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Hey there. I've missed you. How are you? That's great to hear.
This week saw the release of The End, the final Eddsworld video. This comes 13 years after the very first video Edd uploaded online and 4 years after his death. I wanted to take the time to reflect on Edd, his World and his Legacy, and how he fundamentally changed who I am and what I want to do with my life. Now, I've touched on this in the past but out of respect for the Eddsworld Legacy team I haven't really talked about a lot of things that have happened recently. But now, with that project wrapping up nicely, I figured this was the perfect time to reminisce about my time in Edd's World.
I first met Edd in 2006 through a mutual friend. Edd was looking for someone to help make a game for Thomas “TomSka” Ridgewell's 16th birthday, and our mutual friend decided that with my practically zero coding knowledge at the time, I'd be perfect for the job. At this time I had released the first Bullet Bill game and was working on an Excitebike based game. These games, to put it mildly, were not coded well. In fact, the project file for these games ran more like movies, which were stitched together depending on what the player did. It wasn't pretty but, at the time, it got the job done.
Despite already working on another project at the time I happily agreed to talk to Edd and make a game for him. At this point I had never heard of him and didn't really know what to expect. After some small talk he told me what he wanted me to make, he sent me all the art for it and pretty much went “hey, make this an actual game”. From what I remember it was Tom in a small rectanglar area jumping for circles that exploded when you collected them. I think in the background it said “Happy Birthday Tom!” or something along those lines. It was super crude and all I really did to make it a 'game' so to speak was move Tom via the arrow keys and have him jump when you hit up. Edd, however, loved it, and got excited about what else we could do. This concept eventually turned into the game 'Quest for Bacon' where, ironically, Edd & Matt are jumping around collecting bacon, and Tom is nowhere to be seen. To this day I don't know if Tom liked his present, or if he even played it, it never really occurred to me to ask.
Since then we kept in touch, usually making dumb jokes on SheezyArt. For those who don't remember, SheezyArt was like DeviantArt but somehow even worse. We would joke that we both had so many people who love our content that we could just upload anything and it'd get on the featured section. And then shortly after we just upload anything and got on the featured section. I'd rip the art assets out of a video he uploaded in the morning and finish a parody of it by that night. It was all a lot of fun, and in fact I still have a .wav file of him saying “Psycosis you suck” which I used in a page banner at some point. This, weirdly enough, is actually how our other game projects got started.
Near the end of March 2007, Edd uploaded a small Sonic 2 Special Stage animation for his SheezyArt banner. Not really thinking too much of it I did what I always did, I downloaded it and proceeded to mess with it. I figured I could pretty easily make this into a game so I coded the full framework for the game in a few days. I decided against uploading it, however, because Edd only ever animated the top half of his character. The original animation just had Edd walk in place with music playing so it's not like he had to. I showed him what I had made and he was super ecstatic, and then I asked him to animated the legs and he was considerably less ecstatic. Still though, the next day he sent me a full Edd running animation and I went to work finishing up the game. Finally, 'Not-So Special Stage' was completed and uploaded. Much like the previous game the whole process took roughly a week or so, which was pretty good considering what we managed to put out there.
I'd say just over a year later the exact same thing happened. Edd uploaded a small Doom parody clip of him shooting red monsters, and I thought it'd be fun to turn that into a game. I made the first level and sent it over to Edd, saying “this is a cool idea how about we turn it into something bigger”. We blocked out the first four levels and haphazardly threw together a story mode to justify the silly levels. We was very close to releasing it with just that. While waiting for Edd to animate parts for the first 4 levels I added a Zombies Ate my Neighbours level, intended as a Easter egg if you beat the story mode. When Edd found this he loved it, and wanted to add even more to the game. We eventually came up with 10 levels, some maybe better thought out than others, and finally released 'Bang, Boom, Splat!', our most successful game.
Now at this point we had released a game together once a year since we met, and right on schedule in 2009 we did start working on a fourth game together. Newgrounds held a their 'Power of Three' event back in 2009 and Edd and I were eager to create something for it. So, along with the amazing musician Wolfgun, we created team 'Best Served Ice Cold', (named because the first letters of our first names spelled 'ICE'), and got to work. This was the first time Edd and I would actually scope out an idea together, as opposed to me just repurposing content he had already made. We settled on an idea called 'Kid Thulhu and the Jan Ken Bunch', the concept being a kid version of Cthulhu would be the main character, fighting Megaman style against the 'Jan Ken Bunch', which were Rock-Paper-Scissors based enemies. We got pretty far in this concept, with 3 out of the 6 levels actually finished, before the project ended up dying. If I recall correctly I had just started university at this point and couldn't work on the game as much as I would've liked. This combined with Edd focusing a lot more on his actual movies meant I was doing the brunt of the graphics. Honestly I keep a lot of Kid Thulhu to myself even now because I like to think I'll still work on this idea later on. We had a lot of really cool ideas for it and I still have a lot of Edd's sketches lying around for the bosses, so maybe this will actually see the light of day at some point.
Now back around 2006 all the way up to Edd's death, I was involved in Eddsworld. I believe starting with Eddie's Teddy, Edd would send me WIP files for critique. He did this so regularly that I had hundreds of small flash files from him, sometimes exact duplicates because he forgot he already asked me about them. This happened all the way up until Space Face Part 1, in which I still have the almost fully completed movie on my hard drive. I voiced a character in Zombeh Attack 3, animated the videogame portion of the 2007 Halloween Special and appeared in Spares. Starting with Ruined I also provided coding, music and sound effects for quite a number of movies, though in classic Edd fashion no matter how much or how little I contributed to each movie, I was only ever credited in the special thanks section as 'Ian', and that's if I was even credited at all. Edd also came to me when discussing the Eddsworld theme. He sent me a voice clip of himself humming a pretty flat version of what the theme is now, and asked me to transpose it for him. I sent him back the notes and a few versions of it playing to help him decide on how the theme should sound. I'm pretty sure he went with Tom's version of the humming and that's what he used for every movie since then.
The last time I talked to Edd was weird, we would usually talk a few times a week, even when he was in hospital he made it a point to still chat here and there. The very last conversation we had was him asking if I found him attractive. Now, Edd was the first online friend I told about me being gay, albeit accidentally when he was asking me for relationship advice, and I guess just wanted an honest conversation about it. We chatted, and I admitted I thought Bing was pretty cute at the time but that was about it. I ended up cutting the conversation short because, as it turned out, I was late for a math exam I had to sit at university. I told him I had to leave and that I'd speak to him again later, but later never came.
I found out Edd died via the announcement video, after a day out in St. Andrews with my university friends. It was weird not hearing it from anyone before hand but, then again, I had no contact with anyone outside of Edd himself. I used to have Matt on messenger at some point but we never shared a single word, and Tom blocked me pretty early on because I didn't follow some weird arbitrary rules he had set, according to Edd at the time. Of course I don't mind that I wasn't personally told, because I was just an online friend from Scotland and they wanted to keep the news from getting out there too fast. I've never been back to St. Andrews.
I didn't really know what to do honestly. This news came pretty fast after Randy Solem, the owner of VGDC, passed away, and shorter after this news my boyfriend at the time was admitted into hospital and I couldn't visit him. Now out of these three events, Edd's news hit me the hardest. I've mentioned this before but Randy is the one that first got me into animating, but Edd was for all intents and purposes my inspiration for animating. A lot of the stuff I made back then was influenced by him and what he was doing, so losing that all of a sudden was a huge blow that seemed impossible to recover from. Of course, nowadays I am happy married, and my lovely partner easily fills that inspiration role, but back then I had lost the most creative person in my life and I didn't really know what to do. I took my feelings and ended up animating my final sprite movie, Pacific, with music by Wolfgun.
Pacific is a weird beast of a movie. I knew when Wolfgun released his new album at the time, Sundisk, that I'd want to make another animation for it. After all, I had previously made two Wolfgun animations in Salmon Ok and Two Slices of Pie, and I really wanted to create another. Pacific was one of two songs that I decided between, the other being Stranger. After the news I picked Pacific, despite, at the time, having a clearer idea on what I wanted with Stranger. Regardless, I set to work, and wanting to make it a Kirby animation thanks to the opening. I wanted to focus on Lololo and Lalala thanks to my love of the anime, and include custom Tiff and Tuff sprites there as well. Things were going well! I animated everything up until the bottle throwing scene and then, stopped. You see, at this point the story was very different. The original planhad the perspective switch to Lalala finding the bottle, and making her way back to Lololo. But, I couldn't. I couldn't make a happy animation after what had happened. It just didn't feel right. When Lololo is writing his bottle message, I had it in my head that he just simply writes 'I miss you', and considering how much I missed Edd, I couldn't possibly animate a happy reunion between the two. Looking back, Pacific is the animation I'm the most proud of. It's not my most well known or even my most liked, but in terms of what I want to create and what I want to do with my projects, I could not be happier with what I did. Bittersweet, but still happy.
Now, Eddsworld Legacy. I do want to preface this by saying I mean no ill will towards any of the staff of Eddsworld Legacy. I know a fair number of people on the team, some just as a fan and some as acquaintances, and I know how talented that group of people are. If you're interested in a more broad look at the Eddsworld Legacy stuff, they released a pretty comprehensive documentary about it, which I highly recommend.
After his death, Eddsworld Legacy was started by Tom to produce more Eddsworld movies. I luckily found myself with some cash so I was able to pledge $200 to the cause. Out of that I got a pretty sweet drawing of my Eddsworld character and Tom, which I still have displayed on my desk, despite how weirdly removed it is from a true symbol of friendship with Edd. I pledged this knowing full well I didn't really expect or want much from the project itself. The idea of new Eddsworld movies got me rather depressed, but at the same time I knew that Space Face should be released in some capacity, so the idea seemed pretty solid. However, I'll admit it took me until this week to watch all of the new Eddsworld movies.
They're good, like, don't get me wrong, all of the new movies are pretty good. Mirror Mirror might be my favourite of the bunch. My problem is it's just all very melancholic in a odd way. It's easy to say “this isn't like Edd's work” because well of course it isn't. It's also very disgusting to say “this isn't what Edd would have wanted” because speaking for someone who has passed away might be one of the worst things you could do in their memory. No. What breaks it for me is that it all feels too, I guess, well made. Like, Edd's 'style' if you can call it that was mostly “I don't know what I'm doing but I'm doing it anyway”. Edd wasn't a particularly good voice actor, he wasn't a particularly good artist or animator, but what Edd excelled at the most was his determination and his ability to get his ideas out there. I mean I spent a lot of our friendship dissecting his animations and if there was an easy way to do something by god he'd do it. I don't think there was a single 5 second segment of any of his animations that was done frame-by-frame. I tried to teach him a simple lip syncing solution back when he still used a single movie clip for all speech and he wouldn't take my advice because what he was doing 'was good enough already'.
With that in mind, going from that to the amazing animation of Paul ter Voorde is, kind of weird. I'm saying this knowing full well that Paul ter Voorde actually did a bit of animating for Edd when he was alive. Every part of the new Eddsworld movies have such a jump in quality that it throws everything off. The music is custom, something Edd only did for Moviemakers and even then to challenge himself. The animation is superb, I mean all the animators did a fantastic job with the new movies. The only thing that was very similar to Edd's style was the writing, and that's of course thanks to Tom and Eddache doing a great job with it. Unfortunately, even that feels a little bit off thanks to the timing. There is a lot of 'Mickey Mousing' (syncing actions on screen with musical stings) in the new movies that feels very much like Tom's style, which I will say works wonders for his live action sketches but weirdly enough not so much for the animation. (On a side note I feel like Crash Zoom, Tom's original animation series, suffers in this regard as well.) It's weird to say this is even a flaw because, on all accounts, it's a consequence of the production quality being a lot higher. It just, at a point, feels a little forced.
Eddsworld of old was never about the production, the high quality animation or anything of the sort. The jokes were very hit and miss, the characters, besides having a few running jokes each, acted very similarly. There wasn't really much conflict as most stories would just be “the gang go on an adventure” with everyone being weirdly ok with it. It was Hellucard being asked to record himself saying “Hey, Edd!” and instead sounding like he's saying “Ey Head” and everyone involved thinking it's so funny that not only is that line used, but it's used again as a callback joke. It's Edd writing in the newspaper of Bang, Boom, Splat! “Psycosis is a fabulous homo sapien” in the top right but when the actual file is exported it cuts to “Psycosis is a fa- homo-”. When the production grows and more people are involved in overseeing it and making sure it's as good as it can possibly be, it ends up losing that weird kind of awkward but lovable charm it once had. Is this a bad thing? Not really. Would I have preferred the new movies if they tried to replicate that? God no. But the new movies changes my viewpoint dramatically. Before it was a friend of mine making animation and wanting to show the world what he can do. Now, it's a large group of people, very highly skilled in each of their respective fields, all coming together to pay a tribute to a very special person. It's different, but that's ok. In light of the task they gave themselves, I think they did the best job they could have possibly done.
I didn't really get involved with Eddsworld Legacy besides backing the project. I felt that was enough for me. I wasn't going to try and make another Eddsworld game because what would be the point? Ultimately, my contributions to Eddsworld were side projects, Eddsworld Extended Universe if you will. I've enjoyed a few little mentions here and there which was more than enough for me. The original Eddsworld Legacy video had a drawing of me when talking about Edd's friends. Fun Dead had the very talented Michafrar animate a Bang, Boom, Splat! arcade game. I managed to contribute a few of the tracks I made over the years to the album, and finally I made a Bang, Boom, Splat! Animation for The End Part 2. It was a small thing, and initially I wanted to do more but, unfortunately life got the better of me. However, I feel that a small something that's pretty easy to miss is the most fitting contribution I could have made to Eddsworld. Considering all the credit I got was my first name in the special thanks, it is very fitting. As much as Edd influenced me and what I do, I was ultimately a small part of his life. I don't think he ever thought that, of course, but there were a lot of people who Edd influenced and because he was so nice, a lot of people who he would regularly talk to. I'm sure there are many people out there who have stories about Edd, after all he'd try to talk to and work with as many people as possible, I'm just very luckily to be one of those people.
Eddsworld Legacy has come to an end, and as a result, so has Eddsworld. It's bittersweet sure but I'm pretty relieved. I still think Eddsworld Legacy was, in the long run, a good idea. While the core of the show changed, the show itself ended rather satisfactorily. If you watch the documentary many people are pretty apologetic about how it all went, and while it's nice to see them admit the problems they had with this project, I do feel they are being incredibly hard on themselves. They provided everyone with another round of wacky adventures for the gang and ended the show when they knew that it would be too much for them to keep going. I want to thank the Legacy team for, not only providing these new movies and easing the pain of losing someone so important to them, but for also introducing new people to Eddsworld and Edd's weird pun soaked ridiculous humour that we all enjoy. The project was started with the hopes to keep Edd's World spinning and that's exactly what they did. Edd's World, thanks to the Legacy team and of course Edd himself, will keep spinning indefinitely, only now it's powered by all the people around the world that were inspired by Edd and his movies, myself included. After all, it's Eddsworld, we just live in it.
Exactly one decade ago, on the 31st of July, 2004, I was 12 years old. Inspired by movies online on Newgrounds, I had just finished creating my very first flash animation, and uploaded it for the world. I was in my first year of high school, in Scotland, incredibly proud of the very first project I have ever created and uploaded to the internet, dead set on becoming a director. Now, one decade later, I have under my belt over 50 animations, 20 videogame projects both personal and contracted, 15 albums, and working on my first official released videogame. I sit here in my apartment in California with my beautiful wife, mere hours away from flying over to Baltimore for a large convention. Everything I thought I would be by now is wrong, and I couldn't be happier.
Yes, for those of you who have known me for this long (which I doubt is very many), and for those who have been introduced to my works in more recent years, today marks the 10 year anniversary of me putting projects on the internet. Ten whole years of dedicating myself to creating content in the hopes that it entertains an audience of complete strangers. The medium of my work has changed back and forth many times in the last decade, but the core principle has always remained.
I want to entertain. I want to inspire. I want to, in some way, make an impact in someone else's life through my work, the way others have so graciously done to me.
I'm taking this opportunity to show a little retrospective of what I've done in the last decade, or at least as far as I can remember, in the hopes that it sheds some light on the kind of dumb stuff that I've been making, and hey, maybe it will introduce some new fans to what I was doing before they knew me, and some older fans might like to know just what the hell I've been up to and why.
As I'm sure it's painfully aware, I was never the most popular kid. In high school I was one of those kids who didn't even go outside during the lunch break. I remember there was a room tucked away in a corner of my high school that was open during the lunch hour, for all the misfit kids to go and hang out, so naturally, that's where I went. One day, however, one of my, well, I'm hesitant to even call him a friend. His name was Gary and he was one of those “I'll talk to you like a friend but also treat you like shit” kind of guys, but I digress. One faithful day during a lunch break, he went on the computer and showed me Newgrounds. And, as was custom at the time I'm sure, I was introduced to Newgrounds via the Xiao Xiao series. Now for those of you that are unfamiliar with this series, it's a series of movies and games based around fighting/shooting dating back to around 2001, so naturally I thought it was the coolest shit ever.
I got home that night and started watching the movies over and over again, loving them every time. It took me a good week or so to realise there were a lot of other movies and games on Newgrounds to enjoy! I checked out everything, obviously starting with the Adult section because I was 12 years old at the time, and just marvelled at the stupid amount of animations and games there were. But, there was one particular that caught my eye, and that was Video Game Director's Cuts, or VGDC, for short.
Video Game Director's Cuts was a website run by Randy Solem, who credited himself with the creation of the 'sprite movie', which basically means, taking sprites from a videogames and moving them around on screen. I loved it so much that it inspired me to also move sprites from a videogame around a screen, and thus, sparked my original desire to create content. And after trail and error, I eventually finished my first ever sprite movie.
And it got blammed.
On Newgrounds, for those that are unaware, that's basically my movie was terrible. So terrible in fact that the users voted that it would not stay on the website. I was confused since I say it wasn't on the website, and submitted it again! And, again, it got deleted. This movie was not the first movie I have on my profile on Newgrounds, and in fact was submitted a few weeks earlier, but I don't know the exact date, and the 10th anniversary of a failure is pretty silly. All I remember about the flash movie was it was Kirby (I didn't know who Kirby was at this time) beating up Mario enemies on a white background. Riveting, I know.
When a user explained was 'blamming' was to me on a review, I deleted the project and started a new one. This one, called Mario Bros. Movies, which was submitted on July 31st, 2004. I was ecstatic that it stayed on Newgrounds, and people gave pretty ok reviews to it too! I even remember saying I would just keep updating the flash file with new shorts over time, as if this was going to be my sole project. I scrapped that idea pretty fast. The movie was bad, of course, I had no idea what coding was, I had no idea what scenes were, and I didn't even have any idea what motion tweens were. Clearly, I had no where to go but up.
After my first foray into sprite animating I decided to actually join the VGDC forums, where I was lucky enough to meet a few very special and important people who go by the names MeesterO and SirKirbs120. I first met these guys around this time, on the VGDC boards, and thanks to a mutual friend called ZeroMega (who I will get around to later believe me), we are all still in touch to this day, and some of the few people I would gladly call my best friends.
But I also met MajinPiccolo.
While I was on the forums I happened to stumble upon a flash animation contest run by one of the users. The user was called MajinPiccolo and he was basically recruiting people to be in a rag tag group of sprite animators he called 'Dungeon Studios'. By this time I had already made my second flash movie, Donkey Kong Medley, and was looking for new ideas. His contest was to make a sprite movie using Castlevania sprites (I didn't know what Castlevania was), and submit it by the deadline. In response, I created CM1: Simon vs Trevor, and if I recall correctly as one of the few people that actually entered the contest, I ended up winning! How about that! Majin then introduced me to the rest of the gang, which consisted of himself, Yoshi-1up, and some dude I cannot remember for the life of me but I'm pretty sure it was something like 'Carl52' so lets go with that, he didn't factor in too much anyway.
Now let me tell you Majin was a piece of work. He was one of those compulsive liars on the internet, who kept bragging he had everything, literally everything. He told me he had every single NES and SNES game ever made. A room dedicated to this with a 42 inch TV screen that he and his sister play on. One time he said that Miyamoto was visiting, fucking Miyamoto was at his house, to meet his dad. At first I thought, who would lie on the internet? This guy is awesome! But it obviously bit him in the ass quite a bit when he would backtrack and contradict himself with what he was saying. I remember even asking him to show Miyamoto my newest movie, Donkey Kong Arcade Remake, to which he weaselled his way out of it saying “oh no no he's a busy man I can't possibly of course not no”.
I think what eventually brought me down was, despite the fact that I stayed friends with him, he clearly didn't care about the work. I'm not going to claim we were good at what we did at the time, but I tried to put effort into what I did, when he just wanted me to make quick terrible shit like the DSTV series, and him being very complacent in his own Skittles N' Bitz series. I don't know, but there was definitely a rift appearing between us on a creativity level, and with the advice of Yoshi-1up, I decided to leave Dungeon Studios in December of 2005. The website finally shut down in 2007, and MajinPiccolo hasn't been seen since...
He went to university and cut his ties with flash animation, I hope he's doing well!
From Megaman's Massacre onwards (I had never played Megaman before making that), I was making movies under my then tentative name 'Psy City', which just sorta stuck. I remember it vividly, I was talking to Yoshi-1up a few weeks before leaving Dungeon Studios, who had already left to create 1-up Island, trying to convince me to leave Dungeon Studios because I'm much better than that. I remember saying “If I leave I'll probably just use some shitty name like 'Psy City' or something”.
Yoshi-1up, someone I rarely talk to anymore, got out of that group the strongest. And while he's often crude and silly, never really taking anything super seriously, and often making masturbation jokes in his movies, he might just be one of the nicest people I've ever known.
The Mystical Forest Zone
Around this time I was also part of another community, called The Mystical Forest Zone, which for a good number of years was the go to place for Sonic the Hedgehog sprites. At some point they opened a forum for their users, and I was an 'active' member of that community. By which I mean I had the highest post count because I had nothing better to do with me time. Now I mentioned ZeroMega before, and I technically met him on VGDC, but it was here that we, and another user called SpykeTP or more recently as SuperCalleh, really hit it off, in the most dysfunctional manner possible. We would pretty much spam random crap, spout Bill Cosby memes, and generally be pieces of shit. But I digress.
ZeroMega was a another animator from VGDC whom I became friends with. We collaborated on a lot of really silly projects together, often finishing each others animations, or straight up uploading them unfinished. But even if But before we get to ZeroMega yet again, there's one more person that was important on TMFZ, who went by the name Velota. Now, this guy was a year my junior, but he could draw sprites, something I couldn't do that well despite claiming to be a goddamn sprite animator. So, for a lot of movies, he was my spriter. The collaboration in 2006, and ended in, well, 2006. The first main movie I made with his sprites was Pico's Last Stand, and our big project together was A Very Spritey Christmas. One fun fact about Mario's Silent Movie was I originally uploaded an incomplete version of it to his Newgrounds channel as a joke, but took it down when I saw that people were actually enjoying it, so I could probably finish it! And while our official collaboration has long since ended, I still use his sprites to this day in my intro animation. I can't remember how this friendship ended, but I have a feeling it wasn't a good break up. I haven't talked to him in 6 years but I sincerely hope he's doing well.
A slightly interesting thing about this is that for Pico's Last Stand, I created a pre-loader game. This was in fact the first time I ever made a game, and it resparked an old desire to make games. I don't even remember why I made it, maybe I was trying to impress Velota, but regardless of the reason, making that pre-loader game was the first real shift of my career path from director to programmer, but I'll get into project specifics in a little while.~
Also at some point in 2006, I ended up also joining Sheezyart. It was here that I started making mashups. With the help of ZeroMega to an extent, I started learning the ins and outs of making music mashups, something that I still do to this day, a hell of a lot more prominently than animations that's for sure. But I digress. Joining Sheezyart ended up being a very important thing in my life, not because of the website, the website was shit, but because it introduced me to one of the most important men in my life, Edd Gould.
Now, my introduction to Edd was actually thanks to MajinPiccolo, weirdly enough. In 2006, Edd Gould was looking for a programmer to make a game for his friend's 16th birthday, that friend being TomSka. The game was very basic, but it eventually became Quest for Bacon, and the start of a great friendship between Edd and I. We would collab on a lot of different projects over the years, including Not-So Special Stage, and Bang, Boom, Splat! I also ended up animating for his movies here and there, writing music here and there and eventually becoming a foley artist too. Now if anyone was lucky enough to ever know Edd you'd know he was some kind of amazing. He managed to inspire people by just being around him, he collected a very talented group of friends both on and offline, and honestly he still inspires me to this day.
Also on Sheezyart, was finally, ZeroMega. Now like I've mentioned, I've knows Zeromega for most of my internet life at this point, but it wasn't until Sheezyart that we started properly collabing. Along with us were our mutual friends Eggshells and Monk_09. We made really bad looping flash animations on Sheezyart, usually to the tune of Super Eurobeat tracks. We would just basically fuck around and make bad animations and people would get mad when they got voted to the front page of the website. You know, a humble lifestyle.
Last but certainly not least, Sheezyart introduced me to the incredibly talented Wolfgun, someone who I have the sincere belief is going to be world famous with his music one day. I found Wolfgun's work through a Super Mario RPG remix, and I have been constantly impressed with his work over and over again. He has inspired numerous projects from me, including Salmon Ok and 2 Slices of Pie. I also had the honour of him creating the soundtrack to two games of mine, Bounce Coil and Bullet Bill 3, to which I'm eternally grateful, because those games would not be what they are without his amazing music. I do not deserve to know someone that talented.
I couldn't be a social outcast forever, and eventually I got accepted into university. Luckily for me, however, the only reason I got into university was my flash movies and games. I actually didn't get the grades needed to be entered into the course I wanted, but, in my application, I submitted my movies and games, to which they were shocked I wasn't applying to enter straight into the second year of the degree. Unfortunately, this meant the death of a few projects I was working on at the time, the highest profile of which being Kid Thulu. I always told Edd that I'd get back to that project when I finished university, or whenever I had enough time to dedicate to a project that big. And I still want to keep that promise.
But anyway, university had a big impact on my life, as you'd expect. While I haven't been talking about my personal life all that much here, during university I embraced my bisexuality for the first time, in a 4 year stint with someone who I'm going to refer to as Yuki. In my second year of university, I was getting annoyed that I had not made a new animation in so long. My inspiration was dwindling and I hated that. I eventually came up with A New Place, which I was incredibly happy with, for a final movie. And Bullet Bill 3, for my final game. I figured after university, I would be done with flash as a format, and be able to focus my attention on other languages, and hopefully get closer and closer to releasing my first proper game. It was also around this time, 2010, that I started getting back into mashups a bit more, after delving into the practise in 2006 on Sheezyart, but the real reason I still do them is because of fucking My Little Pony.
My Little Pony
Now don't get me wrong My Little Pony is shite, at least, it is now. I thought gen 4 was good for the first two seasons, but since then it's gotten a lot worse. With terrible writing, excruciating plots and an overall arc that just left me incredibly bored I honestly have no idea why it's still held to such a high regard. Especially since much better shows like Gravity Falls and Steven Universe have launched in its wake, but, what the fuck ever I guess. My friends from VGDC, MeesterO and SirKirbs120 actually introduced me to My Little Pony gen 4 in late 2011. Doing the general “yeah it's actually ok weirdly enough you should check it out” that most people did. So I did check it out, and yes, it was ok.
I created a terrible mashup known as Discord Days in 2012, which for some bizarre reason took off. I think, honestly, it was featured on 'fail blogs' or whatever the hell they're called these days. But regardless, it got big. I kept making pony mashups here and there, because I did genuinely enjoy the music, and that was a lot of fun! It did get me back in the groove of mashups, something I still have a lot of fun doing now.
Despite that, 2012 was a bad year, straight up. I lost two incredibly important people and almost lost a third. First of, Randy Solem died in the beginning of March, 2012. And then Edd Gould died at the end of March, 2012. At the same time, Yuki was admitted to hospital for a huge spinal injury, with the chance of him surviving pretty much up in the air. Randy Solem, which I didn't know him personally, was the original inspiration for me to create flash animations, the create content period. If it wasn't for him, I would never have taken the life path that I did. And then, Edd Gould, as I explained earlier, was one of the most important men in my entire life. And likewise for him, there is no where I'd be where I am now if it wasn't for him. And then the man I loved in Yuki was on the verge of losing his life too. Now, thankfully, he got out of there just fine, but lets just say it wasn't the best of time for me.
So I did what I always did naturally, I turned to animation. I ended up making Pacific with all the emotion I had built up surrounding the events. If there was ever going to be an ending to the opening chapter of my content, it would be Pacific. I don't know if I'll ever be able to create anything like that again, and I'm fine with that. I can look back on that animation and see the culmination of 8 years of work in play in that one animation. It's just a sad state of affairs that it had to be made in the first place.
In lighter news, 2012 also marked the year I started using Tumblr, which ended up mostly being a new place for my mashups to be hosted. The weird thing is, of course, a lot of people probably know me for this work, and don't know about the first 8 years of my work, which is completely fine! I have had, however, a few people be really surprised when they realise the Psycosis making mashups is the same one behind the Thwomps movies, I've even had a friend called Aussy, who was a friend of mine from my mashups who used to also watch my flash movies and play my games in school. That was an interesting conversation!
But I digress, one of the biggest projects I had on Tumblr was known as Slamayan Apocalypse, where for the entirety of 2012, I would release a Space Jam mashup every Sunday. It was a really silly project, that was formed after a really silly conversation with Ross, one of my few close offline friends. And I can't even joke about how important that project was. Thanks to that Space Jam project I met my eventual wife, a beautiful woman who goes by the username Steve Holt!
Steve, in fact, is probably the most important influence in my life at this point. In fact, almost all of my inspiration comes from her in one way or another now. Including the idea that will hopefully become my first official released game. She is a fantastic person and I'm incredibly luckily that she let me into her life. And I'm super confident that it is our relationship and the creativity of her and I that is going to propel my projects forward in the future. And as much as I'd love to talk about this stuff, this part of the story is still being written. She's also totes hilarious.
You may have noticed I only briefly mentioned a few of my most popular works because, quite frankly, after recalling them, all the biggest projects were so... dumb. As in, the way they were made, all of them had very weird conditions, so I thought it would be interesting to tell you what happened.
The Thwomps was my first 'big' sprite movie, by which, for some reason someone on Newgrounds thought it'd be a good idea to put it on the front page! The concept of the movie was incredibly basic, I thought it'd be funny to think about how long the Thwomps must be waiting in their positions until Mario decides to finally show up. I saw the sprites that were used for The Thwomps on a random sprite website and I made the movie on the same day. I wrote the script, animated it without lines and was about to submit before I asked two friends that just happened to be online at the right time if they could voice it for me. Those friends happened to be Gary, the person that introduced me to Newgrounds, and Daniel Sun, most famously known for the Power Star series.
I was so excited about the success of the movie that I made three sequels, two of which were in the same year. And then, on August 10th 2007, I released Thwomps: The Movie, a 20 minute long movie starring the two characters, and introducing Yoshi-1up as Marty, the green thwomp. This was and still remains the biggest animation I've ever done, mostly because it was a challenge to myself to see if I could write something of that length, if I could in fact create a 20 minute story that was both engaging and funny. The movie ended up getting to the top rated spot on Newgrounds and holding there for a bit over a week. Whether I succeeded or not I still don't really know, I think it's funny in parts but some parts are just terrible, but I guess that's to be expected with old projects.
Bullet Bill was a really great game that I didn't even make. I actually effectively stole the game from someone else on VGDC. A user who went by the name of Placky made a game called Bullet Bill in I believe Game Maker. The entire game that became Bullet Bill was right there. Controlling the Bullet Bill, dodging platforms and hitting Mario at the end of the level. The level even had a pipe you could go into to go underground for a little bit and skip part of the level. I asked Placky if it would be ok to remake the game in flash, to which he was perfectly fine with. A short while later, my version of Bullet Bill was released.
Again, I was a bit too impressed with the reception it got, and ended up creating a sequel in the same year. Billet Bill 2 traded the NES sprites of the original for the SNES All-Stars look, and the game increased from 2 worlds to 8 worlds. I was pretty much subscribed to the 'more is better' kind of design in the sequel, which somehow actually worked out for me. The sequel was a even bigger success! So naturally I started working on Bullet Bill 3 straight away. And ended up scrapping it because I had no idea what to do.
Then, 4 years later, I decided to look back on my old games. By this point I was already in university so I had learned a few things about actual coding, and not just the self taught stuff I was going off beforehand. One look at Bullet Bill 2 was enough to make me digusted. Absolutely none of the game was actually generated. Somehow, I had the patience to make each level by hand, make separate movie clips for each one and just place them in the timeline one after another until all the levels were done. It didn't look neat, it didn't look professional, hell it didn't even look playable, but somehow it worked.
But that wasn't going to cut it anymore.
I wanted to make a new game, so I started working on Bullet Bill 3. I decided I didn't want to make the levels by hand this time, so I got to work on a level creator tool, thinking that if I can make the tools to make levels, I can just get other people to actually make the game, this will be a lot faster! So, I set to work, coming up with systems and algorithms and all kinds of dumb stuff to try and make my level creator a reality. And finally, the level creator was complete, about two weeks before the release of the game. So, from that you can say wow, I made the actual levels in only a few weeks, that was fast! Much better compared to the few months it took to make the levels in Bullet Bill 2! But, then again, I spent a year and a half working on the level creator.
You see I confirm to a certain kind of programming, if something doesn't work, don't do it. And I'm not meaning in a programming sense I mean in a gaming sense. If you create an engine that can't support this feature, then just don't use that feature. If you create an engine that breaks when these two enemies are together, never have them together! It's a much easier way to fix games, you just make sure the requirements for the glitch can never be fulfilled. But, when you're making a level creator, you can't exactly do that. You can't tell the user not to do one specific thing otherwise it breaks, you have to have a fix for every single thing that could possibly happen. It was a challenge for sure and I'd like to think it paid off. Bullet Bill 3 is one of the very few projects I can go back to and say that I'm proud of what I made, and I hope that everyone else had fun playing it as well.
Neutral Bling Hotel
Wow where to begin with this one. Well this is without a doubt the biggest project I've ever made, and it happened completely by accident. Neutral Bling Hotel started as a silly music track but a really dumb and great cover image made by an anon on /mu/, the cover art itself is all that I knew about before starting the project, as it was posted on Tumblr by a friend of mine. Now, at the time I was in university, and I was living with my friend Lewis, who is your typical /mu/tant, as in he has the goddamn original postcard the Neutral Milk Hotel cover in based on on his wall. So, inspired by the cover art, I went ahead and made the album over a weekend at my parent's house. I got there on Friday with the idea, and by the time I got back on Monday, I released it online. And then things got crazy.
See I uploaded it to Bandcamp but figured /mu/ would want this too, so I uploaded a mirror of the album to Mediafire, and made a thread. One thread, and I didn't make anything else. People say the cover and the art and figured it was a joke, but then some people downloaded it and realised wait I actually made a full mashup album. Some people hated it, and damn right too it's pretty bad, but others hyped the hell out of it completely and utterly. Posted it again and again in new threads, spamming it to facebook walls of reviewers they liked and just general viral marketing. I thought that was really cool! And if it stopped there it'd be a success... But then it got posted on AV Club.
Things got a bit crazy from then on. I got interviewed a few times, the album kept popping up in sites I went to, and it was the highest selling album on Bandcamp for a whole week, only overtaken by Balloon Party, a My Little Pony shitdubstep album that I made the cover art for, at qhich point it was at number 2 for a while as well.
So number one was an album I didn't make with my cover art, and number two was an album I did make but not the cover art.
None of my more recent albums have garnered nearly as much attention as this one has, and it's safe to say it was a complete fluke that it happened. It was still a lot of fun though! And through that I managed to donate the proceedings of said album, about 2 grand, to charity.
That was way too long holy shit
And there you have it! That's basically 10 years of my life condensed into a blog post, and I didn't even mention everything! I had a weekly blog post for a year talking about Visual Novels! I've worked on various contracts for internet flash games! I've recently been streaming speedrunning on my twitch channel! But none of those seemed too important to be part of the main write up.
I really have no idea what the future holds. If you were to ask me ten years ago where'd I'd be now, I doubt I would have said living in California with my wife about to jet away across the country for a convention, and if I did say that then what the hell that's weirdly specific.
No matter what it's going to be fun, I want to keep creating, keep inspiring and keep entertaining strangers around the world with my music, my animations and my games. I want to meet people who have been inspired by my work and I want their work to inspire me to. I want to envelope myself in more and more friends that are so incredibly talented I have no idea why they would let someone like me talk to them, but at the same time hope I could at least bring something to the table to help return the favour.
And man I didn't even mention everyone who has helped me get to this point! I have people in real life like my family, Ross and Beki, Lewis, Joe and Parky. People online such as Tom Fulp, Tracer, Bigfoot, Triple-Q, and RosalinaSama. People from the pony fandom like Mic the Microphone, Braeburned, Amitie and Garnika. There are so many people, online and off, people I still talk to and people who I have maybe only exchanged one or two lines of dialog with, you have all helped me reach this point right now. Looking back on these ten years I realise now that I would not be here without each and every one of you, and for that I'm eternally grateful.
It's the people, it's the people you meet that make you who you are. I would never be here without the support directly and indirectly of people all around the world who are either fans of my work or I'm a fan of theirs. The people you look up to and the people who look up to you are what shape your future, and I cannot wait to see who I will meet next that can have that much of a positive impact in my life. Maybe I've already met them before and they'll surprise me with something so amazing it puts them in a new light. You never know where your inspiration will come from and if I can even inspire one or two people with my work then my job is done.
Because to me there is no greater feeling than inspiration.
If y'all been following me on the tumbles then inbetween being annoyed that I haven't released a game for nearly a year and no new sprite movie announcements and all the pony shit and Space Jam mashups a-
Well, whatever, you like Gravity Falls? I sure do. Here, have some free music.
It's shit but it's my first attempt at actual music in god knows how long so hey maybe I'll be doing some of this too!
Hot damn that's a lot of people annoyed at the Phantos!
Thanks to everyone who played! It comes at a pretty great time. I'm entering my final year of university that, once finished, I should be ready to make actual real videogames. This milestone reminded me I'm not just sitting around and waiting for something to happen (a feeling I've felt since watching Indie Game: The Movie), and that there are people that actually like the stuff I make! Something I always keep forgetting despite being in the content creation biz for a little under a decade.
But yeah! Thanks again! I love you all!
It's been over two years but I've made another sprite movie!
I really hope you enjoy it. It was a lot of fun to make and hopefully this means I'll make more stuff on a regular basis again (like, not as frequent as before, but more than once every two years).
Hell I don't even know if sprite movies are big anymore, so whatever! Again, I really hope you enjoy it, and thanks!
2012-07-03 12:07:12 by Psycosis91
No I'm serious.
As well as never producing flash content, I also make mashups.
I recently released a new project called 'Alphabetronome', a mashup album in which all the samples are sorted alphabetically.
So for the first minute of the mashup, all the songs featured start with the letter A, the 2nd minute B, and so on.
Hope you like it!
Hey! First of all sorry this took so long to get done, you won't BELIEVE how hard it is to come up with song names!
The album contains all 15 songs made specifically by Wolfgun for the game, and if you download the entire thing you'll get a hidden bonus remix of the Super Mario RPG Forest Maze theme that was made over 5 years ago. It's the song that introduced me to Wolfgun's amazing talent, so hopefully you'll like it too!
Again, I'm sorry it took so long to actually be released, there are reasons but not anything worth getting into. I just hope you enjoy it and please allow me to give one giant thank you to everyone that played Bullet Bill 3! It got voted the 2nd best game on November which is crazy! So again, thanks guys, you made 15 months of my life well worth it.
Comment on what your favourite track is! Or something I don't know! Videogames!
2011-11-16 10:47:04 by Psycosis91
It seems that a fair number of you might be getting mad over videogames. Hopefully, this blog will help you in your quest to not be mad over videogames! Specifically, Bullet Bill 3.
Don't look at your character: The game might be based around reflexes but the majority of the game you still get enough time to know what to do. If you hang back on the left, you should be paying attention to the center or the right hand of the screen. Know what's coming up so you can react accordingly. It's how I end up playing rhythm games such as Rock Band or Guitar Hero, you never look at where the notes are playing played, you look at the center and react accordingly.
Don't be afraid to use your ability: The ability functionality was put in to make the game easier, and I give you possibly the most useful one up front, the stop watch. Every time you die you get a small part of ability added to the meter, so if you're really stuck on a level, just die a bunch of times to get a full abiltiy meter, I won't judge you.
If all else fails, you can cheat: If you don't have high reaction time, try pausing the level (using escape/enter/space/middle click), moving your mouse to when it needs to be, and unpausing it again. Hell I don't care about this exploit, I ended up using it in the last few levels! There is also hidden cheats menu somewhere in the main menu where you can unlock everything, or generally mess up the game, but youcan't unlock any medals or save progress while cheats are on.
Fuck the key: Seriously you guys, if you can't handle the phanto then just don't pick up the key, plain and simple! The game is designed to be able to play back any world you've already completed, you don't have to do everything the first time! Beat the game, unlock the starman ability, and then go back and see if that helps.
Boss pattern: The bosses follow the same patterns they had in Super Mario Bros. 3, when they are out of their shell, attack! Three hits and they're out. When the boss goes from being in their shell to exposing themselves, they always shoot their wand, it stops you from just lurking right next to them for an easy hit.
Bowser can be tough: Bowser also has his ground pound attack which can make that battle a lot harder, after every ground pound he's out of his shell for a few frames, even if he immediately jumps again, try exploiting that if you're really good at timing!
Bonus characters are the easiest to get: From World 2 to 7, there are orange music notes scattered throughout the worlds. by hitting these you launch into the skies. Completing this bonus level and beating the easy boss unlocks a new character. And you don't even have to carry a key! It's perfect!
Phanto is a dick: I love all the comments saying Phanto is too hard, I coded him specifially to be a dick, so it looks like I nailed it! Seriously, I'm happy with myself. My strategy here is .
Phanto is surprisingly easy if you're not terrible at videogames: Phanto's attack pattern is as such, he shows up on the right, stops, and then slowly speed up toward the left, curving towards where you are. Where in this pattern is he most vulnerable? The very beginning! The way to beat a phanto is to pass by him as early as possible.
Seriously you guys it's easy: If you cower to the left of the screen, by the time the phanto reaches you, he's already curved to your general direction, and he's incredibly fast, meaning he can curve a lot more. So don't cower in the left, stay center/right of the screen, where the phanto is slow and can't curve all that well.
Ignore the koopa kids: Phanto will be your biggest enemy in key boss battles, making sure you can avoid the phanto at all costs, and only attack the koopa kids when you know you're safe. The abilities don't work on the phanto (and later on checkpoints don't work either, so be warned) so use these against the koopa kids.
Wendy is incredibly cheap: Maybe you should be better at videogames. Ok I admit Wendy is kind of a bitch. But that was her attack pattern in Super Mario Bros. 3, I had to stay true to the material. The worst thing you can do here is let the rings be fired diagonally. Try to make the first and second rings be shot horizontally, maybe even angled down just a little bit. This will ensure the rings will be bouncing around where the koopa's ship is, leaving the top area safe... well, relatively speaking.
You can't get medals using the creation tools: There are a lot of level based medals, such as hit 6 enemies in a row, or get killed by a phanto after you cross the ending gate, but you can't get these using the creation tools, sorry! What you can do in the creation tools, however, is get those collective medals. There are a bunch of medals for collecting a lot of coins, hitting a lot of enemies, and so on. Feels free to farm these ones using the creation tools if you really want to.
The hidden worlds: If you've completed the main eight worlds, be sure to check your save file. After beating 8-4 the save file moves to World A-1. There are four hidden worlds full of even harder levels for the more insane of you out there!
And that's all I can think to say! Leave a message asking questions you want me to address here and if I can come up with a good enough response I'll add it in. Thanks a bunch to everyone who enjoyed my game, and I hope this helps!
OH GOD GUYS I JUST RELEASED A GAME!
As always with my released there's probably a bunch of things wrong wqith it, so shoot me a PM to tell me what I need to fix. But as always, have fun!