When I first got the e-mail that the Newgrounds store was closing, I was sickened. I somehow thought NG would be selling T-shirts and goods forever. The mythical "someday" when I'd be on better financial footing would be the day I'd throw some money at NG and get a shirt as a "Thank you" for all the years it has supported artists. That changed when I saw the e-mail and I looked at my empty wallet. I wouldn't even get paid until well after the sale was over and the store was closed.
Then I got an unexpected boon.
I don't support sites and causes willy-nilly, and until today I literally did not have any cash to spend to help someone else out. I did receive something in my bank account, though, so I decided to pay it forward and buy some swag. I couldn't spend as much as I wanted to, because I have bills to pay. Despite this, I felt I had to give back; I had been using this site for almost a decade without pitching in a dime. Even though I've been inactive for the past few years, Newgrounds always seems welcome me back at my own pace, and as I've grown older, I've come to appreciate certain decisions the administrators have made. I've finally put at least a drop in the bucket to make up for the bandwith I consume.
Newgrounds is a community. It embodies its motto "Everything for everyone." Please consider purchasing something if you can. If you can't, I understand. Until a few hours ago, I couldn't either. If you do have even a spare few dollars, please consider this is likely your last chance to get some of these physical items. There's nothing like a physical reminder of all the digital good times you had.
Well, it's 2013, and I've abandoned Newgrounds in the past, so maybe I should make an effort to try to at least ease my way back here.
Well, the strike is over, but the threat is not. SOPA or PIPA could still pass, and even if fails, another potential law could take a similar role.
In other words, it's back to my normal pace of inactivity.
This really isn't news, but today is the day that the Web has decided to go on strike in protest of the bills in Congress to infringe our freedoms in the name of combating piracy.
Please take a moment to look at this if you've been somehow unaware of what is going on.
I've decided to log into my Newgrounds account for the first time in what has to be months. I kept telling myself one of these days I'd be coming back to the site, but the day just never rolled around until now. To be honest, the only reason why I'm updating this is that I got tired of having a nearly two-year old post as news, so here's a new one that says absolutely nothing.
As anyone who lives in the Mid-Atlantic knows, the area received an inordinate amount of snow. Pittsburgh received approximately 21 inches, although outside my door, the snowfall was slightly more than two feet in height. We were actually supposed to receive "only" eight to twelve inches of snow upon initial forecasts, but the total quickly surpassed that. This is actually less than Baltimore, DC, Philadelphia, and other areas, but it's still enough to shut down the city.
My arms are still sore from shoveling yesterday, but I'm glad I was able to move some of the snow yesterday, because between the frigid temperatures and the heavy snow, moving it today over a day after it had fallen, would have been maddening. Of course the roads are so messed up the entire commonwealth of Pennsylvania -- and Allegheny county is under a state of emergency for the entire week. The media talking heads are telling us to stay off the roads unless we happen to be first responders, utility workers, or have a genuine emergency. Yesterday, everything shut down, and , and this morning most churches were closed, due to both the snowfall and the frigid cold that followed. For once, I was lucky enough for my electricity to only wane and blip (although my cable was another story). While certain establishments have begun to reopen, with the local public school closures, it's clear that it will be a while before everything gets back to normal.
I'm actually quite bummed by this, because I actually planned to get out of the house shortly before the next episode of Peyton Manning: the Series (a.k.a. Super Bowl XLV). Now, with all of the networks ceding the night to CBS, by default, there's not much else on TV, so I might as well watch the game.
Also, I worry that this is going to have a bigger impact in the snow covered areas than is immediately apparent. As much as the Blizzard of 1993 is remembered, this is as much for wide-berth as its totals. It's easily forgotten that blizzard occurred in March, and that the snow began to melt in a few days. This storm occurred in February, one of the coldest parts of winter. This snow, much of it yet to shoveled, is going to be around for a while, and the weather forecasters are predicting a few more inches to fall Tuesday and Wednesday. Given that this storm was initially only supposed to deposit around foot for western Pennsylvania, I have little faith in these projections.
I laughed at Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow on an overcast day, but the groundhog was right.
I really don't have any news, but I got tired of that eight-month old post being the latest news post.
So...um...the weather is nice, isn't it?
Even though it was hinted at several weeks ago, on March 2, 2009, Ogre Battle: the March of the Black Queen was released for the Virtual Console for Wii.
I admit, this was a pretty meaningless post, but I had to post about it anyway!
I'm not kidding myself to know that I am of any importance, but I want to make an announcement regarless of its insignificance. I'm not going to be around Newgrounds for a while in the near future.
This is not an April Fool's prank. Rather, there are personal reasons why I'm taking a break, much of which have to deal with real life. However, one of the reasons is because of what I personally have become as far as Newgrounds goes. I've become in essence a robot, something I hoped to never be.
When I started voting a Newgrounds, I tried to vote on Flash movies that were new and to write reviews on the ones that affected me for good or for ill. Now I simply go through the motions and vote on what's popular, and only leave a review when it comes monthly voting time. While this was due to time constraints on my end, over the past few weeks, I've begun to realize how lazy and selfish this is. It's not being a productive user, but following the herd, a mentality that I at least used to try to avoid.
I may drop in once or twice this month to vote, if that, but that's it. It's not that I don't love this place. I could spend the rest of a normal human life span just looking at the numerous Flash movies. But I want to actually be something more than a person who votes on five Flashes just to get my credits.
My thanks go to all the Newgrounds staff and the Newgrounds artists and users I've interacted with. Barring some unforseen accident I will be back, trust me. But I need a break right now; Newgrounds is too much of a good thing.
This really isn't news, but I just want to say that in the interest of fairness, I try to judge an author's flash movie based on what I perceive as his or her actual level of skill, rather than use the bar of the most skilled Flash artist. Not everyone simply has the talent or time to create a timeless piece. As a result, I may look down on some pieces that more technically proficient in favor of ones that are clearly made by beginners.
It's not easy to draw well, and it's doubly hard to do so in Flash, let alone to create the animations, menus, etc. As a result, I can't expect every piece to be an instant classic. That's not to say that I'm not biased in favor of pretty productions (I certainly am), but something that is animated poorly or drawn poorly can win a lot of points in my book if it's made with heart. Conversely, something that is shaded well, animated well, and put together well will end up with far lower score if there are basic problems with it.
If an artist can draw with phenomenal talent, then I expect the artist to create something far better than the average with that skillset. A person who may not have much ability may need to improve, but everyone starts somewhere, and as long as it looks effort was made and it's well written (or even good sound), I'll try not to hold underwhelming visuals against it. If the production is sleek and beautiful, though, then you had better bring an equal level of skill to all aspects.