can see a bright future in the works for Mr. Felix Colgrave, a future filled with strange bizarre wonders that our human minds can't possibly conceive. I intend to join him on this ride, will you be as willing to trust him as well? If not then you will certainly be missing out on one hell of a ride.
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Interview with poxpower and Mockery - Part 2

2011-04-07 17:36:07 by TheInterviewer
Updated

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

Interview No. 47
Interview By:
The-Great-One

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[ Part 1 ] + [ Part 2 ]
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Q: poxpower - Your first flash would be entitled Newgrounds Museum. Why did you wish to create something entitled the Newgrounds Museum and why update it with the tutorial and Newgrounds Museum 2?

A: I was a big NG fan and wanted to make a Flash of my own. Since I didn't know dick about Flash or animating, I made something that was just a collection of fan drawings. Tom might have mentioned something about liking fan art too, I dunno.
The art tutorial was probably because I was really proud of knowing Photoshop back then.
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Q: Mockery - Your first flash on Newgrounds is entitled Kill Old Man from Zelda!!. Being a person who has played "The Legend of Zelda" myself I can certainly understand why someone would want to do this, so there's the idea, but what were the steps you took, why did you choose these killing methods? Also were you inspired by Newgrounds famous Assassin section?

A: I was familiar with the Assassin section on Newgrounds, but I don't think that's what inspired this Flash project... I simply hated that old man and wanted to see him die. I was also just trying to learn the basics of Flash, so this was a good way for me to learn how to make an interactive movie back in the day. I considered killing the old man with weapons from other games like Doom 'n what have you, but I really wanted to kill him with items that already existed in the Legend of Zelda to keep a consistent 8-bit look throughout the whole thing. Playing that old flash now, it certainly feels very dated, but I still get some chuckles out of it. I still love seeing the old lady chase the old man off the screen cuz she wants some good lovin' haha. Making this flash was a good learning experience and I was really excited when I found out it got the daily #1 spot. If it hadn't been received so well, I may have never bothered to keep messing around with Flash, so in retrospect, I guess I owe a lot to this silly little Flash project.
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Q: poxpower - The flash entitled The Bard's Song would be created by CharlieZero. You and Newgrounds member Magna would remake it and fine tune it with --The Bard's Song--. Why did you and Magna decide to make a remake for this flash and if CharlieZero knows about it what does he think of it?

A: I think I did ask Charlie about it before making it. He was fine with it. It was always one of my favorite animations from Newground's early days. I just knew I drew better than him so HAH. Don't know why I needed Magna to animate it for me. I was just lazy. Yeah.
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Q: Mockery - Before collaborating with poxpower you would collaborate with another. You and Tom Fulp would give us Squigly Fish Racer v1.0. What was the process you took into making this flash and how does it feel to work with Tom Fulp?

A: I don't know why, but Squigly Fish (or Trouter as some people know him from Super Mario Bros. 2) was always one of my favorite 8-bit characters, so I wanted to do a game about him. He just has this terrified, helpless look on his face... so how can you not love him? I had the idea of making a simple racing game and told Tom about it and he was happy to work on the game with me while he was working on some other projects. I was really happy with the final product and played the local 2-player version with a bunch of friends quite a bit when it first came out. That's honestly the best way to play it if you ask me... two friends, sitting side by side, mashing the hell out of the buttons on one keyboard to see who can win the race. Tom was a blast to work with and that's what led to our next project together.
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Q: poxpower - Punch Tom Out would be the fighting game where you beat the shit out of Tom. Who would've thought that would be so much fun. Where did the idea for this come from and will we see a sequel where we can fight other staff members, moderators, and other members of Newgrounds?

A: I was working on Insanity Box and one of the mini-games is a punching game. I realized it was really easy to make so I decided to make an entire game about punching. I don't know why I picked Tom though. Well it worked out pretty well in the end because that's the most popular game I've ever made on my own even though most of the people playing it have no idea who Tom is : D
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Q: You and Tom would get together once more to work on Domo-Kun Angry Smashfest!. Which one of you came up with this idea or were you both bouncing ideas off one another?

A: The two of us laughed more during the creation of this game than any two people should. I can't even begin to convey how much fun we had with it. I pitched the idea to Tom by creating that slow-rising title screen with the big music. I know it seems silly, but that rising title sequence is still one of my favorite things I've ever done. It's just such a huge build up before you actually get to start playing that it makes the player think they're about to play the greatest game in the history of man. Well, that was the idea behind it haha. Anyway, when Tom saw that sequence, he was sold on the idea.

The game was originally going to be just that first level where Domo-Kun is smashing the Powerpuff Girls as they pop out of the manholes, but as we were working on that first level, we just kept coming up with more and more ideas. What was originally supposed to be a small game, turned into a huge 4-month project where we were parodying loads of our favorite childhood games. We just kept coming up with so many ridiculous ideas to add into the game that it turned into one big story of revenge. The game is absolutely loaded with easter eggs too - my favorite of which is the extra special "magic stick" you get if you beat the game two times in a row.

We really had an amazing time during those 4 months of production, and while Tom is a super busy guy these days, I hope we can make another game together at some point, because it's rare to find somebody who's that easy and fun to work with.
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Q: Mockery - You are one for April Fool's Day jokes. As of now you have three. They are Tetris: Charity Edition!, Pitfall 2010! and The Best Game Ever Made. What was the process you took into creating these flash games and how did you come up with the jokes?

A: Actually, you missed one. I made the "PickleMan Begins: Beta Test" game with Bomtoons. We had been promising a PickleMan game to people for a long time, so I wanted to make something that looked like we were finally making progress. The initial screen looks like it's going to be a real game, with a nice 16-bit PickleMan ready to beat up some bad guys, but when you click start, the program glitches out and it loads the worst game ever - E.T. for the Atari 2600. Only difference is, this time you're being chased by PickleMan who tries to eat E.T.'s head. We actually do have a lot of PickleMan graphics that Pox made for a fighting game, so maybe we'll get to see those put to use for a real demo sometime. Pox has even talked about coding it himself just so the graphic work doesn't go to waste.

In regards to how I come up with these April Fool's Day jokes, I guess it's the same way I come up with any of the jokes on I-Mockery. I've been writing for most of my life, and while some jokes come from a very weird place that I can't explain (such as Mr. Dinosaur walking around the office in The Best Game Ever Made), others seem pretty obvious to me (such as changing the "B-Type" mode of Tetris to "R-Type" in order to make a reference to one of my favorite old shooting games). The Human Centipede game was another one that seemed completely obvious to me at the time, but nobody else had thought of it somehow. Centipede is one of the most famous arcade games ever made, so why not make a Human Centipede parody where you replace the insect with people who've been sewn together ass-to-mouth, right? The ideas don't always come immediately, but if I give myself enough time, something good usually comes along.

After working in comedy for so many years, I guess the best lesson I've learned is that you need to allow yourself to be ridiculous. If you don't worry about how absurd something may seem, you can come up with some truly memorable material. Not all of it will connect well with audiences, but if you keep at it, you're gonna create some stuff that does. I often come up with my best ideas when I step away from the computer and just start jotting down ideas on paper. I have a little notebook with a ton of game ideas that I haven't even had a chance to make yet, but it's always nice to know that I have a boatload of material on the backburner if I'm ever running low on ideas.
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Q: What can we expect from poxpower in the future?

A: I'm working on a ton of big projects that may or may not ever be finished. For the longest time, this one: http://abobosbigadventure.com/ looked like it was dead. But now it seems it'll come out this year!

And I want to make more quick Flash games about stuff in the news. Maybe I can make that my specialty, I love working with a tight deadline, keeps me from expanding endlessly on some stupid project.

I also have 2 games fully complete and sitting on my computer right now, just waiting for a sponsor. So that should come out decently soon. Hope 2011 is a good year for me...
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Q: What can we expect from Mockery within the near future?

A: Before I made Domo-Kun's Angry Smashfest with Tom, I had been working on a game parody called Abobo's Big Adventure. The game got completely sidetracked when I started working on the Domo-Kun game and the programmer at the time starting working on some other stuff of his own. Of all the unsung characters in video games, Abobo is my absolute favorite one, so I really wanted to make a game that not only paid tribute to him, but to all NES games in general. Cut to 2006 and I started talking with Pox and Bom about it and they agreed to go on this long journey with me to make Abobo's Big Adventure the most insane Flash game the Internet has ever seen. If they knew how far we were really going to take this, I'm not sure they would've signed on (guess you can ask them yourself0, but I'm glad they did, because I wouldn't want to work with any other people on this game than the two of them. They get me and my style of humor and we've always worked really well together.

When the three of us began working on Abobo's Big Adventure together, we literally started from scratch. The original demo was thrown out and Bom started working on a completely new system, Pox got to work on creating some new graphics for the first level along with the big intro I had always dreamed of (inspired by the cover of an old 80s action movie, Remo Williams), and I wrote an entirely new story for Abobo where he sets out to save his lost son, Aboboy. To build up hype for the game, we had a a real arcade cabinet built to house it in (thanks to some of Bom's talented pals) so we could showcase a demo at the San Diego Comic-Con and SC3 Arcade Party. The crowds really seemed to love it and it's provided us with some great feedback too, seeing what parts they had trouble with. It was like conducting a live in-person beta test. Just seeing how frequently people were laughing at all of the jokes in the game put some big smiles on our faces. Nothing feels better than seeing people really enjoying something you've worked extremely hard on.

This game has been the biggest project of my life so far and it's a total labor of love that we're giving to the Internet to play for free. We're paying homage to the Nintendo Entertainment System by cramming more beloved 8-bit references into Abobo's Big Adventure than any other Flash game before. I'd say more work has gone into this game than all of our previous Flash games combined. It's really pushing the limits of what Flash is capable of and I can't even begin to explain how excited I am for everybody to see the finished product. This isn't just a typical ripped NES sprites parody... there's a ton of custom graphics in the game, big cutscenes, countless sight gags, ridiculous "rage" moves on each level, massive boss fights and more. Plus, not to toot our own horn or anything, but I think Abobo's Big Adventure has one of the most memorable endings in the history of games. Considering all the games and enemies that Abobo has to punch his way through, I wanted to make sure the ending of the game left you feeling extremely satisfied. I think we've accomplished just that and then some.

Ten years in the making, Abobo's Big Adventure is the culmination of everything I've ever wanted to put in a Flash game and I couldn't be happier with how it's turning out. I also consider myself extremely lucky to have found two guys like Pox and Bom who were willing to work on this game with me and take it as far as I wanted and beyond. We still have some levels to complete, but for the first time, we're finally starting to see the end of the game on the horizon. We're shooting to have this ultimate tribute to the Nintendo Entertainment System released this summer, hopefully in time for Comic-Con. We've also created a web site for the game that people can check out at http://www.abobosbigadventure.com so you can follow the game's progress.

If you like NES games at all, I promise Abobo's Big Adventure will feel like a wet dream come true.
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These two are not only one of the greatest duos on Newgrounds, I would go as far as to say that they can triumph even that of The-Super-Flash-Bros. They have worked with Tom Fulp, BoMToons, and RainbowCemetery just to name a few. Who knows if they'll work together again and if all five of them were together it would be amazing. Despite it all with these two creative minds together the impossible does indeed become possible, even if poxpower is a man of very few words.
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[ Part 1 ] + [ Part 2 ]
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Interview with poxpower and Mockery - Part 1

2011-04-07 17:26:00 by TheInterviewer
Updated

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

Interview No. 47
Interview By:
The-Great-One

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[ Part 1 ] + [ Part 2 ]
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Today's guests have done many different flash projects, but none more impressive than when they work together. They have done works such as Trick-or-Treat Adventure!, Santa Fu!, Super Mario BP Oil Spill and Charlie Sheen - Winning. This is just a small list of their accomplishments on Newgrounds, but to list them all would deny me the privilege of welcoming poxpower and Mockery.

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ANSWERS WILL BE POSTED BENEATH THE _A:_ DUE TO TWO PEOPLE BEING INTERVIEWED PERSON ANSWERING WILL BE NOTED AS SO.
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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A:

poxpower: One of my friends showed it to me back in 2000 when we first got a computer at home. I made an account later that year when they said that grounds gold ( that was the name for experience points ) would now increase your voting power. So that's when I started racking that shit up.

Mockery: I actually went to the same college as Tom Fulp (Drexel) and he created a few Flash things based on the school at the time - Crazy Shuttle and the Drexel Shaft - so that quickly drew my attention to it. I had also made a small, interactive Flash animation in which you got to kill the old man from Zelda, so after seeing all the fun animations and games that were on Newgrounds, I decided to sign up and submit it there. Not too long after, Newgrounds and I-Mockery became buddy / affiliate sites and I've been an active member ever since.
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Q: How did you two end up meeting.
A:

poxpower: Rog ran an art contest on NG's frontpage back in 2002 or 2003. I participated and possibly won. He asked if I wanted to work with him on more things, like Pickleman. So then we made the first Pickleman comic on his site. It sucked ass though. http://www.i-mockery.com/minimocks/pic kleman/

Mockery: Pox contacted me after I made a post about that I was looking for somebody to collaborate with. We didn't meet in person until many years later. He came down to Los Angeles and we ordered the largest pizza in the city and we could barely fit it in the car.
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Q: Your first flash together would be entitled Pickleman's Breakfast. A wacky little superhero movie. Where did the idea of Pickleman come from and what was the process in creating this flash?
A:

poxpower: Was that the first? I dunno. That was just my project for some Flash class I took in College. We had to make something and I was still doing Pickleman with Rog at the time so I suggested doing a cartoon about it. Rog gave me a basic idea and I just made the entire thing myself after that. Also he came up with that song from Rocky 4.

Mockery: PickleMan is actually the official mascot of my web site, http://www.i-mockery.com , and he was created after I discovered a paper pickle hat mail-away promotion many years ago. There was an ad with this kid with suspenders wearing his pickle hat and he had a look of such amazing pride on his face that I knew I had to have one. After I wrote about it, the pickle hat eventually became a staple of I-Mockery, constantly being referenced by myself and our readers. I had wanted to try my hand at making a silly superhero comic since I had already created several comic strips including Pixel Pals, so PickleMan seemed like the natural choice as a superhero creation. Pox and I had been working on digital PickleMan comic books for quite a while before that breakfast flash ever came to be. We actually made a special edition printed comic too which we still sell online to this day in the I-Mockery store. You can check it out at http://www.i-mockery.com/store.php

Anyway, the Pickleman's Breakfast flash was actually a school project that Pox was working on. I just gave him a basic script to work with and he went to town on it. Took him quite a while to finish, but I seem to recall him getting a good grade on it. Either way, I give it an A+, and my opinion is more important than his art school instructor, right? Right.
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Q: Haunted House Candy Hunt! would be your first flash working with Newgrounds member BoMToons. What was the process in creating this flash, also how did you meet BoMToons and what was it like working with him?
A:

poxpower: I don't really remember. Rog always wants to do a Halloween / Christmas game, I imagine Bomtoons is just the unlucky bastard who replied to our request for a programmer.

Mockery: Meeting Bom was the same as meeting Pox, just posting online looking to collaborate with people. I'm glad you brought up Haunted House Candy Hunt, because it's still one of my favorite flash games to this day. I wanted to make a Halloween themed game for I-Mockery since we always celebrate Halloween for at least two months on the site every season. I also wanted the game to be a throwback to the Atari 2600 days, so the idea was to keep the graphics very simple. Once Pox had the main graphics worked up, Bom created a level editor for us, and we just built a boatload of levels until we had enough to complete the story. As we were building the levels, Pox and I also made some new enemies and obstacles as we wanted to make sure the gameplay never felt repetitive. I had a ton of fun recording all of the dialogue in this game and I hope more people go back and play it, because the big boss fight with the grim reaper at the end still makes me laugh to this day. There's a special innocence about that game that I simply love. It probably has something to do with these two obscure characters holding hands throughout the entire game as they make their way through a scary haunted house in search of candy.

Working with Bom and Pox just felt right. They shared my weird sense of humor and just wanted to make fun games, so after this first collaboration was completed, I could already tell we were going to be working on games together for a long time.
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Q: Ivan Drago! is a fascinating and quirky beat'em up and it would be your first group Daily Feature. Who came up with this idea and what was the process in creating it? Also will there be a sequel?
A:

poxpower: I think we wanted to release this for Christmas? I don't remember. No idea why we made a game about Drago. No sequel. Ever. : D

Mockery: Ivan Drago is a game I had been wanting to make for a while since I always thought the big Russian monster from Rocky IV deserved a video game of his own. So I came up with this ridiculous idea that Gorbachev had been keeping him in some secret bunker, waiting for the United States to grow weak, and then he would unleash Drago into the streets to fight crime and show the Americans just how powerful Russians really are. Throw in some crazy enemies like a dinosaur, a Segway rider and mafia guys, and you have yourself a fun game. If you manage to beat the game three times, you'll unlock a special level which is actually an homage to the Crazy Shuttle game that Tom made many years ago. It's pretty ridiculous.

The process took longer this time as the graphics were far more detailed and the programming was a lot more involved, but we knew we had a fun game on our hands, so that was really all the motivation we needed. I wouldn't rule out a sequel, but I think we're gonna try doing 100% original games instead of parody games once we finish working our masterpiece, Abobo's Big Adventure.
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Q: Trick-or-Treat Adventure!. The quirky secrets within this game and the overall appeal is not only funny, but creative and inventive. When I see this game I can only see the ideas of three mad men bouncing off one another. What all can you tell me about this flash game?
A:

poxpower: It was really long to make. It was also one of the first Flash games to use the NG ads API, which suddenly made it way more interesting to make games. Though ad revenue came way down after that. Too bad. Overall, that game was a pain in the ass. Yep. : D

Mockery: I grew up in a pretty amazing time for adventure games. I'm talking about the days when Sierra and LucasArts ruled the PC gaming world with titles like King's Quest, Space Quest, Day of the Tentacle, and my all-time favorite adventure game - The Secret of Monkey Island. I had always wanted to make a big adventure game, so I told the guys about my Trick-or-Treat Adventure idea and they were on board. Pox really did a great job with all of the artwork on this one as it's quite large for a Flash game and all the art is 100% custom. Also, kudos to the both of them for letting me run with the storyline, because I know a lot of it was pretty ridiculous... especially the unexpectedly gory basement and me wanting to ad an actual video into the game. Everybody contributed some great ideas to this game and we laughed a lot while we're making it... I think when anybody plays it, they can tell we had a lot of fun making this game. This is actually one game I would like to do a sequel to sometime, or at the very least, make another adventure game.

I've considered doing a Xmas holiday adventure game sometime, so maybe that could be one of the sequels. I always love doing Halloween and Xmas games (as you can tell by all the ones I've already worked on), because they're not only fun to make, but much like Halloween and Christmas tv specials / movies, I know that people will keep coming back to play them each season as part of their annual celebrations. So yeah, whenever I have a good idea for a holiday game, I always try to pitch it to the guys and make it happen.
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Q: MonsterTime would become your recreation of the classic "Burger Time" but with monsters. Not only that, but it would be the first flash in which you would work with RainbowCemetery. How does it feel working with him and what was the process in creating this flash?
A:

poxpower: I never really talked much with him. Some other guy was supposed to do it a year earlier but he dropped out and RainbowCemetery ended up coding it the following year.

Mockery: RainbowCemetery is a really nice guy. He was a member on I-Mockery for many years before we made MonsterTime and he came to visit us quite a few times as well. We had already worked on some other things together on I-Mockery, but I knew he also was a good programmer and he had mentioned wanting to work on a game with me at some point. I told Pox about my idea of building monsters instead of burgers and he liked it, so the idea was fleshed out and we started working with a programmer. I can't remember who it was, but he dropped the ball on the game so it didn't make our Halloween deadline. The next year, however, RainbowCemetery offered to code the game for Halloween and he did a great job on it. I'm really happy with how that game turned out. I knew I had a good idea with it, but I wasn't sure how it would actually turn out... Pox and RainbowCemetery squashed those doubts pretty quickly. What I didn't expect was how addicted people would get to it. People were competing for the high scores like crazy, and to be honest, the three of us couldn't stop playing it either once we finished it... so I think that's when we realized we made something really fun. Considering the game had been delayed for an entire year, it was a nice surprise to see it turn out so well.
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Q: Super Mario BP Oil Spill is quite possibly my favorite game by you two. You actually made a Mario water level not only fun, but less boring. Whose idea was this and what were the steps you took into bringing this mad man creation to life?
A:

poxpower: Rog came up with the idea around the time the oil spill was happening. The programmer who was originally supposed to do it never finished his work and the game came out 4-5 months after the big news rush, which was a real shame. We also had to find a new programmer. You may notice a pattern here.

Mockery: First off, the water levels in Super Mario Bros. were always my favorite ones in the game, so I guess we'll have to disagree on that note haha. I had been to New orleans the previous year and went on some amazing swamp tours, so when I saw the footage of those same swamps being covered in oil sludge, I was pretty pissed off. After the BP Oil Spill happened, I wanted to make a game that shot down BP and their executives who seemed more concerned with vacationing on their yachts than with the incredibly huge disaster.

After I brought up the game idea, Pox had already worked with Murudai on some stuff and suggested we try working on it with him. Murudai did an excellent job on coding the game, but it definitely took longer to finish than we expected. He actually hates Flash and reminded us of that constantly throughout the development of the game haha. His Newgrounds profile even says he hates Flash and he's only really interested in making PC games, but he appreciated why we were making this game and liked the idea behind it, so he kindly worked on it with us.

When it was done, the game received some nice exposure and people seemed generally pleased with it. My favorite thing about the game is the ending, when you actually see Mario get revenge on BP for spill all that oil into Mario Land. The game itself is fun, but it does get a bit repetitive after a while. I really wanted to add more diversity in the levels by introducing other elements, but the game was already delayed a bit, and when you're doing a game about a timely news story, you really need to try releasing it quickly so more people play it.
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Q: Charlie Sheen - Winning. What the fuck were you guys thinking? This game is quite possibly one of the funniest games I've ever played on Newgrounds. I know this is a stupid question, but where did the idea come from for making this game and what was the process you took into making it?
A:

poxpower: I was bored and thought I'd try making a Charlie Sheen game. I talked to Rog about getting me the sounds / music for it because I really hate doing that stuff and it would save me time as the game had to be done as fast as possible. I just wanted to draw him in a convertible crushing things. Lot easier doing than then animating a full Charlie Sheen with moves and all that nonsense. I had a lot of fun doing it and I worked about 40 hours in 3 days on the game. Looking forward to move crazy things happening in the news. That game worked really well financially and in popularity. YUP.

Mockery: As soon as Charlie Sheen was all over the news for being crazy, talking about being a warlock with tiger blood 'n all, I jokingly told Pox that we should make a game about Charlie going on a crazy drug-induced bender. We were already really busy with other stuff, but Pox said he wanted to do it. We knew if we made a really quick game about Charlie, it would have the potential to blow up on the web, so we just threw as many Sheen references into the game as possible and made a bunch of audio clips from his recent interviews. I'm honestly sick of the Charlie Sheen craze and I don't think it's going to last much longer... probably because he'll OD and that'll be the end of it. Kudos to Pox though, he really did a great job making the game come together so quickly while Sheen's madness was all over the news.
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Q: Tsunami Fighter would be straight up a Donation flash. What made you want to make a button mashing game to help get the word out to donate? Also how did you two go about making this flash?
A:

poxpower: I was still high from my Charlie Sheen high and wanted to see if I could make another super-fast game about something in the news. Turns out it worked even better. The game has almost 2 million views now. Though I have to thank Tom for featuring it on the front page for so long.

Rog came up with the mashing thing and I just did the rest from that basic idea.

Mockery: I love Japan. LOOOOOVE it. I've always wanted to visit it, so when the earthquake / tsunami / nuclear disaster happened and I saw how devastated the nation was, I felt really bad for the people and simply wanted to help out in some way. Telling people to donate to a charity is easy, but a lot of people just see those notices and ignore them... I think we've all been guilty of that at some point or another in our lives. So my idea was simple - create a quick mini-game where my favorite Japanse character (Domo) can wrestle the angry tsunami wave and prevent it from ever hitting Japan and use it to get people to donate to a reputable charity for Japan. The game itself is extremely simple; mash your buttons just like you would in the bonus rounds of the Simpsons arcade game to send the tsunami backwards, but the message is really hammered home throughout it. Once you beat the game, you're reminded again to be a real hero by donating to Japan to aid in their disaster relief. Pox and I were really happy to hear that so many people were donating on behalf of the game and we owe some big thanks to Tom for featuring it on the Newgrounds homepage for so long to help spread the word. So yeah, I guess the lesson here is, if you want to get word out about a charitable cause, making a fun little game to help promote it isn't a bad idea at all!
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[ Part 1 ] + [ Part 2 ]
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