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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.