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Newgrounds Wiki: Flash Portal History 2003

Site performance was upgraded over the holidays and we enjoyed a lot of great submissions at the start of the new year. Submissions were getting additional exposure, thanks to the addition of the P-Bot front page post.

January

Johnny Rocketfingers was a huge smash hit and remains the "coolest" stick game on the site, which Stick RPG came along and took the title for the "deepest" stick game. Both have been followed with even better sequels.

Dan Paladin showed off his animation chops with "Synj vs Horrid."

Pico's Mansion proved that good Pico games could be made by people other than me (and yeah, people were still waiting for Pico 2).

IllWillPress made his debut with Shower of Terror. Who would have guess the sort of controversy he would drum up over the years.

February

We launched the Audio Portal, as a resource for Flash authors in need of non-copyrighted music. We also introduced the review flagging system, so users could point out abusive reviews. Authors were encouraged to optimize their Flash due to our bandwidth problems.

Fishy launched the trend of big-fish-eating-little-fish games, and Afro-Ninja released his popular Escape from Elm Street game (which he would remake in 2006).

March

We started off the month with some big news: we were being released from our hosting contract. Mario Rampage was a nice way to celebrate, as was the premier of the "John's Arm" series.

April

Finally in control of our hosting, we were off to a shaky but hopeful start...

The big Portal news this month was the introduction of the multi-author system. The purpose was so that submissions like Alien Hominid could have proper author crediting, when an artist and programmer team up. The result was a new culture of NG collabs, something we cherish here at NG. You'll see more hints of that in November...

We updated the Flash submission form, so that you could now credit music from the Audio Portal. This finally allowed a direct cross link between the Flash submissions and the songs they used from the AP.

The most noteable submission this month was the premier of Dave's beloved Retarded Animal Babies series, which I consider one of the most NG-representative series on the site.

Fling Fling introduced users to the twisted mind of ThreeBrain, who now makes regular appearances on Conan O'Brien, in a variety of strange rolls.

SickDeathFiend brought us the first episode of Dead Rain, which was a big inspiration for the eventual zombies collection. The zombie madness continued with "Resident Evil 2.9." I wouldn't have thought of including this, but it was brought to my attention that it's review scores rank it as one of the funniest movies on the site.

Terrain is an amazing game. The atmosphere completely sucks in players the original was followed by several impressive sequels!

May

Wiesi had a Flashy hit on his hands with Stardust, while current events were tackled in Godzilla vs SARS. It's cool how Flash submissions are a window into the events of the past.

The first episode of Killing Spree premiered and Spindle made gamers jump for joy.

Knox submitted what would be the first of MANY webcam stop motion films. Sadly, the blue clay guys wouldn't be sculpted until the following month, so it's just a 15 year old Knox with a sheet on his head.

We also had our first movie from Smosh, who later went on to become one of the biggest YouTube stars of all time! He later removed the movie.

June

We updated the whistle system so that users now had whistle levels in their profiles.

LegendaryFrog continued to expand his following with his stellar Zelda spoof, "The Return of Ganondorf."

"World Domination" dominated the gaming charts, while Drag Racer would go on to become the most popular series of car customization games on the web.

Marc M introduced himself with "Cement", but wouldn't be noticed until the following year, when he submitted Knock Knock.

"The Pan", while not a monumental hit, remains one of my favorite stick movies and inspired the ledge-lifting mechanics of BattleBlock Theater.

The two most noteable submissions this month were "Defend Your Castle", which inspired the popular genre of Defense Games, as well as "Yellow Seed", which introduced us to Knox Klaymation.

July

We continued to beef up the site hosting (1, 2, 3, 4) and released a new front page and Flash Portal front page layout by Stamper! This was the first time Stamper had done web design for NG, making it the last time I would do anything major.

Atomic Bar 4, to our knowledge, was the first ever NG Collab in the modern sense of the word. That is, multiple authors contributed individual pieces and you can access them individually from the main menu.

"Arfenhouse 2" solidified the Arfenhouse series as a classic and "SIM" inspired many more sim games to come.

Mario movies entered their "dark period", with the release of Alexander Leon's "Mario Brothers" film.

August

We updated the Portal view page with a Stamper layout, to match the other main parts of the site.

Inspired by the Mario Bros. movie the month before, Randy Solem made his own dark-themed mini-series, "Rise of the MK."

Sinjid Battle Arena brought new depth to the Flash RPG.

The first session of Xin took place and soon started generating buzz, while Erik the Juiceman premiered and went relatively un-noticed for several years, before we finally realized how great it was and gave it a series page. You should definitely check this one out.

We got our first FOAMY RANT.

September

We continued to struggle with hosting (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) but it didn't stop the hits from rolling in!

You can always rely on Neil Cicierega to start a trend; having already gained a following with his Animutations, he started the whole "puppet movie" craze with his wildly original "Potter Puppet Pals" short. It would be a few more years before he unleashed Lemon Demon music on the world!

Also extremely noteworthy entry this month was "Badger", by Weebl, a certified "viral hit" on the web.

"Gunny Bunny" brought some hyper-cool 3D shooting action to the site, while "You're a Fucking Moron" made it's debut and bashed celebrities like nothing before it. With Newgrounds so rooted in celebrity bashing (Assassin being our biggest feature before the Flash Portal took over), YAFM has always had a special place in my heart.

Finally, Megaman vs Metroid was the best Flash video game mash-up I had ever seen. You gotta play this one!

October

Our hosting was still problematic but we finally got our bandwidth boosted and made plans to move the servers from NYC to Philly on November 1st, the day after Halloween.

Daniel Rocha submitted his Flash video for Weird Al's "Angry White Boy Polka", which would later be shown to Weird Al by Matt Groening (creator of the Simpsons, his son is a Newgrounds fan). As a result, Danial got to meet Weird Al!

Weird Al has since surfed Newgrounds in search of talent. He hired Dave (Retarded Animal Babies) and Pyropymp (Star Wars Gangsta Rap) to make videos for some of his songs!

Wiesi unleashed "Frank's Adventure" this month and has been pestered for endless sequels ever since - they keep getting better, too!

The first episode of Strategy Guide premiered, introducing us to Guido and his classic video game reviews.

The Battle for the Portal began, showcasing SecretAgentBob's 1337 3D skillz. This is the same guy who went on to create Charlie the Unicorn!

Ray introduced a great combination of South Park-style characters, story and choose-your-adventure elements.

Gel and Dustball proved to be a killer combo, with the crisp visuals and fanciful music in "Love, Wink." All that cuteness had to be counter-balanced by something, so Edmund McMillen's "Carious Weltling" did the trick just fine. Edmund was also working on Gish at this time, which would go on to win the grand prize at the 2005 IGF.

On top of all that, we had some dark and disturbing Halloween submissions as well.

November

We started the month by moving our servers to Philly!

More great things were soon to come this month, such as the first of several "NG Jams", one of the forefathers of the modern NG Collab.

We had a taste of everything NG this month: Kol-Belov's PUSTOTA was an artistic masterpiece, winning many hardcore fans. Dan Malo's touching film, "Ready's Voyage", received praise from the disabled community.

Divine Intervention remains one of my favorite games on the site.

December

Things were really looking up for Newgrounds by the end of the year and I outlined some goals for 2004.

We were introduced for the first time to Xombie, which would go on to become one of the most beloved series on the site and enter production as a feature length film.

Granfaloon's "The Real Legend of Zelda" was one of our better Zelda spoofs to date and "The Classroom" introduced some cool line-of-site gameplay mechanics that would prove consistently popular in later sequels.

Too Much Spare Time graced us with another great Christmas film and we ended the year with our best Christmas collection yet.

We were finally in control of our hosting and had local control of our servers. With site performance gradually improving, what would 2004 bring? Find out!