I've never once been "User of the Day" on Newgrounds; what are the chances it'd be today?
I might've used my best dice roll in life by accident...
I make stuff; sometimes for money, but always for fun.
24, Literal Magic Man
Joined on 12/30/15
Posted by BrandyBuizel - January 18th, 2021
...a grand yearly recap of the adventures I've had on this site in the past year, but man 2020 wrecked my shit. Honestly, pretty shit year guys, ****ing abysmal at times. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of positive stuff, joy and fun to be had, ADVENT was pretty cool, but I'm simultaneously too busy and too far from the correct mindset to go back and recount the days and provide detailed descriptions and links. But I hope that I CAN and DO make a post real soon.
For now(I really don't like doing this sort of thing), I need some help. I have a beautiful dog named Bandit, he is the absolute love of my life and my favorite lil' guy in the world. He outranks the closest of friends and if anything were to happen to him I'd murder everyone involved, but I can't murder cancer. Luckily his doctors say he's doing very well with his treatments, but chemo is as rough on him as it is rough on my mom and I financially.
I don't expect much to come from making a gofundme page(although @heyopc did pretty well on there after his place got robbed and recently one of my professors at SCAD raised over 30k in a day for his leukemia bills), but even if I don't believe I deserve your money or your time or your platform to broadcast this page, I know for a fact Bandit definitely does and so does every beautiful dog in this world(which is all of them). So I might as well put myself out there for him. Please, if you can't donate(I understand that more than anyone right now), share the link <3
Thank you for being my Newgrounds Family for over 5 years,
Posted by BrandyBuizel - January 1st, 2020
I started a lot of things four years ago, not the least of which was creating this Newgrounds account. I started community college four years ago right out of high school because my guidance counselor foolishly told me that "animation wasn't a real major" where now I'm attending SCAD as a Junior in the Animation Major. I decided to take art seriously four years ago and attended my first art class where I met my now college-roommate Kevin who made me realize I didn't have to live with people I don't like. I started making games four years ago, in the littlest of ways, after shouting at a friend of a friend from a mountain top that his game was ugly and when he asked if I could do better I said an unwavering yet inaccurate "YES". Now we work together almost every day on making games and After Effects animations/titlecards/scripts. Four years ago I began what would be my final Let's Play series, following the reverse footsteps of Egoraptor and OneyNG who instead left animation for YouTube gameplay videos. Way back in time(and yet surprisingly four years ago) I attended my first PAX East where I met online friends for the first time, discovered my new love for cons and cosplay and indie game showcases and panels where I'd now attend in a somewhat professional capacity as an indie dev myself and filming interviews with my peers between constant panel-hopping with my best friends.
Four years ago I decided I was okay with the idea of being alone the rest of my life if it had to come to that: I lost a baker's dozen of my closest friends in my senior year of high school and to this day no one has told me why. I saw a trend of losing a friend after being together for only a year. Through much of my life and thought that that was my discouragingly tiny limit. Four years ago I broke my own heart by pushing a girl away with the twisted thought that it was the only way I could make sure she was happy; spend the rest of her life without me in it. Today I'm sitting at the airport, waiting for a plane, on my way to start another semester in Savannah, I'm going to be picked up by an incredibly supportive girlfriend who I tricked into making a Newgrounds account(@elliephunt). I've been opposed to dating anyone for a long time, I'm a lazy person and maintaining a relationship felt unnecessary and difficult and scary(without factoring in previous experience), but I caved and she was the one that made me and she makes it all so easy. We properly met in the Spring during our 2D Animation Principles class, we both spent the most time in the studio when compared to anyone else in any of the classes. We spent consistently 8-12 hours a day together, every day, for eight weeks and I wasn't sick of her for a second. I guess she felt the same because shortly after she confessed to me and like everybody else before her I rejected her. Incidentally and without even trying we talked every single day that summer and when we reunited I decided to ask her out and she had her moment to reject me... eight times. Anyway happy ending, we're together now(as of yesterday my longest romantic relationship) and will be physically in just a couple hours(I'm at the airport, remember).
When I say four years ago I pretty much mean sometime in late 2015 or early 2016 but you get the idea. Four years ago I made a Newgrounds account after a childhood of just watching the movies and playing the games on here. I've made friends, I've made content, and this year I was astounded to be invited to Pico Day. It's funny, I was probably one of the first invited when @ivanalmighty was still roughly planning out the revival of the legendary-status event, he shot me a PM about whether or not I'd be in town in May 2019 back in November 2018, but I said I'd be in school so I'd probably have to miss out on the fun and accidentally got myself stricken from the list marked as "not coming". Luckily after @ninjamuffin99 and @cymbourine taunted me enough with their own invites they were able to get me back on the list. The party and the whole trip was wild, squeezing it between animation assignments I had to hand in, on paper, the day after I got back. And to show my appreciation for Cameron's friendship and cheer up the guy(since he couldn't attend) I hit up Ivan to bring along an extra tankman figure so I could get the whole gang to sign it and say that we missed him at the event when he couldn't show up(apparently he loves that thing or something, nerd). It was really cool seeing people add to it while at the sketchbook sharing table, just out of view of the livestream webcam(huehuehue). I could go on for pages about Pico Day(except Newgrounds uses infinite scrolling so I literally can't), but in summation every 30 seconds something incredibly memorable happened and the people I was privileged enough to interact and friends I got to meet in person were/are/will be big influences on my life and work in some way. Not the grandest moment, but I got to meet @brewster whose student film “Crust” was the reason I decided to go to school for animation. Also @TomFulp handed me a beer(I don't drink), thanks to @goodboyethan goading him, that tasted like chicken francaise.
Four years has been crazy, but having just read ninjamuffin's yearly review(which I think started around the same time as mine, new era NG bois) I might as well glide through my 2019 super-quick and go on, probably, not as long as all my previous yearly wrap-ups. Plane's taking off so I'll take a nap(running on 4 hours of sleep) with a podcast tucked away in my ear and jot down the rest before I go to bed.
The year began riding the Newgrounds Family high off the 2018 Christmas ADVENTure which then led to my new semester back in Savannah and juggling my time working on cool new after effects work and school. Just as I was settling in one of my roommates, Mike, proposed I join their team for the Global Game Jam which sounded pretty fun, but I wanted to take a backseat on the project(a passive member with little responsibility) and made that very clear. A few days later I'm waking up from a well deserved nap following a back-to-back all-nighter and my roommate is shouting that he got the start time wrong for the event and we were two hours behind everyone else(4 hours of sleep). I slid out of bed with some sticky notes in hand end up leading the project, directing everyone's input in a cohesive way and ended up staying up for another 48 hours, followed by 4 more hours of sleep before two additional all-nighters cleaning up the code and bugtesting A Happy Home for submission on NG. This unintentional involvement was partly due to my random obsessive nature and the fact I was the only member of the 5 man team that had completed ANY form of video game. We had two game design majors, a sound design major, and two of us in animation yet I was the only one who knew even a lick of programming. I love teaching, it's thrilling to me, so I spent most of my time directing and teaching two of the projects members how to code from nothing. I chose to use Construct 3 because the license was free for the event, the game aesthetics was decided to be pixel art(which it handles really well) and it'd be easier to pick up for newbies so I wouldn't be totally alone in programming. Mason handled getting all the sound working, Kelly pumped out crazy-accurate-to-life sound effect by pushing magic buttons on his keyboard and using synths while Joe and I coded gameplay and all the visuals in that Mike would be creating. We sat in a row of 5 with my hands outstretched like a long-armed parent making sure they were getting the work done. All in all the game was finished, it ran pretty well and some people got the point(the slow text scroll is meant to frustrate you and eat up your limited time per attempt) and some didn't. Play it yourself if you like games like Minit(recently got around to trying that game and some of the time-waster mechanics are similar to what we used to drive gameplay).
Sometime in February I received an email from someone at Nintendo about publishing The Story Goes On on Switch. Somehow i managed to sneak us onto the platform and surprising all of us at Scarecrow Arts, we got listed as a Nintendo Switch Publisher. This wasn't a one time gig, we could now publish any of our games onto Switch with full access to the backend(thanks to Sandra, my mysterious contact at Nintendo I still believe made a mistake). Receiving this new power-up we chose to self-publish the game on Switch, buy devkits with the money we earned from initial launch and the AE Templates we created. I started bullshitting around at first, getting used to working on porting to the devkit by trying to put Monster Mashing on Switch. It was a neat little test project that Cam was excited to assist me with for that sweet sweet knowledge and look behind the curtain. Plus he was in an editing mood with that game due to our Valentine's Day release that just happened on Nutaku(NSFW). Hooray, my first horny game to be sold in digital stores. It took awhile for the three of us working on that game to get paid via Nutaku and Itch sales due to huge publisher cuts and a payout minimum of $500 USD, but I can't complain about a passive income we were able to split every few months. Maybe would've gotten a lot more if Steam hadn't banned us, you can read more about it on Cam's old newspost.
Some time later Spring Break came along and I crashed at my friend's house in town while he was out of state, it was perfectly quiet for me to get some work done on several projects including the ChutneyGlaze finale(which is still not out yet). It was a 5 minute walk to Kroger and I spent the 10 days cooking food while drawing in the kitchen and listening to banging tunes by No More Kings and Weezer via the home sound system. A big reason I spent the week like this was because I didn't have $300 to spend with some friends who were going to Disney World, however I did end up spending that money anyway on an uber ride to the dentist an hour away, the co-pay, and the uber ride back to the house because I chipped my front tooth on a piece of lightly toasted toast slathered in strawberry jam on a date I didn't even know was a date(she laughed at me when it happened, bad date). Despite that I had a good break and invited a couple friends over for a mac'n'cheese night(the only thing I could eat in the meantime) for some much needed social interaction in the middle of my work-filled isolation. Now that Spring Break was over I had to email all of the professors teaching my new classes in the third semester why I would be missing their classes within the first week to instead attend PAX East!
So PAX came along and did a few interesting things, first of all I did another round of Dev Talks interviews with fellow indies(probably won't be doing it again this year) and got to meet up with @ryanstorm and @heyopc for some pizza and short tour of Boston before ending the night at a Mega64 panel. Ryan reached out to me on Twitter because we were both invited to Pico Day. Similarly one of my Dev Talks videos was with @squidly who I met through a private haxeflixel slack channel and the pico day discord. It's always cool meeting up with people from NG(also hung out with @snailpirate for a short while during that trip). I flew back to school on Sunday night and stayed up grinding out my assignment for 2D Principles of Animation. My slacker ass ended up interacting with my girlfriend Ellie for the first time because she was nice enough to give me her contact info on day one and showed me how to fill out an X-sheet when I got back. As I said earlier most of my nights were spent in the studio so my work was pretty focused on animating for class, playing DnD and going for runs on the weekend and the semester ended with tough week of emotions with a lot of my friends as I was trying to work on my final. Ended up spending a third of the total time I wanted to on it, but its a small sacrifice for getting on the same page with the people in my life. Despite the setback I did decent on my final with Troy(an ex-disney effects animator), he had a tough give-no-shits attitude and demanded effort. I vastly improved in drawing as a result and even got a perfect score on one of his most notoriously rigorous projects. Most days I'd finish an hour before deadline and take a nap(sleeping through critique) or fall asleep while standing until my name is called on. I have trouble staying awake in class and falling asleep at night, but I do very well in my work and my professors usually respond well to it.
During this semester of course was the trip to Philly for Pico Day in the middle of two big overlapping assignments. I flew with @cymbourine, roomed with @fushark and @loganphresh hung out with @64bitsanimation met @krinkles @srpelo @twistedgrim @el-cid @flashgitz and many others and wasted several disposable cameras worth of film that @ivanalmighty bought and got a chance to play a build of Nightmare Cops in the office. Seeing the incomplete animations insert themselves during boss fights was fun to dissect and talk to Corey and Tom about.
Summer came, my buddy @mootthenoot celebrated his graduation and landing an internship straight out of school making my frist day back a kickin' party. Then came the boredom that led to me learning how to deepfake, inspired by a Corridor Digital video on the topic of actor replacement. I did a couple Tom fakes but only recently managed to get something believable with a new graphics card I practically stole from a low ebay bid. I got into machine learning and photogrammetry with this new hardware and knowledge and finally figured out Blender Sculpting on the release of version 2.8. Here's a photoscan of a tiny voodoo doll Ellie made that I digitized and re-meshed and sculpted before 3D printing in full color. It was an interesting experiment and turns out I liked sculpting a bunch and plan to do more in the future as well as try out Blender's exciting 2D animation tools. Just another 3D software to toss under my belt with the dozens of others(3ds max, maya, c4d, e3d, sculptris, mmd, sfm, etc.). Summer wasn't entirely me bullshitting around out of boredom, my swedish programmer Anton and I had begun work on our Switch port of TSGO with couch co-op and plenty of bugfixes which I mentioned early took 5 months to get approved by Nintendo. Additionally one sleepy night @nickconter pitched a game concept to me and I offered to teach Nick how to code it himself. This was how NEAR DEADline got started.
Holy shit, you reading this in the future wouldn't know it but it's taken me 4 days to get to this point in the writing here. It's relevant to the journal because early in November after years of ignoring it I decided to visit a psychiatrist and got officially tested; diagnosed with ADD. I've dealt with my extreme boredom and attention problems for about a decade and now they got me on Adderall in the morning, but I've run low and skipped the last few days, oops.
NEAR DEADline was the biggest small game I've worked on thus far. It didn't start out that way since I wanted Nick to do all the work and me just show him the ropes, but since we decided to use Construct 3(which I had previous experience teaching in) we quickly hit a wall with the 50 event limit for free users. We decided to go all in after a week and purchased 2 licenses for one month of premium(hence the 37 day dev cycle; we made a bunch of fun facts and stats in the game description). Now I was programming the remainder almost completely and Nick was in voice call with me every single day from morning to night pumping out pixel sprites for me to overly-critique. Doing this kind of dedicated jam is what I live for, it's when I'm the happiest and having then most fun with my work even when I may not seem like it. Nick felt pretty similarly so we clicked. Nick had a lot of ideas for the game and I taught him principle game design and concepts to reinforce his ideas and toss the ones that were crap or we could label "un-fun". It was cool being able to walk Nick through the scenarios where we build ideas in our heads and play them out to see what we like or how we can translate the idea into code. I really do love teaching! Nick asked @carmet to hop on for music and he did a killer job; the game over music is still one of my favorite tunes on NG. It was neat working closer to a musician for this game, music was a big factor and it was nice to be in constant communication with each iteration, the game really feels like a complete product. Due to my boredom at some point I juggled the idea of making a drawing program for the main menu because nick wanted the main menu design to be like the ToonBoom Harmony interface and I went ahead and surprised him with a rudimentary system to draw black dots and erase them; inspired by Cameron's old prototype using velocity to control the line width. This was actually the most complex portion of the game to create so the main gameplay was shelved for 2 weeks to refine and iterate on the system. After we got a color selection tool, clear button, and closed the gap more between each drawn dot I created a screenshot button for users to post to twitter with the hashtag #NEARDEADline and proposed an art contest to Tom to boost our launch visibility(and give reason for all that work). After just a few hours our friends made submissions and we started seeing some crazy complex results from people fighting the weaknesses of the dumbed-down application and try creative solutions for their visions! We got 70+ entries to the contest and announced the winners in this newspost. We got a stellar reception on the game and kept it an NG exclusive as a thanks to Tom for sponsoring the contest winners with a year supporter status, however, we have talked about expanding the game for a larger release but we'll see how the Indie Megabooth panel of judges responds to it in our GDC submission. We also released the game for free as an Android app on Google Play and much more recently(for Nick's birthday) with the help of Cameron I got medals and a leaderboard working in-game on NG. That's enough of that for awhile, doing a full post-mordem might just kill me(you've seen how long I write).
A big part of summer unexpectedly went to the game so for the last couple weeks of August were spent hanging out with friends before the fall semester. I also visited Philly again at one point over the summer to hang out with Krinkles for Short Short Fest, watched a decent comedy routine and some awesome shorts over a philly cheeseteak in a dark but heavily decorated pub via projector. So many cool shorts from local Philly artists were shown and my favorite contribution was a mix of live-action in a short by Brewster. It was nice running into @dreaminerryday and @barnhouse who I both met back at the 2017 Ambler Screening and then later spent the night talking sketchbook stuff over pizza with @evanimations and @luis in their home, adventure haus. I really feel embedded in this wonderful community :D
The Fall semester I took two rad animation courses with two amazing professors. I did a lot of traditional work with an ex-Disney character animator who really likes me and showed us some fantastic drawing work by other disney animators. That semester I worked hard to complete my first actual sketchbook(had plenty of fun while failing to do so). There was also professor Greg, a cool dood with credits on stuff like foster's home at cartoon network and produced dozens of great senior films at my school with his students. He showed us some amazing flash files of classic shows(foster's was done in flash) and we had some great conversations about animation and work ethic. At one point during the SCAD Film Fest Greg invited the director on Bojack Horseman, Mike Hollingsworth, and his wife(also a director on shows like unikitty) to come by and give a talk on the animation industry. Mike Hollingsworth showed us the Bojack animation bible and some of the rigs(amazingly done in adobe animate as well) which was incredibly informative. After the talk we chatted briefly about newgrounds, apparently his first films are up on the site and he got one into Annecy! He's not on the site much anymore but being co-workers and friends with @aalong64 he is a fan of Sublo & Tangy Mustard and loves how much support it gets. Like I said earlier I got diagnosed with ADD, during finals, and wrapped up the semester with a beach day with my girlfriend before flying home to reunite with my dog, Bandit.
November ended with some experimentation in Illustrator using some new interesting tools that make me like it again. I also shipped off my laptop to HP to get repaired, the battery killed itself and the screen flickered green and magenta like a bitch and sometimes wouldn't even turn on, $200 later and 6 weeks of phone call I got it back with a stronger battery and a waaay better screen(goodbye washed out colors). It was tough to deal with the broken laptop during the semester(it broke literally the first day), but being home I could lose it for a few weeks with little consequence. Several days before December started @geokureli brought up the idea of reviving the Newgrounds Christmas Advent Calendar that Cameron and I worked so hard on last year and I'd be damned if I didn't pitch in again! With even less days for planning than last year, but some base code and spritework to start with thanks to nature of open source projects, Christmas ADVENture 2019 was born with a frontpage banner .gif that lasted the WHOLE event(Tom is an angel. Wow, the support was crazy and we got double the views in half the time! Working with george was fun, but I definitely asked for a lot when it came to random ideas to get the daily content additions more lively. Sometimes the game was delayed for half a day as george implemented a murder mystery into the game or the entire cabin burning down for the credits. Sometimes as the programmer it can feel like any decision made by the artist is purely ancillary and can be thrown out, but having worked as both programmer and artist and swapping between the roles on several collaborative projects in the past I feel at an advantage in being the bottom bitch programmer to artistic vision. Even when it's difficult and you feel it adds very little the tiny details can actual make the experience that much more special. This is a reason I believe that NEAR DEADline was able to succeed(Nick asked for a lot). George did a great job organizing it and he wrote a little newspost about the positive reception and his skyrocket from 30 to 100+ fans; it really was a fabulous event and I hope to do it again next year.
Christmas came and went and I gave Scarecrow Arts a little logo makeover, website re-deisgn, and a flashy new demo reel(music by @heyopc)! It's interesting for me to look back and compare our growth, so here's the demo reel we put out only a month after I hopped on the team(four years ago). Between @malcolmsith the new Scarecrow Arts newgrounds account and myself, as a company we give a minimum of $75 a year to help keep the Newgrounds servers running. I highly encourage you to be a supporter on the site, but I also completely get every reason why you wouldn't or cannot afford to. I did very little animation work to show on Newgrounds outside of The Bartman Reanimate Collab and the Rawest Forest Reanimated. I also participated in a Sublo and Tangy Mustard episode with this entry and there’s a few leftover projects from my Fall semester I intend to clean up and slap on the site, but overall 80% of the work I did wasn’t worth showing and just good practice. Here's a few entries I have posted so far: snooty bish, sunny boi eats shit and dies, ember rocksand, and a dragon's lair rough I hope bluth-senpai notices.
My final days of the year were spent with friends, had a day out with my best friend, Kirk, just sitting back and playing games. It's been awhile since I've been able to sit down and enjoy myself playing games instead of making them(also just completed A Short Hike, highly recommend it). I think I like where I'm headed but I also like where I've been. I'm a firm believer that I live in the best possible version of my reality because it's impossible to prove otherwise. A less philosophical reason is because every so often I hop on my old YouTube videos and check out what I was up to, where I was at and laugh at myself making bad jokes with no one around in those old and even older let's play videos :)
Posted by BrandyBuizel - January 13th, 2019
A lot of people were posting their 2018 retrospectives right around New Year’s like you’d expect, so i decided to wait a little on mine despite the fact that I totally made one on time. 2018 was a big year for me, a lot of crazy stuff happened and overall ended pretty positive yet tiring. This is a very long recounting of that time so just know I appreciate you reading even a little bit of it all. There is no tl:dr.
Just a couple days into the year I attended MAGfest for the very first time with some friends and met a ton of wonderful people, attended my first concert, met up with some NG users, talked to other indie game devs, bought too many posters from the artist alley and had an all around good time with my friends. Unfortunately I couldn’t afford to go this year otherwise I’d be enjoying myself at the Gaylord National instead of typing this news post up. When we got back from DC, I finally got to cut off the 18 months of hair I had grown to donate. Immediately after a shower I bounced on over to the arcade for my best friend’s birthday. Also at the start of the year Malcolm, Anton, and I were wrapping up development on The Story Goes On(a 3 year long project) for Xbox One and Steam(PC, Mac, Linux). I’d call up Anton in the morning to do some final QA by playtesting levels and he would touch up the code while watching me screen-share gameplay. When he’d go to bed(Anton lives in Sweden),I would drive on my 40 minute commute to community college to waste away at courses I was more qualified to teach than my professors; not a flex, it was that sad. We logged nearly 300 hours of testing this way on multiple accounts with several 100% completions and speedruns(spend 3 years on something and I outta be thorough before the release). I didn’t have much time for other personal projects because I was also applying to 4 different art schools to transfer to in the fall semester. During this period of limbo that my future was in, @EiGiBeast on the site contacted myself, @Ninjamuffin99 and @Digimin through @moawling’s discord server about making a horny RPG for the Strawberry Jam 2(initially Cam’s idea but as recurring trends will show he’s very late to invite other members). It was a two-week long game jam so even though I missed the first weekend I had time to contribute. I was still polishing TSGO and only really knew Cameron(who was a fan of mine and we collaborated on Breathing Sim already) from the bunch, so I asked to take a backseat and just supply additional code to the project with a little game-feel insight. This project evolved into Monster Mashing after EiGi stormed out of the project. We left what was done alone til the last two days and scrambled to finish something from the ruins; I could spend hours in detail about the whole experience and what lies after so I won't go too in depth here, maybe we’ll do a podcast sometime with a more focused post-mortem on the finished product. The three of us bonded over that whole experience and decided to keep working on the game even after submitting it; slightly past deadline. We're actually preparing for a Deluxe Version release on several platforms nearly one year later! You can read more in my previous two news posts I did this year about the first couple months, especially the one about March 1st, 2nd and 3rd which was amazingly hectic and fun.
March 3rd was one of the highlights of my year which is a shame I haven’t catalogued much about it on the site yet. I started the day with a solo trip to Philly(like I’d done before with the Ambler Theater Screening) to visit UARTS, a college I applied to, and then travel downtown for @IvanAlmighty’s bowling meetup. The visit ended pretty quick, so with nothing to do I messaged @PhantomArcade and he invited me to hang out by the office, moawling was there too and the place looked shutdown for the day so I didn’t feel too much of a bother. I ran into @TomFulp and @Spazkid(still means a lot that you recognized my face from several months prior) and gave everyone a copy of my game that launched just the day before. I shot the shit with Ivan for a bit and exchanged info on secret projects and meetup ideas before heading out. Ivan was gonna lug a bunch of merch in an uber to the bowling alley, but since I drove my car to the office I offered him and moawling a ride to the venue so we could show up early, greet people, and sell some of that sweet merch clogging up the backroom(if you guys need a summer intern I’d love to get the NG store back up, for a limited time, for the people). These unexpected series of events led to my ACTUAL highlight of 2018: singing “Shout” by Tears for Fears on full blast in duet with Ivan and Moaw in the car as we took several wrong turns trying to find parking. The night was a hell of a time, I met cool people like @Krinkles, @Luis and @SirLenward. Bowling got cut short but everyone seemed to have a ton of fun. There was also a pretty pink cake with the tankman’s face on it as well as the best damn brownies I’ve ever had the pleasure of putting in my mouth. People started going home but some of us continued the party late into the night by walking in Philly for miles in freezing temperature only for Ivan and I(the only ones left under 21) to get carded at Dave & Buster's. We offered to head back to the office early, drop off the merch and chill while playing gamecube games, but the gang insisted we stick together. Luis offered up an after-party at the Adventure Haus but the night started to die down so we walked a couple miles back to the lots and drove out into horrible traffic(I will never forget the panic of watching the car in front of me hop over the fat middle-lane curb to escape the horde as Tom had no noticeable reaction in the passenger seat before looking to me as if I were supposed to do the same). I offered to drive Tom, Phanny, Moaw and Ivan back to the office instead of waiting hours for a late night Uber, generally an easy ride and it was fascinating to hear Tom talk so passionately about sponsoring school-related animation events. We made it back to the office, there was a police barricade on the street we had to move, unloaded merch and relaxed for a little while. Ivan offered me a large poster for free as a thank you, but joke’s on that little ****er I slipped a ten on top of a table in the merch room to cover it. Everyone left at the office signed the poster, I gave Tom a painting I'd made to commemorate the Ambler Screening and I went on my way to crash at my Auntie Bon-Bon’s place in South Jersey.
You’ve probably scrolled down a bit earlier to see how long this would be, I’m sorry. I am flattered however if you even make it this far. So, Monster Mashing was getting pretty popular and over at Scarecrow Arts we got some positive reviews with overwhelming praise from players who beat the game and some negative reviews on metacritic from some assholes who only played 30 minutes(of course we received negative reviews that were perfectly justified too). I can back that shit up too because you know when there’s a big twist early in the game and you don’t read d*ck about it in their writing it means the didn’t put in the time to play that far. It was really neat seeing a streamer I followed pick up the game by chance and recommend it to his viewers. I also watched every livestream of The Story Goes On I could find and tried to learn from how they played(one time I spent 5 hours watching a stream in a coffee shop on my phone). PAX East was coming up and you know I’m gonna go to that shit; for the first time it was for business too! I was hunting down publishers to get TSGO on Nintendo Switch, which is still a fairly exclusive platform, as well as film a series of informational videos with other indie devs about showcasing at conventions. We cover a neat slew of topics with various studios and I look forward to making some more this year! Coming back from the con(sick btw) I received 3 letters of acceptance from the 4 colleges I applied to. UARTS had no response and RIT felt less focused on the artistic majors so two minutes before midnight on decision day I flipped a coin and went with SCAD over CCA for the fall semester. Fast-forward a couple months and UARTS reaches out to me for a response. Apparently they accepted me into their program but never sent a letter because I was a special case. They set aside my portfolio and decided based on the animation, art and game dev work that I should take a custom one-year self-study-program for my bachelor’s in Animation with them as the only student in my class. Well I felt ****ing special and ****ing stupid because I just took out a student loan and dropped a couple G’s on SCAD. It was a bit shocking, I began to think about their mistake and how cheap college could have been, but I remembered that I have a VERY long way to go until I’m satisfied as an artist. If they think I’m already there then I’m not being challenged enough by my peers and UARTS wasn’t for me. It’s not about the degree for me(I mean come on, look at my field), I need to study and practice so Savannah, Georgia it is. I was delayed entrance into art school by a string of horrible advisors, including my high school guidance counselor that vowed Animation was not an existing major in any school(to which I foolishly believed) and then failed to get me accepted into community college by neglecting to send my stellar SAT score, highschool transcripts and all the things that are absolutely required. Things were going good and I’m finally on track where I wanted to be 3 years ago, though I wouldn’t change a second of it even if I could.
I started to partake in some reanimation collabs toward the end of the fad, my new friend, SirLenward, invited me personally when we went out for some burritos since he just so happens to live 10 minutes from my house. It’s almost finished but needs a few more participants. Later in the year I joined the Bartman Collab because a few people dropped out of that and entered the Rhythm Reanimate project hosted by my friend Kevin I met at MAGfest. My initial shot got rejected so I still gotta redo that for second deadline. I started multiple experimental projects: one of which I tried getting 360 video to work natively on newgrounds. Dozens of hours went into packaging my Sleepycast animation in different forms including cubemaps, spheroids, image sequences, split videos, half-spheres, and web-hosting. I ended up at a roadblock. One version played perfectly(if you call waiting 5 minutes as it downloads 500mb perfect) and played after refreshing the page to clear errors with a very shitty quality video to follow. Another version was a 7MB template I created that could play any video uploaded to newgrounds in 360 with mouse and keyboard controls. There were a couple issues: the video had to be public on NG, the video had to come from a project file(not file share or dumping grounds), and lastly due to the site’s CORS policy a game hosted on newgrounds cannot load videos from ungrounded.net, the newgrounds video hosting server(makes no sense to my brain personally). Hopefully in the future I can figure out a workaround with @PsychoGoldfish that doesn’t threaten site security and can add such an interesting medium to the platform. There was also the case of Cam’s games. He did a couple Ludum Dare jams with @Fushark and despite me asking if I couldn’t do anything to help Cam would wait til the due date to message me. I did the goofy walk for the chaperones in Prom GOblin and some miscellaneous junk in an unfinished entry.
Sometime into the summer Ivan transitioned the DBZ Collab Discord into the official Newgrounds Discord Server and made it public via one tweet. I joined almost immediately and for some reason ended up with a Mod role out of the gate. Subsequently I spent a lot of time on the server(this would have been true regardless) and became a friendly face to new joiners and a ton of creators in the community I’d never heard of before. I made a lot of friends, some of which I still talk to and work alongside, and hung out in the voice chat late into the night very frequently with the likes of @LoganPhresh who swears it was always past his bedtime and @BillPremo. I had a gentle-fist approach to my role as a Mod because I didn’t want to step on Ivan or Phanny’s toes and punish people for reasons that I couldn’t fully justify to them. The server was extremely active and had hundreds of members posting content and typing in the different channels with some regulars; no matter what Ivan seems to think. Early in the summer Tom also announced the Newgrounds Summer Animation Jams; I got third place overall in the end just beating out dooderdoo! It was a lot of fun to grind out cartoons in about 4 days(I waited too long to start most of the time) while on stream. It was neat to see some WIPs in the discord and I gained a small following from my toons as well as recognition from creators I admire. My last entry was incredibly ambitious compared to the other 3 I’d done previously. First of all I had just finished writing the idea when I was about to fly out for my first semester at SCAD, and second it was due at the end of my first month away from home(I had no idea if I would have any time at all with classes, though it turns out my biggest enemy was sleeping too much; the cost of having a comfy bed next to your desk). It required a lot of friends to pitch in, some delivered while others dropped the ball hard. And in the case of two friends, @NickConter and @Cymbourine(who I met through Ivan and the NG Discord; she happens to live down the hall in my dorm). I’d gotten a decent chunk of the rough animation done and my workflow was set for quick composite by the time I embarked on a two-day trip to Atlanta for an animation festival with my roommate Kevin as well as Cymbourine. It was a four hour drive and we spent some time in the city nearly being recruited by a pimp in a wheelchair and visiting an adult video store/arcade. When those two went to bed I stayed up to work on the summer jam entry for a couple hours and then got up in the morning to enjoy the festival. Ultimately I got no work done that day between the festival events and four hour travel time back to our dorm for classes the next day. Tom was gracious enough to extend the deadline, though I felt really bad and un-deserving to even have to ask. That’s when Nick came out of nowhere and stayed up with me and Cym for 72 hours animating the crap out of a toon that would land me 3rd place. That was a straight up a bonding experience(even though I passed out on the floor several times while those two kept moving along). It was an absolute pleasure working with Nick and I hope I can continue doing that this year(in fact I am with one secret project, shh). Backtracking a little bit, the wonderful home on the NG Discord I described was defiled on September 17th, never forget. That day Ivan kicked down the door and I woke up to about 30 DMs asking why they were kicked from a server that didn’t exist anymore. Until the fool changes his mind and relaunches it for a second go-around, you can spend your time in the Demins Discord(somewhat of a virtual refugee camp).
So many things affected my life in so little time after finally starting art school It’s hard to go in order without this looking like a Vonnegut novel. First of all, going to college halfway across the country is weird. It’s a radical change, I still don’t get a lot of work done on personal projects but this time it’s because of the downgraded equipment I brought along and my time being spent with friends after/inbetween classes. I have a good support system, one I hope to maintain going into my second semester. For starter’s my roommate Kevin is the best. Not quite my favorite but the best. My ex-roommate Jack was my favorite, he did some moans for Monster Mashing that he;s quite proud of and they’re waaaay more convincing than all the others. So Jack’s my favorite, no competition. Kevin is a far better artist than I am and a good friend who not only puts up with my shit but joins in. He’ll get a newgrounds account someday; I plan to break his will. Talking about college is a whole nother experience, similar to Monster Mashing in a sense that it’ll take hours to chat about all the happenings in a meaningful way. I’ve made a lot of friends, feel more confident with rapid packing/travel, and my professors love me even if they didn’t want to at first. Hell my one professor Swagner(coolest name ever) would calmly wake me during his art history lectures, midway through class, during the break. He was real gentle about it and we had some mutual respect/banter; pretty helpful that I was nonchalantly top of the class. It was fun to joke around with him and then walk down the street to my favorite coffee shop for some arcade games and chocolate waffles with my classmates.
More college life blah blah blah I went home for Thanksgiving and stayed all the way through the end of the year. I caught up with some friends, binged all of the Harry Potter films, attended some open mics and had a great time catching up with my best bud in the whole world, Bandit(subjectively the cutest dog to grace the earth and equally passionate about naps and breakfast food as I am). Closing out the year Cam mentioned doing an Advent Calendar which I fully supported and absolutely hyped up on Twitter. A lot of great artists joined and of course on December 1st, the first day of any advent calendar, Cam was behind on code and still wanted to redo all of the in-game art. Up in the sky, it’s a anthropomorphizes bird, no, it’s kamakazing plane, no, it’s CLUTCH MAN, defender of the newgrounds portal swooping in and trying my hand at some pixel art. It turned out quite nicely I think and I gotta say the medium is a lot of fun; be sure to check out the Christmas ADVENTure 2018 when you get a chance. For the rest of the month I casually sipped on eggnog while working every morning to make the game feel alive, updating all the little details in the world day-by-day. It was a lot of fun and for the first time ever we got a huge banner on the top of the site because Tom’s a G; it was pretty nifty to see a screengrab with our banner on a Business Insider article about the Tumblr purge.Oh shit that happened too, bunch of tumblr refugees coming aboard and livening up the place with more porn. I’m down, also some great SFW art cropped up and more and more artists I follow on twitter have been appearing in the art portal. It’s great to see their content all uniform and in a row for browsing(please bring the “next submission” buttons back). So I wrapped up the year with ADVENT work, some personal art, more animations, sending Tom bug reports a-plenty, and getting Monster Mashing ready for a full release on Steam and Nutaku. We signed a contract back in november and are getting ready to simultaneously patch NG, Itch, Steam, Nutaku, and Android with the latest and greatest we have to offer with some extra art added in by FuShark. One last major event occurred around Christmas however, #IndieXmas2018 hosted by IndieGamerChick on Twitter. A lot of attention was directed toward my game studio, Scarecrow Arts, and I lovelingly spent the holidays checking on the twitter feed, the hashtag, responding to players, and watching streams of The Story Goes On. I love seeing people figure out my game and we got such a warm reception as well as demands for a Switch port which may be coming soon. We’ve been a completely obscure game since Early Access, and our initial launch on Steam & Xbox One was pretty ghostly, but now almost a year later we’ve gained a small fanbase eager to see what’s next(even though it’ll be in 3 years)!
I was going to write this all while still in New Jersey but my flight back to school cropped up 36 hours earlier than I remember booking and I’ve entered a new whirlwind of events and happenings. I’m excited for the many projects I’ve already started going into 2019(some secret animations, some games, some After Effects templates, maybe one to do with VR) and the meetups I’ll attend even if I did have to skip out on MAGfest. There’s still PAX East at least where I’ll be filming some new Dev Talks videos, and allegedly I’ve been invited to Pico Day. I dunno, I plan to be rooming with @OzoneOrange and the gang, but I’ve yet to see an email about it though; maybe I’ll see some of you there ;)
Posted by BrandyBuizel - April 1st, 2018
I sure do enjoy the April Fools tom-foolery, but I'm not one to leave the sidelines of it all. Here's some cool update stuff going on.
In a couple days i'll be on my way to PAX East 2018 in Boston! I've been a regular there for the last 3 years, but this time i'll have a game of my own to show off and market to streamers and other indies/publishers with The Story Goes On. If you see some doofus in the exhibition hall wearing a flannel with a pink hat then that's probably me(I'll hook you up with a game code). Oh and there might be a camera-guy walking behind me, a good friend wants to do a documentary about indie game development for his film class so I feel pretty honored as the main subject ^.^
I'm also excited to say tomorrow will be the one month anniversary of TSGO's release on Steam and Xbox One where as today is the one month anniversary of Monster Mashing(currently clocking in at 45k views). That's pretty nutty; speaking of nutty @ninjamuffin99 and I had an idea to do(what we thought were) crazy high bounties to incentivise more competition on the leaderboard and holy crap did some people perform! Seriously, within a couple hours @Aikanaroo passed the 30k distance threshold which seemed to be the score-ceiling for a long while and then not halfway through the day @cocolosel snagged the prize for 50k distance and won a year of supporter status on NG. Oh and I've started helping @DIGIMIN make some monster girls with my first submission of Slime Girl!
We'll come up with more bounties every so often as we roll out new girls(I don't need to bleed dry right before a convention), but dang you guys are impressive. One more thing, monthly voting has just begun and we're really pushing ourselves to get into the top 5 with all the patchwork we've accomplished throughout March; it's pretty much an entirely new product since the initial game jam. I hope you send a vote our way if you enjoyed the game ;)
Posted by BrandyBuizel - March 2nd, 2018
It'e been a hell of a day and that's the only conclusion I can come to(see title).
So many awesome things totally unrelated to me happened: first off @aalong64 announced a new episode of Sublo & Tangy Mustard will be coming out tomorrow, @RicePirate delivered from unto the heavens a long awaited SleepyCast Podcast Episode, Wreck It Ralph surprisingly got a sequel and the funniest little bunny meme in the trailer, and the Behemouth released Pit People from the grips of Early Access to(what I assume will be) critical acclaim.
Speaking of game releases, and me because this is my blog post, I managerd to release 2 different indie games in the span of two minutes on 5 different platforms(numbers!). You may have already seen Monster Mashing on the frontpage; a game I developed alongside @ninjamuffin99 and @DIGIMIN for the Strawberry Jam 2 on itch.io(mildy NSFW, if you made a game on there as well let me know, I'd love to comment on your entry). We created this title in what feels like a week considering we scrapped our intial project and completely changed it from a turn-based rpg into an infinite runner using cute monster girls as a lesson in economics(suck it fools, I got you to learn practical skills while jerkin' off). We're really excited to see all of the reviews coming in and see how competitive the leaderboard appears to be! We're thinking of updating the game within the next month to add to it's longevity on the site. Best of all we crossed-off @TomFulp's kink during development, mobile-friendly html5 play ^.^
Cheeky as @ninjamuffin99 is he chose to launch Monster Mashing on March 1st at 11:59pm EST, exactly 2 minutes before The Story Goes On, a game I've been making for nearly 3 years, became available for purchase on the Xbox One Store(Guiness, baby, call me) which Major Nelson tweeted about which is ****ing cool in its own regard. This of course happened while I was at a friend's house, ironically, watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. re-runs when I got the email that my county college would be closed all day March 2nd due to 20mph winds. So when I woke up in the morning, instead of going to class, I made a cup of coffee, sat in my chair, and pulled the trigger on TSGO's full release on Steam(PC, Mac, Linux), leaving Early Access(like so few titles tend to do). Most of my day was spent tweeting on several different accounts, replying to forums, sending/reading emails and ho-boy lots and lots of not making a video game going on here. I've done nearly all I can to promote the game and all the hard work done by such skilled workers including @Spectralbeacon who made the pretty freakin' awesome artwork on the box art and banners! *Whisper* We've also got a discord if you've got questions about indie game development.
Moving on, I don't know about you lot, but I've been talking with @TomFulp about the recent supporter drive(which has been fairly successful) and wanted to give back to the community in my own way. Not everybody can support the site financially, that's understandable, some don't want to, that's equally understandable, but to those of you who do support the site you should check out this forum post here for The Story Goes On Supporter Exclusive Giveaway. Join the party, the thread, whatever you wanna call it. Pretty much all you gotta do is be a supporter, reply with your platform of choice(Xbox or Steam) and you're entered into the raffle!
I've pretty much used up all the energy I have for writing a blog post, I see why people don't do it often. I should really head to bed soon as tomorrow morning I'll be heading off the Philly by car for a college visit, but more importantly @IvanAlmighty's Bowling/Barcade Rager going on downtown as well as some business talk with Tom and some NG artists for my next indie game. Basically I'll be killing a flock of birds with one stone with this trip! I hope you all have a good night, buy my game, play my other free game, go to Philly Meetup, enter the raffle, become a supporter and celebrate the remaining 5 minutes of #FutabaFriday.
Posted by BrandyBuizel - January 2nd, 2018
It's that time of year again, well a few days after that time, when everybody recaps on what they've done for the last 365 days or so. This was a year full of firsts for me: I didn't upload a single YouTube video in all of 2017 which hasn't happened since 2009, I directed several lives recording sessions in my college's TV Studio, I drove myself to Pennsylvania for the NG Ambler Theater Screening, I worked on a mural painted in Times Square, I drank a personal record breaking 3 gallons of eggnog this holiday season, I got paid to do professional audio capture on a commercial shoot, I'll be applying to University, and(hopefully)I'll be on my way to my first ever MAGfest tomorrow afternoon!
You may have heard this buzz online but the Ambler Screening/Meetup was incredibly inspiring for everyone involved. I met so many people whose work I admire and made so many friends that I'm afraid I might forget to list them all here:
@KameStudios, @DreaminErryDay(sorry I didn't recognize you at the time I love your work), @64bitsanimation, @deathink(thanks for the sweet sleepycast poster) and @MisMash who share an extreme dedication to doing what they love.
Twitter seems to be in agreeance that 2017 was horrible and 2018 is off to a rocky start only two days in, but in contrast my Twitter is full of dumb jokes, anime, retweets of wonderful artists, and a lack of politics. All I can remember is the good stuff and that's exactly what I expect to see more of this year!
There's a lot of projects I'm excited to be working on soon. I'm continuing to paint as I'm currently wrapping up on my first commissioned portrait on canvas and I'll be getting ready to release a project I've been working on since 2015, The Story Goes On, a hack-n-slash adventure for Steam and the Xbox One. I also released a free lip-sync and animation tool for After Effects called Mouth Shapes. You might be able to tell from the stuff I mentioned that my work is pretty broad, I get bored quickly with just one focus, so having multiple projects constantly keeps me busy and inspired. I hope to share a whole bunch of it here on Newgrounds when the time comes!
Well I'm off to bed soon, gotta rest up and get over this cold so no eggnog for me tonight. I don't want to be that guy showing up to MAGfest with the plague so if I do go you know I'll be wearing a face mask. Have a great 2018 and keep on creating!
Posted by BrandyBuizel - December 31st, 2016
So it's been an entire year(slightly over) since I first made this account on Newgrounds and I just wanted to say it's been awesome. I stumbled on the site back in 2007(I know people found it much earlier than me, so please put your long-hard d*cks away you cool fellows) and I'm very content with finally having my own little home on the site.
I've met, talked to, and worked with so many awesome people already in 2016, though I didn't have much going on for personal projects; some physical art, couple of digital things, a SleepyCast Animated(in 360 video on YouTube as well). I voiced in 3 games(only 1 released so far) and 5 movies(also 1 so far) made some VA friends, artist friends, overall talented people-friends, and for the last 121 consecutive days spent 25 minutes, every single morning, protecting our NG portals.
Some people rant on twitter about 2016 sucking, people dying,and something about presidents(I rant about dumber things on my Twitter) but I liked this year and I'm excited for 2017 all the same.
So here's to you(I'm holding a glass of eggnog at my desk like a loser), one of our many cherished users on NG, have fun creating, try to innovate by weird experimentation in your medium, and have a Happy New Year!