Only 3 days until the end of 2019. I'd like to use this moment to look back on what this year mean t for me on Newgrounds.
Productively it's been a great year. In terms of number of songs uploaded the best since 2015. Quality wise perhaps my best year ever. 10 songs released. 6 brand new ones. 4 remakes of older songs. Some more noteworthy than others. A few I had to remake several times during this year (especially the NGADM songs that were made under time pressure). But I think in the end they all turned out good in their own way.
The year started out great with pixel day. I released 4 songs. I didn't make the top 3, but I got frontpaged with 2 songs. Reached a lot of people, and got to listen to a lot of great chiptunes, pixel art, games and animations. My favorite event on NG and best pixel day so far.
Then I entered the NGADM, like I do every year. It's also one of my favorite events on NG. NGADM19 marked the 10th anniversary. and it was bigger than ever. I auditioned with one of the chiptunes I made earlier this year and almost didn't get in. Perhaps because there were so many contestants and there were so many great musicians too, some much better than I am. Still I can't help think my style often gets misunderstood. For instance judges are very divided about my production quality. Based on the critique I get I conclude many people simply don't get/like the bit crushed chiptune sounds and distorted tape samples I like to use because I hate a "clean" sound. I struggle a lot with what kind of songs to submit.
I made a lot of songs this year. Some got noticed. Others completely flew under the radar. Here a re a few I'd like to highlight:
This song I made for pixel day 2019. It received a lot of appreciation and even got frontpaged. When I used it as my audition for NGADM, the reception was exceptionally mixed, ranging from a 6.3/10 to 9.5/10. For production it got scores ranging from a 4/10 to 10/10.
This was super hard to write. It was intended as my entry for NGADM18, but it took me almost a year to finish this song. I'm happy with how it turned out, but upon release it completely fell flat.
This was my entry for the first round of NGADM19. It got a lot of listens and people said they liked it. The judge's scores were mixed however. Not as mixed as for my audition, but it scored lower on average. Lower than I expected. Some people saw the potential and perhaps that was all there was. Since then I made 2 remakes. This is the version I made 4 days ago, with re-recorded vocals and additional instruments to make it more bombastic near the end. Now it's finally finished and how it should have been in the first place.
My entry for the second round of the NGADM19. This is what happens when I desperately try to please the judges. The reviews were not as mixed this time. The average score was a bit higher than before, but nobody actually liked the song. I feel it's a little bland. Not bad but nothing stands out. I've improved on this song a bit since it was first released and made it more interesting.
This is my final song for 2019. A remake of a song I made for the NGADM13. I still like the chords and rhythm of that old song. Better than most of what I come up with nowadays. The sound could've been better and people complained a lot about the vocals. Finally got around to remake this. Used better samples and effects and re-recorded the vocals. With a lot of pitch correction I managed to make it not too unpleasant for the ears. Somehow this also got snowed under. Probably because of all of the great songs by the NGADM19 finalists that came out around the same time. Still worth a listen imo.
Finally a bonus song I like to shed light on:
This song I released for the NGADM18 first round. It's a music box song. I made a re-make of this song back in 2018, and 2 more in 2019 to replace the original file. It sounds more than 10 times better now, with all of the sounds of the music box mechanisms in place. Music box songs are not very popular, but if you like them you should check this out.
So that's my year. My only regret is I didn't make any artwork this year, and I didn't get to collaborate on any games or animations. I'm still working on a SHMUP though. I hope that will turn out great. I'll keep you posted.
I plan to make some more tracks for pixel day 2020. Plan to enter NGADM20 and get as far as I can (any suggestions what song to use for my audition?). Maybe I'll make some other new songs, but I have a list of remakes of old songs I have to finish first. I hope to get to collaborate on games and animations more next year.
Have a great 2020!