Interview No. 37
Interview By: @Ryanson
Here on Newgrounds, it doesn't matter where you're from or what you like. Anyone can be successful if you just put your mind to it. That person is @matt-likes-swords.
Q: Hello. Thanks for taking the time out of your day to do this. How's the weather where you live?
A: It gets dark around 4pm at this time of the year, I'm not really sure since I can't see much. But it's probably raining or wet.
Alright, it's not raining.
Q: Huh. Where do you live?
A: Glasgow, Scotland. It's almost in the arctic circle, so yeah, pretty dark in winter.
Q: Alright, this interview is going up here on Newgrounds. For those people who may not know... who are you? What do you do?
A: Ehhh I'm Matt Roszak, known as matt-likes-swords only on Newgrounds, since that's my oldest account. kupo707 everywhere else. I've been messing around with Flash since I was around 12, I'm 20 now. If you look through my old submissions on NG, you'll see that all the old ones were pretty crap. But my style hasn't really changed too much, I still like a lot of the same stuff I liked as a kid. Mostly video game and anime inspired stuff.
Q: So how did you come to find Newgrounds?
A: Well I actually made some crappy Flash cartoons before I knew about it, and a friend was like "They have a site for stuff like that, you should post yours there."
Q: How did you get into Flash?
A: My mum was studying graphic design and animation, and had installed programs like Flash, Director, Lightwave etc on our PC. I messed around with a few of them but stuck to Flash.
Q: Love at first try, then?
A: Nah, not really. My early stuff really sucked and I didn't see it as much more than a minor distraction. Only started using it more after discovering Newgrounds, and seeing that there was actually an audience for that kind of stuff.
Q: You keep mentioning some of your earlier stuff, and we'll get back to that in a bit... but you also said that your screen name is matt-likes-swords *only* on Newgrounds. Dare I ask... do you actually like swords?
A: At the time I was a massive fan of 8-bit Theatre, and "I like swords" is a quote from one of the main characters. My oldest flashes that passed judgement were largely inspired by 8-bit Theatre too.
Q: So, where does Kupo707 come from?
A: I wanted the email "email@example.com" but it was taken, the computer suggested kupo707 instead. Not very exciting I know...
Q: Haha, that implies other peoples' names are exciting too. No worries. What were some of your first submissions here, and what was the general response to it?
A: Well the first bunch was the "Attack of the Black Mages" series. To be honest I don't really remember what the response was like. But it must of been decent since I felt like making sequels.
Q: Based on that, and some of your recent submissions... I'd say you have a thing for Final Fantasy games. Am I correct in assuming so?
A: Yeah, but not as much as I used to. Don't really have time to play RPGs too often. [pause] Well that and most recent Final Fantasy games haven't really impressed me as much as the old ones. FF 9 and 6 are still my favourites and probably will be for as long as the series is around.
Q: Nonetheless, Final Fantasy seems to be the inspiration for many of your games and artwork. I'm... not sure what I'm trying to ask lol. Maybe, "why are you so fascinated with the series?" Or, "why have you found inspiration from it?"
A: Err, not sure to be honest. I guess it was just easy to parody.
Q: Most of your games and movies on Newgrounds seem to be... interconnected. Like, a part of one series. Was this the intent?
A: I'm just too lazy to think of new concepts and characters. That's more or less it.
Q: Your characters seem to get tweaked a bit, redesigned slightly after each game...
A: Cause computer specs and my skills improve. I don't want to recycle too much stuff either.
Q: The most common thing I see is the main character of your series. His name is Matt, too right? Is he based off of you? Any Final Fantasy characters?
A: Pretty much based on me, yeah. Started with No Name and Final Fantasy Battle, since my girlfriend Caitriona was in there too. She's long gone though. It feels a bit silly using myself as a character now, but I can't really remove him from the sequels D:
Q: Are the other characters based off of anyone in your life? Or are they original?
A: All original except Cat and me unfortunately. My life's not that exciting.
Q: Another original character who seems to be recurring is... the Kitten. Looking on your Deviant Art page... a lot of your pictures involve kittens. Do you like cats?
A: Somewhat. I also like poking fun at people who obsessively like cats and cute things, hence why all the cats in my games are crippled. Less people get offended than I would imagine.
Q: We've talked a small bit about Final Fantasy... but what else was involved in the inspiration, the... creation, of the first Epic Battle Fantasy game? How did it come to be?
A: Well I played Maple Story for 3 years, that's probably a bigger inspiration than FF lately. A lot of the visual style is based on that; enemy expressions, item icons, weapons, themes etc. Anime in general as well. A lot of the ideas in the game are just common anime cliches. Basically I just wanted to make games that involved a lot of things that I liked, and my style suited RPGs since my early works were RPG parodies, so yeah....
A: Eh all my work before that one had tons of blood. I just grew up a bit and realized a larger audience would probably enjoy my stuff more without much gore. Also, not adding blood is less work. Just grew out of it I guess.
Q: Second, what inspired you to switch to the speed-oriented one-button gameplay instead of the RPG elements?
A: Well at the time I didn't know how to program. So that.
Q: Third... why zombie Goku?
A: I'm not really sure where that came from. I just needed a really powerful guy to defeat everyone for lulz.
Q: Besides games... you also do animation and artwork. Have any inspirations? Favorite artists?
A: Early on I used Krinkles' Madness floating-arms style, but that was mainly because I could not draw very well and his style was easy to do. Later I was more inspired by guys like NCH and KiteRide (or whatever username he uses on NG, vinnie something?) Not really in animations style, since they do a lot of frame by frame, mostly just in the anime themes.
Q: Your games are pretty damn popular on Newgrounds. Why do you think people love them so much?
A: Tits, swords, guns, kittens, anime, unoriginality, juvenile humor, more tits. A lot of people like that stuff.
Q: Everyone with a hint of success faces criticism. How do you respond to criticism?
A: Depends. If it's minor stuff I can fix, and enough people mention it, I may fix it. Otherwise I ignore it.
Q: So what would you be doing were it not for the internet? If not for Newgrounds?
A: Er probably still something between computers and art, nothing too different.
Q: Do you follow any series or artists here on Newgrounds? Any favorite movies or games?
A: I don't really follow anyone in particular anymore, just whatever catches my attention on the front page or whereever. Mostly just play a lot of platformers and shooters now.
[pauses to think]
If I had to make a list... Death vs Monstars, Pixel Purge, Ether War, Frantic 2 etc are some amazing shooters, and Flash games actually got me into old style shooters like Touhou, Dodonpachi and Ikaruga etc. I also like a lot of the retro pixel platformers like Redder, Canabalt, Time Fkuc etc.
Q: So what's playing on your iPod as of late?
A: Derp. I have an Android phone. Been boycotting Apple since Steve Jobs made fun of Flash. Lately I've been listening to a lot of chiptunes like Anamanaguchi and Shirobon, and some stuff from the Audio Portal. And the Super Meat Boy soundtrack, I'm hoping to get a hard copy of that when it's out. It's amazing.
Q: Any plans for the future you want to discuss, that your fans would be excited for?
A: Well I'm doing my last 2 years of University and it'd be silly to announce anything while I'm busy with that. I'd just get harassed by people telling me to hurry up... Though they can probably figure it out from the stuff I post on Facebook and Deviantart.
Q: Any favorite movies?
A: Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Fight Club, 500 Days of Summer, 300 etc. There's not really a lot of movies I watch more than once...
Q: Will the world end in 2012?
A: I.... What?
Q: What trend are you tired of hearing about, that you want to just go away?
A: Everything that 4chan invented, and was funny until it became mainstream. Like Lolcats and mudkips.
Q: Anything you want to share with us? A secret, perhaps?
A: I can't think of anything profound.
Q: What do you do in your spare time, when not making games?
A: Playing games, drinking, usually at the same time. Watching science documentaries. That's about it. Apart from obvious stuff that's already been mentioned.
Q: Any advice you want to give to people who want to work on their own games?
A: Yes: Stop asking pros for advice hoping that it'll improve your skills. Go and practice and stop looking for shortcuts. Too many people think Flash is like RPG maker or something.
Q: Alright, that's it. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. Any last words before we wrap this up and I make this all nice and shiny for the Interviewer?
A: Thank ye for the interview. I'm surprised it took this long for anyone to get round to it to be honest.
Joking, of course.