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Gage Goodell @GoodL

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Concordia University, Montreal

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GoodL's News

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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6

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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Posted by GoodL - January 23rd, 2020


Happy Pixel Day 2020

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I've been waiting for this for a very long time. Two years ago was the first time I had noticed and really gotten into Pixel Day. I made a couple little gifs just messing around, but nothing serious. Last year I didn't make anything but I was really inspired by the work of other people and vowed to make something for 2020. And now -- here we are! This year I'm submitting this game, World War Wizards. It's a game where you play as medieval fantasy characters and you kill Nazis with magic. Back in September I contacted GallowJolt and asked him to join the project with me. He agreed and proceeded to do a fantastic job making much of the art in the game and contribute heavily to the creation process, coming up with a lot of the ideas that are now in the game. We are quite proud of the result, and we hope you'll enjoy it too! Thanks for your time, and once again -

Happy Pixel Day!


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Posted by GoodL - October 29th, 2019


I haven't made a post on here in what feels like a pretty long time, and I figured I should briefly update this in case anyone wants to know what I'm up to. First up, I recently moved into a new house (that I am renting, ain't no way my millennial ass is buying a house) in which I've set up an entire room dedicated only to my creative projects. It's got my instruments, my recording equipment, my green screen, my computer and laptops, and everything I need to do the things I love to do. It's a huge step up for me from the set up I had before, and I'm hoping it will help me to be more productive.


In other news, I recently made a Twitch account, and last Sunday after recording the A Couple of Crickets episode featuring mrjoeyprosser I did my first stream on there playing one of my favorite games of all time, Vagante. I haven't worked out an exact schedule yet, but it is something I intend to start doing with some amount of regularity, so if you enjoy watching Twitch streams, keep an eye on me over there! You can find me at https://www.twitch.tv/gagegoodell or there is a link to it in my links section here.


I've also finally decided to get in on the e-begging bandwagon (gotta pay for this new house somehow) and made a Ko-fi. Any donations are very much appreciated, but I certainly don't expect anyone to feel obligated to give me their money.


I have a big to-be-announced project set to come out in January that I've put a lot of time into and I'm really looking forward to releasing. Stay tuned for more news on that.


Big thanks to everyone on here for the continued support, especially Tom Fulp, who I love talking about.


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5

Posted by GoodL - August 17th, 2019


This morning I woke up with a shiny new badge: Police Lieutenant. (I'm a tiny bit disappointed though, I thought Police Captain came after Police Sergeant so I thought I was almost done being a cop, but no. I'm stuck being a cop for a while.)


I also recently hit level 20! It's kinda cool, only a couple thousand people have done it before me, and there aren't many things I can say only a couple thousand people beat me to. I'm also working with a meaningful amount of vote power now, which is neat.


A big part of the reason I've grown my level and rank so much this year is A Couple of Crickets. If you don't know, @ACoupleOfCrickets is a podcast here on NG (and all major streaming platforms), about NG, for NG. I co-host it with @littlbox . It's a great way to keep up with the goings-on of Newgrounds, between site news, hidden gems on the portal, and artist interviews. The Crickets account is only 2 followers away from 100, so it would be real cool of ya to digitally stroll over there and click "Follow".


On the note of followers, I'm not too far from 200 myself! It's not a lot, but it's meaningful to me. Thanks to everyone over the years who decided I made something worth following. Especially a huge thanks to Tom, who followed me earlier this year after discovering A Couple Of Crickets, and who has been a big supporter of the podcast, which means the world to us.


Speaking of years, I've always felt like a newbie to this site, but I'm beginning to realize that, although I haven't been here nearly as long as the greats, I've been using NG for about 8 years now. I couldn't be happier to see the site continuing to grow. Newgrounds is by far the best place on the web, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it.


In other news, I recently downloaded Krita and have been trying to get into digital art. I still have a ton to learn and work on, but it has been really fun so far, and I appreciate everyone who has given me help and support through that, especially @TheDyingSun who inspired me to get Krita in the first place, and who has been giving me helpful tips along the way.


I think that's all, mostly just wanted to not-so-humbly brag about my rank and level, even if it isn't particularly exceptional.

Stay classy, NG.


Edit/Update: I also just got my stuff for participating in the Wick Editor Game Jam a few months back! Got a nice t-shirt, a bunch of stickers, and a lovely handwritten note from @luxapodular and @zrispo , to whom I'd like to apologize for getting a little salty there near the end of the jam. I was frustrated more with my own inability to make a functioning game than I was with anything else, and I definitely should have been more willing to take that blame. In any case, I very much appreciate the shirt and stickers, and the note says "We hope to see you during the next one!" to which I say, you certainly will. Cheers :)

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8

Posted by GoodL - July 5th, 2019


In case any of you missed it last time I posted about it, around a month ago I started doing a new podcast with some old friends of mine. It's called "Even More Sound", we talk about music. It's an album club, like a book club for albums, where we choose some albums to listen to based around some theme, listen to them for a few weeks, and then get together to talk about the albums and record the episodes.


The latest episode's theme was "Cars on the Cover". We talked about the Denzel Curry album ZUU, Kool Kieth's Sex Style, and Cake's B-Sides and Rarities. It was a fun one, and we also included some outtakes and the end.


If you like music discussion, and are looking for a new podcast to listen to, it might just be worth checking out! I've decided not to upload it to Newgrounds because it isn't NG-related at all, but you can find it on Anchor and Spotify. Here are some links:

Anchor

Spotify

Thanks, Newgrounds!

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Posted by GoodL - June 1st, 2019


Hey all, I just released the first episode of a new podcast I'm making with some old friends of mine. It is an album club (like a book club, for albums), where every few weeks we choose a couple albums based on some theme, we listen to them, and then we get together to talk about them. The podcast is called "Even More Sound", and if it sounds interesting to you, you can check it out here:

Anchor: https://anchor.fm/even-more-sound

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1yY7EEJ9sm27V4FZXdZtVr

The quality of the first episode is pretty poor because we had to compress the file way down to be able to upload it, but we've come up with a way to get around that for future episodes. Since it doesn't have anything to do with NG, I think I'm going to keep it off of here for now, but if there's interest here I'll consider it in the future. Happy listening, everyone! And thanks for stopping by :)

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