I HAVE BEEN ON NEWGROUNDS FOR 6 YEARS. If you’ve been paying attention to anything whatsoever, you already know that the past year has been very crazy. At this time last year was when we started development of Friday Night Funkin’. I wrote last years post, and then the Ludum Dare began the next day. Started workin on it with PhantomArcade, Kawaisprite, and evilsk8r, and the rest is sorta history. In the context of my Newgrounds experience, something FNF has brought a lot of these drastic changes to how I use and think about the site. Over the year I went from this little NG dipshit who loved Newgrounds, to uhhhh, the most followed person in the history of the website ever, with the most popular submission on the website ever. In the wise words of Kanye, “It’s hard to be humble when you stuntin’ on a jumbotron”. I try to be a good model Newgrounds citizen of sorts, I think most people who know me know I do have a lot of genuine appreciation for Newgrounds. I try to keep things cool and welcoming for the many new people who are joining Newgrounds. I don’t think that Newgrounds is some sacred place that needs protecting from weird newcomers, I think that people who join do so because of mostly genuine interest in the site and culture, and they’d want to be a part of it no less than anyone else. It’s been very cool and inspiring to see all the newcomers hop in recently. It is weird to think about the fact that by now, me and a lot of my friends are these Newgrounds veterans by now. Been around the block and know the site and what it’s about, and been through these different sorta era’s of NG lol.
When I say Friday Night Funkin’ happened because of Newgrounds, I feel like everyone knows that I mean it. It’s at the point with FNF that feels like it’s so wildly successful that it now feels impossible for anything to compare to, like some lightning in a bottle, survivorship bias type beat. I hope that rather than that, people look at FNF and see what’s POSSIBLE. FNF is a free, open source, Newgrounds rhythm web game, in an era when no huge giant hits have come out of Newgrounds web games. Even if people had a SLIVER of the success that FNF has had, say, 300,000 views or whatever. Just a few years ago, something like that feels like some crazy unrealistic expectation. And hey, maybe it still is, and my brain is just skewed. A game with a million views? Don’t even think about it. It can never happen…. Until it does.
Newgrounds isn’t past it’s golden age. People are still becoming a part of the site, thriving, and then becoming very successful in their creative endeavours. I don’t think those types of success stories have ever gone away. Even through the “darker ages” of the site, people like Miroko have worked on notable indie game projects like Gato Roboto, animators from the site have worked with Studio Yotta on major shows like Animaniacs, and Rick and Morty, and of course, AMONG US. With all that being said, I don’t want the take away being “use Newgrounds and you will be successful!”, obv that’s unrealistic. But I think what I’m aiming towards is that to this day, you can still thrive creatively, which can often lead to success. You can be dedicated to Newgrounds without feeling like you’re shooting yourself in the foot. You don’t need to slog through years of pandering to some weird algorithms on other sites until it magically blesses you, instead you can have genuine joy in being a part of a community, as you all inspire each other, collaborate, and become better creatives together. Feels like time has flown by since I joined Newgrounds, like I just woke up one day and I became a game designer, like I just magically learned how to make music. When I joined the site, I didn't know how to program, I didn't know how to make music, and I didn't know how to make art (I still don't lol). All that pretty much comes from years of using the site and just making projects with friends for fun on various whims. Even longer projects turn out to be just projects I decided to wake up and work on one day. The classic story of exactly 1 year ago, I wrote my 5 Years on NG post. I woke up next day around noon, saw that the Ludum Dare game jam was happening in a few hours, and decided to hit up some artists I knew to see who wanted to work on a game with me. I normally wouldn’t have considered him, but I only hit up PhantomArcade originally because he left a comment on my post I wrote saying that me and him should work on a game together again at some point, and I wanted to see if he’d put his money where his mouth is. Evilsk8r I didn’t even know until we started working on FNF, he was tossed my way from a mutual friend we have. But he did awesome ass art and seemed chill. And of course Kawaisprite was sorta my easy go to musician. He did music on Ritz and he still is one of my fav musicians on the site. The most viewed submission on Newgrounds ever came from a whim like that really. Of course we got lucky with everything, but certain successes I feel can be directly attributed to Newgrounds, whether it’s inspiration, our mindset, or the general supportive community we have. I don’t think there’s anything more special to me than when I posted some of the first ever preview vids of FNF, and a lot of the replies to the twitter thread was pals, and people from Newgrounds community genuinely proud of the work that we put into the game over that first weekend. We push FNF to be the best game it can be for us, but we push it to be the best for Newgrounds just as much I feel. Through and through, FNF is a pure NEWGROUNDS game, and that’s probably the thing we’re most proud of with it. Thank u all