Interview No. 9
Interview By: @The-Great-One
Today's guest is someone who I am surprised is not a Newgrounds Administrator. He has been known for The Newgrounds Sketchbook Tour which is something he has done since the 2006. He has also worked on flashes such a Portal Defenders which was the first Newgrounds game to use the Medals Feature, Newgrounds Rumble, and Castle Crashing the Beard, which all have won Daily Feature awards. He has contributed much to Newgrounds for nine years now, which is why he has also won The Newgrounds Tank Award for Best User of 2007. This user is none other than @Luis.
Q: The best place to start is at the beginning. How did you find Newgrounds and why did you Join?
A: I think I found newgrounds by clicking on a baby seal banner ad. I dont remember what it looked like but I do remember thinking, god who would make such a dumb game.So I clicked and then I found a ton of other 'dumb' stuff and thought to myself, 'I NEED to get in on this'
Q: One of your early flash submissions that would be turned into a small series was perverto. Where did the idea of this flash come from?
A: Ugh I actually am embarassed about Perverto, and only keep it on the site for the sake of documenting NG history, but the idea behind the series was a direct reflection of why I joined the site and being heavily influenced by my portal peers at the time. Perverto falls in the same vein as Scrotum the Puppy by Brian Beaton (whatever happend to that guy) and things like Nail jesus to the cross by Tommunism. Back then the site was alot more steered towards the violence hungry teens who take out their annoyance with pop media through Flash. SO in that sense Perverto was a perfect fit. As for the actual character, its based on a friend of mine back in high school whom we did call Perverto (his name was Roberto). He would catcall and holler at girls as they walked by our lockers and he'd be the classic sex-deprived teen. So he served as my inspiration for finding a character that was repulsive enough to be happily accepted into newgrounds at the time. (The portal back then was alot more unforgiving)
Q: You have made a contribution to Newgrounds classic Assassin Series with your flash Snipe Justin Timberlake. This may be a stupid question, but why did you make this flash? Also what was the process in making this flash?
A: That game sort of is the same in mindset as the Perverto series, its a reflection of newgrounds' userbase interests at the time. NG back then was alot more raunchy and contraversial, so alot of artists including myself were making movies and games that lashed out at pop media/icons. I pitched the idea to Tom, and he went into his laboratory and whipped that out of it. I wonder if he regrets making it now that we know of his deep man-crush for JT. Or maybe thats why he accepted to do it to begin with.
Q: During 2004 you did a lot of Newgrounds Time Trials starting with NG Time Trial Challenge. Could you tell us the process of these collaborations as well as why you haven't done anymore of these?
A: Well the process is fairly simple, you had a challenge and a hard deadline and you set people free to resolve it within the given timeframe. The aspect of flirting with a deadline and showing off in front of your flash peers was appealing and the series took off from there. As for why it ended, well theres a few reasons. One of the most hardcore participants of the series was LiveCorpse, who as we know is no longer around. So I kinda felt like it was a good gesture to have the series die off with him, but also there was alot greater collaboration going on (whether as a result of the series or not is anyones guess). So there was no real reason to keep it going. I still like the concept behind the Time Trials, of artists dealing with a common challenge in their own manner so I've since dabbled in series like Pass-My-Flash and AlmightyHans' Valentine '29 collaboration. I love seeing what other artists come up with, I find it almost more exciting than submitting my own work.
Q: In 2006 you started the Newgrounds Sketchbook Tour. Could you tell us the experiences of seeing all these drawing personally as well as responses from the Newgrounds Office?
A: The Sketchbook Tour has grown alot since when I started it. It was a tough sell back in 2006, because who the hell wants to give up their mailing address. So it was alot of doors shutting in my face and it kinda felt like a door-to-door salesman trying to sell something with 0 street cred to it. I didnt get a coder for it because the one person I did ask told me nobody would want to look at a slideshow (which is more or less what it is). So the first SBT was done by me and coded (badly) by myself. It was a good start though and it built up enthusiasm for it both in the ng community and the office. I recently wrapped up the mailing phase of this year's tour. It was like 200+ envelopes and almost none of which I had to pitch. It was all genuine interest so it should be good and its great that the community embraced such an unusual offline project.
Q: One thing that I and probably others want to know is this. Why is it you have decided never to level up, but remain at the Level 2 Lollipop?
A: Well I deposited like once back when i had just joined the site and then I just kinda forgot about it. One cool thing about NG is that you can tailor it and enjoy it how you see fit. Like theres people who really get into the leveling up aspect and having the power to make and break dreams with their powerful votes. Theres other people who really get off on trolling the forums, and theres others who create epic movies/games. Others who make epic spam controbutions, the fact that the site has arms long enough to embrace this somewhat dysfunctional family of internet users is interesting. But anyway, eventually the lollipop became my calling card and my middle finger to Tom and his plans for world domination. You can be a powerful user and NOT get into some aspects of the site and that is kind of cool. I think most artists tend to be low-level users anyway.
Q: How did you become a Forum Moderator and do you enjoy your position?
A: I became forum moderator cause Tom said I should. At the time I hadnt dwelled in the forums much. I had a low post count and it was kind of an akward entrance into the mod family. But on the plus side, I did recognize that and in order to gain respect of my peers I did make it my goal to get more involved in the forums. Not just babysit my collab threads. I dont really enjoy the aspect of 'moderating'. I like the concept of helping the site grow and having the added responsibility of being a catalyst in that. The part where it gets tricky is that I REALLY enjoy being a 'peon'. I like the aspect of mixing in with regular users and just getting along with everyone. So in that aspect I dont like the idea of being a moderator that looks down on other users or demands respect. Thats not to say that way of dealing with the site is not correct. Its simply not my thing. I know the site has grown its userbase and is trying to also grow its sophistication but i also kinda like that it still has that immaturity/abrasiveness to it. So alot of the nipple twister users I actually find nothing wrong with, in fact I think they are important part of the unique attitude that newgrounds has. That's not to say that users who are obviously causing harm to the site and other peoples experience shouldnt be dealt with. I just think that a week long ban is more effective than a 30 day one. 30 days of inactivity breeds users who are bitter and more hellbent on being annoying when they return or through alts. So by stomping one flame out you've just made a series of brighter longer burning ones. Overall, I enjoy it and I think its cool that the site trusts a select group of users enough to take care of the site with no real incentive. I mean nobody gets paid or anything, its all a love for the site.
Q: You are probably known more throughout the Art Forum than the Flash Portal. You've hosted many contests throughout Newgrounds and overall have brought the community of Newgrounds together. When it comes down to it, which contests were your favorite to hold and why?
A: I'm probably least known on the Art Forum. Which is sad, cause i REALLY do need to start drawing more. But I actually enjoy seeing what other people can do as opposed to showing what I am capable of. Theres something more exciting about the raw talent of someone else and being the person who polished that diamond or shined the proper light on it and exposed its shimmer. That and its just fun to see what people come up with. I think my favorite contests have been the ones involving painting figurines, like the Munny and Teddy Troopers. Theres some awesome solutions that people have come up with. I'm talking like professional grade stuff. Its amazing how much OTHER talents users have. Plus its cool to get away from the computer and do something else thats equally artistic.
Q: What can we expect in the future from you?
A: I dont really plan ahead to far out. But its a safe bet that most of what you can expect from me is community related. Meetups in exotic locations, more dumb contests, and more collaboration. I definately want to expand collaboration to touch other parts of the site such as the audio portal so yea more communication and collaboration with the audio side of the site would be great. Those guys need more lovin.
Interviewing Luis has shown me not really a dedicated user, but a user who just enjoys being on Newgrounds and enjoys being within this community. I for one am surprised that he is not an administator... well who knows maybe some day he will be.