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Gage Goodell @GoodL

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Concordia University, Montreal

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GoodL's News

Posted by GoodL - 2 weeks ago


Last year I made a "Year in Review" type post. I've also gotten into this habit over the last few years of using my NG blog posts as a sort of record for my life. I think I started doing it because I thought other people might like to know what I'm up to, but at some point it really just became more of a thing that I'd occasionally like to look over for myself. It's like a diary, ya know? And at this point, I guess I don't much care whether anyone else wants to read it. It's a cool thing for myself. So I'm following through with that and making a yearly post for 2021, but here's the thing... This year especially, I think, would not be worth reading for anyone other than myself. It's basically going to be a whole bunch of complaining about things that simply aren't going to matter to anyone else. The only thing I'm going to write in here that you, assuming "you" here means a reader that is not my future self, might take interest in are my music yearlies, which will be at the bottom of this post. If you, for some reason, want to know what music I listened to in 2021 and what my favorite releases were, feel free to scroll to the very bottom of this post and critique my music tastes or whatever. Otherwise, I wouldn't blame you, whoever you are, for ceasing to read this post right now and going on your merry way.


Alright, that's the preface! Let's get to the whineposting!


2021, sucks bad

The Shitty Beginning, then The Fleeting Happiness

At the beginning of 2021, I was working at a local tv news station in Idaho. I hated it. I loved it some ways. But it really stressed me the hell out. A not insignificant portion of my work during 2020 was spent making graphics every single day just to show how many Idahoans died of COVID that day. The high stress, fast paced environment of a news station really ate at me, and my pay was so low that I felt super undervalued and overworked. Wasn't fun. So I told my boss way in advance that I was planning to leave. The normal is a 2 week notice, right? I gave like a 3 month notice. Eventually I did leave the news and started doing freelance podcast and video editing full-time. That was great for a while! My work-life balance got way better and I had plenty of time to work on personal projects.

The Stacker and The Spitter - made this goofy video with my good friend, and girlfriend-at-the-time's cousin, Vinny. We went out and filmed it all and then did all the goofy editing in one day/night. The whole project was a god damn blast, and I wish that I had gotten more opportunities to work with this guy.

Badmath Aftarlands - this is an album I started way back in 2016, when I was in college. Never finished it back then and it just hibernated on my hard drive for a few years. I was going back through some old files and found all this work I had done, and decided I would tidy it up and upload it. It's an instrumental concept album about post-human AI and robots fighting over resources. Kinda fun, idk. I uploaded it to NG too.

scd-id8ion self titled - I uploaded this album on the same day as Badmath Aftarlands. Mostly new stuff. It was meant to be a sort of autobiographical album covering my time in Montreal and my move back to Idaho. Kinda dumb, but what do I ever do that isn't? This one is also on NG.

I returned to NGP for the celebratory 50th episode - Can't say I really remember this to be honest. I had quit NGP a while back and they asked me to come on for the milestone of 50 episodes, so I did. I feel so awful about NGP honestly. If I were a better person, I'd have never left. I love those lads and I really wish all the best for them. Seems like they're doing pretty well from what I see on Twitter occasionally.

Around this time I also started organizing the Chocolate and Cheese collab. More on that later.


So, things were looking pretty good, right? My creative output was the highest it had been in recent memory, I was feeling pretty good in general, and I was more or less content with where my life was going. So, I decided I didn't need to go to therapy anymore. Told my therapist I was doing well and I thought we were at a natural stopping point, and he agreed. lol if only we knew what was about to happen...


Everything Falls Apart, Part 1

In the later half of May, my girlfriend of 7 years, literally my entire adult life and then some, told me she didn't feel like we were going to be compatible long term. And she was right. We wanted very different things out of life. But I had never even remotely considered that we might not be together for the rest of our lives, and lemme tell ya. I was fucking crushed. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. But like I said, she was right. And I knew she was right. So we, very amicably, decided we were going to go our separate ways. I explained most of this in my sadposting blog post, so I'm not going to go over it again in detail. I made plans to leave Idaho, and that was that. I spent the next several weeks in the lead-up to the move heavily isolating in my tiny little home office. Sleeping on the floor. Only leaving to use the bathroom and maybe occasionally eat some trail mix or something. It was definitely one of the most intense and prolonged mental health crises I've ever had, featuring lots of insomnia, crying, and ever minor hallucinations. Not fun.


A New Reality, a Short High, and Making Commitments I Wouldn't Be Able to Keep

So in June I moved to Seattle. Drove a U-Haul for 13 hours, settled into my new place, and started my life from square one. Got a retail job because I couldn't find work in video or audio like I'd hoped. Met lots of new people, struggled for weeks on end to get a job at the Goodwill processing facility, got that job and then walked out on my third day because it was an actual nightmare. And I had some really good creative output for a bit.

Never Sleep Again - made this for the first round of the summer animation jams. Got some points for it.

Sadder Day Mourning Cartoons - made this for the second round. In my classic fashion, I then lost steam on the summer animation jams and stopped participating. Very cool and good of me. I love how I never follow through on anything. That's foreshadowing.

Everything is Egg - made this game for the egg game jam. This was a blast. It ended up being super last minute, and I stayed up all night before my first day at Goodwill to finish it. It's one of my favorite things I've ever posted on Newgrounds though, not because I think it itself is a good project, but because getting and responding to the reviews has been such a blast. Check out the reviews, they're so fun. At least, I think so.


During this time period I also started work on what was to be my most ambitious music project yet, a second scd-id8ion album. I reached out to a bunch of people to be featured on it. Made a lot of big claims about it to people in my life, both irl and online. It was gonna be big. It was gonna be cool. It was gonna be noisy and obnoxious but also diverse and good. lol.


In my real life, I found myself in some of the most radically queer spaces I've ever been in. It got me thinking about the fact that, despite me not realizing it, I had actually been pretty damn closeted for the last few years. So, here's a brief story about that. When I was in high school, I was exposed through the debate team to the idea of gender nonconformity. When I was a freshman, I was a close-minded little shit. I didn't really "get it", ya know? But when I was 16 it was more thoroughly explained to me, and I had this moment where I was like "Ohhh... So that's why I've never felt like a man. 'cause I'm not." At this point, in small town Idaho, I wasn't really surrounded by many people who would be understanding and accepting of that outside of debate circles, but I did explain my identity and pronoun-preference to a few people close to me. Then, when I moved to Montreal for college, I found myself in an environment where being nonbinary was not even really that abnormal, and everyone in my real life referred to me using my pronouns (they/them) and everything was fine and dandy. Then I dropped out of college and moved back to Idaho and at that point all of my old friends were gone and nobody around me got it anymore. As a sort of defense mechanism to the dysphoria I experienced at being misgendered on the regular, I internalized this idea that I was "okay" with being referred to in a masculine sense because I just didn't like gender in general and I would be okay with any pronouns. Besides, I couldn't be visibly queer in a work place in Idaho, so boy-mode it was. For years. Moving to Seattle, people around me got it again. It took me some time to start actually presenting myself as I felt internally, and honestly this is still a work in progress. And then I noticed this disconnect. People irl where gendering me correctly, and people online were not. Because online, I had never brought it up. Not once during A Couple of Crickets. Not once during NGP. Not once online at all. The person I was online was fake. A character. Didn't exist. So I "came out" to the internet, in the form of... putting my pronouns in all my bios. Has it changed much of anything? Nah. Not really. I think very few people noticed really. I met Stepford in a discord server once, and to see a Newgrounds artist more established and successful than myself being openly genderqueer was pretty empowering to me. I've noticed 2 people in particular, really the only 2 newgrounds folks I ever talk to anymore, at least trying to gender me correctly so... that's cool. Thanks, guys. Love ya both. Alright enough of this, this paragraph wasn't supposed to be this long. Woops.


Everything Falls Apart, Part 2

So, turns out, all that stuff they say about bottling up emotions being bad is true. I was having this honeymoon period with my life in Seattle for a while, and I thought things were all fine and dandy. And I never really had time to be sad with all the new experiences I was having. But then allllll that depression I'd been putting off caught up to me. I started dropping the ball on god damn everything. All those commitments I had made were starting to fall through. I lost all my motivation to do much of anything. I fell into routines. Wake up, wait to go to work in the evening, go to work, go home, go to bed, rinse and repeat. Sometimes not even rinse. The big sad hit me real hard. Despite that, I did manage to do a few things in the period of July through November.

The Chocolate and Cheese Collab - I tried to organize a collab to recreate Ween's Chocolate and Cheese album. I did an awful job, of course, but we did eventually get it finished-ish, and uploaded. Sorry to everyone I let down with this.

cameravioli - made two videos with a friend and coworker of mine where we just got really drunk and went out and around in capitol hill and did dumb shit. Was fun. Would have done more of this, but, ya know. No motivation for anything.

c1c4d4 - made a 4 song noise pop ep, this is probably the music project i'm most proud of this year. not for everyone of course. Didn't upload to NG for that reason. Just don't feel like it's Newgrounds-appropriate. Or, idk, not good enough for NG maybe.

Having Mental Breakdowns - 6 song deconstructed noise pop ep. cringe shit as ever, look at me go. also didn't upload to NG.


My mental health started getting really bad. I stopped making plans with people. I stopped following through on plans I had made during better days. I stopped working on that big album project. I stopped doing any freelance work. I stopped caring about pretty much anything. I stopped talking to friends. I started...

[[[alright this is where shit gets bad, so like, idk, content warning? or something? i'm about to start talking about, ya know, the uh... "bad ending", of like, ya know, depression and mental illness and what not. if you're sensitive to that kind of thing definitely skip this part or whatever]]]

i started experiencing the most intense suicidal ideation of my life. i started thinking about it every day. some days all day long. i got to thinking that i hate being alive, and generally when i hate doing something i stop doing it. it seems very logical to me. if i was banging my head on a brick wall over and over again, and i didn't like doing that, i would stop. being alive feels very much the same way. i hate doing it. at this point i'm not living for myself, i'm going through the slog because i have commitments that i hold in a sense of high importance. i made a commitment to my roommate when i signed the lease. i made a commitment to my cat when i adopted her. i need to follow through on those if nothing else. but, i really can't shake the feeling. this sucidal thinking was at its worst between october and november, but honestly it's still pretty bad right now. these thoughts still come to mind several times a week. i genuinely hate who i am and what my life is and like... idk. i want to end this section with some sort of upward note. i want to use words like "battle" or "fight", ya know? i'm "battling with depression", i'm "fighting the suicidal ideation". but here's the thing... i'm not. i'm not fighting it at all. i'm rolling over. i'm okay with the fact that i don't want to live. i'm okay with the fact that i'm extremely depressed. i'm not fighting it at all. i'm okay with the fact that i'm not okay at all, and i'm really not doing anything to change it. or... am i? i might soon try to change it. more on that later.

sorry.


End of the Year, What Comes Next?

So that year pretty much sucked. I didn't do much in December, but I did upload the second scd-id8ion album that I worked on from June to September, scd-id981on. I never finished it. Only one of the intended collab tracks is on there, and even that song is entirely unfinished. The thing is, I needed to put it behind me. I had wanted to finish it in 2021, and since it looked like it was never going to be finished, I figured I may as well upload the unfinished version in 2021. At the very last minute, I published it on December 31.


So, what's next? Well, open enrollment for cheap-ish health insurance plans is going on right now. I haven't had health insurance since I left my job at the news. I'm going to try to motivate myself to get a plan today. And then I'm going to try to motivate myself to see a psychiatrist. Maybe get myself on meds if I can manage and if I can afford it. Money is really tight right now. I work a near minimum wage job, rent takes more than half of my monthly income, and I have a lot of impending financial stress what with student loan payments eventually restarting. I'm scared, honestly. But maybe if I can somehow manage to get my shit together I can start doing better. We'll see. Like I said, I'm going to try. Whether or not I can even manage to take these first steps is yet to be determined. I'm gonna do my best.


I don't really have any projects planned right now. I got some new pretty cool instruments as gifts recently. So, I might do some more music soon. If I'm proud of anything in 2021 it's the fact that I made more music than in any year prior. Maybe I'll continue that trend. Idk. Speaking of music...


{{[]}}

YEARLIES

{{[]}}


ALRIGHT IT'S THE FUN PART!


Here's the 100 albums I listened to the most in 2021!

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It's fun looking at this because it's based on sheer quantity, and is entirely non-linear. My hyperpop kick and my break-up music period all lumped together on the top row.


My Spotify Wrapped

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I knew I listened to bitbeak a lot, but was really surprised to see him at my number 3. I really love bitbeak. Both as an artist and as a person. <3


My commentated last.wave

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A chronological look at my listening habits, with a few notes about what was going on in my life


How mainstream was I?

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Not very, and that's silly.


AAAAND FINALLY!!!!

THE MOMENT I'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!!!

IT'S....

MY FAVORITE ALBUMS RELEASED IN 2021, IN ORDER!!!

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Wooooooo, yaaaayyy, and the crowd goes wild! I did a top 16 this year, narrowed down from a top 25. I usually do a top 9! So much good new music this year, and I missed a whole lot of it! Here are some honorable mentions:

bitbeak - oh blackbird

pinkpantheress - to hell with it

king gizzard and the lizard wizard - butterfly 3000

st vincent - daddy's home


Well... that's it! Happy new year everyone.


4

Posted by GoodL - June 2nd, 2021


Hey all. This post is pretty much just some venting, nothing really interesting or exciting going on in here, but I guess in a way I feel like my NG newsposts are a sort of interesting way for me to reflect over some parts of my life, and recent events seem eventful enough to be written here. I don't want to get into too much personal detail so some things might be a little vague to anyone reading this that isn't my future self. Sorry and cheers to anyone who does actually read this. I could certainly use the emotional support.


To set the stage a bit, about a month ago I left my job as a video editor at a local tv news station to go all in on freelancing. That has been a really neat and rewarding experience, for the most part. I've worked with video content creators both corporate and independent making everything from celebrity gossip type videos to media criticism video essays. I've also edited for a couple of different podcasts based all over the US ranging from slice of life stuff to a mental health-centric podcast hosted by a yogic therapist. It's been interesting to say the least, and has offered a much better work-life balance than I was getting out of my 40-hour-per-week job that just ate away at my life and well-being. That said, there were certain comforts offered by my full-time gig that I'm not getting now as a freelancer. Namely, health insurance. Also some semblance of normalcy in my day-to-day. I think it's fair to say that I thrive in this kind of pace, but there's also something to be said about the fact that I never really know what I'm going to be doing on any given day.


As an additional point of context before the main point of this post begins, I also recently stopped going to therapy. I had told my therapist that it felt as though we had hit a natural stopping point, and he agreed. It seemed like things were really going well and even looking up for me! Spoilers, this all goes to shit pretty quick.


I wanna say... 3 weeks ago? Or so. Everything that I thought I knew about what my life was and was going to be came crashing down. This is the part where I don't really want to get into the details, but the main take away is that I have become the BIG SAD. I'm not really sleeping anymore, and when I do it is very sporadic, highly unreliable, and absolutely restless. I've slept so little in these last few weeks that I've actually noticed I'm starting to have mild hallucinations. One day a few years ago I embarked on a 26-hour-straight drive from Illinois to Idaho all in one go, stopping only for bathroom breaks and gas, and I'm finding this to be a lot like the last few hours of that drive, albeit a tad milder. I'm noticing non-existent movement out of the corners of my eyes, I'm considerably more jumpy and easily startled than normal, and my brain is foggier than a vape shop. On top of the lack of sleep, I'm also not eating. Really at all. I can't recall the last time that I had a proper meal, I know a few days ago I poured a can of white beans, a can of corn, and a can of olives into a bowl and ate that with a spoon... maybe that was like a week or two ago... I'm honestly not even sure. I've eaten a fair amount of trail mix I guess? Idk the point is my nutritional ethics have declined immensely and I don't think that's helping the negative side effects of not sleeping. 


When my life plans were all very unexpectedly dissolved, I came to the realization that I no longer had any reason to stay in Idaho. I grew up here, I moved back here after college because reasons, and I hate it here. So I reached out to an old friend of mine. We met in high school, he was the president of the debate team in my first year, and after he graduated I followed very closely in his footsteps. He went to a college in Wisconsin, and every time he came back for breaks we would hang out. He came to visit me when I was living in Montreal too, we went to the music festival Osheaga together. Before a few weeks ago, we hadn't spoken in a little over a year, but the kind of friendship we have is one in which it doesn't matter how long it has actually been, it always feels like no time had passed at all. So I was not really surprised when I hit him with a "hey, wanna move in together?" and he responded "yes". He's been living in Seattle for a few years now, so... that's where I'm headed. Had he said no, my plan was to throw a dart at a map and just see where it takes me. Given the amount of anxiety I'm feeling now over this, I guess it's good that he said yes. I'll be moving in 2 weeks, and frankly, I'm terrified. This ain't like when I moved to Montreal at all. Back then I was excited to leave. I had big plans. World was my oyster, whatever. This feels more like an act of desperation, and a costly one at that. Making the arrangements, I'm watching my savings dwindle to virtually nothing and it makes my very soul feel sick. 


@VoicesByCorey , I'm sorry, I'm not coming to Boise :(


So, is there an upside? Yeah, I mean, there are probably a few. The job prospects are much better for me out there. I've started applying to a few positions, and nothing is set in stone yet, but I feel pretty good about the fact that I'll be looking at making $17/hour doing literally anything, compared to the $10/hour I was making for the very stressful work I was doing at my old job. I think it'll be a much better environment for me. I've known for a long time that I prefer bigger cities over small towns, so I guess in a sense I'm looking forward to that change of pace again. It's also a chance to sort of reinvent myself, again. Maybe actually finally address some of the things I'm not so fond of in myself. We'll see. 


What's that? Oh, you're a huge fan of my work and want to know what the future of my creative output looks like? Well, there's some stuff going on there too. Some fun music stuff eventually, another game with my good buddy @GallowJolt eventually, maybe some more videos just-for-fun like I said I'd be doing but only did once since leaving my job? We'll see once the dust settles. I can't make any promises about anything right now, for the aforementioned reason of not having any clue what my life looks like a few weeks down the line. 


Idk that's it I guess. I've had some pretty low lows in my life, but I actually think this is the hardest time I've ever been through. And fwiw I don't know what I expect anyone to say to that, if anything at all. I guess it'd be neat if someone said some words of encouragement, or something. Or told me to shut up or whatever idk I just want to feel less alone. That'd be cool. Alright well. Thanks, bye. 


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Edit: I also sold my drum kit rest in peas :(


Tags:

5

Posted by GoodL - April 23rd, 2021


Hey all, I just uploaded 2 albums, plus I've got some other news.


Badmath Aftarlands

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https://www.newgrounds.com/playlists/view/cb7afbd4f8fbebbb70fc9922fcd961ec

https://gagegoodell.bandcamp.com/album/badmath-aftarlands-vol-1

Badmath Aftarlands is an instrumental concept album about post-human AI and robots fighting. I made almost all of it in 2016, one song in 2017, and one song in 2021. It was originally intended to be a live performance piece with accompanying visuals that could then be recorded and released as something of a short film. I had pretty big ambitions for it that ended up acting as a hinderance for me. The project went dormant for a few years, sitting around on a forgotten hard drive. Recently I plugged that hard drive into my computer and found it. I figured it was kind of a shame for it to just go to waste like that, so I decided I would lower the ambitions of the project and just finish it up with one last song and release it as a stand-alone album. Here it is!


scd-id8ion

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https://www.newgrounds.com/playlists/view/91afa7a6a71e8097d8432876cd782b99

https://gagegoodell.bandcamp.com/album/scd-id8ion

scd-id8ion is a comparatively much more recent project of mine, although its origins do reach back to 2018 when this album was just a twinkle in my brain and a few loose files that would eventually become what it is today, in its final form. It follows in the style of some of my other recent work, but it does have something of a darker thematic nature than, say, the EP I made a bit over a year ago.


Streaming Services

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https://open.spotify.com/album/3PYxvfhkViUCj7cTkNnYHe?si=u7sym-vvRRic69wzZc4ZUQ

A few days ago I got myself set up on DistroKid and submitted that EP, Now Normal. It's now on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and most other popular music streaming services. I'll be submitting scd-id8ion next, so it should be available everywhere some time next week!


500 and stuff

As of writing this, I am 3 people clicking the button short of 500 fans, so that's cool! I would have waited to post this for when it actually happens, but I'm already here making a newspost anyway. Thank you very much to everyone who saw something I did and thought "wowie gee oh boy! I should click this button that will notify me when this person does something else!" I really appreciate the support and all that. I also went on the Newgrounds Podcast for the celebratory 50th episode. It's pretty wild to me to see how far NGP has come since we started it. In fact, I look at the Discord server now, and the YouTube channel, and the NG user page, and frankly - a lot of it has become totally unrecognizable to me since I left as a host a while back. I'm very proud of them and happy to see that the show continues to grow and evolve. You can check out that new episode here: https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/1024724


That is all.


Tags:

9

Posted by GoodL - April 11th, 2021


got tired of making videos I didn't want to make, so I quit my job. Got immediately to making videos I did want to make. Here's one I wrote in 2018 and just filmed yesterday:

https://youtu.be/FMuoCSdLe-U

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2

Posted by GoodL - March 26th, 2021


Finally beginning my de-Google-ing process. Switched to Brave browser.

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6

Posted by GoodL - December 29th, 2020


My Year In Review: 2020

Tom mentioned in a site newspost that more people should post their yearly achievements. I just lost several ranked tetr.io matches in a row, including one to someone well below my rank, so I figured it was time to stop doing that for the night and move on to something else. Can't go to bed yet though! So here are a few little notes about the stuff I did in 2020. I guess in a way I feel weird about making a post like this, but maybe it'll be cool to look back on months or even years from now.


Starting Strong

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My first major project of the year was the release of World War Wizards, a game I made with @GallowJolt . We made it for Pixel day, and had plans to continue the project afterward that never came to fruition due to a bunch of factors. It didn't make a huge splash or anything, and didn't place in the top picks for Pixel Day, but it was the first game project that I had ever done that I was really, truly proud of. A lot of the reason it didn't get much in the way of high reviews was simply the fact that I really dropped the ball on the programming side of things. In all honesty, it was a buggy mess. But looking back on it I do still feel that it had a certain kind of charm to it and GallowJolt killed it on the art side - especially with the bosses. That robot bird boss thing in the castle level looks really damn good.


The other notable thing about WWW was that it definitely ranks among the projects that I have spent the most time on in my life. I had started the project an entire year before it was released, after being inspired by Pixel Day 2019. I had taken a few months off from it before reaching out to GallowJolt about finishing it.


I followed that up with another two game releases, both for the Phaser Game Jam.


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The first was a little game called Roadside Boardin'. While certainly not entirely bug free, it tended to function better than WWW on most devices. I still like this game in retrospect, but it became clear to me very quickly that people just... didn't get it. Which, to be clear, is on me. It's a sign of bad game design. The highest medal in that game didn't take me a whole lot of time to unlock during testing, and I thought everything was good to go, but the scores I was seeing on the leaderboard were... Lackluster. To me it just made sense that you do a trick every time you jump and you get pretty high scores pretty fast, but that obviously didn't come across to most players, and thus, the game was a flop. But I still had time in the Phaser Jam...


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...so over the course of 48 hours I managed to cook up another game to enter in the jam. Closing In. This game did WAY better. I remember being super excited that people seemed to understand it better, despite it seeming more abstract and a little harder to grasp to me. That just goes to show that a game developer's perception of their own games will always be different than the perceptions of the players. Anyway, that game did pretty well, placed in the Jam, and won me the very first stack of cash I had ever earned from anything I had ever done on the internet.


I never cashed that check. It has more sentimental value to me than the money ($100) was actually worth. @TomFulp messaged me months afterward to ask if I never received it. I got it, but I like it more as a trophy than I would like the money itself, and so - as a trophy it stays.


Speaking of Tom...


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In early February, my good friend best buddy ol' pal @littlbox and I interviewed @TomFulp on A Couple of Crickets Podcast. It seems kind of silly looking back on it, but I was incredibly nervous about that interview. Even by that point I saw Tom as someone I could reach out to if I ever needed something, but I think he was still fairly mythologized in my mind. In fact, it's probably fair to say that he still is. Tom, you probably know in a sort of abstract way that you've impacted a lot of people's lives through your work on Newgrounds and through your games, but I don't know if you feel the sort of concrete nature of the way that you have impacted people like me. I owe so much of myself, and as strange as it is to say, my place in the world, to you and to Newgrounds as a whole. If things go well, I might soon be staring down a career in the animation industry - something that I don't know I would have the mental fortitude, the connections, or even the drive to pursue had it not been for my last 8 years of being a user of this site. I don't know what I am to you (I imagine something along the lines of "one of those people on my website"), but to me you are someone that - despite us never having actually met - has had a huge influence on my life. Hell, my girlfriend of 7 years now and I first bonded by playing Castle Crashers on my laptop in between rounds of debate tournaments when we were in high school. That means more to me than I can even put to words.


Enough sappy shit.


That Tom Fulp interview we did was the actual and literal last episode of A Couple of Crickets Podcast. littlbox and I had been making jokes for a while at that point that each episode that we were doing along the way was going to be the last episode, but in reality we had decided a couple months prior that we were going to do 50 episodes, and the last episode had to be the Tom interview. We had a number of reasons for ending the show, and I don't even know if we really knew all of those reasons at the time, but the one thing we did know... We had to get Tom on the show before Grounds Patrol got him...


...speaking of Grounds Patrol...


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...by the time that littlbox and I had decided to end ACOCk, we were already in talks with @Will - who had approached us to say that he wanted someone else to take over Grounds Patrol, and he wanted us to become the new hosts! Of course, that wasn't going to work for littlbox and I. That would mean that Grounds Patrol won the Newgrounds podcast war. No way.


Instead, we decided to join forces and make a new show, the definitive Newgrounds podcast. In fact, it would even be called @TheNewgroundsPodcast . We workshopped the idea for a few weeks, then recorded a test pilot episode...

...

...and it didn't work out. We landed on the idea that any show hosted by littlbox and I was just going to be A Couple of Crickets, and we wanted this show to be something new. A distilling of all the best elements of ACOCk and Grounds Patrol combined. I approached littlbox about it, intending to let him take the show and I'd move on, but the tables done got turned on me - and littlbox told me to take it over while he dealt with things going on in his real life. So that's what we did. Will and I assembled a little team of some additional people and The Newgrounds Podcast was born. We released the first episode near the end of February (a lot of this happened concurrently with littlbox and I planning and orchestrating the end of ACOCk), along with a little announcement animation.


Things went pretty well with that for the most part. We brought in a few more people. Some in our circle or the circles of the people we had already recruited, and some who, to us, seemed to come out of nowhere but made really wonderful additions to the team.


NGP became my main project for the majority of the year.


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On April 10th I uploaded a little 15-minute EP I made called Now Normal. This, as you might be able to tell, was about the time when the COVID-19 pandemic began to weigh heavily on my mind. Completely coincidentally, and this is true, The Strokes released their album called The New Abnormal on the same mf day. Thought that was kinda funny. I had no idea about it prior to that. I imagine they didn't know about my EP either. Probably still don't actually... I got robbed.


Losing Steam


And after that, well... I honestly didn't do much for a lot of the year. Work started getting really intense as my bosses tried to keep fewer people in the office. I worked. I also worked. And I worked a fucking lot. All I did was go to work. Go home. Go to bed. Go to work. And somehow in all of that do my best to keep the Newgrounds Podcast afloat, although I will be the first to admit that at some point there I started shirking my responsibilities with the podcast, which I still feel bad about.


I did manage to pull off a few other things throughout that time though. I participated in the Chutney Glaze Finale. I drew a picture here and there. I uploaded the one song I managed to finish from what was supposed to be a full length EP I had planned to make in the summer. I hosted and edited a bunch of NGP episodes.


But mostly, from the period of like May until November, I was just working like a walrus.


Some Redemption at the End

I'm still working way too much. I'm still feeling way too drained from my job. But at the end of November I managed to get myself a case of COVID-19, and ironically that turned somethings around for me. During my quarantine while I was sick, I made a game.

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It only took me a few days to put together Chucan Fall in Construct 3. Got some great reviews on it. People in my real life seemed to like it. I was happy with it. Still am. See my last newspost to read more about the game and my experience with COVID.


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I actually managed to put something together for this year's Tankmas ADVENTure. It's a little song I called Holidays Under Construction, because, well, it sounds like construction mixed with Christmas music. I was worried it was too noisey for the ADVENTure, and maybe it was, but nobody complained about it to my knowledge so I guess it was fine. @Cyberdevil left me a real nice review on it.


I also started getting paid to edit a few podcasts that a coworker of mine who runs a media management agency on the side put me in touch with. Pretty cool!


And finally, this is my first time speaking publicly about this, I stepped down as a host of NGP. My failure to fulfill my responsibilities to the podcast continued to worsen over time and I finally decided it wasn't fair to the other hosts. I changed my role to "regular", and I will continue to edit and occasionally be on the show, but I will no longer be nearly as involved as I was early on.


Closing Thoughts and Other Stuff

Garbage year for most people, mediocre year for me, I say piss it away. Though, this list of, I guess, "accomplishments" I just put together looks pretty nice. I'm glad I did this. Probably a pretty good thing for my mental health to have done this.


I'll leave y'all with a chart. If you know anything about me, you know I'm something of a music nerd. So, here are my top 9 favorite albums that came out in 2020, in order, plus a few honorable mentions afterward.

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Honorable mentions (no particular order): Holy Fuck - Deleter; Bright Eyes - Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was; Khruangbin - Mordechai.


One of my favorite yearly traditions is sharing my yearly music listening habits as charts and such with my friends who are also music nerds. Maybe I'll post those here too, if I already feel like covering this post up come January 1st.


If you read this whole post, thanks! Feel free to talk about some of your accomplishments down below or make your own newspost and link to it here :)


Love ya, NG.


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Posted by GoodL - December 4th, 2020


Chucan Fall

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Well... I got COVID-19. More on that later! While I had some time off work (for the first time, ever), I decided to whip up a new little game. Not only that, but I decided to try out Construct 3, which I've never used before. Overall, I was really happy with Construct. It's super straight forward and easy to use. Very nice and visual, much like Flash in a lot of ways, and it's great for garbage programmers who still enjoy game making like myself.


The game is an endless faller, where you fall from platform to platform, collecting coins and avoiding obstacles along the way. I'm fairly happy with how it turned out. I might be speaking too soon here, but it seems relatively bug-free, which is a first for me, if we're being honest (Thanks Construct!). It's not super enthralling once you've been playing for a while, but I figure it's a fine way to kill 5 minutes.


I got to reuse a few assets from projects I had done earlier this year. The color palette is the same one I used in Roadside Boardin' (it's the NES palette), and I had the assets for the Medal Unlocks that I very meticulously cut out of an old Flash Game during the making of World War Wizards. I used a song from the EP I released back in April, Now Normal, for the background music. Saved myself some time here and there, but most of the art is fresh.


Give the game a shot and let me know what ya think. I am eagerly awaiting the moment that fuckoffasshole tears me a new one with another relentless review.


My Experience with COVID-19

On November 21st and 22nd, my girlfriend had some nasty headaches. We didn't really think much of it at the time, but on the 23rd she lost her taste and smell, so she went to a local health clinic for a rapid COVID-19 test, and it came back positive. We live together, and had spent a lot of time in close proximity that weekend, so there was a pretty good chance she gave it to me too, but I didn't have any symptoms yet, so we locked her up in the quarantine bedroom and I started camping out on the living room couch. Wednesday rolled around and I wasn't feeling anything unusual, so I went to work as normal. Same thing Thursday. Then Thursday night I had a headache and noticed a sore throat while I was falling asleep and waking up the next morning.


On Friday, November 27th, I went to the same place and got the same test that my girlfriend did. A fairly painful and confusing hour later, tada!, I tested positive. The physician seemed a lot less concerned about it than I expected, and also less concerned about it than I was.


Gonna be totally straight up here - I honestly thought I was about to die. I have some health conditions that put me in a higher risk factor, so I really did spend some time just coming to grips with the idea that I would be dead within the following few weeks. I spent a while getting to a point where I was okay with it, and ready to face it when I got there.


BUT, a few hours passed. Then a day. Then the weekend. Then even a few more days. And ya know what? I was feeling okay. I was having fairly intense though not entirely unbearable headaches every night before bed, and I had the classic sick sore throat when going to bed/waking up in the middle of the night/waking up in the morning. I coughed a little bit here and there. I had a kind of strange feeling in my lungs. I never lost my taste or smell, I never had an intense cough, and I never came anywhere close to dying. I got off pretty easy all things considered, and I think it's fair to say I've come out the other side with some new attitudes about a number of things. I don't know that I can put all of that to words right now, but maybe eventually.


My symptoms are, I think, completely gone now, and I am going back to work on Sunday. I still think this is a very serious disease, and my heart goes out to everyone who has been seriously affected by it - be it themselves or their loved ones - but in a sort of sadly funny way, I actually had a good time with covid. I know it's sort of a terrible thing to say, but covid basically gave me a free pass to finally have a little vacation from work that my boss couldn't say no to. And it gave me the time to make a little video game. So that's cool.


I hope you all are staying safe and healthy. Be careful out there. Have the best holiday season you can, and MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE TANKMAS ADVENTURE 2020 EVERY DAY THIS MONTH. I made a lil' song for it this year, nothin' special. It's not in the game yet, but it will be at some point this month.


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Posted by GoodL - August 31st, 2020


The chilies in my garden from my previous blog post done growed up. Here they are getting pickled.

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Also the NGP Summer Block party was a blast, thanks for coming everyone


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Posted by GoodL - July 25th, 2020


I got really sick of looking at my last news post so... Here are some of the chilis growing in my garden. I think they're really cute and I'm very proud of them.


Poblano

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Hungarian Wax

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Jalapeño

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Thai Chilis

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Cayenne

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Trident

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Any of y'all into gardening? Show me those mf gardens.


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Posted by GoodL - February 14th, 2020


Roadside Boardin'

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Play the game here.

On January 26th, GallowJolt and I posted our game, World War Wizards as an entry for Pixel Day 2020. I had started working on it all the way back in January 2019, after being inspired by the Pixel Day entries that year. I knew I wanted to have something for the next one, so I got to work right away. Not long after publishing that, I realized I was still in a "game-making" mood. I had seen that the Phaser Jam was going on, but up until that point I had mostly ignored it. I didn't know anything about Phaser and when I started looking into it I was very afraid of making a complete game entirely in the abstract. But, I figured it would be a good learning experience and might teach me some things that I could use when I get back to working on World War Wizards.

So, I set to work. I had this idea for a game based on a thing I always did as a kid. You play as a 9-year-old, staring out the back window of your family's car on a very long road trip, and you imagine a little skateboarder doing tricks on all the passing scenery. I spent about 2 weeks working on the game, and by the end - I was feeling pretty good about it! But then...

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Nobody seemed to get it... Only two people managed to get the kind of scores I was expecting to see, and one of those was my girlfriend, who I had explained the game to in person, so it doesn't really count. Now, let me be clear, it is not anybody's fault but my own that nobody grasped how the game was meant to be played. @HerbieG left me a good review (by which I mean good, constructive feedback), and included this sentence:

"Also: 10 000 points with these controls and all things I mentioned? Really?"

That's when I realized there was a serious issue here. 10,000 points in Roadside Boardin' shouldn't take more than a few minutes to accomplish. 5,000 points, the medal below the hardest medal to get, in my mind, wasn't going to be that hard and I had expected a lot of people to unlock it.

But like I said, that's my fault. I don't know exactly what the issue was - that I didn't explain clearly enough how the game was meant to be played in the description, or maybe because I didn't add any in-game instructions. I'm not sure. But I was feeling pretty bummed. I'm going to leave it up because... well... I like it. I'm still proud of it. I feel bad that I did a bad job of explaining it, but I still like playing it myself, and that's gotta be worth something. Maybe I'll get around to recording myself playing it and post it here so anyone who still wants to try it out could see how I had intended the game to be played.


Closing In

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Play the game here.

So I went back to the drawing board. In one day, I conceptualized, prototyped, did the art, and made Closing In from the ground up. This game is much more simple and straight forward, and this time - I included in-game instructions. And, well, it seems to have made a difference. The scoreboards are looking a lot more like I had expected and intended, and I've received a reasonable amount of positive feedback. So, I'm happy. I appreciate everyone who played both games, and especially those of you who left reviews or private messaged me about them. Thank you, Newgrounds.


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