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Newgrounds Wiki: Flash Portal History 2002

If you've read the Newgrounds history, you'll know that 2002 started as a real low point for NG. The Internet bubble had burst the previous year, we were screwed over by all our advertisers and had resorted to adult ads to survive. Our hosting was locked in a contract that kept us from improving site performance, so we dealt with servers that could barely handle the load.

The adult ads, excessive pop-ups and slow performance weren't helping our image, especially when some other grimy sites were stealing our bandwidth to showcase NG submissions on their own sites. We tried to configure the servers to prevent deep linking of .swf files, but it degraded their performance so much that we couldn't make it work at the time.

Despite the site running like complete crap, artists continued to submit their Flash. For that, I'm eternally grateful. :)

January

The first of several Flash Fables appeared and quickly became one of the favorite submissions on the site.

Create-A-Ride started the trend of immensely popular car customization games, inspiring classics such as Custom Rides and Drag Racer.

Squigo got himself into his first deadly situation, while the Swearbear Cursing Keyboard generated tons of buzz for the talking bear doll. They were so pleased with their exposure on Newgrounds, they put our tank logo on the back of their packaging as a way to say thanks!

February

After a long night, we introduced a fun Pico voting animation to the Portal. When users voted on submissions, they were treated to an animated visualization, making the experience feel like playing an RPG. You can read ahead to see what happened to it in October. I also made some changes to the voting bar.

AlantheBOX made a name for himself on Newgrounds with the start of his B&W DRAMA THEATER series, although I'll admit it was one of those series that wasn't appreciated until well after the first episode entered the Portal.

CarrotClock wrapped up a Flash remake of League Bowling, one of my favorite Neo Geo games.

Krinkels also made his first appearance, with Marsh-Mellow-Madness. It was a great movie, but things wouldn't really take off until his next submission, in July...

March

The "BAGAGAGA BOP" fanimutation premiered and we got our first episode of Ytown Public.

April

This month definitely introduced some controversial submissions. Like a Pandora's Box that perhaps shouldn't have been opened, Hentai Simgirls started the dating game craze on Newgrounds. To balance out the sex with some violence, we featured fabulous999's Suicide Bomber game, originally called "KABOOM", on the front page.

The suicide bomber game drew a lot of hatemail, but we left it up on the site. It makes for a nice history page.

The submissions this month weren't completely nasty, though. Super Console Wars is pretty cute.

May

Some months have major moments in NG history, others not so much. Ravage and Wrath were both great games and Childhood Confessions will make you laugh. None of them introduced new artists, new series or new trends, though.

June

The Portal was re-invigorated in June, as we received a lot of great submissions over the summer. Highlights of this month included a Pong spoof by Oska software.

ChuChu brought a delightful random energy to the Portal and Legendary Frog won a lot of fans with his Lord of the Rings spoof. Lastly, I submitted Project EDDIE. It isn't really noteworthy, but since I made it I get to put it here.

July

Krinkels lit the Portal on fire with Madness Combat, launching what would be one of the most successful original series to ever appear on NG. Another popular series started this month, with the introduction of the Tomorrow's Nobodies crew. I later met both Krinkels and the TN guys at Comic-Con 2006!

LegendaryFrog continued his rise to power with Chocobo Mix and Pikanjo launched the first episode of the Perfect Kirby series, which was a consistent crowd-pleaser. LF and Pikanjo would later collaborate on some future submissions, such as The Matrix Has You in 2004.

Metal Slug S showed people that Flash could make a good version of Metal Slug, much to my dismay because Dan Paladin and I had been working on Alien Hominid for months and were about ready to release it.

August

Dan and I submitted Alien Hominid and started the chain of events that would lead to the Behemoth! We never thought at the time that we would some day make a console version.

Ben Spurgin released a big project of his own, raising the bar for Flash adventure games. Pimp's Quest combined great visuals with solid gaming. It was becoming clear that collaborations between artists and programmers were the way to go.

Rob Feldman introduced us to his creepy Dr. Shroud series, with the first episode of "Ally of the Dolls."

Sprite movies were still going strong, with Link's Quest for Ass being a fan favorite.

Portal Fighter 2 let players live the dream of battling it out as popular Newgrounds characters.

September

OMG! Arfenhouse! It all started this month. Some great games popped into the Portal this month, such as the Skullkid and Bloody Rage. Pete (Bloody Rage creator) says he was inspired by the Miss Dynamite game I showed him but never finished, so I'll take whatever glory I can get.

October

Due to the site running unbearably slow and the .swf file not caching properly, I removed the ultra-cool Pico voting animation. Voting was never quite as fun after that.

Ganguro Girl picked up the dating sim steam as Hentai Simgirls was finally going away, while Sterile Spongebob was just... wrong. We rounded out the month with some decent Halloween submissions.

November

Joseph checked in to the "Ghost Motel", while MK sprites made us laugh. And who can forget those lovable eggs.

December

I can't believe I released three games this month, it must have been the Christmas spirit! I had worked for months with -ROG- from I-Mockery to make Domo Kuhn's Angry Smashfest. At the same time, I made Chainsaw the Children with Dan. If it wasn't for Chainsaw the Children, Dad 'n Me wouldn't exist.

The Portal received a new feature this month! Having grown sick of abusive submissions, we introduced the whistle.

The popular web comic, 8-Bit Theatre, made its Flash premier this month, with the blessing of the original creator.

We ended the year with our usual Christmas collection. You'll find my third game at the bottom of the Christmas collection.

By the end of the year, site performance was improving and we had started work on the multi-author system, which would bring some interesting new developments in 2003...