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I cant believe it has been a full year since I last made a news post here, but I guess with 2015 coming to a close now is as good a time as any.
ANIMATION ONLINE is obviously were I have spent the best part of the last 11 years focusing my time, and this year has seemed to be a very vocal year about it.
Personally, its not really a scene I feel I am attached to anymore. The last couple of years have seen all the animators who moved to Youtube complain about how hard Youtubes changes have made it for them after a couple of years of sustainable income. These same people refuse to submit content to sites like Newgrounds because they are afraid of splintering their viewerbase, cant because of contracts with MCN's or just simply dont care anymore. Its all been very negative no matter which way you look at it. Or they just give up and make Lets Plays. EVEN I TRIED IT! (and had fun with it outside of all the time wasted rendering)
This year was the year I stopped watching "internet cartoons" (and making them apprerently as I only released 2 shorts, and one was a remake of a short from 2004...). I unsubscribed to almost every animator I was following on Youtube (and even had a massive dispute with Frederator that allowed me to exit my contract 6 months early in exchange for all my ad revenue, which I gave them happily to break free from there clutches), and... Well to be honest, despite posting my work here, I dont ever really watch content here on Newgrounds either (I do still occasionally check out games however). I think the site is EASILY the best it has ever been, but content that interests me just never really gets uploaded here. This feels especially aweful to admit after being featured on front page so much more in recent years. Its something I really appreciate, but my videos tend to do so poorly regardless I always feel bad about it, like that front page spot could and SHOULD go to a video that will generate ad revenue for the site.
Rather then complain about these things however, I think it was time I admitted to myself, im not a teenager anymore. The real problem with cartoons in recent years is the content, its all the same stuff as me and my friends were making 10 years ago. For a long time I thought that was a bad thing, but for some reason it never really occured to me that there are constantly new kids and teenagers watching this stuff, hearing these jokes and seeing these shorts for the first time. It all just comes down to the fact that I feel like I have outgrown everything that the Newgrounds and Youtube animation scenes have to offer, it is time to move on and leave all this stuff to a new generation of creators. It all feels very hollow and creatively bankrupt to me, but im sure if I was 30 years old back in 2004 when I started making web content I would have felt the same way. Of course it feels stale to me! Ive been seeing this stuff over and over for 10 years. Its not made for people like me. Its made for people with fresh eyes. These days I spend a lot of time watching original animated content on Vimeo, stuff that isnt for everyone, but its what im interested in, and its just not content I can find anywhere else. (Remember when people posted content like this a lot? Its a shame this sort of thing is so rare now)
I plan on spending 2016 on 2 projects. One short game and one short film. Making the move to television animation (which happened last year to those in the know) means I am working rediculous hours for very little pay, but the work is fullfilling which while fantastic in its own right, has taken away much of the drive to create my own content I had left, so I want to keep things simple.
If I can get the short film finished in 2016, I am hoping I can get it to cerculating the short film and animation film festival cercuit for a year and it should see a release here on newgrounds in 2018 once the festival cercuit is done. It will be a very heavily expanded version of what I attempted with last years short White Eyes, applying all the technical knowledge I have learnt since starting in Television animation as a compositing artist.
The game on the other hand, I fully expect to release here. This isnt the project I uploaded a trailer for last month, but a much smaller project that will hopefully work as a learning tool for that bigger Shooty and the Catfish project. It will be a visual novel or sorts and is being developed with RPG Maker MV. Something I know now supports HTML5 export, but I dont know exactly if anyone has attempted to upload any games built in the engine to this site yet (know of any examples Tom?). Its an interactive short story based around the story of the Flatwoods Monster. No ETA on it yet, but its already got parts of it completed.
In the end, I guess the real reason I wanted to make this post is because I have had a large number of animator friends come up to me in the last week and tell me how terrible a year they have had, or jealous of the success of other animators who focus on making video game content or parodies or whatever else. Im tired of it, I dont know why your all coming to me, im as washed up as washed up gets, but I can tell you why you feel like you had a crap year. Its because you were trying to make content for everyone but yourself. You were all so obessed with views and how many subscribers or followers it would get you that you forgot to make something you genuinely cared about or were passionate about. I know because I did the exact same thing.
Its not a mistake I will be making again.