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Today marks the 10th anniversary of the day I registered my Newgrounds account. I happened to remember that by chance so I should make the most of it and post something here!!

A lot of things have changed. Me, Newgrounds, the Internet, the world, lots of things. But a lot has stayed the same too. The best way to ensure a bright future is to keep hold of what matters most while always having an open mind to new ideas and experiences. I think I've stayed true to that, more or less.

With the way the Internet is changing, I wonder what will become of Newgrounds in the next 10 or 20 years. All the recent news about horrible Flash insecurities and exploits is just adding to the writing on the wall about its dubious future. I have no doubt NG will be around for a long time, since it's the users and their creativity that keeps this place chugging along. I do wonder what will become of 15+ years of old Flash content though...is there a chance browsers and Adobe will discontinue Flash altogether someday?

Despite this, I'm plenty excited for what the future brings. For every door that closes another one opens, or something like that. And things are changing because they're getting better, or at least we have to work at it to make it better. This goes for more than just NG, of course.

I don't have much more to say, and I want to post this before midnight (3 minutes away!), so I'll just leave it at this. I'm glad NG has been a part of my life, and I hope it can stay that way for a long time. :)


20 years...

2015-04-25 23:38:23 by mr-johnson22

"I added a new section called The Portal. It's not really a full feature, but it is pretty weird. It sends you to random little mini-sites. Watch for it to keep growing." (Tom on the NG front page, November 1998)

It's pretty unbelievable how long Newgrounds has been around for. Sure, it's vastly different than what it was in its early years (which is for the best, really), but it's hard to find another example of any website / internet presence that has had the same dedicated creative force(s) behind it for as long a time as Newgrounds has.

I discovered this site in Grade 3 or 4, through a friend of my brother's, and it rocked my world. NG has always been a part of my life since, and I hope it can stay that way. Little did I know it would be a big part in shaping me into the person I am today, for better or for worse. ;)

So before the night is through, I just want to say thanks. Thanks to Tom, the whole NG crew past and present, and Everyone, through whose efforts something special was begotten.


Happy New(ish) Year

2015-01-25 11:43:04 by mr-johnson22

So I haven't made a post for a while, nor did I end up submitting anything for all of 2014 despite my hopes of having at least one submission a year. I can't say I'm too happy about that; the me from 1.5 years ago had expected myself to get in the hang of things of by now, but the reality is that there's a lot to learn. This is a good thing though! I've been learning a lot in the past while, be it through Ludum Dare attempts or picking up new frameworks/languages & tools, and even though I haven't finished anything lately I feel as though I've grown a lot. It also just so happens that Real Life Events (i.e. university) have been a huge help as well; I don't want to delve too much into it but I will say that I'm ridiculously fortunate to be working on some cool software/gamedev projects, none of which will see the light of day on NG but have/could have a life of their own elsewhere, and they're definitely helping me become a better developer.

So, to whoever ends up reading this, know that I'm not just sitting around! My submission activity may be sparse but I hope to change that in the coming years.


Ludum Dare Aftermath

2014-05-01 20:45:37 by mr-johnson22

So LD happened. And what's this? I didn't submit a game to NG over the weekend? No, I didn't forfeit; I'm just holding off submitting my game to NG for a while, at least until I...er, clean it up a little.

I'm still happy (to a degree) with the result, so don't worry. For more info, read my blog post about the game on the LD site here, because I don't feel like writing it all out again. :P


Ludum Dare 29

2014-04-23 22:53:37 by mr-johnson22

After having taken it easy for a while, I've decided to participate in the latest Ludum Dare! (My main blog post is here.) I'll be submitting the finished result to NG, as I'm sure many others will be doing as well, as usual.

I've also been tinkering with FlashPunk lately, and will be using it in this jam. I've really come to appreciate the many time- and sanity-saving benefits provided by using a solid framework/engine (even if it did take a bit of tweaking to set it to my liking).

Hopefully this will go better than my last (first?) jam, which was admittedly a lot of fun & very educational, but also extremely stressful. Thankfully, I'm going solo this time, so now I'll have no one to let down but myself! That's gotta help, right?? <:D

Good luck to everyone participating!



So it turns out there were a number of problems with Super Polytris (which you can play here: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/631244), ranging from bugs to design oversights, and API features that just plain didn't work! So I've spent the time to fix them.

Below is a list of most of the big (ie noticable) changes I made. I'm documenting them for 1) anyone who cares to know what was changed, and 2) to share the lessons I learned about using the Newgrounds API. Considering there are a lot of gaping holes in the API's documentation, I figure it's a good idea for me to share what I now know so someone can hopefully learn from my mistakes.

-Dumb Bug #1: Local high scores are now always saved, not just when you submit them to a leaderboard. I didn't even know this was a problem until today (!) -- I had score saving working ages ago, but I recently made a "fix" somewhere that turned it off, and never tested saving again. In other words, I suck at debugging. SORRY :(

-Dumb Bugs #2&3: The game no longer crashes when you lose a life in a game of Fit Mode, or when you play a mode with a time limit of less than 10 seconds. I am very embarrased. :(((

-Tweak #1: Rotating pieces is now a bit closer to actual Tetris; S & Z pieces rotate in the same way they do in the original. Just line pieces rotate a bit differently but I bet (hope) you won't even notice.

-Tweak #2: Rotating pieces with "Centre Rotate" turned off now works a lot better, as pieces will rotate around a single tile rather than doing whatever they did before.

-API Fix #1: Clicking on a Shared Mode on the game's submission page actually does something now! The game will now launch in the Usermode Select screen with that mode selected. The reason this never worked in the first place is because I thought that a mode on the page that's clicked on (a SaveFile in the API) would be loaded when the game launches, but that's not the case. Instead, the webpage injects the .swf with special values, called "flashvars", named "NewgroundsAPI_SaveFileID" and "NewgroundsAPI_SaveGroupID" that contain the info needed.

Check out this article to learn more about flashvars: http://helpx.adobe.com/flash/kb/pass-variables-swfs-flashvars.html

-API Fix #2: All modes now have their own WORKING leaderboards. The reason leaderboards didn't work before was because I had scores as part of a mode's data, and made it so that submitting your score simply overwrote the data of the shared mode. As a result, I learned the hard way that users can't overwrite any SaveFiles that aren't their own.

I didn't use the API's native scoreboard because I thought using them would limit the game to having a set number of leaderboards, rather than being able to have one for each mode. Well, it just so happens that there's a nigh-hidden "tag" feature in API scoreboards--it's possible to post a score with a specific tag, and to read in scores that match that tag. This means I was able to use a single scoreboard to store each mode's high scores, each with their own tag!

Regarding the API bugs, I was hoping that they were kinks that would be magically sorted out after the game was submitted & fully integrated in the site. Turns out, previewing your game with Newgrounds' Project System gives you an *extremely* accurate view of what to expect when your game is ready.

So, enjoy the new & improved game! And hopefully you learned something useful about the NG API.

PS: HUGE shout-outs to PsychoGoldfish, who not only worked on the API in the first place but was was kind enough to give me a hand in solving my API issues. He's the one who provided me with the info to make both of the API fixes I mentioned.


Another Year Past

2013-12-31 17:25:03 by mr-johnson22
Updated

Happy New Year everyone! Stay safe tonight. As now is the time to reflect on things, let's see what I wrote a year ago today:

"I've been working on a game for a ludicrously long amount of time...I'd really like to have it finished by January"

PFFFFFTHAHAHAHA

So yes, I finally finished some dumb game I've been making. My goal was to have it submitted before the new year to have at least something for 2013, and what do you know it's Dec. 31 how about that.

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/631244

I really thought I ironed out any game-breaking bugs, but I learned the hard way that I did not. So as much as I wanted this thing to be slain, I'll be posting fixes to this until I can't find anything else to fix. :(

Also, like I promised a year ago, now that I finally have a solo game submitted here, I feel I should introduce myself. I'm a university student with a passion for game design, and I've always wanted to be a part of this site. Unfortunately I have a knack for taking my sweet ass-time to get things done, so my contributions to NG have been slim-pickin's considering I've been here since before I was a teenager. But that will hopefully change soon! I plan to participate in more Game Jams and work on projects with shorter time frames, so as to hopefully get better at game design/development and making sure my games work before I submit them.

PS: Special thanks to everyone behind the Newgrounds API, and also NoLanLabs for having ran into the same problem I found myself dealing with & Mike for finding a solution for it (and may it never have to happen again). Everything by Everyone, amirite???


Happy New Year

2012-12-31 12:42:47 by mr-johnson22

Another month, another submission. Unfortunately, my pile of old junk from which I'm drawing from to fuel these submissions is drawing dangerously thin. I would have liked to have made something holiday-related for this month, but a lack of time and ideas tends to hinder such actions.

Hopefully this will change by next year. Which begins TOMORROW! Hope everyone has a good and SAFE time tonight.

I've been working on a game for a ludicrously long amount of time. Rather, it's more accurate to say I *started* working on it a long time ago. I'd really like to have it finished by January, and considering I wanted to be finished since the summer, it's about time I got this thing done. Will it happen?? We'll see. Whenever it happens, expect a big post explaining who I am and what I intend to do here.


'Nother submission

2012-11-30 17:08:08 by mr-johnson22

Uploaded that song I mentioned last time. Made it in the nick of time!! (Today is the last day of November)!! What will the future hold for December? I have no idea! Hopefully by then I'll actually have time to do something cool.

And my last song has...downloads?? I haven't even been scouted yet. I wonder who's listening!


Happy Halloween!

2012-10-31 23:11:30 by mr-johnson22

Yeah, Halloween!!! It's really terrible that that storm had to happen and kind of spoil the mood.

To keep up with the 1-submission-per-month update schedule I unwisely decided to follow, and as a sort-of Halloween submission, I posted an old drawing from high school. Check it out!!! If you like.

PS: That song I mentioned last time will probably be my November submission. School is hard! D: