MegaCon Feb 27 - March 1
Location: Orlando, FL
From the upper east coast we wind our way down south. I dont have a great deal of info on this yet, but the word on the streeetz is that The-Swain and a few other Florida folks are going to have a NG-themed booth. I *might* be able to show up. Its going to be cutting it close but I figure if Swain and Ego do a terrible job, i'll just goto Disney World.
Amsterdam Meet-up March 5-8
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
This is kind of spur of the moment and mostly because im still high from the fumes of the London meetup earlier this month(no pun intended?). I thought it'd be fun to try one in Amsterdam. I have a few people who will be turning up and in all likelihood it will be similar to how the first London meet started off, where it was a very small group 'hanging out'. Believe it or not once upon a time London meet was only like 12 people. Not the 60+ that showed up this past outting. I've never been to Amsterdam anyway. ALSO worth mentioning is that Luka has been documenting all the european meetups so far and so he will be joining me on this outting as well. All this heavy effort to capture things on video by Nathan and Luka will merge at some point to create a really grand and true representation of the global power of the site, aka itll be fucking cool.
Montreal Meet June 5th - 7th 18+ only
Location: Montreal, Canadaaaa
One of the most entertaining meet-ups of the year. I think they are on their fourth(?) one, this one is run by fellow mod poxpower. There is apparently a beer festival going on during this particular meet-up which can only sweeten the deal further. This meet has gotten consistently bigger, it wouldnt suprise me if it reaches a suprising number this time around. Regardless, if youre canadian (or not ) and in the area then you should make an effort to get out there.
Wizard Con Philadelphia June 19-21
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
A booth in Philly, imagine that. Shenanigans to follow the con.
San Diego Comic Con 2009 | July 23-26
Location: San Diego, CA
This is another event that isnt necessarily a meet-up, however it always draws out a large number of Newgrounds who's-who. This event has huge numbers of other people to elbow through but all in all it is actually quite fun and San Diego is always sunny and pleasant unlike London. Theres some special newgrounds related events being brainstormed. It should be fun and its an opportunity to meet some of the staff
Penny Arcade Expo 2009 | Sept 4th - 6th
Location: Seattle, WA
Another west coast event. This one way up in the corner of the country. I'm going to actually make an effort to go this year. I've been told its the cooler, less crowded cousin of Comic Con. Like comic con, this event is more about mingling than an actual 'meet-up' but its a good opportunity to catch some of the staff, particularly if you snoozed on comic con in San Diego
Denver meet-up | Sept 25-27th
Location: Denver, Colorado
There has been a few attempts at trying to bring NG to the Midwest and all of them had fallen short in the past. This year PsychoGoldfish is taking matters into his own hands and syncing a meet-up with the Great American Beer Festival in an effort to attract the interest of users like me I'm sure.
This is a promising event, with a couple of staff members showing up in addition to other NG users who live nearby and have the misfortune of living in some of the most boring parts of the country :D
Thats all for now, I will likely revise that list as i get more info.
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone that made it out. It's been a great testament to the community appeal that newgrounds has and how unique our community is in comparison with other copycat sites like youtube etc.
i had wanted to make it my effort to go and atleast get a handshake in to everyone to personally thank them for coming over. I dont believe i got to everyone but know that i did intend to and will probably be more aggressive about meeting that goal next time around.
Its kind of humbling to think that this all started off as a simple flash regs lounge gathering 2 years ago, with just me and mogly in a hotel room and getting together with a handful of people over at namco. Fast forward two years and now we've got like 50+ users come out and show their support for the site. From well known personalities to lurkers and new users alike.
I'll be using this week to coordinate getting peoples photos and trying to make some sort of photo narative of the whole ordeal.
I do want to send out a special thanks to Tom and his staff for making the trip out. I have gotten nothing but praise and positive feedback for how awesome it was for users to have gotten a chance to meet you all. Well I missed my flight so I'm actually spending my birthday in this hotel room but oh well, if anything its a good opportunity to catch my breath from the whole thing. I'd be annoyed but in reality I feel like my birthday party spanned almost 5 days and for that I have nothing to be upset about.
I was going to make a front page post but considering Tom already stole my thunder, I wont.
I'm on my way out to the airport now, I have no idea if I'll be able to update the hub page from London. So if I dont and you want to go or are planning on going, then just show up. You dont need to be invited or whatever. More likely than not you will need to walk over to Namco rather than the London Eye. Its supposed to be raining and so we dont have folks standing in the rain we will head over to Namco. Theres a map below for your reference. If you are running late, then you should also just head straight to Namco. If you neeed my mobile number over in the uk just PM me.
Where:London Eye, London, England
When: Saturday January 17th, 2009 at 1pm / 13:00
Well I wanted to release this on Dec 31st, but I hit a few snags and bumps so It was a few days late. BUT it is done finally. Im sure I speak for the rest of the people that helped me to say it was REALLY fun dealing with 100+ entries. And by fun i mean laborous.
All in all, I'm glad to be done with the tour in a fairly timely fashion and hope you find 5 mins to go look at what everyones done. I've gotten a few people ask me, why the NG staff wasnt in this particular tour, well i think that it actually shows more of the community spirit when its the community gathering up and giving back to Newgrounds rather than the other way around. So yeah, thats all folks!
Also the sketchbook tour shirt for 08 will be in the NG store in about another week and a half so yeaaaaa
I managed to get this little animation done cause i was feeling the spirit of the holidayssss
Thank you ng for a great year and all that. I truly am thankful for the opportunity to have gotten to work with/interact/spam with so many more folks this year, its been fun.
I'm going to go chug some eggnogfish now.
Ok so I've been under increasing pressure to finish up and release my projects in progress because apparently people think Ive been doin a whole lot of nothin... so heres a cliche list of updates:
Sketchbook Tour 2008
I'd say this project is about 70% done. I'm waiting on the voicework, the name transitions I'm working on, the shirts are sent to the printer and i have to throw together the front menu. I dont want to release the tour until the shirts are back from printing so its quite possible that the project will lag into Janauary. *Braces for the moans and groans*
I do want to make it my goal to finish the parts of it that are under my control this month. So that when the shirts DO come back from printing i can push it out.
I'm wrapping up a game with the loveable BoMToons. What was supposed to be a really simple game has become anything but. (sounds typical doesnt it) However I am quite pleased with how its coming along. I am also slated to finish that this month.
Xmas cameos and other misc
I have 2 or 3 xmas themed things I'm lending my support on. I'm taking a week off from work to work on them so hopefully i can sqeezy that into this months backlog and have that out within the given time.
I aint Zekey so I have no cool animations to share as a parting post but I CAN share with you this link I ran into last week. Basically its a Jap Design Studio thats been making 3D renditions of 8-bit sprites from the golden age of Nintendo.
Im not normally a fan of 3D shit but the mixing of retro and modern 3d technologies was interesting to say the least. You can view more here
The image below is of river city ransom, which if you didnt know has been very influential over the look of that luis charicature I always draw.
So last week we kicked off the Weekly Animator Flash-Offs over at the Flash Forum. Basically what it is, is a simple task for animators to animate over the course of the week. They post up their work and other people can critique and give advice to. It helped me get my mojo back in terms of starting to once again animate for movies rather than games (yes they are very different in mindsets) and it was fun. which is way more important.
ANYWAY, to promote them I slapped together me and LaserKarl's piece and made a mini-movie from it Shirt N' Pants. You can see it under my latest flash submissions, its the low scoring one lmao. People got really outragged when such a dumb excersize made it to the fp. Oh well..... you'll live.... somehow.
Join us for this week when the task is to move this concrete block of heavy shit. EXCITING I KNOW.
2008-11-21 14:14:37 by Luis
I BECAME TOO BORED OF DOING THIS EVERYDAY. TEH EDN. :)
YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN TOM WITH THOSE TABLETS.
I hadnt done one of these in quite a few months. I do intend to bring them back to a regularly scheduled basis and concept in 2009. For now, I had a chance to bounce off a couple questions to long-time NG-contributer, Edmund McMillen, aka BlueBaby. Incase you've been living under a rock the past week or so, you'd know that he's recently releasesd his CD This is a Cry for Help, in a nutshell its a 10-yr compilation of Edmund's career. That being said, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to have him reflect and also tell us about himself. I've condensed these interviews into really short format cause nobody likes to read a long line of text anyway.. so its a pretty quick read.
Onnn with the interview...
Hello, so the first question is pretty standard fare and maybe semi-redundant since I've already kinda introduced you above, but it might be the most fitting question for this particular interview since you've been part of newgrounds and the flash scene for so long. Tell us who you are and what got you into NG and flash in general?
I'm Edmund McMillen, like Tom I was making zines / comics in the late 90s and decided to take my work online in the form of flash animations. Back then Newgrounds was one of the only sites you could submit flash animations to. I submitted Destination Egg and I met Tom.
A few years later I moved on to making games, actually started my first game with tom that would later be finished by Rift (Cereus Peashy). I'd then go on to make Gish and a slew of flash games.
What had you been doing prior to entering the scene 10 years ago?
10 years ago I was writing, drawing, and publishing comics and zines independently, the series was called this is a Cry for Help, prior to that I was just in school drawing.
Ah ok so thats where the name originates from. So now that we covered beginning of your journey, lets quickly fast forward to 2008, what kept you motivated to stay in the scene for 10+ years, thats like unheard of in the web industry- to be around for so long?
I guess the scene is what motivated me. Seeing people make games and art in general is a big motivator for me to continue doing what I'm doing. Also the positive response to my work has motivated me to push myself more.
The core of my motivation is probably set around the fact that my career is basically an unknown adventure. I'm exploring art, game design and myself as I make stuff, it's very enjoyable and that's why I continue to do it.
Fair enough, so let me turn grim for a minute and ask you what you think the hardest lesson to learn has been in the past 10 years?
Probably that the more honest and personal my work is the less marketable it becomes, it sucks to think about, but I don't think ill ever be able to be truly honest with what I'm doing till I'm financially sound to the point of not caring at all about making any kind of profit from my work.
I hear that, I think thats a hard pill to swallow in general. You come out of college thinking you can hit the ground running and many times thats not the reality of it. So let me ask you this, being independent for so long, No doubt you've faced challenges in all that time but was there a particular low point in your career where you really had to pull it together. Reason I ask this is because its an inevitable hurdle one faces as a freelancer and its many times the straw that breaks the camel's back causing freelancers to throw the towel and go back to joining a work force so I ask in an effort to enlighten those who are either in a similar situation now or are perhaps unfamiliar with the challenges of the business?
Yeah, there have been MANY times where I've gone to 7/11 to get some cheap food and my card gets declined on 2 bucks worth of corn nuts. That shits hard, but for me it just gives me that much more to fight for. When I was working on Gish I was living in a tiny room with my wife and cat. I had to borrow money from Alex (Gish) to pay rent, we got by on Top Ramen and hot dogs. But honestly thinking back, those were some of the most memorable and fun moments of my life, there is something about being super poor that makes you really appreciate all the little stuff.
Truth be told I did throw in the towel once. Before I was making games and couldn't hack it with my web work and comics I got a "real job" as an animal control officer for over a year. If i didn't get fired I'm sure id still be doing it this day.
Doing art for a living is fucking hard, I'm not going to sugar coat it. Your not going to make much money as a freelance artist and your probably going to run into a few walls along the way, but you will have a lot of freedom and having a career is a very uplifting thing, especially if your totally independent.
Ah Ramen is the meal of champions! Well thats cool that you kept your morale up through the rollercoaster ride of the business. While we're on a high note, let me spin that question the other way. What is/was your proudest in the past 10?
Probably winning the grand prize with Gish at IGF 2005. The 2nd would be releasing this CD.
So now that we've danced around the release of your disc 'This is a Cry for Help', lets dive into some vague questions regarding that (obviously I dont want to cut too deeply into insight you might have already shared in the cd) but lets start at the beginning, what made you to take a break and devote time to making the compilation?
Alex and I were talking about the idea of releasing our next game on a physical CD for people to order from us. I looked into the cost and was surprised to see how cheap making professionally printed CDs actually is. The thought of putting all my flash games on CD instantly came to mind that day.
When I got home and told Florian about the idea he said, "Why not just put all your work on it".... I was like, yeah why the fuck not. I've been doing this for 10 years, it seemed appropriate.
Theres a quote on the product description of your CD where you said 'I don't censor my ideas even if they contradict my personal views' is there a particular project that it particularly applies to or maybe is there a particular project that managed to get you alot of harsh criticism for its content?
Yeah, going back and reading a lot of my comics now Im like.. wow, what the hell was going on with me then. One comic in particular was about an abortion that comes back and kills its mother... it came off very pro life, yet I'm very pro choice. I also had a few racist characters in my comics that contradicted my views as well, but I found it interesting to write about so I did.
Cunt is another one that definitely comes off as misogynistic and I got a lot of shit from feminists for it. I don't hate women, but that's not going to stop me from writing from that perspective. Hell, I once write a comic about religion that was actually pro religion... I tend to contradict myself in my work and it confuses and angers people, but any kind of emotional response is still an emotional response.
Whats next on your plate, where do you go from here, where do you see yourself 10 years from NOW?
Well im currently finishing up Meat Boy 1.5 with Jon. Then I'm moving on to a new, extremely awesome game with Tommy again, it's currently untitled. I'm also working on a secret game with Tyler Glaiel and Triachnid 2 with Florian, if he would just stop playing Team Fortris and Fallout it would done in a few weeks.
In the non flash world I'm working on a game called "No Quarter" with Alex (Gish) and Gish 2.
I also have a few small art projects I work on when I have extra time.
Ihave no idea what I'll be doing in 10 years.
Ok lets wrap this up with a final question, is there anything you feel like sharing that might motivate someone else attempting to follow in your footsteps?
Being independent is extremely rewarding emotionally and mentally. If you're a self motivated artist (and yes programmers are artists too) and you want to make art; stay independent, you will eventually get the respect and acknowledgment you're looking for.
If you're just looking to make a quick buck, go get a job.