I wanted to join the fun so today I’m posting my answers for Why Newgrounds?
What do you create? Art, cartoons, music, games, etc?
I make cartoons and old school text adventure games. I’m currently focusing all my energy on a fantasy series called Crypt Shyfter.
What inspires you to create?
The D&D handbooks and RPG threads on reddit are a great starting place for generating fantasy adventure ideas. I’m also inspired by other creators, YouTubers, filmmakers, artists, cartoonists, and businessmen.
How do you keep yourself motivated? Do you work in short bursts of inspiration or do you have a daily routine?
I don’t have a “routine” but I do impose very strict deadlines on myself. My current deadline system is to write a minimum of 500 words per day. It’s pretty arbitrary but it keeps me honest.
Some days I write 500 words as soon as I wake up and then don’t write anything else for the rest of the day. Other times I’m struggling until 10pm to get my words done. Some glorious days I write 2 or 3 thousand words and forget to eat or get up to go to the bathroom. That’s when I’m in the zone. And of course sometimes I just say “fuck it” and skip for the day. But I try really hard to hit all my deadlines.
What do you do when you hit a creative block?
Usually I’ll sit down with a blank page and just start writing anything that pops into my head. It doesn’t matter how stupid my writing is, I just need to get my brain accustomed to putting words on a page. Usually that’s enough to break the block a little bit and allow some ideas to flow freely.
Other times I’ll start reading inspiring, cheesy, motivational articles online to give me a good kick in the ass.
How do you deal with trolls online and in real life?
I pretend it doesn’t affect me when I get trolled (I think all creators make that claim), but of course it does.
When someone gives you a shitty comment, that fucks up your day. Instead of responding emotionally in the heat of the moment, I try to put myself in the head of a kung fu space barbarian and answer in his voice. That doesn’t always work out, but I try.
KFSB enjoys antagonizing troll-folk. It makes it so much easier to respond to any positive or negative criticism when you’re responding as a character and not as yourself. I like to think some of the over-the-top responses to trolls get a few chuckles out of any of my readers who skim through the comments after playing a game.
Have you ever created something you thought turned out pretty bad but then when you posted it online everyone else liked it more than your favorite creations? Why do you think that happens?
I’m always surprised when one of my projects that I consider to be “average” quality gets more attention than I expected, and I get a little bummed out when a project I spent a lot of time on and think is really awesome doesn’t get as much recognition.
I’m not sure why it happens that way- different tastes, maybe, or possibly I just get more attached to the things I spend more time on even though that doesn’t necessarily make them “better.”
Has rejection ever affected your creative process?
Yes. Rejection is a wonderful motivator. I won’t get into any details… *cough* film school *cough* but yeah- rejection has definitely affected my creative process.
What is the best advice you ever received?
Consistency is key. Also, don’t try to make a viral hit- make a series to keep your audience coming back for more.
What do you do when you’re not creating or posting on Newgrounds? Do you have a job? Are you a student?
I’m just a regular dude. When I’m not at work (I run financial reports at a healthcare payments company), I’m usually sitting on the couch with a glass of wine and my iPad next to my wife and our dog. Other times I can be found playing video games or going on hikes.
What does the internet mean to you?
Porn! Wait- what?
No I’m not.
The internet is an amazing way to share ideas and stories with one another. It’s also a way to earn a little extra cash on the side, which is pretty cool. Some even claim that little trickle of cash can be turned into a flowing river of dollar bills, but I have yet to experience that.
Remember that Jazza documentary? Yeah, that was what got the ball rolling for me. Also, when I post videos on YouTube and Newgrounds, I get 4-5 views on YT and 400-500 views on NG… and comments! Newgrounds is a much more welcoming community than YouTube. Lately it’s become more than just a place to post videos though, I’ve started to make friends on NG and consider it to be my home on the internet.
What is your favorite accomplishment? Post a link if it’s available online!
This kung fu movie I made with my best friends:
Do you enjoy sharing your work with others or do you prefer to go unnoticed? Why?
Hmmm….. I think I could be happy going unnoticed forever. I like having a private life. That’s why I write under a pen name and have a wacky username online. Responding to criticism, either good or bad, is also awkward and I don’t always know what to say.
All that being said, I gotta be honest- I have the best players / readers anyone could ever ask for. I’m dead serious- a lot of creators would kill to get the kind, thoughtful, in-depth comments I receive on my games and I do not take that for granted for one second. You guys are seriously badass 😉
What do you wish to accomplish with your art? Is it a hobby or do you plan on making it a career?
If I can make someone forget about their shitty day and escape from the real world for a while, then it’s all worth it. Actually, based on a few comments and PMs I’ve received, I have already achieved that goal… but now I want to reach more people to make their days better too!
Making cartoons and games is just a hobby right now, and to be honest I am content with that. I’m not thrilled to be working a “day job” but my job really isn’t that bad. If I could support myself 100% through making games and movies and writing books and scripts, that would be a dream come true. But for right now I’m happy to have it as a fun little hobby.
Do you ever feel that you have to censor your creativity because you don’t want to offend anyone?
In a way, yes. I like that in a text game ANYONE can visualize themselves as the hero, so I try to be as inclusive as I can when writing my games. Text adventures are niche enough… I don’t need to include offensive jokes that drive off half the people who might actually be interested in playing a text game.
For me, it doesn’t matter if you’re a dude or a chick, what color your skin is, or what religion you follow; I like to keep all of my descriptions vague enough that you aren’t forced to visualize a stereotypical European fantasy filled with a bunch of white dudes, but still specific enough to give you a very clear idea of what’s happening in each scene.
For example, General Rawhide is described as a “grizzled old war hero.” That’s it. Is he a white dude? A black guy? Is he Asian? It’s up to you as the reader to fill that in- and nobody who reads it is wrong! Everyone sees their own version of a “grizzled old war hero,” just like everyone’s “you” in the game is completely unique- it’s literally YOU!
I think it’s awesome that I get comments from dudes and chicks coming from all sorts of backgrounds and they all have fun playing the games. I’d hate to fuck that all up by making another bland, stereotypical white male fantasy game.
Do you have your own “style” or do you just make whatever feels right at the time?
I think I’m starting to develop a style. In terms of art, I have my digital paper cutout style, but that still needs improvement. And my text games definitely have a style, which is this: short paragraphs and quirky humor.
Do you believe it’s important to get good reviews and have lots of followers or is just doing what you love to do enough to justify your work?
From a “personal satisfaction” standpoint, I don’t care about reviews. It’s not like I’m going to stop making things just because people don’t like the end result- I’m in love with the process of creation, so I’m still going to spend my free time making things whether people like them or not.
However, I want to make a career out of creating things one day, so it is definitely important to have good reviews for that. We live in a world where everything from movies to restaurant Yelp reviews are rated on a scale of 1 to 5. If you have a 1-star review you are FUCKED.
Did you know Uber drivers need to maintain a 4.6 out of 5 star rating? 4.6 OUT OF 5! That is INSANE! They need to be virtually perfect in order to keep working for Uber. Here’s what their website says:
- You are encouraged to maintain at least a 4.6 average over your most recent 100 trips.
- If your average rating is between a 4.3 and a 4.6 after your first 25 trips, you will need to improve your average rating to a 4.6 over the next 25 trips.
- If your rating over the most recent 100 trips is below a 4.6, your profile may be at risk of deactivation.
Since when is 4 stars bad??? But that’s how it works today, and I’m not ignorant to that fact. So yeah, it’s vitally important to have good reviews.
What’s the current YouTube statistic? Something like 100 hours of video is uploaded every minute? If you tried to watch it all you’d fall behind 4 days for every minute you were watching! Why would some stranger on the internet waste their time watching your 2-star movie when they could be watching another completely random 5-star movie instead?
On the same note, you’re also far more likely to click subscribe on an artist’s channel if you see they’ve got 25,000 subscribers vs. the guy who’s only got 16 subscribers. It’s just an automatic bias we have in our heads- this is good and worth watching, this is bad so I won’t bother.
Reviews and followers are important because OTHER PEOPLE perceive them as being important. You need good reviews to get noticed in the first place, otherwise your work will just get lost in the shuffle. It’s all a numbers game, but good reviews and big numbers are the tickets that get you in the door.
Do you ever find yourself limited by the materials that you have available?
I’d like a faster computer to help with rendering and exporting things more quickly, but otherwise I’m not struggling to make what I want from a technical standpoint. The sole reason my quality falls short is that my talent level isn’t there yet, not that I don’t have the right tools. But that’s something I can improve with time.
Speaking of time- it’s time, more than materials, that I feel limited by. There are so many things I want to accomplish, but I still only have 24 hours in a day. Sleeping and working at my day job take up most of those hours, so finding the time to squeeze in creative projects is tough. Prioritizing which projects get worked on and which ones get abandoned due to lack of time is even tougher.
What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Always make shit. Be consistent. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.
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