I’ve been meaning to make this Pico Day follow-up post for a few days but it’s been hard to put it all into words.
So Pico Day started in the forums in 2006 as a day to celebrate Pico but ever since has been embraced as the official Newgrounds holiday. We even had a bunch of Pico Day parties at the office:
As time went by, it felt strange to see people make Pico stuff every year, so I had been increasingly nudging Pico Day as a day to celebrate everything on Newgrounds, not just Pico. I even intended to change the name to Newgrounds Day but never formally did it because Pico Day rolls off the tongue so well. I had, however, dialed it back to just being an art contest last year.
A lot changed this year. Friday Night Funkin’ came along and became one of the most popular games in the world. FNF is a sort of celebration of Newgrounds itself and has brought a lot of renewed interest in NG lore, interest far beyond what has ever really existed in the entire history of the site.
It’s been both exciting and terrifying because NG has grown and evolved over several decades and now everything old is suddenly new again. We raised almost $8,000 in prizes for Pico Day 2021 and despite another effort to make it a day about all things Newgrounds, this was a very Pico year.
@ARAMort made an entire EP inspired by Newgrounds and it’s freakish how well it captures the essence of the site; I’ve been listening to it a lot this week.
It’s been surreal and I’m trying to flow with the river of what is happening because most of it is out of my control. My hope is that lots of cool people are coming here and getting inspired to make a whole new era of great stuff. NG is at its best when you are seeing, playing and hearing things that feel like a peek at the future.
Things have been pretty non-stop ever since FNF Week 7 launched. We put 100 tankmen up for sale on SharkRobot and they vanished in less than an hour without any big effort to even announce them. It’s all so WEIRD. Life is funny, how you can work on something for years without many people caring about it, then suddenly it seems like EVERYONE cares about it. It’s like a smaller version of what happened to @PuffballsUnited and the Among Us team this past year, when suddenly the entire world was in love with their two year old game.
If you’re worried this new attention will somehow ruin NG, I’m pretty confident we’ll be able to navigate through it just fine. Most likely we’ll fumble a bunch of big opportunities for the sake of staying true to what the site is about and I say that in a good way.
It will take some time to sort out the winners for Pico Day and we’ll continue featuring entries in the days ahead.
Thank you everyone who participated and made this week special!
The FNF crew is still working their way through the Funkin’ Jam entries and are planning another stream where everyone watches together.
Newgrounds Player News
Later today we might be launching an update to Newgrounds Player that will finally solve the issues with it not working in Windows! I’ll make a note here when it goes live.
UPDATE: The new build is now on our NG Player download page, under Preview / Beta (Version 1.0.7). Here's a direct link to download the NG Player Beta. We'd love to know if it works / doesn't work for you and also if you're a 32 bit Windows user in particular. NG Player is Windows only, btw. You can play Phoenotopia to test it!
Some background: Newgrounds uses Ruffle to run a lot of classic Flash content in the browser but for Flash not yet supported by Ruffle, we have a desktop application called Newgrounds Player. When Flash was removed from browsers at the start of the year, Windows made a series of updates that also broke NG Player. The new version should solve these issues and keep Flash running on the desktop while Ruffle works towards total compatibility in browsers.
There's a lot of great stuff on Newgrounds and I'm proud we've been able to keep it all running. I'm looking forward to seeing what else will be added to the mix!