Contact Info / Websites
The main focus of all my flash skillz these days is dedicated to Woogi World. It's come a long way since the contest here on NG with many new features and even a few real multi-player games being integrated.
We've also run into lots of challenges including having to switch to a completely different server software to handle the multi-player stuff because our version of Electro-Server had some show-stopping un-documented bugs (we extended it a bit beyond what it was designed for :P).
The real fun for me, though, has been learning how to manage other artists. It's so easy when it's just you because, of course, everything looks right. But working with people that have varied backgrounds and trying to maintain a "branded" look for the site has been a challenge. It's also been fun trying to manage productivity when we have several people who "clock in" from across the nation.
Overall I'm very proud of what we've been able to accomplish in less than a year, and the response to the site has been great with over 12,000 members and hundreds of new kids signing up every week.
Most of all, I really enjoy working on a project whose values fall in line with mine and is positioned to make a real difference in a lot of lives.
I just put together a video today oriented toward parents so they know what WW is all about before signing their kid(s) up. Check it out here:
Thanks again to Tom and NGs for supporting our arcade launch competition which generated a great boost in traffic and lots of buzz for the site.
Well, I've been wanting to post a pic of my mouse for a while, but have been super busy, mostly with completing Trick or Treat Adventure Quest and my full-time job(s) and family.
As you can see, it gets an insane amount of use, and anyone who sees it considers me an uber nerd with no life from that point on...they're not far off.
Hey y'all, I finally got around to putting up my new T-shirt for sale, it's very cheap ($12.00 + s&h) so order one to help support my flash habit!
If you need a celebrity endorsement, just check out your idol Stamper wearing it at Comic-Con!
I just released a new game! Well, it's actually a couple old mini-games I made for the VG Boss Collab which fell apart over a year ago, and I didn't want my work to go un-seen. It's a tribute to classic VG bosses that are close to my heart, let me know what you think!
I'm just gonna jump into these critiques of the winning and honorable mention Wiggi World games:
1. $4,000 - Stigg's Veggie Matic ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
392545 ): This game was very polished in all respects, good menus and graphics, good voice-acting, and very addicting, fun, varied, and balanced gameplay. Plus it won some bonus points for having a wacky, semi-educational storyline that kids loved. The concept wasn't anything too new, but the execution more than made up for it. Everyone who played this one had a rocking good time and came away with a giant smile on his or her face. An additional note is that this game had some of the most organized and efficient code out of all the contest entrants.
2. $1,750 - Bushy's Cleanup Crusade ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
391805 ): The gameplay concept of this game is what made it really shine, it's very megaman, puzzle-solving-through-unique-tools-es que. It had good instructions, and sufficient graphics to make it engrossing, along with lots of varied levels and entertaining puzzles to solve. It had educational and values-based concepts woven in and featured a really interesting character. It's real shining point was its novel-ness though.
3. $750 - Wiggi Dance Academy ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
392457 ): This one screamed "polish" with excellent character models that took the Wiggies to a new level as well as well-done menus, animation, and voice-acting. The tutorial is straight out of a console game. The game-play concept itself was really fun, but the reason it didn't take #1 is because some of the timing feels off, I was able to beat "hard" but couldn't beat "easy" even after trying 6 or 7 times. It also didn't have quite the depth that some of the other games had either...but definitely the best graphics IMO of the competition.
4. $500 - Adventures of Pop-Up Blocker Man ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
392262 ): This one is another one with outstanding graphics and animation. Really simple and fun to play, with some variety of gameplay to spice things up like the different power-ups. One of the really good things is that it addresses an internet safety issue (malicious pop-ups) in a fun and engaging way. The kids really got a kick out of this one.
5. $500 - Wiggi Walk ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
392563 ): The mechanics and coding of this game are near flawless, the only thing really missing was some more depth to the levels and more levels, and some uniqueness to the traditional platformer-type game. High kudos though, for addressing the "personal information divulsion" issue and doing it with good info and effectiveness. I just wanted more at the end of this one.
6. $500 - Wiggi Fire Mission ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
389337 ): This game takes a familiar premise (mouse avoider games) and breathes some new life into it. There are lots of nice touches like the moving fire that helped make it engaging, plus there are a ton of levels which kept everyone interested for quite a while. Some lacking parts were character and environment animation.
7. $500 - Galactic Mediator ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
392616 ): This was also a very novel idea, and had some really interesting and fun gameplay mechanics like latching onto planets with a tractor beam and dragging them to other planets to solve their disputes. It did a good job of meshing fun arcade-style gameplay, with a more quiz-style question and answer genre. The downfall though, was a lack of animated parts, and a learning curve that tended to eliminate 90% of players from completing the game. It did score well however because of its fulfillment of many of Wiggi Worlds values-based goals.
Front Page Bonuses:
$100 - Wiggi World Rescue (AKA: Fire Stomp) ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
392572 ): This game had a great and unique premise, that was fun to play around with for a while, but the difficulty escalated a little too fast, and there wasn't a lot of variety in the gameplay once you got used to the concept.
$100 - Wiggi Recycle ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
392460 ): This was a really cool idea for a puzzle game, something that I haven't seen before. There was obviously a very intelligent mind behind the idea. I did however feel like the graphics were a bit lacking, menus and instructions were sparse, and the gameplay environment felt cluttered and messy. Also, the first iteration was a bit slow, and once you got used to the fresh ways to play, it didn't have a lot of variety to keep you interested.
$100 - Wiggi Rescue ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
387531 ): This one has a simple concept, but somehow you tend to just keep playing it until it gets too fast. Sometimes these simple ideas are the most addicting, and the gameplay in this one had just enough variety, like edge grabbing, and the rockets to keep you pasted to the screen. It did lack a bit in art and animation, and also didn't have much of an educational application that we were looking for.
$100 - Stigg's Veggie-Matic: (See above)
$100 - Wiggi Walk: (See above)
Cryptic Cave ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
392496 ): If I had my way, this one would have won. I loved the concept, it was so fresh, and so truly educational without stealing the fun factor. It really takes a good mind to meld math and videogames in a way that doesn't feel contrived, and this succeeds very well.
Wiggi Jump ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
390046 ): This one really appealed to kids, but its simplicity, lack of a truly educational premise, and a few graphical things kept it from hitting top 7 IMO. It's another one that is simple, mindless, entertainment that makes for an addicting web-game.
Super Wiggi Ball ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
390111 ): I was sad to see that this one didn't score better in our judging. It was actually a very vast and complete game, but I think the gameplay learning curve and some graphical touches held it back.
Wiggi Woods ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
389384 ): This is another one I was impressed with, but didn't end up scoring well. It's a fun game. Very polished with lots of levels, but it was missing that certain something to set it apart as more than just a maze game.
Bacteria Bash ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
390924 ): Great fun little arcade game, I think some of the gameplay mechanics and some graphical things kept this from scoring higher.
Gunther Wiggi ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
392627 ): Wow, some of the concepts pulled off in this game rival fancy pants man, the real downfall was in-efficient coding because it lagged like a mutha making anything past the 1st level almost un-playable, also the graphics while not terrible, didn't seem to fit the Wiggi World style very well, they were a little raw rather than feeling polished.
Joey's Day out ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
392634 ): This one was a favorite with the kid judges, they really liked the feeling of going out and completing missions and getting the instant gratification/fulfillment that comes with that. I think it suffered with the adult judges because the gameplay seemed a bit mundane, and the graphics were slightly below par.
Wiggi Rush ( http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/
392278 ) I didn't like this one too much, it seemed quickly thrown together to me and the engine was a little kludgy, but it played well with lots of the other judges so it ends up in honorable mentions too.
Wiggi Who? (http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view /392354) This was a really interesting idea, and it's a lot of fun for the kids. It came up short in the graphics department though, and the replayability is lacking since it's the same process of elimination over and over again and the "computer" always plays the same. Overall it was a solid game, but just didn't have that certain uniqueness (in the gameplay or art departments) nor the fun-factor to put it up in the winners list.
That's it! I hope no one was too disappointed with the results, we really did try to be fair based on the rules we laid out at the beginning of the contest.
I put together this page just because I know in contests that I've entered, I always want to see some in-depth feedback and the reasoning behind the judges' decisions, and I rarely get that, so I thought I'd try to give that to the people who were kind enough to participate in this contest.
We're currently getting all these games ready for the arcade in Wiggi World, where you're all invited to come and see your game in lights when the arcade launches September 1st. Once again, thanks to EVERYONE who took part in the contest!
Anyone in the top 7 or with a front page bonus, send me a PM with your name, address (city, state, country, zip, etc), same for anyone you're splitting money with, and instructions on the amount to send to each of you.
Today is the final day of the Wiggi World competition. I'm extrememly pleased with the quality of some of the games that have been submitted, and I'm grateful to everyone who took the time to make something.
For those wondering the "official" deadline is 12:00 AM pacific time, which is 3:00 AM EST. Submissions that come in after that will not be eligible for the contest.
On one hand, I'll be very relieved that this competition is over because I've been stressing to keep track of all the entries and make sure that they'll work in our arcade. On the other hand, I'm DREADING having to judge these submissions. Especially in the last week, a lot of GREAT games have come in, and it's gonna be hard saying x game is better than y. I mean, how can you say that art is better or worse than gameplay? Not to mention that we need to factor in the appropriateness of the game for kids and evaluate how well the concept meshes with Wiggi World's mission to teach kids values and internet safety.
To try and avoid my personal bias (which tends toward good art :P), I'll be writing up an evaluation form for each of our judges which range from kids in our target age-range, business men, artists, programmers, and just plain gamers, where they rate each game based on certain categories, then I'll compile the scores and divvy up the prizes.
I really hope that no one is too upset with the results. Everyone can take comfort that they are contributing to something that is actually trying to make a difference for good in the world. I personally wouldn't be involved if I didn't really believe that.
I returned from my trip out to San Diego for Comic-Con this morning at 4:00 am. It was a really nice break from work and a great getaway for my wife and I. We booked a hotel late so were 50 minutes away from the convention center and ended up just spending a few hours on Fri and Sat cruising around the booths and chatting with all the NGers at the NG booth. We also went out with a group of NGers Fri night.
I guess I'm a bit shy because I only chatted briefly with a few folks...every place we went had super loud music playing which also hampered the ability to converse.
Anyway, I ended up doing people watching a lot so I thought I'd give you my run-down on the personalities of all your favorite Newgrounders!
The funniest thing about Tom is that he strikes poses. He'll just be standing there and then push his chest out awkwardly and stand on one leg, or fold his arms behind his back while spinning in circles. You have to see it to appreciate it. Overall I got the impression that he'd much rather be doing about a thousand other things than standing at the booth. To his merit though, he was very kind to everyone who mobbed him as a fan and treated them kindly and respectfully. I was a little awkward around him because of the "celebrity" status I've built up in my mind, but really he's just your average down-to-earth guy who obviously has a ton of talent and drive, but isn't cocky or conceited about it.
Stampers first words to me were "finally, someone who's not a total douche." He was chugging pepto bismol in the booth on Fri cuz apparently he was sick. He was real cool, and invited me to lunch which I had to turn down cuz my wife and I were headed out to the beach and had just eaten. I think he's lived a pretty tough life, and therefore has a really well-rounded outlook on life notwithstanding all his antics in the forums.
He was a bit of a surprise to me because I expected some hard-nosed street thug ex-gangster, but he was really kind and had a really innocent countenance that exuded kindness. He was very open and inviting and seemed grateful to be a part of all the fun that was the NG booth.
He was a little ball of energy and probably the most "social" of the people I met. Very good at small talk and covering lulls in the conversation. He was very outgoing and really tried to make everyone feel welcome at the booth.
Super Flash Bros. Tom:
I love talking to people with british accents. He was very un-assuming and chatty, though very focused on promoting his own stuff. He had a nice quirky british sense of humor too.
Super Flash Bros. Dim:
Younger than Tom, and his "artsy" half. He seemed pretty innocent to the world and I sensed a small inkling of a temper lurking beneath the surface. But overall super congenial and quite funny.
Luis was pretty much exactly how I'd imagined...probably because I've seen lots of tutorials, pictures, and such from him. Even though he says Tom is his father figure, I got a real parental vibe from him...he kind of sees things from a broad perspective and takes joy in the progress, influence, and success of NG and the NG members.
Jeff Bandelin (JohnnyUtah):
He seemed a bit uncomfortable being in such a public venue with so many people. In fact, he wouldn't even take a photo with me ("I think I'm gonna pass on this one"). He hid out behind the NG booth walls a lot too. But overall, despite all that I think he's a pretty good guy, just a bit of a rough exterior...I'd like to see him in an environment where he feels more comfortable.
He looked exactly like I imagined he would look...kinda like the lead singer of Metallica when he's in a particularly angsty mood. Despite that, he showed lots of signs of having a real responsible and self-controlled side. I'd say he's like extreme right-wing...very big gun and knife fan, but pretty supportive of family values also...he's from Colorado so go figure.
He kind of hung out in the BG a lot. I got the impression that he's a lot like me, more of an observer than a "walk up and shake your hand with a big smile" kind of guy. Very ninja-like :P
Cool young kid who's humble and kind. I chatted with his dad quite a bit. What a cool dad to support his son's hobby so completely and to recognize the benefits that being a member of NG can have for his son's future.
I saved the best for last cuz I felt like Rog treated me the most like a friend. He was very kind and easy to talk to and went way out of his way to involve both me and my wife in whatever he was doing and to make us feel comfortable. I was really grateful to him because I felt like a bit of an outsider trying to break in on a clique. My wife came away liking him and his wife best too. He's just a really genuinely good person. I felt like he was as happy to see me as I was to see him.
Well, there you have it, my first impression collection...I'm sure I'm way off on a lot of these, but I thought I'd share anyway. I met lots of other NGers, but these were the ones that I had extended exposure to.
On this day 27 years ago I chose to grace this good earth with my presence.
I'll be traveling most of today to Cali for Comic Con...I'm very pumped. My t-shirts have been printed and they turned out dandy, special friends will receive one at the Con...others may buy one from my website when I get around to posting them. Sorry I can't give everyone I know one, I dropped a heavy dime having them made.
I'm really grateful to Tom for supporting the WW competition. It's something that is way different than stuff he's supported in the past, and he doesn't even know me very well...he's showing a lot of love for the NG community and a lot of trust in me by putting the heavy weight of NG behind it. I just hope we get some good games produced for it...most of the stuff up to now has been a bit disappointing...come on NG rally and make something that blows me away!
Anyway, if you read this leave me some birthday e-hugs!
Now that I've got you here...
This post is to show you the T-shirt I've got in production to give away to people I like at Comic-con next week...Yes it's only 1 week away!
I'm really looking forward to meeting some NG regs like Luis, and the NG staff since everything went haywire for the planned meetup at Slamdance earlier this year. It will also be a nice vacation from the stresses of Wiggi World and BuilderHelper.
Anyway, please comment and let me know what you think of the design:
Just posting to say thanks to the NG community for making BoM Beat Battle the 1st daily feature of the redesign! We worked really hard on the game and are quite proud of it. We hope to add more characters and moves for a sequel!
I'm really impressed with the NG redesign...they stayed oh so true to, what I've come to see as, the NG image, while really updating the feel. Great job Tom and Co. you did awesome.
In other news, the Wiggi World contest is still running, so make sure you submit a great game for a chance to with the 1st place prize of $4,000!