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So, I can finally make that post I wanted to for the last month.
For those who had not been following, I was contacted by Nexon, the company behind the online game "MapleStory" to create a cartoon for what would become a monthly news-blog about their company and games. While I might be criticized for this choice later, when I stopped laughing and realized they were serious I started to see this as a great opportunity to reach out to lots of gamers and elaborate on many of the themes I explored nearly a year ago including "moderation," and "be nice to others." I finished the first episode before Christmas, and I am proud to say that it is finally online. The whole "Babber Box" (as they call it) is about 30 minutes long, and you can find a snippet of the cartoon at about the 15 minute mark.
Of course, (i guess for time reasons) the whole cartoon was uploaded separately at this link:
As you can see, the style and art is very similar to the game, but I had to make some changes so that they are a bit easier to animate. This episode was intended to set up the main characters including the return of everyone's favorite fool "Michea." My goal is to follow their misadventures and pick apart all of the weird behavior, logic holes, and funny practices found not just in MapleStory, but in most online games. If I can start a "be-nice-to-noobs" revolution (coming in episode 3), then this will be well worth it for me *smile
So check it out and let me know what you think.
Hypocrites Anonymous called. They just heard the latest news. (check my previous post for some back-info)
Yup, after a little deliberation, I have decided to accept a contract to make what might become a series of animated films for Nexon, the owners of the online game Maple Story. While this is well worn territory for me, it's a path that I had to think long and hard about taking again.
You see, it's no huge secret that I'm not the biggest fan of Maple Story, but when they told me that I could basically make the cartoons anyway I wanted (including riffs on MS and gaming in general) I realized that I probably would never get another opportunity like this again. Millions of built in fans offer quite a large soapbox.
So, what you see here are the major four characters as they will appear in the first episode. I will return for my lovable role as the fool Michea, but the other three characters are new. Left to right, Amara is the no nonsense one, Len is a naive NPC come-to-life who doesn't know she's in a game, and Chance is the everyman (at least for now). I played a bit with the proportions since in-game all the characters have the same height and girth, and I also changed the colors to make it more cartoony.
So here are the details. I am animating a 4 minute cartoon for them that should be done and online during X-mas break. From there on if they like it, I will be doing one a month till they realize they have made a mistake.
Let me cut to the chase.
A few weeks back I was contacted by a representative from Nexon concerning the trilogy of Maple Story films I made two years ago. (for those unaware, Nexon runs Maple Story) While I braced myself for news of a legal suit or worse, it turns out they really liked them. REALLY? And they want me to make more for them... Seriously!
Longer story very short - they LIKED the fact that I parody the worst aspects of online gaming and want me to make more humor based films to highlight those problems and possibly give suggestions on how to improve the community. It might be selling out - but an arrangement like this might just be worth it. (it's still in the beginning phases)
So this is where I need YOUR help. Possible Maple fans/haters:
What aspects of ALL online games do you think would make for good subjects to cover in these new films? What drives you mad about online games and their communities? What makes you giggle with happiness? Why do you play online games? If you play Maple Story, why that game over another?
Please help me out by leaving a topic, suggestion, or comment. If you don't want to leave it in the comments section, please message it to me. And thanks!
If you clicked here expecting some kind of big announcement. I am sorry. Because there is none. To be honest, I'm only updating this page to get rid of the last news-post made back in March.
Now, that's not to say that in the last few months I haven't had some inclination to ACTUALLY do something... I just never got around to it. Some days I wonder how the big NG animators do it? Making films AND living life. Oh well.
School starts next Wednesday around here, and I am busy getting my classroom together for the yet impending throng of children. While work will probably eat up a lot of my time now, it strangely also puts me back on a productive cycle of sleep/work/draw/sleep. So, that's not a promise - but I may find myself in the creative mood again soon.
PS. to those great voice actors who lent me your talent nearly a year ago - know that I really regret not working on "One Wish," but several existential crisis kept getting in the way. One day, I hope to pay you back for your hard work, but as of now - I'm not sure when/or/if I am going to return to that project. Sorry.
Last month, you may remember my film The Only Thing I Know. In it, I spoke of my life as a videogamer and the decisions I made over 20 years. Shortly after that, I was astonished when I was told that I won the Gametrailers.com 2010 Gaming Resolutions contest. I've made the following video to thank everyone for their support and update you all on what has been happening since.
First off, I would like to thank you all so much for your support, and thank you Gametrailers.com for the honor of allowing me to do something so meaningful. Because of all of you, I was not only able to share my message with thousands, but I was also able to donate 98 new children's books to the African Library Project on behalf of the students at my school. Check them out at http://www.africanlibraryproject.org/
This whole last month has been a real learning experience for me. Not only have I learned a lot about myself, but also about how I allow others opinions and comments effect me. I knew I was going to need thick-skin to share a message like this online, but I have been blown away by all the wonderful comments, messages and emails people from around the world have been sharing with me. This truly has been the most meaningful film I have ever made, and I want to thank Tom and everyone at Newgrounds for being so open and thoughtful. Will we all agree? Never... But I'm glad to be part of this community.
PS. I'm still planning on going to PAX in Boston this next weekend, so if you will be there too, PM me and let me know =)
I just found out that my film "The Only Thing I Know" WON the 2010 Gamer's Resolution Competition over at Gametrailers.com! I've already collected the $500 to Amazon and will be going shopping this weekend for the biggest box of children's books I can buy to ship to my school's partner school in Africa!!!
I am so honored, and I want to thank Gametrailers for supporting a film with such a unique message, and ALSO to all of YOU who helped support me and have shared such wonderful stories with me over this last week. I've tried to answer every email and read as many of the comments as I could (2,000 is a lot!) and because of you and the way you all have reached out to me has made this film the most meaningful I have ever made!
Thank you so much!
First off, I am very happy so far with the reaction to this film on Newgrounds and Youtube. While I know there will be many who don't subscribe to my opinions, I wanted to take a second to speak deeper to something that I wish I had articulated more in the film.
Video gaming for me was the escape from social anxiety. (as I am certain it is for many other people)
This is how the circle begins. A socially anxious child avoids social situations and thus, never grows as a social being capable of making friends, talking with others, or reading social contexts in situations. Videogames offer an avoidance, and in some cases, gives reinforcing rewards. The cycle of avoiding and gaming continues until the child has fallen so far behind socially, that their fear ultimately keeps them from ever feeling like they can catch up, and they retreat completely to their shelter addiction.
This is not so much about videogames as it is about ANY activity that keeps you from making meaningful social connections.
Example, Billy was so scared of leaving his room, that he dedicated himself to painting. He made the most wonderful paintings, became famous, but lived alone and shyed away from human contact. There have been many artists like this, and although we would argue that they torture themselves for their art, they ultimately live incomplete lives due to fear.
So, thats the point that never had time to make in the film. Anyway. Thank you for your interest, and please, let me know what you think and please spread this film to anyone you feel would enjoy watching it. Thanks!
In an attempt to bring some new talent into my animations, I've decided to hold an open casting call for voice actors for my next film. I've decided that my next film will be a small simple project, but I've written a lot of meaning into it. You can find the script at www.brianschmoyer.com/onewish.doc
What I am looking for are volunteer voice actors and actresses who fit the following 3 criteria. 1. You must own your own recording tools and will be able to send me .wavs or .mp3s of high quality, noise free recordings. 2. You must have a dynamic voice that fits the character and shows tonal inflections and emotions when called for. And 3. the voice must be AUTHENTIC. I am not looking for crazy accents or cartoon voices for this film. They must sound like real humans.
Jae (boy) adventurous, brash, towards end will have to be forceful and mean
Saul (boy) shy, a bit funny
Rain (girl) quiet, reflective, a bit lighter than Merona
Merona (girl) strong
Elder (man or woman) older, not cranky but wise
Mother (woman) older, caring but weak health
If you are interested, record a small sample of the character of your choice (keep in mind the mother and elder are not pictured but I will need people for them too) and email it too me. I will continue the search until I have all roles filled. Thanks!
WHAT TO DO: pick a character or two and record a sample of what you think they would sound like. 2-3 lines or more if you want. Then email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll email you back with my impressions and if changes need to be made etc.. By the end of the week, I hope to be finalizing the cast, so lets say Friday as a deadline.
Thought I'd wish everyone a happy holidays Newground's style! Besides, we all know X-Mas is all about scoring epic gear anyway! And remember, if you don't get a PS3 it is perfectly legal to act like an ass towards your loved ones =)
Time flies quickly in this new millennium and this month marks the 10th anniversary of my art website CirrusEpix! To mark the event, I am overhauling the whole website this month as well as hosting a "Friend Appreciation Month" art project over at my Deviant Art page.
I have always felt that I don't deserve such loyal fans of my work, so to pay you all back for your kind words of encouragement over the years, I am offering "friend/fan" drawings to as many of you as I can during this month. Simply put, stop on by and post a picture of yourself, or an original character of yours and I will draw it for you in my own style. There are a few details, but you can read more about them here cirrusepix.deviantart.com. If your not a member of deviant art, you can always email me.
Thank you! And here is to 10 more wonderful years!
PS, here is a picture of a random girl and a monkey. Read more about it on my DA page!