Stinkoman 20X6 Level 10

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This article is about the running gag of Stinkoman 20X6's tenth level being delayed, along with information about its marketing and release. For the walkthrough and cutscenes, see Stinkoman 20X6 Walkthrough Level 10. For the launch trailer, see Stinkoman Level 10 Launch Trailer.

The tenth and final level of Stinkoman 20X6 was released on December 20, 2020, fifteen years after the previous level, despite the first nine levels being created in less than half a year. This hiatus had been referenced a few times in the Homestar Runner body of work, and there have been multiple multiple trailers, release date announcements, and delays throughout the years.


[edit] Development

In 2007, the Brothers Chaps attributed the hiatus to the programmer, Jonathan Howe, moving away after Level 9. Despite this, they were still discussing the level at that point, and stated that "[they] know ... exactly what's going to happen" and that the final boss will be "huge, very epic, and a nice end to the game". They've also discussed the idea of decreasing the game's difficulty, possibly creating an easier mode with mid-level checkpoints and additional extra lives. This mode was later implemented upon level 10's release.

In 2008, sketches of Val Yancey and an unused robot enemy were shown in the Sketchbook. In 2017, the @StrongBadActual Twitter account posted an animated GIF of "Stinkoman level 10 relic[s]". This GIF showed the sprites of the enemies Denholm, Lorber, Thurgood Each and Rightade, Val Yancey, Growtan, Plonth and Soup Dib, and Yekop. One Twitter user known as @jezzamonn responded to this Tweet, volunteering to code the rest of the game. @StrongBadActual replied with "You better watch out or Videlectrix gone hire you! How do you feel about Actionscript 1.terrible?". @jezzamonn replied that he was familiar with Actionscript, and went on to become the official programmer of Level 10.

The first teaser trailer was released less than four months later, announcing the release year of 2018. This teaser also announced that the level would be playable in Flash, and was later used as part of the opening cutscene for the level. However, no gameplay footage was shown until days later. In the first installment of The Deleteheads Download, a GIF showed off the level's castle setting and destructible floor blocks. By the end of the year, another trailer was released to announce the delay to 2019, blaming Trogdor!! The Board Game for the delay. This trailer showed new graphics, as well as Stinkomanual drawings and names for Thurgood Each, Rightade, Plonth, and Soup Dib. This trailer also showcased the new "edge-fall respawn" feature, as well as a clip featuring Stinkoman becoming muscular and making small rocks float up off the ground, which would be used in the cutscene prior to level 10.3. At the end of 2019, it was once again delayed, citing an internal surplus of "not working on it enough/at all". The accompanying image implied a release year of "2020?". Another teaser image was posted nearly three months later, with a caption asking for difficulty suggestions. The image showed a portion of the level in which Stinkoman descends multiple floors, each one based on a previous level. This idea would later be expanded to the entirety of level 10.2.

On May 28, 2020, Matt Chapman appeared on a live stream of the game Inhuman Conditions, and gave a more specific date:

And right now, I'm finally drawing near to finishing a 15-year-old Flash game called Stinkoman 20X6 that we made Level 9 I think in 2005 and never finished Level 10, which was supposed to be the last one. And so we're actually nearing completion on that, so that's sort of what we're doing right now. Mere months before they kill Flash completely forever. [...] Yeah, that's sort of the idea. We thought about putting it out like literally the day that they [discontinue Flash].
If you download Flash Player—which you should all get ready. Go find it, and find a secure version, 'cause by the end of the summer, you're gonna be able to play a game we should've finished 15 years ago. And not because we took 15 years to add all this awesome stuff; because we literally didn't work on it for 15 years. We're finally just, like, finishing it before Flash dies.

In a later Trogdor!! The Board Game live stream on August 9, 2020, Matt stated the following:

The big thing we're doing is we're finishing a Flash game that we started fifteen years ago, and trying to finish it before Flash dies forever in your browsers. So we've been working on Stinkoman Level 10 for a Flash game that came out in like 2004 or something. But it's fun, there's going to be a whole awesome animated intro for it, we're treating it like it's the Sega CD re-release of this game that finally finished the game. So it'll have a super compressed QuickTime-looking intro, and big end bosses, and some other fun stuff. And as long as we finish it before December 31st at 12:59 or whatever, the day that Flash is supposed to finally die, hopefully people can play it and enjoy it. And then maybe we'll find a way to play it in some other format.

The level was finally released on December 20, 2020, and the game was updated with a new intro cinematic, easier new mode, and a number of other small updates. @StrongBadActual has teased that a Videlectrix album will be released on streaming services following level 10. The account also revealed that, while there is no clear plan for preserving the game after Flash stops being supported, Videlectrix wants to make it playable for everybody.

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