Interview No. 127
Interview By: Atlas
Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A: A friend of mine from highschool used to speak about Newgrounds from time to time. I think initially I came to Newgrounds to view some of the Flashes he'd spoken about and then I ventured onto the BBS. The BBS was the reason I decided to stick around. The community had a lot of good users and the video games forum was a great place for me to talk about my main hobby with like minded people.
Q: How has the site changed from when you joined to now?
A: Quite significantly, considering the recent(ish) redesign. However, my main interest was always the community. I liked that this site allowed people to speak freely and wasn't so tightly moderated. I feel like forum activity has been on the decline for a while but I also feel like the the quality of discussion has risen to some extent. There doesn't seem to be as much junk on the forums now compared to how I remember it being a few years back.
Q: What was your reaction when you became a mod?
A: I was a little surprised. My first reaction was to check that the PM actually came from Wade because I initially thought it might have been someone messing about. It wasn't something that I ever expected to happen. Back then I probably spent most of my BBS time in the video games forum and we had our own little community there. I'd frequent the general forum too but I never really thought of myself as a well known user. On top of that I barely ever spoke to any of the moderators or staff so I was surprised that I'd been considered as a potential moderator. I guess it just felt nice to have some trust placed on me.
Q: You are a fan of British Punk music. What do you think of American Punk? Who is your favorite punk band and why?
A: British punk and American punk are quite different and I've always preferred the British stuff a lot more. Too much of the American punk bands sound similar to me. There are still a few US bands that I'll listen to though, mostly the bigger name punk bands like The Ramones, Dead Kennedys, Black Flag and D.O.A. (although they're Canadian). As for my favourite punk band, that's something I struggle to decide. I tend to go through phases where I'll listen to a band constantly and then eventually end up replace them with another band. I suppose The Macc Lads have always been a favourite of mine along with Condemned 84. The Macc Lads just have a sense of humour that I find funny, although be warned, their lyrics are usually pretty crude. As for Condemned 84, I just think they have an almost perfect sound, especially on their Storming To Power album. Although they're not strictly punk, Motorhead have also been a band that I've loved for years.
Q: You are also a gamer. You frequent the Video Game forum and I would say you are one of the more prominent posters in said forum. What is your opinion of the Video Games forum?
A: I have fond memories of the video games forum but it's not quite the place it once was. Many of the users that I considered friends and got to know through the VG forum are now gone or don't post as frequently as they once did. I do still enjoy lurking and posting in VG but the sense of community that used to exist there isn't as strong any more. Several of us would play together on Xbox Live and just have a laugh. I made several good friends through the video games forum, a handful of them are still people I speak to despite them no longer having much of a presence on Newgrounds.
Q: What's on your backlog when it comes to gaming and what games do you feel you have missed out on?
A: My backlog is massive. As well as play video games, I also collect them. I probably have around 500-600 games sitting on a shelf behind me and have over 10 different consoles stored in a cupboard. The easiest way to show you my backlog would be to link you to my Backloggery profile page: http://www.backloggery.com/deannewgrounds As for what I've missed out on, I never grew up with any Nintendo consoles with the exception of their handhelds. The Super Nintendo is the console I feel I'm missed out on the most. I've never had one and they're one of the more expensive consoles to collect for in the UK right now. It's one of the most iconic gaming consoles with a massive reputation. I'd love to own one eventually.
Q: What are some of your favorite games as well as game series?
A: I have a hard time deciding what my favourite game is but earlier this year I said that Deadly Premonition was my favourite. It's a low budget title and it shows, but if you're someone who can look past the flaws and low budget nature of the game, there's a great experience to be found. The game has an odd, yet great sense of humour and the story was mysterious and intriguing. Definitely worth looking into if you've never played it. As for my favourite series, I'm not really sure. Grand Theft Auto is a series that I've followed for a long time. More recently I decided to play through some of the Legend of Zelda games (Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess) and really enjoyed them. There's also the Elder Scrolls series, which I'm not even sure if I'd want to know how many hours I've invested in those games. I could name countless other series but those are probably my big three.
Q: You seem to be a very big Sci-Fi fan. What are some of your favorite Sci-Fi shows and movies?
A: My interest in sci-fi really only started around this time last year when I decided to watch the original Star Trek series, which so far is my favourite of the sci-fi shows I've seen. It's hard to pick my favourite sci-fi movie because I honestly don't watch many movies. In the past year I've seen all the Star Trek films with the exception of Into Darkness, but I'm not sure which of those I'd call my favourite.
Q: You have stated you have watched all of the original Star Trek and all of The Next Generation, so my question is Kirk or Picard?
A: I struggle to pick a favourite but I'd probably have to say Picard. I just found him to be the more likeable character for whatever reason, but it's a close call.
Q: You graduated with an Honours Degree in Computer Science this year, how was university overall?
A: I learnt a lot but the whole university experience really wasn't how I imagined it would be. I spent the first year living on campus and had a group of friends with, for the most part, similar interests. We'd all generally be together messing about whenever we weren't in class. Then after first year ended, I opted to live at home with my parents and travel to university every day for the next 3 years, which saved me a lot of money but also meant those 3 years weren't all that great. I was leaving the house at 7am each day and not getting back until 6:30pm. The days were long and quite often boring but I stuck with it. Looking back I reckon things could have been a lot more exciting if I chose to get a flat in the city with my mates, but it'd also have left me with a lot of debt. I actually graduated from university debt free and I don't think many people get to say that. So I feel quite lucky in that regard.
Q: You also have been programming in Python. How has that been going? Do you have anything you've programmed you would like to show the people?
A: I actually don't spend a great deal of my free time programming. I'd like to, but I just never do. Every once in a while I'll have an urge to learn something new and one of the more recent things I wanted to learn was web development with Python. I basically just followed some tutorials to get a basic blog working with a framework called Flask. Nothing terribly exciting. Most of the projects I work on tend to be more educational than useful, so really I have nothing exciting to show. A while back I was trying to develop a HTML5 game, which you can find here http://www.deannewgrounds.x10.mx/), although I never made much progress with it.
Q: You are in a band. You said they are a blues rock cover band but are adjusting to play some more punk songs. How is the band going? Any gigs lined up? Lastly What is the band name?
A: We've practised a few times together but not so much in the last few weeks. People have been busy and more recently I think the pub that we usually practise in is being sold to new owners, so we may not be able to practise there any more. In the mean time I just try to get better at playing guitar so that when we next practise I'll have learnt more of the songs they play. As for the whole punk thing, there is definitely more of a punk influence now that I've joined them but opinions are split on that. Half of us want to play more punk, the other half want to stick to playing what they traditionally played. We were meant to be playing a gig this month, but it was cancelled as the headlining act weren't able to perform. I can't really complain because I definitely feel like I need more practise before I perform in front of other people.
The band is called Out On Bail.
Q: What are you looking forward to here on Newgrounds and what can we expect from you in the future?
A: Right I don't really have anything I'm looking forward to. I don't mean that in a negative way, it's just I'm more of a forum person, so most of the updates regarding the creative side of Newgrounds aren't something that effect me much. I guess I'm still hopeful that maybe one day there will be another Manchester Meet. I wouldn't mind meeting up with some of my Newgrounds buddies again one day. I'm not sure there's anything terribly exciting you can expect from me in the future either. I tend to just lurk around and contribute to any discussions that interest me.
To recap what we now know about Dean, he is a guitarist, a Picard fan, a college graduate with a degree in Computer Science, and an all around nice guy I'm glad I got the chance to interview.