Crazy to think I joined this website 10 years ago. It's probably the longest I've ever visited a website regularly. Over the years we've seen newgrounds change and grow, and the layout improve and many other changes. Newgrounds at first like most kids was my source of entertainment, funny stick death videos, parodys, silly games and games that you play when at school avoiding your work.
But over time that changed for me, I started learning Flash, after submitting my first crappy animations I made I felt a sense of achievement and pride in having people view what I just made and have people view, watch and rate it instantly. This made me strive to learn Flash better and improve to make games. Getting frontpaged on Newgrounds was a pipe dream I thought would take years.
As luck would have it within about a year one of my games hit the frontpage, all the way back in 2006, 10 years ago, wow! Draw-Play became an instant hit and went super viral across the internet. I couldn't believe the flood of reviews I got. Newgrounds gave me my first break as a Flash developer in the spotlight. By being frontpaged I got noticed as a developer and it spread like wildfire. I was also stunned I'd reached my goal so fast of being frontpaged that I had to set the bar higher. It only got me $400 at the time and I thought that was heaps when I was only 16, but I learn't to charge more.
So I got a little more serious and kept learning, I got my website up and running; Eggys Games. Then I made a few hit and misses. Smithys Quest and Nodes managed to do well again getting more viral attention. I also connected with sponsors and started making some real money. It soon started to turn into a job after school.
2008 I then began being a full time Flash Developer, I made good business partners with Armor Games who I think to this day are the best and fairest sponsor out there. I made a lot of great games in one year, My most proudest year, and made enough money to support myself full time. Knights Castle, Mouse Under Siege, Enigma, Battle Fish, Stickya Adventurya, The Egg, Draw-Play 3. Then my biggest and most successful game of them all was
The Unfair Platformer - With over 25million plays on the internet. It's made me close to $15,000. My best and most successful game yet. Still to this day brings me in some revenue each month. It's been youtubed by some famous people such as RoosterTeeth and Pewdiepie.
At this point, I aint gonna lie. I felt a little strange. I'd hit my pinnacle of goals, and for some reason it made me slow down a lot. Like my goal was reached and I didn't need to work as hard. This was indeed a big mistake. I did still make a few good games over the next few years like, The Infection, The Tower and my most soul crushing game at the time - Heaven and Hell
I had hit what they call the wall. I worked myself a little too hard at once and a combination of some bad personal things happening losing some friends I ended up with depression. The next few years I stopped game making altogether for 2 years. One of my biggest regrets. I still visited Newgrounds here and there but not as much as I used too for a while. It took me a long time to overcome. I worked a lot of different jobs and experimented in life with everything. It eventually took me a whole full circle back to game making.
I realised I just needed to set new goals and bring my game making higher and go for mobile and steam and learn new programs. Newgrounds has slowed down a little over the years, due to an increase in mobile games and steam however it's still one of the biggest source of creative developers starting out that I've ever seen, and without it I never would have got the big oppurtunity that I would have.
I'd like to personally thank Tom Fulp for making Newgrounds. You single handlely helped inspired young artists/developers/programmers to find there audience and gave them a perfect platform to begin starting a career and way to express their creativity. You also never lose touch of your users and reply when you can. Also thanks to all newgrounds staff as well. Castle Crashers is also a sweet console game to boot, so you know your website owner is just as good as a developer as us!
I urge anyone that can afford it to become a Supporter and help Newgrounds in a time when it's most needed. It's the least we can do for a website that gives so much back. In fact I was able to pay for the upgrade out of Ad Revenue I've made from Newgrounds! it's the circle of life! :)
Other great people I've been inspired by here are
Bom-Toons - Makes great games and has killer artwork. He also donated me a large amount of money when I was in a tough spot and still refuses to let me pay him back! Truly great person.
Jmtb02, Wiesi, BlueBaby - Constitently make very great games. I'm a big fan and have been inspired by them.
ParagonX9, MaestroRage - Make some of the best game music on Newgrounds. I've frequently used their songs in my games and they truly give your games ambience and a whole new light.
BezerkStudio - Probably the biggest one to keep your eye on. They've been making some great works the last few years and keep impressing me with their creativity.
As for the future, after getting my life sorted and got 2 jobs I still work on Flash as a hobby, I've got some of my first games of mobile now, like Last Egg Alive on Android which startd off as a Flash Game here. I made my return also with Eggys Death Chamber. I'm also working on a bigger multiplayer game that will be the first time I've ever done something like it, so stay tuned.
Heres to 10 years! *drinks* Cheers and lets hope to another 10 years!
(10 years and I'm still level 42 damn it, Slowest RPG game I've ever played!)