Interview No. 129
Interview By: @The-Great-One
Today's guest is one who has been on my list for quite sometime now. His works are varied from The Exterminator, Stranger Danger Game, Pico Radio, and Asslevania: Symphony of the Butt. He is also the creator of The Interview Codex, the flash based version of The Interviewer. We are pleased to welcome @deathink.
Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A: The Events leading up to my membership are trivial and unimportant, HOWEVER, why I became an ACTIVE member is another story altogether. Newgrounds is AWESOME! Overflowing with talented, passionate people, NeoGeo is a bastion of reality and creativity in this otherwise barren waist of mediocrity and false representations.
Q: When did you become interested in video games?
A: I can still remember the moment I first saw an NES game. I couldn't look away... and I WANTED TO TRY. That moment was pure sensory, but when I found Zelda I was hooked, it became deeply neurological. As a five year old, beating the game required me and my friends to share rumors and myths with each other. These discussions sparked my already overactive imagination.
Q: What made you decide to make games?
A: I love to create things, and have fantasized about making games since I was very little.
Q: Your first game is entitled The Exterminator. A shooter where you have to shoot and kill roaches, pulling off combos and getting through as many waves as possible. How did you come up with this idea of killing roaches? Why a shooter to start off as your first game?
A: This was really just a test. I wanted to make a game that loaded all its assets to the stage dynamically (using code only). And I wanted to keep the game simple. The idea for the the game came from an old Sega game I once had called "Pest Control". It was a light gun game, and I have always thought there was a relationship between the game play of a light gun and the game play of a mouse.
Q: When Oney was with us for a second time, we talked about his series Leo & Satan. In Leo & Satan IV, the titular characters played a game called Stranger Danger. You would bring this game into reality with Stranger Danger Game. I feel it was only inevitable that someone make this game, what spurred you to do so?
A: First off, I love Oney, and well I guess that was my idea of fan art. I also just wanted to make something nice for NeoGeo.
Q: Pico Radio would be one of your biggest undertakings. Taking in music, artwork, combined with the advent of medals to produce a huge musical playlist even before playlists were to become a thing. This is something a lot of Newgrounds fans have wanted for quite some time and you came along and delivered. What gave you the inspiration to do this and what all did you have to do to get it done?
A: The inspiration was simple, I love listening to NeoGeo musicians while I work, but hate having to stop and reload a new song every couple minuets. So I started working on what would be know as "Pico Radio", HOWEVER, when it was about 90% complete, I fried my computer. I lost "Pico Radio" (and about 4 years of other projects and assets). I told TomFulp what happened to my PC, and how I not only lost "Pico Radio", but how I also lost my new game engine. Tom offered to fix my PC for free, but more importantly he told me not to worry about losing my new game engine, because now I would have the opportunity to make a better one. And he was right. I remade "Pico Radio" and it was superior in every way, not only aesthetically, but the file was smaller, faster, with a better sound quality and I could now have an infinite number of songs on a playlist. I never took Tom up on his offer, because I could always remake everything better. You can see the original version of "Pico Radio" here.
Q: When poxpower and Mockery were here we talked a lot about their collaborations and how they picked up other people for their collabs. You are one of the lucky few to get to work with them on the Where's Waldo/I Spy Halloween themed game Hunt of HORROR. How did you come to meet poxpower and Mockery? Whose idea was it? What was it like working with them?
A: One of the first pictures I Favorited here on NeoGeo was "Halloween Pixel Poster" by poxpower and Mockery (I am a sucker for fine pixel art). I spent hours trying to guess all the different characters, the problem was I didn't know if I was right or wrong. So out of necessity, the idea for "Hunt of HORROR" was born. Seeing a chance to showcase some great artwork, I wrote to Pox and asked if I could use the image. Tom with his encyclopaedic knowledge of all things Newgrounds noted that Mockery was also part of the image's development and suggested that I contact him as well.
Q: You would return to work with poxpower and Mockery again for Frozen Pixel Hunt. How did you come to work with these two again and what inspiration did Tom Fulp give to you while working on this game?
A: There are actually four pixel posters made by Pox and Mockery, I plan to "gameify" them all. Addressing the Tom question, the answer is simple, he is a constant source of inspiration and motivation.
Q: I've been doing The Interviewer for five years now, we just celebrated our 5th birthday on February 10th. Since then I have always had a request for a flash based version of the interviews. An archive that could be updated constantly with all the interviews in one spot. I told people that I knew nothing about programming and had doubts in finding someone to make such a thing for me.
You however decided to surprise me with The Interview Codex. I never requested that you make this codex for me and it is a question you haven't answered. Why did you want to make this archive for The Interviewer?
A: I always really liked reading your interviews, I thought you were doing a good and important thing, so to show my appreciation for all your hard work I created the codex.
Q: Your entry for Pico Day would be entitled The Ventures Fulp. Referencing a lot of different users, animators, artists, and programmers in a humorous way. You even referenced Asandir's Interviews and The Interviewer. It is essentially two games in one which I found quite creative. How did you come up with this idea and will we be seeing a sequel for the upcoming Pico Day?
A: I have actually written the sequel, but it will not be ready by this Pico Day :( My submission for this Pico Day will (with any luck) be "Pico Radio 2". Firstly the game is a love letter to Newgrounds and retro gaming, but my secondary goal was to make a Pico Day sim, so people who couldn't make it to Pico Day office party could still kinda feel like they went (if that makes any sense).
Q: One criticism of The Ventures Fulp is that finding the skulls is cryptic on what you have to do. Why did you decide to hide the skulls in this manner?
A: "The Ventures Fulp" is a none stop parody of 80's NES video games. The cryptic objective was a hallmark of every great NES game. But I also knew people would be watching the pod cast and playing the game at the same time. The players could discuss and solve the problems together in real time, and in an odd way they would feel more like they were hanging out... like they were at the party with us.
Q: You would work with poxpower and Mockery once more in another I Spy game. This one entitled Cult Classic. How did you three come to work again for another I Spy game? Why this time pulling everything from anything with a cult following? Also will we see another one of these games?
A: Cult classic was another experiment, I listened to all the comments from the first two pixel hunt games, then I cut out anything that would distract the player from the art. I tried to NEVER use text or numbers. I also devised an new system that would mathematically control the learning curve of the game, while at the same time remove all restrictions. Pox liked it, and it was the most popular of the 3 games, Mock liked it to, however he said "I don't get it, how is this a game"
Q: Asslevania: Symphony of the Butt is your latest game. You acquired quite the roster of voice actors for this parody upon the CastleVania series. Where did the inspiration come from to parody this series and how did you get a hold of these guys to do the voices?
A: I wanted to make a de-make/parody game for Halloween. I started to create art for two pixel art games, "Left 4 Pixel" and "Pixelvania". I kinda wanted to make a platformer so "Pixelvania" seemed more appealing, but I still wasn't wholly motivated. But then one day I was watching RicePirate's video "Asslevania" (for inspiration) and the idea came to me to parody his movie instead. So I would make a game, that was a parody of a movie that was a parody of a game that was a parody of a movie. I told the Idea to Mick (RicePirate) and he loved it so "Asslevania: the game" was born. To tell the truth the game you see uploaded here is only the prolog of the actual game I intended to make (like the beginning of SOTN). As for how I able to assemble the cast, there were many sexual favors promised. Hahaha. I am just really lucky to have such talented friends. The text I wrote them wasn't even that funny, but they just nailed it and made it funny. There the best at what they do and there all extremely busy, so yeah...
Q: When it comes to making games, where do you start? How does the project begin and when do you know it is ready?
A: For me it begins with an idea (how is that for a cop-out?). And it usually ends when I can't extend the deadline anymore. My first instinct is to say "when everything is perfect", but that is not how I like to do things, nor is it how I like to think, instead I think it should be "when you are satisfied with the most important things" you are done, and you can use left over time to go through minor details with a fine toothed comb.
Q: When CosmicDeath was here we talked about her artwork showcased on the Newgrounds Shop Page. You were brought on to do the artwork for the Movies Portal page. How were you approached to do this and why did you choose the characters from said series and movies for the background?
A: I really wanted to make a background, but I kept that to myself. One day Tom came to me and asked "if I wanted to take a shot at it". He asked if I wanted to do the GAME or MOVIE background. While making the game page background seemed to make more sense because I have more games uploaded here than movies, I choose movies anyway because one: red is my favorite color and two: some of my favorite NG submissions are movies. Choosing the characters was simple, Prosnorkulus is AWESOME and red... done. I mentioned it to Tom and He thought Persnorkadork would be great so Porkdorkus it was.
I hide things in most all of my pictures so I couldn't resist putting myself in the background, and I slipped Oney in there too just for good measure. Prosnorkulus is also wearing a large number of middle finger rings, which is a nod to its creator MiddleFingerRings.
Q: What can we expect from deathink in the future?
I found out about deathink when I played Stranger Danger Game. I knew someone was gonna make this for Newgrounds after the Leo & Satan movie that it was in came out. I also knew about Pico Radio which was absolutley amazing and I am eagerly looking forward to Pico Radio 2. deathink was just a blip on my radar and he was on my list as a suggestion that I had intentions of getting to. Then out of the blue I got a message from him telling me that he was working on a surprise for me. It came to a point that he needed input on it, so he sent me the project entitled The Interview Codex. I was spellbound to say the least. It shows what one person can take and make into something wonderful. Whether it be an amateur writer's works, a picture, or some songs from the Audio Portal. deathink is a treasure to Newgrounds and if Tom is smart he would pick him up to work on stuff for the site and fast.