Interview No. 47
Interview By: @The-Great-One
[ Part 1 | Part 2 ]
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.
ANSWERS WILL BE POSTED BENEATH THE _A:_ DUE TO TWO PEOPLE BEING INTERVIEWED PERSON ANSWERING WILL BE NOTED AS SO.
Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
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.
Q: How did you two end up meeting.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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!
[ Part 1 | Part 2 ]