Time for a new post. How are we all?
Following my recent discharge from hospital, after my fairly horrific accident, it seems a good time for a little update. I'm currently about 15 months into an estimated 5-year recovery but deemed well enough not to need Hospital checkups and be making a steady recovery. I no longer need crutches or walking sticks, all that I'm really working on now is getting my balance and some of my flexibility back. It's still quite painful and who knows what long term effects will remain. Certainly lots of pain which wasn't there before.
Also, check out these new toys I got for drawing/animation reference. Aren't they sweet!?
This post, I'm gonna talk about what I've learned since my accident. It was probably the hardest time in my life and I'd already had my fair share of trials and tribulations, learning plenty of life-lessons along the way.
The most important thing I learned, is The Value of Friendship.
As cliche and unoriginal as that sounds. I'm very cynical, very sarcastic and neurotic to my core. Most people mistakenly interpret that as me being an asshole or not caring but in reality, I just don't trust anybody. I care deeply. I am passionate about all things. To the point where, I get emotional over stupid things and people being untrue. Like Rick Sanchez: I'm all about the much greater, four-dimensional factual picture; over anyone's feelings, opinions or emotions - none of them last forever. So I don't have many friends. Often through choice. Even fewer true friends, that I can rely on. The creative field is a battleground, at the best of times, and people are always waiting to fuck you over in this game. Look at the great talents being censored and penalised all over the internet right now. Stupid jealous losers hacking talented people and trying to get them shut down. Usually because a difference of opinion or outright lack of substance. So, friends. Who stick by you and help you. Those are the people to really cherish. Unlike the work colleagues I'd thought were my new friends... who abandoned me, didn't visit in their own time or spend any of my recovery with me. Yet, still expected me to work from home for them when I couldn't even dress myself, let alone walk or carry things. Fools. I was ready to give a lot of myself to that company and had any of them been in my situation, I'd have at least visited them every few weeks. Cunts. Now extremely glad I didn't waste my energy with them and correctly assumed that they had all obviously talked shit about me. I wasn't on the agenda since the moment I entered hospital. As if my pain, loneliness and suffering just wasn't quite enough for those shitheads. This contrast really helped me appreciate my true friends. One of my good friends in particular... He would come and help me up the stairs to bed every night, when my leg was swollen up and I couldn't haul my way up there alone - for about 3-4 months! I didn't ask him to. I didn't give him anything at the time. He just did it, coz he's a fuckin br0 and knew the state I was in. Knew how close I came to my demise and was happy I didn't. So make sure you got one of those friends, or better still.. that you are one of those friends. Without it, I wouldn't be making this recovery. Just being there, for someone who feels like they have no one... Is more than enough. They might look like they don't appreciate it or struggle to vocalise their gratitude but put yourself in their place. They have a lot of shit going on under the surface and your presence alone reminds them to carry on. Of course, this can come from your family too but you can't choose your family, so I focused on friends in this case.
Bringing me neatly to point two. Psychological trauma, bordering on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Again, without my best friends and family around... I'd have given up. I wouldn't be making this recovery. I might not even be alive. Even with all that, there were times when I had breakdowns and wanted to guzzle handfuls of painkillers, then never wake up. People are always talking about the importance of mental health and how widespread things like depression are. To a degree, I would say, that's just life. A lot of people have an easy ride through it and the minute they hit hard times, they aren't prepared for it. The hormonal imbalances. The self-loathing, self-depreciation and complete feeling of hopelessness. If you're not prepared or strong enough, that shit will crumble your entire reality. When I hit peak manic depression nearly a decade ago, I literally lost my voice. I became so repressed and reclusive that all my social skills shut down. I didn't even think anything of it and wasn't til looking back five years on, that I realised just how much that damaged me and my entire life. Yet, thanks to that, I was able to pre-empt this trauma and asses it. Almost knowing what to expect. Back in school, I'd dealt with some of this as a young child. I soldiered through and somehow built up throughout my teens. Had the time of my life making shitty Flash cartoons on a crappy Trust drawing tablet, on a shitty PC that barely had a 1Ghz single core processor. Despite all the crap I'd been through and not really knowing what I was doing, I had a great time. Despite people trying to shut me down, bully me and send me viruses every day... Life was great. I used to laugh at people wallowing in their teenage emo depression. Which feels slightly bad, looking back but... That's just it. You can't let this stuff consume you. Fear will consume you. Face your fears. Only you can conquer yourself. Don't let emotions and certainly not the actions of other people defeat you. Yeah. Psychological trauma sucked for a while. It sort of disappeared as the intense pain faded and mobility came back. I still have the occaisional night terror. Surreal existential dreams. Once you learn to embrace these struggles, it's not so bad. That's all you can do. It never goes away but you will look back when you've grown stronger and just wonder why it ever mattered in the first place.
Third lesson.. Money ain't shit.
I shouldn't have to be saying this but we live in an age where people care more about their possessions and material things, than they do for each other. This proverb has been told enough times. It's where you at, not where you been. Money makes the world go round. You can't take it all with you... etc. But fuck! There's more to life than money!! More to life than grinding your ass off in a job for some douchebag, who will use you and take all the credit. That's someone elses dream, not yours. More to life than paying bills. The world doesn't end when your bank account is empty. You don't go to jail, unless you're severely bankrupt. Embrace your freedom. Fuck money off. That fear of going broke is all that's keeping you in your place. You're more than a cog in that machine. The only reason people like me even want money, is so we can actually be included and compete in this scummy capitalist society. I only want money to buy new equipment, get some weed or keep a roof over my head. It's so that our voice can be heard, our opinions shared. Not because we want more money, or more material things. If that was the case, I'd make porn or commit crimes. Easy money right there. I sure as hell wouldn't be trying to make it through life with an honest, creative career. Don't base your life or ambitions on money. If you do, then you already fucked up and are a terrible person. Currency is the bane of humanity and just another way you're letting yourself be controlled. I hate that money has been the only ever thing holding my creativity back for years. It won't buy you freedom, it won't buy you happiness. It'll just buy you more confinement, more responsibility and tighten the vice grip that the government has on your balls. The more of it you've got, the more of it they're gonna take. It's quite literally a false economy, given that a good 90%+ of the worlds money isn't even physical anymore. Do whatever you do for the passion and love, not the reward.
After last years shit-show of politics and conflict... First people saying Brexit would never happen.. Then people saying Trump would never win... Guess what. They both happened. It feels great to be on the winning side for a change but they are empty hollow victories, in the much grander scheme of things. I have some hope. Hope that people are waking up to the constant bullshit and lies we're fed from mainstream media. Hope that people are fed up of our propaganda. Yet I know deep-down it's all fuelled by confusion and rage. Rather than informed and educated decision making. I was lucky to be exposed to all this thought from a young age, being an active user on the internet before smart phones and dawn of the web 2.0 idiot. I've been lucky to see the story from both sides all along and if things carry on the way they're going, that hope will be lost. Future generations won't have this privilege and might as well be tuning into the radio for it's spoon-fed headline brainwashing bullcrap. Watching things like Kim Dotcom's lawsuit taking forever and people facing extradition over plain old data... People forgetting about the Panama Papers leak and Iceland's greedy, corrupt off-shore bankers finally being jailed because of said leak... It fills me with doubt. Doubt that the wrong people are still calling the shots. Doubt that anyone in charge really has the interests of the common citizen close to their heart. Doubt that anything we do makes a fucking difference. Doubt that any of this is sustainable at all. Doubt that anyone really knows what we're up against. We need to be more like Iceland and out protesting by the million. So... As Tom Fulp is always saying... Support NewGrounds. Make this the place for creativity and opinions to be shared. It's the only community that hasn't bent and buckled under the pressure of societies expecations. It's everything, by everyone. It's expecting the unexpected.
Some of the other things I learned in this period included...
- The importance of good posture.
- The importance of fruit (or vegetables, if you're into that).
- The unimportance of sugar.
- Books are still great.
- Building scale models is fun -- and also useful as artist reference.
- Bitches would rather fabricate a bunch of lies and convince themselves it's all truth, than spend their time with me.
- Bitches would rather go behind their fiancés back, destroy a childs future and get with a married man, than date me - an actually single crippled and lonely neckbeard.
- Bitches would rather get engaged to their asshole ex than date me, then immediately regret their short-sighted stupidity, when it collapsed within 3 months. Waste.
- Bitches will be bitches and the bitches do indeed be cray. They also seemingly want me to be full of this angst about them, while I just wanna live a life with no stress and no drama.
- Videogames are a great distraction from extreme pain and severe immobility.
- Weed is second-best to Morphine, as a painkiller. Arguably better, as too much won't kill you.
- Brownies are fun to make and even more fun to eat.
- Never put anyone on a pedestal because we're all the same.
- Repression and hate are a waste of your very limited energy.
- Love don't cost a thing, invest it wisely and generously.
- Net Neutrality is the utmost important crisis we face. Defend Net Neutrality at all costs.
- Surveillance won't prevent terrorism or crimes, only make the general public more vulnerable.
- We the people hold the power, not "them".
- Disconnect. Get away from the digital world, get outside or away from all this noise somehow.
- Smartphones and technology are dividing us more than any amount of politics.
- Fear is controlling us and forcing us to endorse things like genocide, in foreign lands, to spread western influence.
- All this suffereing and turmoil is because of the banks. Money. Corruption. Currency. Because that's what Power is these days.
- Rockefeller is dead and hopefully Money Culture along with him.
Ok I knew most of them last ones already but they definitely needed reinforcing. Anyway, stay tuned. Working on lots of exciting stuff, as always. This time, things may actually materialise as... All the barriers preventing me before and destroying my morale, are no longer there. Anyone who read all of this... Why? But also thank you.
Peace out bitchez!
For those of you who read my previous post, I am recovering well. Still dealing with insurance and still off work but gradually getting back to walking properly. Tomorrow I have my next X-ray and find out whether I need more surgery or not.
[edit:] little update. It's looking like good news and I probably won't be needing any further surgery to my bone. Next appointment in 6 months.
Anyway... Y'all ready to learn some stuff? ...No? Good job this is NewGrounds and not school then!!
Seriously though, I'm just documenting the process for my entry into Jazza's Ministry of Silly Walks competition, for anyone interested. Lets start from the beginning. Almost straight after seeing the post, I sat down and did some quick planning. My parameters were simple; with it being defined as a walk, I quickly decided his elbows/hands shouldn't go above the height of his shoulders/head. I also wanted to experiment with smears, balance and squashes – all techniques that haven't really been utilised much in my previous animations.
Here is my very rusty working out. It had been over a year since I animated properly, mostly due to being injured. At the top left, you can see a very very rough X-sheet. This is where I worked out the timing for each pose. If you're interested in animation and not sure what an X-sheet is, be sure to look it up! Highly useful. From this, I worked out the numbers you see below it and along the top. This tells me how long between each keyframe. Based on those numbers, I did the rough character tests on the right. Also labelled this page "Walk Cycle" in the bottom right, due to the drunk guy in the club asking what I was drawing.
From this and some rough sketching, I was able to draw my 10 keyframes as you can see in the gif above (5 keys per step). Basically, these are the 10 poses which define the extremest parts of the movement. With this I could then fire up my equipment once I got home; starting by scanning all 10 frames in and dropping them into Flash. I wont talk you through this process, or setting up Flash files as there is a plethora of videos and articles about that.
This is about as tidy as my desk gets. To the left of here is my drawing area and a wall full of reference drawings. This stage was quite simply taking my scanned images, lining them up correctly on the timeline and then drawing over them with the Brush tool. Making sure they are all the right size, in the right position and so on. This looked something like the following:
To break that down, you can see my 10 bitmap images in the library. I mashed them together into a graphic/symbol, which is on the timeline as a tween. This allowed me to reduce the opacity/alpha and trace over them on the corresponding frames, in the main timeline. Once the 10 keyframes were done and spread correctly over the timeline, I hid the sketches layer and simply got to work on the inbetweens, as you can see below.
Starting in the middles, setting my onion skin to reach the next and previous keyframes. Once the middle frame was done, I'd do the frame between that inbetween and the next keyframe, etc. Occaisionally I copy another frame and paste it to the side (as above), so I could see the equivalent of that frame on the opposite step.
Boom. The linework alone took me 4 solid days of working on it when I could. Was pretty happy with it, didn't really have any time to be unhappy with it! In my haste to get started on this project, I overlooked that our entries didn't need to be a full 60 frames – only be a for 2 second loop. So, I drew mine on one's, when ideally and normally I'd have animated on two's or three's; allowing me more time to polish the linework and refine the colouring. Still, doing it this way was a nice process for me to flex my animation muscles, for the first time in ages. Maybe, subconsciously, I wanted to challenge myself by doing it this way?
Next stage was simple. Pick the colours, fill in the gaps and paint it. I tried to tidy up some of the linework as I went back over each frame but there was no time for redrawing or smoothing it – just erasing overlapping edges and tidying up confusing lines. As the overlay sheet came off my tablet a long time ago, drawing on the hard plastic of my Wacom with an ancient blunt nib, creates a very scratchy finish on the finer/smaller lines. To create anything that looks refined and sharp, I generally spend a long while on cleanup. Still, I'm amazed this bit of kit even works after all its been through the last ten years or so.
As colours started to come through, I decided to drop in my background. The plain grey stage wasn't giving me an accurate representation of the contrasts and such. These backgrounds were just assets from a game I helped create. Nothing fancy. Dropped them in, tweened them across the stage, extended the animation to 1,800 frames. That was about it for them. Carried on colouring my character.
Of course...Constantly exporting the animation and testing it all looks correct, runs fluidly – all the time! Still very much a work in progress at this point but it let me see if I needed to tone anything down or change some colours to fit better. Luckily I was pretty happy with how colouring went from the start. I did try a few different shoe colours but settled on the snazzy darker ones in the end.
Here's how I got the stripes on the hat. It's quite a simple drawing technique and popular shading technique in Flash - using the line tool. Two lines, forming a plus + shape. Copy them, paste them in place, rotate them 45 degrees. Paste them again and then again. Basically, you're left with sixteen lines, in the starburst shape you can see above. Taking this shape and warping it, as you can see below, allowed me to accurately colour the stripes and maintain the same position on them over time. It was important to get one of my sketches back on the stage for this part. This let me judge the orientation of the hat better than my plain uncoloured versions, without having to sketch all over them.
Once you fill in the colours, just select your whole layer and turn off any outlines/stroke by setting the colour to the diagonal red strip (like you can see in my toolbar on the left). Then you're left with nice colouring and no lines between shades. The hat was the final piece of this puzzle. Took almost a day to colour it on its own. I added some quick dust cloud effects on the stomping of his feet and when he pushed off but that was it. It was deadline day!
Thanks for reading. You can see my final entry to the competition here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1emTOte5j8
It aint perfect. I'm not overjoyed with it, that's what happens. As I've said, I'd rather have animated it normally and given myself a few more days to work on cleanup/colour, opposed to the majority of my time spent drawing all sixty frames. If I'd spotted this COTM on launch day, I'd have been super happy with the results at this stage. But..hey.. It's just for fun right? I learnt some stuff. I dusted off the rust that being handicapped has corroded onto me. I was kept busy and amused for a while... Plus... I seem to have gotten a bit of a bug back for animating. Realising I've learnt loads over the years and come a very long way since any of the movies I've released on here.
Which is partly the point of this post. I wanted to document this process, mostly to get me used to actually documenting my work. It's not something I usually do but something I should make a habit of. I have plenty of knowledge that I've learnt the hard way. There were no animation or digital art classes in my education. Yet, I've pushed on and learnt to create the art I wanted. So, if I can document it and publish my working... Hopefully I can teach or share a bit of it too? Rather than just showing the finished results, as I've become so trained to do. In time, I'd hope to make posts that resemble more like actual tutorials and maybe one day create video walkthroughs, once I've got some decent filming and recording equipment. That stuff is expensive and way off so, in the meantime, this is all great practice. I might give streaming a try, who knows? Meanwhile, if you have any comments or questions about any of the above.. Please don't be shy. I always encourage anyone to ask away.
I've seen some really great entries to this, as always with COTM. Go onto twitter and search #SillyWalkChallenge if you haven't, or a quick browse through the forum thread here. Great ideas and such massive variation. Even those of us who don't win, remember that: the real prize is in the process and learning. Something I've personally found to be true, upon reaching any goal or acquiring what I once defined as success. Good luck to all participants across all categories!
Peace to all.
Hope you are enjoying 2016. As always, I left it too long between posts so have too much to say. Not your typical blog post though, this one is entirely different and mostly focused on a personal thing that happened to me recently.
Back in December I had a pretty epic car crash and once again narrowly avoided death. I broke three bones (my femur, pubic ramus and L7 in my spine). I've never broke a bone before and was not ready for that level of pain during my lunchbreak. I remember being sat in my totalled car and, by coincidence, a friend of mine pulled up in the traffic. I hadn't even tried to move, I think due to shock... but was sat there all like "Does my leg look right to you?" we were both unsure but looking back.. It was wobbly as hell and falling down the side of my seat. Definitely did not look right. I had hoped it was only dislocated but nope, sure as hell.. It done broke gudd. So then the ambulance crew arrives and ask me to try and move. Safe to say I screamed louder and more than I ever have or knew I could.
This is what a combined impact speed of 90mph looks like (on-scene estimate from a police). If I was carrying a passenger, they wouldn't have survived. It was clear they needed to cut the roof off, after that, they cut my clothes off and tried to lift me. Only to be met with even louder and even more screams. Then they dosed me up on two big doses of morphine and about 7 burly guys hauled me carefully out of my car onto a stretcher, which was inserted behind my back against my seat. It was still painful but wow, they did me proud. It's not often people treat you the way you want to be treated in this life but... To them... It's a day job. Heroes.
Naturally I was rushed to hospital... Had all kinds of pain and tests done. X-rays, scans. Projectile vomited everywhere in A&E. All the while, people cleaning off the blood. Multiple people plucking out glass from my arms and legs (I couldn't even feel that because the pain of broken bones nullified it that much!)... Such a surreal experience.
The next day I went to surgery. They stitched up a huge glasswound on my left hand. Cleaned me up a lot and oh yeah! Nailed a rod into my femur!! That's right, I have a bionic leg now. I'm held together with a piece of titanium, along with some nasty scars. Following all that, it was a steady road of feeling helpless and struggling with everything. I was out of hospital after a 7-day stay. Went to my work Christmas party on the day I got out! (it happened to be at my friends work and I was very well looked after) Went through all of Christmas, with my whole leg swollen to about twice the size and drugged up on opiate painkillers.
Above: Seatbelt/steering wheel wounds. Even now, after three months, I can feel the swelling and stinging on my pectoralis major. Also, fun fact... The mark on my forearm is where part of my face smacked into it; the marks on my bicep are from my teeth. That fucking hurt. Also had crazy black bruises on both wrists as I slammed into the steering wheel.
Above: 9 stictches in my hand. 31+ staples in my leg. Almost all the flesh on the back of my hand was torn off. I have no idea how they managed to stitch it back up.
Above: Glasswounds. I had a similar pattern in my leg too; apparently much larger shards were in my shins, having managed to penetrate my brand new jeans!
Not an ideal start to my year but... At the same time.. It gave me time to detach myself from everything. This scummy system called capitalism. I got away from it all and... For the first time in almost ten years... I feel more like me than I have in ages. I caught up on reading and got through Adam Phillips' (chluaid's) book on ToonBoom (Animate to Harmony). Did a ton of drawing and writing. For Christmas I was extremely lucky and got a big pack of Copic Markers! Only the fucking best markers money can buy. I've been busy. Getting back in touch with my roots and...finally... Feeling happy for it. After so much depression and stress of the impending doom that society and capitalism puts us all under... I can finally say I truly don't give a fuck. I've let it all go. All my demons, are their demons now. I'm me again baby!
Yeah I've been drawing a lot, even since before the accident. I've read and watched a lot of educational material. Time to revive AcidX. I've been working on it slowly the last few years but things are going to gain momentum now. I've invested heavily in equipment and will be switching to real animation software (ToonBoom). My old cartoons are super old now. I made them all on ghetto-ass machines like 5 years out of date. We were poor as shit. Not the typical background or upbringing for an animator. Now I have real power and professional equipment behind me. I'm gonna do this properly, like I've been longing to for so long. Life is too fucking short and can disappear in an instant. No more just letting it slip through my fingers. Fuck pleasing others. Fuck everyone who said I can't do it. Fuck all the agencies that doubted my ability. Fuck being who other people want me to be. Just fuck it all. I'm gonna do my thing now and not sell out to anyone. I do this for love, not glory.
On a lighter note.. The Deadpool movie was good, right!?
What happened. To me.
All of a sudden.. I feel old.
What happened is...
I gave someone love. A lot of meaningful deep love. The kind you give to your dream spouse.
But they never gave it back. Several times over. So I have spent the past ten years of this life I cherish so much... Recklessly abandoning my dreams and destroying myself.
Those liars, cowards, cheats and users always so two-faced and ready to betray me. But never able to look me in the eye and face me. Always the ones that are scared of me.
They'll happily strip me of my identity, ambition and everything they envy or fear. Everything that separates me from them. But they don't realise I'll never give this up. Even if I never found the motivation to produce another cartoon in my lifetime... I won't stop animating. I can't stop this skill, that I have nurtured since my childhood. It's part of me. Just the same way part of some people is getting into fights, going to wars, stealing or oppressing others.
It's just something that I do. Something that I am.
I had to abandon my crowdfunding project, following a comment from 4chan.
That and the web series are considered to be "on hold" for the timebeing, pending a further response from them.
Feel pretty shit about that. I put weeks of time and months of planning into the entire project. It's like everything I try and do is forced into obscurity and not even allowed to begin. I've never had it easy when it comes to my animation career. For once, I just wish it would go smoothly.
To the voice actors and music artists that were contacted: You are all awesome and so positive. I was amazed by the quality and quantity that got in touch! I really wanted this to happen and I am sorry to let you all down. It was always going to be a risky project but I at least expected it to take off. Hopefully they will get back to me and I can carry this on. Until then, consider this to be cancelled :(
All is not lost though. I will still be making the other series with my friend. No one can shut that down, as it's just me and him. Sadly, my wish to animate full time probably wont materialise. I feel like giving up altogether if I'm honest but this is all I know so .. I cant really. Unless suicide.
What's up NewGrounds. You might have seen my ad in the collabinator; it's still open and I really need the musical theme tune as one episode is almost ready for release! I've had a great response from voice actors; still, if you're available, why not get in touch? Copy of the ad is below.
The situation is quite simple; I recently left my job and have lots of free time. No one wants to hire me, fund me or represent me so instead - with this free time - I am putting two webseries' into production. One I'm doing entirely with a friend but for the other, I'm interested in reaching out to you guys and working with people from around the world!
I'm looking for two things:
1) MUSICAL INTRO
Here's some inspiration from here on NG
Really like the drum roll effects in there.. Love the clean, real sounding drum ad-libs. This is almost spot on aside from the melody. Want something more bass/drum orientated; a real jungle melody, more like the breakdown in the middle of this
Also like intro music on the zero punctuation videos, the full song is cool but not the style I'm going for. Open to a distorted guitar with DnB though!
FPS Russia's ambient sound, as an intro jingle
Jazza's funky drumming, as an intro
Something PUNCHY and FAST... I'm looking for a kind of progressive-jungle-liquid clip, no more than 30 seconds long. Think amen breaks, played with real crisp modern drums (live if you want). Possibility of a full version if you want but there must be a roughly 30sec clip for a credits roll. Must be 174bpm.
The intro ident will play at the start and be around 10secs, so it would be good if there's a "detachable" little break for that.
NO DUBSTEP or 100bpm or whatever shitty derivatives.
2) VOICE ACTORS
Because I suck at anything but British 'street' accents or really retarded characters. Which does cover about 20% of it.
Must have great sense of humour and be open to VERY controversial topics. Anything from rape, to discrimination. Standard adult cartoon really. Ideally you are 21+
My scripts are lenient, I would rather you act them in a way that feels comfortable and natural. Adapt them to the funniest, most relaxed delivery.
Will definitely need a female for female voices. No drag acts, Austria.
Artists will be properly credited here on NG in every episode. Name in credits; will link/reccomend your youtube channel/social media/website (whichever preferred). Can't guarantee payment but you will always get at least 10% cut each, of any NG revenue, guaranteed. On all episodes you are featured. That amount is subject to how many people feature / your role per episode but that's the minimum. Any further revenue or payment (youtube monies) is best discussed once we're actually up and running. I promise 100% transparency on this.
Note: PM me on here, or contact me through my site. I'm not on Skype or steam all the time. Can give you all the info you need.
Given that my previous post was over five years old... It is certainly time for a new one.
This is a more retrospective post which is probably going to get really boring very quickly.
I logged in here the other day, planning to release my 'new' movie. Only then did I realise how much things had changed. Admittedly, I hadn't been on properly for a few years and things sure are different. Design and functionality wise it's great. In this age of shitty confusing responsive flat design, cluttered with nauseating jquery effects, it's nice to have this refreshing design created with thought and talent...and actually stand out. Unfortunately, the biggest shocker for me was the community.
Our numbers really have dwindled. Whether mobile or the 'death' of flash has killed us off I don't know. It really touched me and actually got me quite emotional. I remember, growing up, this was like one of the biggest sites ever. Massive community, things moved so fast! It was virtually impossible to get yourself heard and part of why I was so determined to become a part of that beautiful powerhouse. In many respects, the only reason I realised my dream of animating was a tangible thing. Had I been growing up now I probably wouldn't feel the same.
Sadly, this is all in favour of what? Shopping? Social media? Google? The corporations that fed you the NSA, jeopardised your privacy and want to turn the internet into another TV. Survellience. Government filtered bullshit. Finally, as the web becomes more malleable and controllable, the wrong people take charge. The dinosaur politicians. The luddites. The clueless. As usual.
I always wanted and knew the web would become as widespread as it has. I just always imagined it would stay the same wonderful, free global community. Now you can't even send an opinionated email to someone official without getting your line tapped or even arrested. People being arrested and charged for tweets. What happened to a voice? A platform? Freedom of speech and information. Sadly, when you put Internet in the palm of everyone's hands, you get exactly that. Everyone. Most of this demographic are idiots and need to be dumbed down in case they have an original thought and realise we all shit, eat, repeat just the same. If you're confused about the Net Neutrality debate or having trouble explaining it, this video is a nice digestible summary that anyone can understand.
This is bullshit and for that reason I am making a new commitment to you guys here on newgrounds. I've noticed some old faces like Logo making a comeback and I'll be doing the same. Doing all within my power to end the power trip of our leaders. Challenge their ideas of dumbing us down. The Internet is about us. Our right to say what we want and be who we are.