2021 was my busiest year on Newgrounds so far since becoming an actually active user in 2020 - let's talk about it!
January - February
The year starts off strong as the Flash Forward Jam 2021 happens, and a bunch of people make Flash games that run in the Ruffle Flash emulator! Around 50 Flash games come out of it. I'm invited onto the NG Podcast for an episode about the jam, and I timidly appear in the beginning. I wrote a retrospective on this jam here.
This is also where Randy Learns Science is born! It gains a front page box spot, Underdog of The Week and loads of fanart in amounts I hadn't seen before for my work.
A sequel to Randy Learns Science is already planned, Randy Learns History. So as to not just repeat the same formula verbatim of the previous game with nothing new to offer, it's put on the backburner until ideas accumulate (which they do). I also make DA RATS for...reasons.
My brother @PinkTopHat joins Newgrounds, and never stops being weirded out by my obsession with the site.
As Pico Day 2021 looms, an idea I had previously to remake Pico VS Bear and make it play more like Pico's School resurfaces. I end up going with this idea, expecting to make the deadline (hahahahahahaha). Despite having been on the NG Podcast by this point, this is where I truly meet @VoicesByCorey as he offers his voice for, at the time, short Pico quips. It was Corey who suggested I take it further than this however, and have every piece of dialog voice acted. This honestly benefitted the project the most, and took it from a quick Pico Day jam entry thing to something I actually wanted to take my time on, and Corey was and still is seriously motivating, supportive, and helpful during development. Thanks duuuuuude!!
At the time of writing this, the game isn't out yet but is in the SERIOUS home stretch.
The Strobe Interactive team puts out the first real teaser for our Henry Stickmin fangame, Attacking the Tower! The hype truly begins, after the project's inception in 2020 and talks about it to few in hushed tones.
I joined the team in late 2020 but that doesn't mean I'm not going to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of the fangame's inception in April 2021 with everyone.
I make this Randy-themed animation for school and it doesn't take long for me to hate it, because the visual portion of the presentation (this animation) was rushed to the point where I was wrapping up and exporting DURING THE CLASS BEGINNING. Oof.
Summer approaches and my focus on projects begins to dwindle in what I would later call my "most unproductive summer ever". Pico VS Bear DX is clearly not going to make Pico Day and I announce such publicly, though a lot of other game devs also can't make it, which makes me feel a bit better (and promptly makes the game take the rest of the year to make 'cuz there's no rush anymore).
Randy makes a surprise appearance in the Pico Day wall art by @Slyvern, which is still one of the coolest things of this past year!!
Needing more involved audio control in Flash with Pico VS Bear DX causes me to learn about how much Flash sucks at audio. @PsychoGoldfish helps and ensures that the game's voice acting actually happens in the game as planned like the badass he is.
After posting about PVBDX on TikTok I learn that Corey is fairly TikTok famous, and after duet-ing me I end up racking up what ends up to be 700 followers there, just from being duet-ed. This record would be surpassed later in the year however (spoilers!!!)...
I make a short, snappy "commercial"-esque video about NG called "What is Newgrounds?". Most of the Friday Night Funkin' team retweets it and it becomes my most popular tweet as of 2021.
Face It! has a 3x3 mode begin to be worked on to replace the stupid Crazy mode. Still gotta finish this.
I also get this printed on a mousepad for a Boy Scouts fundraiser. I never answer for this, and that's probably never going to be okay. :P
The Summer Animation Jams begin and for the Saturday Morning Newgrounds round, I make a bumper to be shown in-between entries, so people know Randy is still a thing.
I start using Duolingo for my Japanese studies waaaay too intensely for about a solid month, and then stop, at least daily like that.
The Henry fangame I was working on that helped me meet the Strobe Interactive team, Crashing the Casino, is cancelled! But I wouldn't have been happy with it if I had finished it, and AtT became what I wanted to do with a Henry fangame. So it all worked out!
The Hell Out II is tinkered with! And promptly goes nowhere. Maybe someday...
This is also around the time when I decide I'll remake all of the art in Buddinpals as part of my Quality of Life update, basically the definitive version of my first (buggy and unfun) Steam game.
Coinciding with the 1 year anniversary of The Henry Stickmin Collection, our team releases a Gameplay Trailer of sorts for the Attacking the Tower fangame - the video garners a million views! A Late 2021 release is promised.
"What's cookin' good lookin'?" is started on Stickmin Twitter after I respond to a tweet about the character I voice in the fangame.
Chinese fans on Bilibili translate Chinese subtitles for our AtT trailer, and in response I promise Chinese and Japanese translations for the fangame in the future, and make some friends!
Shelves are put up above my workspace! There's still probably gonna be a lot more cool stuff to put there in the future, but it'll get there.
My Scratch to GameMaker converter project Graze gets a GitHub!
Buddinpals and Randy Learns History are worked on absolutely not at all around this time. :(
I rip sprites from my own Flash game, Randy Learns Science, for some reason.
The NG API gets Scratch game support and I offer to help bring @BioPlant's Henry fangame Surviving the Snowstorm to NG with Medals. StS becomes my best performing NG game in 2021, with a Daily 2nd and Weekly 5th under its belt!
Attacking the Tower's Late 2021 release window does not become feasible anymore, and release is pushed to 2022.
I turn 21 and the alcohol consumption begins...joy! I get a crap ton of birthday art, which I was not expecting at all.
BioPlant officially joins the Strobe Interactive team around this time, too!
I obtain 1,000 followers both on Newgrounds and Twitter, and end up feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
I also make an improved NG API wrapper for GameMaker Studio 2, which is now linked to from the Newgrounds.io website! It's first used in Pistol for President and then used in stuff like Pengu Saves Christmas later on.
Gaming Channel, someone who's been weirding the Strobe team out a bit already at this point (and has two account attempts here on NG deleted now), latches onto Pistol for President as if he owns it, and declares the game to be a part of UNICEF. Whaaaaaaat.
After being brought on as programmer for the full version of NG ZERO HOUR by @ThatJohnnyGuy, I leave the team after I can't focus on it fully anymore. Oops.
The Twitter account facts_indie interviews me with questions people sent in.
My family and I get a puppy! Her name is Suki and this is how big she is as a puppy, so she's gon' be hyuuuuge.
I delete my personal Facebook and Instagram to disconnect myself from the Metaverse.
I also: Threaten to become a VTuber.
@CarpetBakery joins the PVBDX dev team to overall just help me finish this dang thinggggg. X_X
I obsess over the fun and comradery of Tankmas ADVENTure again as the daily Tom newsposts return for the Drawing Tablet Giveaway. I make it my goal to congratulate everyone who gets a tablet this year as winners are announced.
A kid does a double-take at my Newgrounds shirt, which concerns me. Slightly.
Tom bumps a thread about the inflation fetish from 2015 in the BBS, unprovoked. Excellence.
For Christmas, my brother gets me the most obscure reference I've ever received on a gift. High fives if you get it!
What a crazy year it's been.
So as we close the book on 2021, I have but one new years resolution. I want 2022 on NG for me, and for ALL of us, to be even crazier. Makin' more stuff, more collabs, and MAKING DEADLINES! We've all been guilty of it this past year, and 2022 is going to be the year of making promised deadlines, I'm CALLING it!! :D
oh and I also wanna finish freakin' Buddinpals and stuff in 2022 too. :(
THANK YOU to EVERYONE I know and have met through Newgrounds either this year or ever, and another huge thank you to all of the NG team and Innersloth team for being awesome to know and to talk to!! You know who you are!!!
Thanks to Tom Fulp as well, of course, and EVERYONE who follows me online!! Yes, even YOU!
2022 gonna ROOOOOCK!!!!
-XOXO Dungeon <3