Interview No. 25
Interview By: @The-Great-One
Today's guest is an interesting artist here on Newgrounds. He has been known for his creation of the NG Calculator, It's a Nice Day Today, and he is known on the Art Forum for Epic Quest! - The Newgrounds Choose Your Own MS Paint Adventure. He is none other than @scottmale24.
Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A: Oh, God. That was forever and a day ago. I think the first time I saw Newgrounds was way back towards the end of seventh grade, around May/June of 2001. Some of my classmates had commandeered the class computer and were on what I think was the Assassin page, playing games, killing whatever celebrity was popular at the time; typical violent things of that nature. I was a pretty mild kid back then, as far as internet exploration went. I spent most of my time playing trialware games like DOOM or Duke Nukem, and any time I spent on the internet was reading jokes on websites or downloading music from Napster. I thought "Hey, that looks like fun!" and played around on it when I got home.
As the summer came to a close, my curiosity had been piqued by enjoying countless flash games and movies. I was propelled by my 13-year old lust for internet stardom, so I downloaded Flash 5 and made my account. I figured flash would be easy, what with so many other people out there doing it. I was very wrong.
Q: Your first flash submission is entitled snoboard tubby. An interesting first flash to say the least. What was the process in creating it and looking back, do you still like it?
A: My first flash submission was called The Bomb, actually. It was about five seconds long, and it involved a kid putting a tape (entitled "The Bomb", no less) into a VCR, followed by an explosion and the death of the protagonist. I know, I know, a twist of almost M. Night Shyamalan magnitude. I'll take my Oscar, now. To cut a long story short, after I submitted that movie I got firsthand experience with the Blam system.
Anyway, back to your original question. In like, sixth through eleventh grade, I drew a comic called Luke the Tellytubby. It was comprised almost entirely of absurdist humor and jokes stolen straight from The Simpsons. I'd show it around to people, they'd laugh, pass it off to other people, and that became my niche. Eventually it got to the point where people would ask me when the "next one" was coming out, so I spent most of my class time churning out comics instead of paying attention. Naturally the character worked it's way into my movies. Watching these old movies is bizarre. I apparently had a lot of anger in me. I guess I still do, but the smoking and drinking helps.
As an interesting side note, a few months back I found one of my old notebooks from tenth grade. It almost felt like looking at some bizarre outsider art, like somebody who had heard a vague definition of what a person looked like and what a punchline was, and then tried to do it themselves on lined paper between notes on math. It is now decorating one of our nation's mighty landfills.
Q: the NG Calculator is an interesting little gadget, my only question is what was your motivation, in other words why did you make this?
A: Back in the day I used to be a huge fan of the newgrounds forums, and the community as a whole. I stopped watching movies, depositing, slowed down on the production of my crap, and lived for the forums. When I went to the NYC meet in March of this year, I'd realized how long I'd been out of the game when the only people I'd recognized by username were Jonas and Evark.
I'm not sure if the game has changed or not, but back when I was on, one of the biggest factors in deciding who was popular and who "won" an argument was how high a person's stats were. The Newgrounds Calculator was and is an 'e-penis' calculator, and one of my earliest attempts at making something that looks professional. The prices are arbitrary, but I felt that having it total a cost instead of a point value made it more enjoyable. And then it won me a t-shirt and some money.
Q: On March 17, 2009, Newgrounds members sirtom93 made a thread entitled This is it. where he threatened to burn down his school. A lot of people here have made fun of him for this, you are no stranger to this. How I Buy Petrol? would win you the "Daily 5th Award." As with "the NG Calculator", one can only ask why?
A: That is a good question. The closest thing I can give you to an answer would be "Why not?", but I guess that is kind of a jerk thing to say. I'm not sure how to explain it, but I figured it was just edgy enough to be topical, while on the flipside, nobody got hurt, so it was fair game.
Newgrounds used to thrive on that sort of push-the-boundaries-of-what-is-offensi ve entertainment. The whole situation was just so bizarre and almost surreal, it was almost as if he set himself up to be caught. At the time of the incident I'd been working on a point-and-click style game engine for fun, and I'd been dying to use Rucklo's "Drunk" song in a submission. It was almost a calling. A duty. It was written in my DNA and in my coffee grounds and in the stars that I assume hang in the sky beyond the constantly overcast nights of upstate New York.
And it was fun to make.
Q: It's a Nice Day Today would win you your first "Daily Feature." It is short, sweet, to the point. Where did you get the idea for this flash submission and will there be a full-length game in the future?
A: The original inspiration came from an artist meme, but it is also some sort of homage to PRGuitarMan's lol_comics. When the meme was going around I hadn't done any actual animation in flash in a while, so I decided to go above and beyond the call of duty and make a flash movie. I did it in one night, did the coding for the game part while wasted on Jello, and then posted it up on the internet. I PM'd Tom about tossing in a medal for shits and giggles, and after that it took off. It's not my favorite piece, but the music really makes it perfect.
I have no plans for making a sequel right now, although plenty of other people have sent me private messages and e-mails offering to pick up the torch. I've ignored most of them, but I know there's a few copies of the original *.fla out there somewhere that I've sent to the ones capable of typing coherently.
Q: Six Minutes of Nothing is quite possibly my favorite of your flash movies. The artwork and animation bring it to life in a simplistic way, but ForNoReason's voice acting demo is what makes it. Where did the idea for this flash come from and did ForNoReason have a say in this?
A: Back in 2005 I did a movie called Bitchin' Camaro, and since then I've been dying to animate something like that again. One lonely night back in March I had been browsing the Audio Portal for one reason or another (or For No Reason?) and I came across ForNoReason's submission A Voice Acting Demo? I loved his awkward charm, gave it a pretty generic review, and then completely forgot about it. It took me another five months to put two and two together, and I decided to make good on my promise of producing "a long, bland flash movie". It was a complete surprise to him. I think he enjoyed it.
Q: We now come to your pièce de résistance, a project that is still in the works and that is Epic Quest! - The Newgrounds Choose Your Own MS Paint Adventure. This adventure, "Tale of the Dragon's Gold" started on June 2, 2009. It has continued and blown up throughout the Art Forum like it was nothing. Where does the inspiration and motivation come from to make and keep this updated and when the adventure finally comes to an end will you make a flash movie out of it? Also are we to assume that this is not the only Epic Quest! people will be embarking on?
A: Well, I've been an avid reader of MS Paint Adventures for the longest time, and when Problem Sleuth came to an end, I got the idea of trying it for myself. I'd been toying with the idea of running a Dungeons and Dragons game, but with the conflicting schedules of our group members and previous games still in progress, I had no real outlet for my cliché-as-possible, tongue-in-cheek, off-the-cuff, word-hyphen-word nerd ideas. Epic Quest was born of a combination of those elements and not having cable. I didn't put any thought into it, there's no underlying plot, and I'd just been making it up as I go. It was updated whenever I felt like it, which is why the updates slowed to a crawl as I lost interest. Eventually it was locked to prevent people from speculating too much. As far as a flash movie.... I'm not sure. I haven't given that much thought. I'm more worried about the actual project.
Q: It's been a while since Epic Quest! has been updated. Is the adventure coming to an end?
A: I wouldn't say an end. More like a coma. I bought myself a tablet for, among other things, drawing Epic Quest. And then I made the mistake of loading up flash, and realizing how fun animation is when you have pressure sensitivity and the elegance and grace of a pen, instead of the lumbering clumsiness of a mouse. I fully intend on getting back to it when I finish current projects, but I don't even seem to have time for those, lately. I'd love to get a game sponsored so I can quit my current job and have a cushion to fall back on, because right now my job is eating up all my free time, energy, and motivation.
Q: What can we expect from scottmale24 in the near future?
A: On Newgrounds? Nothing in the immediate future, probably. I'm working on gifts for certain people right now, but if I get another game sponsored I'd definitely love to put it here. To get everyone's hopes up, I'm going to say that you can expect Epic Quest up-and-running again in early July. Even I think it's been down too long, and I'm afraid that if I don't return to it soon, people will lose all interest. I just need to get what few ideas I have to coalesce into a plot. I also have some personal artsy flash projects I'd love to see finished, but those are far, far off.
Is scottmale24 this brilliant artist, or is it merely a ruse that is placed on him? To me he just seems like some goofy kid who likes to draw and show his cartoons to the world no matter how offensive they may be. Is that a bad thing though? Well no, because that's how Tom Fulp started out.