PAX - 8 Apr 2018

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A promotional image

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 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).


[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}

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[edit] Inside References

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

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