Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! It’s been a pretty solid year for Shamoozal, especially in the final days of 2012. Before I continue, I whipped up the video above today to showcase the version of the Fairy’s Theme from Link’s Triumph that Joe had wrote. There were a fair amount of requests to hear the whole thing, so I decided to put this together. I’ve included some conceptual art and early animation to go along with the music.

Anyway, these last few days have been pretty crazy. I can’t really put into words how it feels to see Link’s Triumph featured on so many large media outlets. Seeing the short grace sites like Kotaku, ScrewAttack, Destructoid, MTV, and GameInformer is pretty surreal. I’ve had a touch of that when ‘How to Hook Up the NES’ first launched, but never at this scale.

What I really like about this short is the trickle down effect that is happening with some of my earlier shorts. I’ve explained before how I was extremely let down by the performance of ‘Take a Key for Coming In’ but it’s experiencing a slight come back thanks to ‘Link’s Triumph.’ It is still by far the lowest viewed episode of Read Only Memory, but at least it’s starting to catch up to the others. The Shamoozal YouTube channel has also seen it’s subscribers almost double since last Thursday. It’s been a heck of a week to say the least. Of course there is still plenty of room to grow, but this feels like a step in the right direction.

Speaking of YouTube, I spent this year really trying to grow that channel. Starting with ‘Contra with 2 Players’ back in April I’ve actually managed to create 14 videos for the channel. Considering I had no new videos for an entire year, I’d say that’s pretty good. I think I’ve done a fairly good job coming up with supplemental videos in between the shorts like ‘This is the Part Where I Draw’ and the Postmortem videos to where I hope I’m engaging at least a few people.

We’ve been doing this Shamoozal thing for a very long time now. It has always been an extremely slow burn for us. 2012 saw a very big restructuring in the way I’m trying to get things done around here and I feel like I’m finally, FINALLY starting to see some of the benefits.

So what does 2013 hold for Shamoozal? I can’t really say for sure. Do know that ROM Vol. 2 will be coming in the next month or so. If not by the end of this month than by February for certain. As for what project I’m working on after that? I don’t know. I want to do something new. People will want me to make more video game cartoons and you know, maybe I will, I can’t say no for sure, but I do know it’s time to branch out again. I miss doing our own original work. I want to create something new. Whether or not it’s just some one off cartoon and I come up with some entire series is up in the air. I have one idea I’ve been kicking around for years now and it’s starting to look like the right time to jump into it. I can’t promise the output of videos/cartoons for 2013. I might end up with 1 cartoon for the entire year, I just don’t know. I just know I’m over 30 now. I can’t be sitting around making video game parodies all day. Right?

Regardless of what happens at least 2013 is starting off on the right foot. The trick is to just keep busy and to not give up. Working really is the key and it always will be. There have been times where I’ve wanted to veg out and play a video game all night and I didn’t. I shrugged it off and worked. There were nights where I was invited to go out and be social and I didn’t leave the house. I just kept on working. Of course sometimes I need those breaks and take them so I don’t burn out, but I always need to press on with this stuff. Hopefully I keep that mentality and 2013 proves to be even bigger than 2012.

‘Link’s Triumph’ has arrived!

Does anyone even read this anymore? I can’t believe I haven’t updated it since Candy Corns 2. I’ve actually had a couple of Where I Draw and Postmortem videos in between Candy Corns 2 and now. Sorry. I guess I’ve kind of let the Dot Com part of Shamoozal dry up a bit. I suppose people can’t even answer my question of whether or not they read this anymore since comments have been closed. Too many stinking spam bots just junking everything up and I don’t have time to moderate that sort of stuff like I used to.

So yeah, Link’s Triumph. Working my ass off to get this thing complete before the end of the year and I succeeded. I am glad it’s over because this short has done a number on my mentally and physically. Totally taking a few weeks break away from doing any animation and it’s time to get back into a regular exercise routine. I’m not kidding when I say I feel completely exhausted. Between this and the Holidays it has been insane to say the least.

Oh, so I guess I should talk about the cartoon huh? So this short is about the moment in The Legend of Zelda where Link fights the first boss in the first dungeon of the game. The goal was to show how an inexperienced and ill equipped Link would go about fumbling through this situation, and perhaps gaining a bit of confidence along the way. I got Joe on board for the first time in a ROM episode and I think it really shows through. The audio on this cartoon is great, and it doesn’t look too shabby either. I really tried to up my game a bit here and pull out all the stops. I even used After Effects on certain scenes.

I have high hopes for this short and I’ll admittedly be kind of upset if it tanks like the previous two shorts have (not that I expected much from Candy Corns 2). Now it’s time to start putting together the compilation short, ROM Vol 2. After that, who knows what the future holds. I have a few ideas I’m kicking around.

Also, I’ll be at MAGFest next week. I’ll be hanging out at the Elder-Geek table for a good portion of Saturday the 5th. I’ll be there on Friday as well, but I’ll be in full “business” mode on Saturday. I’ll be doing some sketches and what not, so if you happen to be going to MAGFest, please stop by and say hello. I’ll post more about MAGFest next week.

Anyway, hope you guys like the short. I really tried my best here.

Grey and Jacquo return with Candy Corns 2! Other stuff as well

Could it be?

So this was kind of a weird thing that happened. I was working on the Zelda cartoon and took a minute to stop and do some doodles. I ended up drawing a few pictures of Grey. At some point I thought “What if I made a Candy Corns 2?” just for the sake of making a stupid sequel and bringing the characters out of retirement. That night I had actually wrote the episode and recorded the dialogue. I thought if I didn’t commit it just wouldn’t happen. The next thing you know I’m in full blown Candy Corns 2 mode. I was going to use the original theme song, but I talked to Joe about doing sound and he wanted to redo the theme. Next thing you know I’m over his place rerecording the audio, and we have a new theme song. As for the look, my first instinct was to use the models of Grey and Jacquo from GFG, though I even considered going back to the original designs. Instead, I wanted to do the entire short by hand, and so I did, hence the reason the characters look different. I wanted to get the short done by the start of this month, and I succeeded. I’ll tell you what, it’s ALWAYS more work than I anticipate. I worked my ass off this month to get this thing done.

This short isn’t going to light the world on fire. I made it because, one I wanted to, and two for the few fans that wanted to see that these two characters have been up to, which apparently isn’t much. This is the first time in four years that Grey has been in a short and the first time they’ve been in a short together. Fucking crazy.

I missed updating the Nerdlog last month, so here is an episode of This is the Part Where I Draw. I did the TMNT this time as I was getting pumped for the new show, and rightfully so, it’s quite good!

I plan on doing a Grey & Jacquo episode of Where I Draw this week to celebrate Candy Corns 2. Now back to working on Zelda. I’m aiming for December, but we’ll see!

“This is the Part Where I Draw” Video Series

So check it, I made a “new” video series. Well, I sort of did anyway. See the post about the Ghosts N Goblins art below? I decided to take that idea a step further and add a bit more to it so I could make a video series out of doing drawings. I decided to (ridiculously) call it “This is the Part Where I Draw.” The title is so stupid I call it the wrong thing every single time during my own video. At least the title logo is correct!

Anyway, the idea here, as explained in the video, is that I’m still doing a “live” drawing and still throwing it up onto eBay afterward. However I sped up the footage, recorded some audio over top of it, and added a little intro footage so that I could make it a legit “series.” The idea is to hopefully do one of these every other week. I’m going to try and aim for the Thursday nights in between episodes of Elder-Geek Game Club. I’ll be drawing whatever I damn well feel like it, though I may even take requests! I decided to choose “Nintendo Power” this time as I’ve been kinda sad to see it go.

Also, I don’t think I ever posted this on the Nerdlog, but I did another Postmortem video too, this time on Pizza Links. I’m thinking the Postmortem videos might get a bit of an intro added to them for the next time too. Now that I realized I can make custom video title cards I also want to make one for these so I can remove my big dumb face from the thumbnails.

I’ve really been trying to beef up the Shamoozal YouTube channel, but in a way where the time I’m able to spend on the shorts isn’t compromised. There was certainly some setup time in getting this first episode of Where I Draw put together, but now that most of the kinks are worked out they shouldn’t be too rough to put together. Hope you like them.

Take A Drawing for Coming eBay

During the development of ‘Take a Key for Coming In’ I had the idea of doing a bit of artwork to tie in with the short. I’d record myself drawing the artwork and then put it up for auction on eBay. So last night, that’s what I did!

You can bid on it here if you wish!

This is a bit of a test, just to see if it’s a worth while avenue to look into. Off the bat, I can tell you that unless the bidding on this item magically takes off (it won’t) that I’m not setting out to do this for money. If I sell the artwork at 10 dollars, most of that goes to eBay, PayPal and shipping fees. Considering it took me a night to put together the entire feature (between drawing the art, recording, editing the video and listing the item), well, it’s not exactly worth the remaining money that’s left. So this is more of a cross promotional thing. Despite how it goes this round, I will still likely do one of these for the next episode of ROM. Also, the few views the video itself has gotten, nearly all of those views have translated to a look at the actual eBay listing, so that’s encouraging to see.

If I may so be a grump for a moment, boy, ‘Take a Key for Coming In’ sure has limped along this weekend. It is easily the lowest debuting episode of Read Only Memory ever. Considering the amount of time and effort that went into the short, I consider this to be a flop. I knew I was taking a chance with this one, but I didn’t expect to be taking THAT much of a chance. It has completely failed to find an audience at this point. I was hoping that an upload to Newgrounds would help even things out, but it even seems to be having trouble over there. This is the internet, things could turn around, hell ‘Pizza Links’ got more popular than ever a year after its release, but as of now it’s just what it is. I’ll go more into why I think things have turned out this way in the Postmortem video for the short that I’ll put together in a few weeks. That said, I think I did nice work for this short, and technically it is the slickest piece of ROM that’s out there.

‘Take a Key for Coming In’ is ready to… come in.

Can’t believe I haven’t updated the Nerdlog since the Contra Post Mortem video. Yikes! I had kept meaning to update it with lots of art and progress about the latest episode of Read Only Memory, but I just never ended up doing so. Well I waited so long that I can just update with the final video itself. Hooray for me.

So this short is obviously based off Ghosts ‘N Goblins. Shit, I love me some GnG, and working on this short really got me back into the series. During the time I was working on this I bought Ghouls ‘N Ghosts on Genesis, and have played the Arcade versions a few times too. I’ve also listened to tons of GnG series music, both in keeping with the spirit while working on it and to figure out what music I wanted to use.

I apologize if your knowledge of GnG is very minimal, watch this video, and have no idea what you just saw. With most episodes of ROM, I usually try and open them up a bit so that maybe someone not familiar with the games they are based on can enjoy them. With this episode, I just wanted to make a nice tribute to GnG and to tell the story I wanted to tell meant that I needed to exclude people unfamiliar with the series. It was a tough choice to make, especially with the amount of work that needed to go into it, but I’m glad I did so.

I was really worried at first if this short would be hard to follow. Switching back and forth between a past and present and telling a story in 45 seconds is a lot for a brain to process I think. When I decided that the short would be more of silent film (I was originally going to do narration) things became much more clear to follow.

Also, as you can see there is zero humor in this short as well. I believe this is the first Shamoozal short I’ve done without any jokes. I pretty much did so for the simple fact that I wanted to make something different for a change. GnG is not a humorless series of course, I mean Arthur gets thrown into his boxer shorts every five seconds, and turned into a duck or baby throughout his quest. I wanted to show armor less Arthur here, but I tried very hard not to make it funny. I hope that came through.

This is also the first short I worked on where I dealt with violence. I did everything I could to not show red blood. It would be easy to go into something like this and make it a blood bath, but I still wanted to stay in the PG-13 territory.

So there it is, another episode of ROM down and another one to go. Zelda is up next. It’s going to be brutal!

‘Contra with Friends’ Post Mortem

Been a while since I updated! Of course I fell behind on the next short, which I address in the above video.

Since we don’t really do the podcast anymore, I decided to do a bit of a video postmortem about the last short. I thought this was going to be a 10 minute video and I ended up rambling for nearly 20! If you enjoyed this and would like to see more videos like this after I wrap up shorts, let me know.

Of course I thought this would be a quick video to put together. I actually put it together a few nights ago, but I had a bunch of encoding issues on the off screen footage I recorded. It turned out to be a big hassle, but at least I know what to do now.

Old episodes & other odds and ends

Been meaning to update the blog on several different occasions over the last few weeks and never got around to it. The result is an entry that is a bit of a hodgepodge of info, so here we go. First up, I added some old Shamoozal episodes to YouTube that have been missing from the site for a while.

Above is a video for Guitar Zero, Shelved, and Stroopid Test. There is about a three minute intro before the episodes where I fill everyone in on a brief history of them. From the YouTube comments, it seems like maybe I shouldn’t have done this, but I thought it would be a fun test to offer some insight into these old shorts. I’m thinking of doing some other videos similar to this one, for example, I want to do post-mortem on my shorts. I was actually thinking of putting a Contra one together this weekend, just discussing what went into the short, and how I felt about the end product. I want to try and update the YT channel more often, so I’m trying to come up with some other supplemental material while I make progress on the cartoons.

Also, this weekend I got to head over to the Newgrounds offices in PA and meet the Newgrounds staff as well as a bunch of their top artists. I have briefly met Tom Fulp before in the past, but it was nice to get the chance to meet him again. I have met Egoraptor a handful of times as well, but Saturday was the first time we were actually able to spend a good deal of time together. It was also nice to meet guys like Happy Harry, OneyNG, Rubberninja, Jazza, AfroNinja, and The Swain. There is something so weird about meeting people whose work you’re familiar with. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s a surreal experience every time. The NG offices were awesome, it seriously looks like one of the coolest places to work at. At one point the lot of us invaded a retro gaming store that was in walking distance from the office which was great. I ended up buying a copy of The Legend of Zelda for the Famicom Disk system. Getting to meet all those dudes, hanging with some old friends, stuffing my face with food and drink, and buying Zelda easily made for one of the better weekends I’ve had recently!

Back to reality though, the shorts! So I’ve been working on my latest one which is about Ghosts N’ Goblins. I have most of the extremely rough animation done. I should be wrapping that up in the next few days. After that, it’s onto clean up (which will probably be a bit sloppy in order to get this thing actually done), coloring, and of course backgrounds. So, lots of work to be done yet. What I can say about this short is that it’s going to be pretty much joke free. I want to do something a bit different with this one. I don’t want to say this short is “serious” and “dark”, just more that I want to tell a story. I mean, I guess it’s serious, but well, as serious as I’m willing to let it get, if that makes sense. I just always make cartoons with humor behind them and I’m always trying to think of funny endings. This time I just wanted to make something that just tells a simple story, and honestly, just see if I’m capable of pulling off something different. So we’ll see how that goes. I think GnG fans will appreciate it, and I hope to make some really nice looking scenes. So, we’ll see! I’ll start sharing some of that stuff as it gets to a more finished state.

So there you have it. Until next time!