PAX - 8 Apr 2018

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The Brothers Chaps appeared at PAX East in Boston, Massachusetts, on Sunday, April 8, 2018, from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM at Dragonfly Theater. The panel was entitled "Homestar Runner: Games Games Games!", hosted by John Ritter. It was first announced by the PAX website, then by @StrongBadActual and the Index Page on March 19, 2018. It was streamed online at twitch.tv/pax3. The PAX website description reads:

Join creators Matt and Mike Chapman for a panel full of all things Homestar Runner, games, and upcoming projects! They will discuss games that have influenced their work, games they play now, and their plans for the future of Homestar Runner. Bring some of your best questions about thatched roofed cottages for a Q&A at the end of the panel.

A prototype of the upcoming Trogdor-themed board game was playable every day from 12 PM to 2 PM in Kickstarter Couchland (room 103).

Contents

[edit] Transcript

{The projector screen shows a two-frame animation, labeled "The great webiste", with crudely-drawn pictures of "homestrunner" (kicking his legs) and "Stong bah" (lifting his arms)}

{John Ritter taps the microphone; the audience cheers}

JOHN: Looks like some people are still funneling in, but... do you realize why you all are here?

AUDIENCE: {cheering}

JOHN: How has your PAX East been?

AUDIENCE: {cheering}

JOHN: Awesome. Please forgive me, my voice is going 'cause I've been demoing all night— all day. Um, my name's John Ritter from Lay Waste Games, we made a game called Dragoon, if anyone's ever heard of it...

AUDIENCE: {cheering}

JOHN: Uh, so, we are here for one of the most glorious things in the world, which is Homestar Runner.

AUDIENCE: {cheering}

JOHN: If you were alive before... I would say 1999 sometime, you may remember it. Um, it was a time before YouTube, it was a time before social media. Um, but there was an oasis out there, uh, pre-Internet, uh, I would say, uh, that was Homestar Runner, so please welcome... Mike and Matt Chapman.

AUDIENCE: {cheering}

MIKE: Thank you, John.

MATT: {simultaneously} Thank you.

MIKE: Thank you very much.

MATT: Thank you guys... for coming. It's super cool, we very rarely do this, {points into the audience} I see a lot of dedicated Deleteheads out there, that's... {gives a thumbs-up} fantastic. I tried to look up—

MIKE: {simultaneously} Nice.

MATT: —I found a place that made, like, paper hats like you get at Burger King and I couldn't get them to custom-make a Delete key to put on your head. So I'm still gonna work on it, I'm gonna press them, and say that "there's a market! There's like five people, I saw! The crowd will buy this!" Um, you know, it's super cool, we rarely, uh, do stuff like this, so it's been amazing to meet a bunch of you guys, and to see, uh, you guys in this room, what do you say about that, Mike?

MIKE: I say thank you for everyone for following us for... some of you, eighteen years, or fifteen years, or thirteen years, or twelve years, or ten years, or five... or one month! So thank you, everybody, for, um, sort of going on this ridiculous journey that we had no idea that it would... eighteen years later, we'd be... still doing stuff like this. So thank you very much, for everyone.

JOHN: So, uh, since we are at PAX East, uh, I think one thing we want to get into first is, uh, talking about, uh, how long have games been part of your life, and kind of how have they been part of your life, before Homestar Runner?

MATT: Um, games have been part of our life— Mike and I are kind of that perfect age, we've got a brother that's ten years older than— than me, uh, and so, we still got a lot of the, um, like all the '70s culture because he was so much older than us even if we weren't like consious for a lot of it. Um, so, we had, uh, you know, we had, what was it called—

MIKE: We had Stunt Cycle—

MATT: Stunt Cycle for the Atari...

MIKE: {simultaneously} —for Atari, it was a console that was just one game, and the console itself had a hand— mus— uh, motorcycle handlebars with a throttle on the right and you just... jumped buses, and then you clear, like, two buses and then a third bus...

MATT: How many buses, Mike?

MIKE: Uh, {laughs} I can jump... I don't remember!

MATT: {whispering} Some of my buses...

MIKE: {Powered by The Cheat Bubs voice} Some of my buses! {audience and John laugh} You jumped over some of my buses!

MATT: Did you realize that you were being, uh, influenced by Stunt Cycle when you made that Powered by The Cheat?

MIKE: {overlapping} I think so, that was the first— yeah, so that was probably '77 or '78 when we had that game... and then I do remember having the Atari 2600, and one Saturday night when my parents were gone and our older brother babysat us... and he had actually found about— uh, found out about the Easter egg on— uh, in Adventure, on, um, the 2600 which is sort of the first Easter egg ever, and you find this invisible dot and it shows the creator's name. I don't know how, in 1981, people found out about things like that, but... I remember... finding the first Easter egg in a video game.

MATT: Yeah, so we w— got to be around for sort of the birth of all of it. You know, like we got to— we were there— and, we got to go to arcades, we were there when Nintendo came out, we bought it for Christmas or whatever, we got Game Boys, we got— so it's— we were like... that perfect age where we've gotten to just grow with all of video games. Um, so, yeah, sorry, I got freaked out. Um...

MIKE: {looking at the screen} I thought you said we weren't gonna be up there.

MATT: Um... well, we gotta start showin' stuff, they don't want to see this anymore.

JOHN: {laughs}

MIKE: We're going to do all our animation in, uh, Google Slides from now on!

MATT: Uh, so, uh, yeah, so, uh, we'll just get right into it. So let me, uh, skip around in here, where's some stuff...

{He skips past slides of Strong Bad's Website, Thorax Corporation, a brain logo reading "fcusa", the homestarrunnerdotcom YouTube channel, End Boss, and the @StrongBadActual "health class" reply, before settling on a crudely-drawn comic. In the first panel, the character has a boulder next to him and a hole in front of him, and he says "There is something in this hole". In the second panel, he is holding a shiny dagger and saying "Wow! This weapon is as sharp a blade as I've seen!". In the third panel, he approaches a well and says "Finally, water!". In the fourth panel, he falls into the bucket and says "Oomf!".}

MATT: So, uh, this is, uh... a King's Quest comic Mike and I made on vacation, uh, in, you know, '85?

MIKE: Comic book adaptation. Yeah, probably '86?

MATT: Yeah...

MIKE: 1986? King's Quest 1?

MATT: So, uh, if you've ever played TROGDOR!, Peasant's Quest, or know any of that world of Homestar... heavily influenced by the canon Roberta Williams... uh, series of games. Uh, so I'll just— I'll just go ahead and go through this for you, there's just— there's just four pages, there's way more, I won't subject you to it all.

JOHN: What, so what— what year was this?

MATT: Uh, so this was probably from '85?

MIKE: '85 or '86, yeah.

MATT: Yeah. Uh, so, uh, here he is in the top-left there, he's— he's pushed over a rock, and he says, {British accent} "There is something in this hole!" {normal voice} And then, {British accent} "Oh! Wow! This weapon is as sharp a blade as I've seen!" {normal voice} That's my— I just watched a lot of Monty Python with my dad and I was just trying to... mimic what I saw. {British accent} "Fi—" {normal voice} And now, okay, now he's just thirsty all of a sudden. He found a dagger and now he's thirsty and he found a well. We were trying to adapt all the puzzles from the game into a comic, it's hard to link them. {British accent} "Finally, water!" "Oomf!"

{The slide changes to the next page. In the first panel, the character falls into the well and thinks "I'm so dumb!". In the second panel, he says "Wow! Another glowing spot". In the third panel, he starts swimming toward a rainbow spot, and in the fourth panel, he enters it.}

MATT: "I'm so dumb!" {normal voice} He falls... down into the well. {British accent} "Wow! Another glowing spot!" {normal voice} Apparently there was a glowing spot. So this is something, uh, already we were this big of nerds where there was this part in King's Quest where it defies physics, and you swim through the bottom of a well, and into just a— a like dry hole of water—

MIKE: {simultaneously} —hasn't fallen and gotten into the hole somehow—

MATT: Yeah, yeah, they don't do like— you don't swim back up, you just go right through the bottom and then it's just dry. And we were just like, that is— we just were callin' BS on that, I'm sorry. Uh—

MIKE: We can not stand for this in our adaptation.

MATT: Yeah. So, uh, thanks to those, uh, what were those smelly markers called?

MIKE: Fiddlesticks.

MATT: Fiddlesticks! Thanks to Fiddlesticks, we made this rainbow glowing spot. And it's just— I don't know, we don't explain it, you kinda smoosh through it, it looks like that thing from— from Annihilation, it's the shimmer. And you go right through there, {goopy noises}

{The slide changes to the next page. In the first panel, the character comes out of a hole, sees a boulder and some fire, and says "What's that?". The second panel shows a dragon breathing the fire, as the character hides behind the boulder, saying "Whoa". In the third panel, he throws the dagger, and it hits the dragon in the fourth panel, as the character says "That was close!".}

MATT: {British accent} "What's that?" "Whoa!" {fire breathing noises} {normal voice} And he's not gonna find out what it is, he's just gonna chuck a dagger at it, like as soon as he sees it. I'm not gonna try and reason with that dragon. It is goin' down! {dragon-stabbing noise} And it's just, like, just— that's a lot of blood there.

MIKE: That dragon, by the way, is pretty close to the Ed Emberley dragon in, uh, Ed Emberley's How to Draw Animals book. So he taught us, he taught us how to start drawin' dragons.

MATT: {British accent} "That was close!"

{The slide changes to the next page. The first panel shows the character running, saying "The mirror!". The second panel shows him holding a mirror with him dressed as a king, as he says "That's me! A-a-as a king!". The third panel has a caption reading "Later..." as he rests on a boulder, saying "I'm hungry. I think I'll have a walnut". The fourth panel shows him throwing a shiny walnut at the boulder, saying "This should crack it."}

MATT: {British accent} "The mirror!" {normal voice} You had to quest for a mirror. {British accent} "That's me! A-a-as a king!" {normal voice} And then, later, "I'm hungry. I think I'll have a walnut." {audience laughs} "This should crack it." And there was—

MIKE: Look at that hand.

MATT: Yeah, Mike drew that hand, I had to— there were some of these frames where I was like, "Mike, I can't draw somebody throwin' a hand, you gotta— you gotta take over for me." So that's a Mike frame there, for sure. Uh, so there y— so that's— that's— we were obsessed with video games, making dumb things about them, they— they already influenced our, like, culture and creativity like the stuff we wanted to make. Um, and the next thing I'll show you if you will bear— bear with us, um, this has actually been on YouTube for, like, a decade. Um... I, uh, we made a Punch-Out!! movie in 1987—

MIKE: Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!.

MATT: —uh, and it was probably 25 minutes long, and it was unwatchable. {audience laughs} So, uh, I—

MIKE: And it still is.

MATT: W— no, yes. Well, uh, that— that remains to be seen. We'll see— we'll see, uh, how— we'll look at your faces and I'll stop it if there's too much cringing happening in the audience. Uh, and so, to teach myself Final Cut, I'm like, "I'm gonna try and make this thing watchable." So, uh, I'm still gonna skip around in it, 'cause it's still kinda hard to get through. But, um, I, uh, I—

{He skips past a slide of a CD reading "doomed and confused", and goes to the "Punch-Out!!" slide, before going back to the "doomed and confused" slide.}

MATT: Oh, and also, uh, later in life, we made, uh, Doom mods, we made, uh— we were way into— into Dazed and Confused, and we made a Doomed and Confused mod. And Slater was the flaming skull, and when he'd fly, he'd go—

MIKE AND MATT: "Hey, man, what's happenin'?" {audience laughs}

MATT: And you'd hear, uh—

MIKE: We did MIDI versions of, like, Sweet Emotion, and a couple of the songs from the soundtrack.

MATT: Benny would go "I hope you're wearin' more than a jock strap under there, ya little rat!". Anyways, all right, {goes to the Punch-Out!! slide} so, here we go, guys, I give you 1987 our parents' basement, uh, Punch-Out!! The Movie, so the effects and stuff, uh, anything that you might find remotely good about this was done way later. All the bad stuff was the— was original.

{The video starts playing. Open to black.}

KID: {voiceover} Punch-Out!! The Movie.

{Cut to a kid playing Punch-Out!!}

KID: Gosh, I wish I could fight like Little Mac. {one of the characters wins}

{Zoom in to the kid's head. Zoom out of teenage Mike's head. He is wearing an open black jacket over what appears to be a white bunched-up shirt. He speaks in a nasally voice, with something similar to a toothpick in his mouth.}

ANNOUNCER MIKE: Ladies and gentlemen, in our first match tonight, we have for you... to my left, in the white trunks, France's Glass Jaw, Glass Joe!

{Glass Joe's sprite slides along the bottom of the screen as video game music plays and a kid runs onscreen from the right with white trunks and boxing gloves}

ANNOUNCER MIKE: {hums to the video game music} And...

MATT: {not in the video} What's happening to your shirt, Mike?

ANNOUNCER MIKE: {takes his "shirt" out of his jacket} we have... our own challenger, Little Mac!

MIKE: {not in the video; overlapping} I couldn't be bothered to wear an actual shirt.

{Little Mac's sprite slides along the top of the screen as video game music plays and a young Matt runs onscreen from the left with white trunks, a white undershirt, and boxing gloves. Mike leaves to the right.}

ANNOUNCER MIKE: {offscreen} Begin.

{A pixelated speech bubble reading "Fight!" appears from Mike's direction. A pixelated health bar appears at the top of the screen. Video game music plays. Little Mac swings at Glass Joe twice, then "hits" him three times. A sound effect plays and some health is removed from the second bar each time he's hit. Little Mac hits him one last time, causing Glass Joe to fall over. All the health is drained from his health bar. A video game sound effect plays. Another kid runs onscreen.}

KID: 1! 2! 3! 4! 5! {each number appears in a pixelated speech bubble}

{Glass Joe gets back up and the kid leaves to the left. A "Fight!" speech bubble appears from his direction.}

MATT: {not in the video} All right, so this— this goes on for way too long, so let's get... let's get to our next match here. {skips to 2:24 in the video} Von Kaiser? We'll go straight to Von Kaiser.

{Von Kaiser's sprite slides across the bottom of the screen. There is a kid with red pants, a sleeprobe, and boxing gloves in the background. He takes off his sleeprobe as a new announcer comes into the frame, speaking in an exaggerated announcer voice.}

ANNOUNCER KID: And to my right, in the red trunks, challenger Little Mac!

{Little Mac runs in from the left, and video game music plays. The announcer leaves to the right, and a "Fight!" speech bubble appears from his direction. Little Mac punches once, causing Von Kaiser to fall over. Cut to a different scene. Mike is the announcer again, this time wearing a large black wig.}

ANNOUNCER MIKE: Little Mac!

{Faded clips of Little Mac winning slide around the screen. Cut to another scene, with the second announcer.}

ANNOUNCER KID: Little Mac!

{Cut to another scene with Mike as the announcer, with his earlier costume}

ANNOUNCER MIKE: Little Mac!

{Clips of Little Mac punching people are shown. Video game sprites slide across the screen.}

MATT: {not in the video} Mike was really hitting me really hard.

{Cut to the announcer kid}

ANNOUNCER KID: Piston Honda!

{Piston Honda's sprite slides along the bottom of the screen and a kid with black shorts walks in from the left. He hits Little Mac, causing him to fall over. White pixelated text reading "GET UP!!" appears at the bottom of the screen, as a speech bubble pointing offscreen begins counting to five. Pinton Honda falls down. Cut back to another scene with the announcer kid.}

ANNOUNCER KID: King Hippo!

{Cut to Little Mac punching King Hippo (someone with a pillow beneath their shirt) repeatedly, as King Hippo's sprite slides in from the right, and back out to the left. Cut to Mike as the announcer.}

ANNOUNCER MIKE: The Great Tiger!

{Cut to Little Mac and the Great Tiger (someone with yellow pants and a towel over his head). The Great Tiger's sprite slides in from the right, back out to the left. The Great Tiger turns back and forth. The clip is sped up, then he moves across the screen using stop motion, hitting Little Mac every time. Cut to Mike as the announcer, with his wig from earlier.}

ANNOUNCER MIKE: Don Flamenco!

{Don Flamenco (a kid with red shorts) comes onscreen from the right. Don Flamenco's sprite slides up from the bottom. It slides back down as Don Flamenco performs a punching motion. Humming is heard to the video game music. Cut to a scene with Little Mac and another wrestler. Little Mac punches him and he falls over. A kid comes onscreen.}

KID: TKO! {a "TKO" speech bubble appears}

{Cut to another victory by Little Mac}

ANOTHER ANNOUNCER: KO! {a "KO" speech bubble appears}

{Cut to another victory by Little Mac}

ANOTHER ANNOUNCER: TKO! {a "TKO" speech bubble appears}

{Cut to another victory by Little Mac}

ANOTHER ANNOUNCER: TKO! {a "TKO" speech bubble appears}

{Cut to another victory by Little Mac}

ANOTHER ANNOUNCER: TKO! {a "TKO" speech bubble appears}

{The video pauses for a moment as victory music plays. Cut to the Punch-Out!! title screen, with Little Mac in the same pose. The audience applauds as the video ends. The presentation exits full screen.}

MATT: Uh, yeah, so—

MIKE: {simultaneously} There's that.

MATT: —so there was that. {audience laughs} Uh, I encourage you to, if you want to try and find it on YouTube, the comments are hilarious, because l— lots of people ha— most of the people don't realize this was actually made in 1987, and so they're just like {angry voice} "What sort of terrible phone or camera are you using for that?". {audience laughs}

JOHN: So now that we've seen your glorious creation process when you were kids, uh, {laugh} how did that—

MATT: Hasn't changed.

JOHN: It hasn't changed. At all.

MATT: {smiles and waves his hand jokingly}

JOHN: Um, with the— with the introduction of social media, and tools that make stuff like this insanely easier, uh, how did you guys do everything right before Homestar Runner and leading up to Homestar Runner?

MIKE: So yeah, right before Homestar, I mean the beginning of Homestar, the first thing we ever animated was in, um, Mario Paint for the Super Nintendo. {audience cheers}

{The slide changes to a screenshot of thoraxcorp.com, then to a video of Strong Bad's website}

MIKE: And... we were sort of... {quietly to Matt} I don't know, what— what am I supposed to say about that? {the video starts playing} I don't remember... our plan.

MATT: We didn't have a plan. This is what the internet looked like back then. It ran this chunky too, that's intentional. Um, and there wasn't a whole lot going on, and then— and then Flash came out. Uh, and it kinda changed everything, 'cause previously, even— even though we could make things like... uh, stuff in Mario Paint, then even if we filmed the TV and somehow got the video, it was like, how do you digitize that video? I mean—

MIKE: {holds up his fingers; simultaneously} This big...

MATT: —you couldn't get it on a computer. Right, it has to be this small, or how are you going to form the bandwidth for it? So, uh, and even, it's funny, looking at this, we were even, like, we w— I— I think we had a— didn't we have a— I remember—

MIKE: {overlapping} Yeah, at the time we got these pictures of The Cheat, it was a big deal because we had just gotten a digital camera, so this is 2002, and at the time it was still kind of hard to get a photographic image on—

MATT: You just had to scan it.

MIKE: —on your computer. If you had to take a picture with a film camera, and get it printed, and scan it, and then put it— you know, put it on, uh, so many discs. What were those things? Sticks, uh, these sticks—

MATT: {laughing} Memory sticks.

MIKE: Memory sticks. Yeah. Um... yeah, but so anyway, just getting a photograph on your computer was actually kind of a cool thing, I remember thinking, there's pictures of The Cheat, which is, wow. {audience laughs}

MATT: So, sixteen.

JOHN: So back then when you were creating Homestar Runner, what types of games did you guys play and how did that influence what you were creating for the site?

{As he speaks, the video stops and the thoraxcorp.com slide appears}

MIKE: I mean... I think the look of the site and the look of the world of Homestar Runner has been heavily influenced by video games, our cartoons are basically sidescrolling, and they've got the blue sky and green hills background of, uh, Mario... Mario Brothers, and those types of, um, you know, Nintendo and Super Nintendo era platformers.

MATT: It's true.

MIKE: So that— uh, just the aesthetic... of the whole thing has been heavily influenced by that.

{The presentation skips past slides of a brain reading "fcusa", the homestarrunnerdotcom YouTube channel, End Boss, the @StrongBadActual "health class" reply, the four King's Quest comic pages, Doomed and Confused, and Punch-Out!! The Movie, before settling on the Videlectrix logo from Peasant's Quest Preview}

MATT: And then, once we started making cartoons, it was kind of hard not to just let all that stuff, uh, seep into it, so, uh, we were huge Activision aficionados as kids— uh, I never won any patches, but I definitely took, uh, pictures of high scores to try and—

MIKE: Sea Quest! I think Sea Quest is still my favorite game of all time.

MATT: Yeah.

MIKE: It's really good.

MATT: So we decided to invent a— a— a company, a ficticious company that we could then have an excuse to make bad video games on our cartoon even though it had nothing to do with our cartoon. Uh, so we invented Videlectrix.

{The slide changes to a picture from the Peasant's Quest Preview "Good Graphics" Easter egg. The audience laughs and cheers.}

MIKE: Specializing... I sometimes forget what type of graphics we make at Videlectrix—

MATT: {simultaneously} Yeah, he has a hard time.

{The presentation switches back to full screen}

MIKE: —so I get Matt to remind me.

MATT: {as Videlectrix One} I SAID GOOD GRAPHICS! {audience laughs} I HAVE TO COME IN EVERY DAY AND LOOK AT THIS MESS!

{The slide briefly switches to a WarioWare D.I.Y. video, before going back to the "good graphics" slide}

MATT: Uh, and uh, so, what else was coming out, right? When we first lived together, Mike and I were doing the website, we lived in an apartment together. Um, it was right between, uh, N64 and GameCube.

MIKE: {simultaneously} N64 and GameCube, yep.

MATT: So we were way into, uh, like, Majora's Mask, which was kind of the lovely swan song of the N64.

MIKE: {simultaneously} {unintelligible}

MATT: And then, uh, and then we got into— and then we all had, uh, GameBoy Advances too. Um, and we were way into— I— I think that— the first WarioWare micro-minigames, incorporated, it was called. {audience cheers} Still might be one of my— way in the top 5 possibly of the video games that, uh, that I like. Um, so, and I think that, um, just those short nuggets, like it was perfect, like of content, and then I played that sort of style translates really well to content for the web, especially at that time, even— even though it was Flash and it was vector, you still maybe had to make a game— a mini-game to watch or play while you loaded this, you know, {mockingly} 175K file! {audience laughs} Uh, so I think that, uh, that— that definitely seeped into all of that.

MIKE: Um... yeah. {quietly to Matt} You wanna show the Wario—

MATT: {unintelligible} Um, yeah, do you wanna— okay. {to the audience} Well, so, uh, so WarioWare, this is sort of diverging... {to John} is this okay to— {to the audience} uh, so we love WarioWare, and then we somehow missed— I don't know if it was just with, we had kids and stuff, or what was happening, but we just missed WarioWare D.I.Y. entirely, and we fortunately found out about it a few months ago, right before, like, the Wii Shop Channel stopped, like, letting you download its companion app. Uh, so we both bought it, and, uh, we've been busy, uh, making games, it's funny, uh, 'cause {gestures to John} Jonathan was just like "Oh, you made these back in the day?", we were like, no, we made these like last week! {audience laughs}

MIKE: And we can literally only share them with each other.

MATT: Yeah. Uh, so here's a little compilation we outputted from the Wii, and Mike's got his DS here, we've got a webcam and we can maybe show you, if— if this doesn't cover everything. Um, you'll— you'll recognize some faces, some fun faces.

{The slide switches to the WarioWare D.I.Y. video. The video starts playing.}

STUB'D! This section of the page is incomplete. You can help the Homestar Runner Wiki by expanding it.


[edit] Fun Facts

[edit] Trivia

  • The Google Slides presentation was titled "Paxineasta", according to the tab at the top of the page. Other tabs included the "My Drive" page on Google Drive, and a Gmail page with a "Panel Accepted!" email to an address beginning with "slimchaps@".

[edit] Inside References

  • The Brothers Chaps quote "You jumped over some of my buses!" from mile.

STUB'D! This section of the page is incomplete. You can help the Homestar Runner Wiki by expanding it.


[edit] External Links

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