SMBZ FAQ

2015-09-30 16:34:14 by Alvin-Earthworm

Where does the name Alvin Earthworm come from?

When I was in my teens, I was a big fan of the Earthworm Jim games and cartoon series. Alvin was just a fan character that I created based on him. Much like how people created their own Sonic OC's.
I have long since retired the character. However, since most people associate SMBZ with the username, I brought it back just for that purpose. At least so people know this reboot is the genuine article.

Where or when did you thought of the idea for SMBZ originally?

Back in 2005, I was a huge fan of sprite animations on Newgrounds. Series like Rise of the Mushroom Kingdom. Sonic's Quest for power and Power star were huge contributors to my inspiration.
On top of being a Nintendo and Sega fan, I also enjoyed watching Dragonball Z at the time because, being British without the luxury of Satellite TV, I never had the chance to watch it growing up.
So I decided that I wanted to try my hand at making my own series combining all of the things I loved. There was also a plethora of Mario vs Sonic animations on Newgrounds as well. So I thought to myself "What if Mario and Sonic were allies instead of enemies?"
That's when SMBZ was born.

What made you decide that now was the time to bring the series back? What's changed since 3 years ago?

I always had the intention of coming back and finishing what I had started. But with the stress, long hours and constant verbal abuse from my previous job, I was overwhelmed and I ended up having a nervous breakdown.
I have since lost my job and now have all the time I need to focus on my personal projects.

Why reboot and not just continue? :)

I think the term "The artist is their own worst critic" applies here. I wasn't satisfied with the older version of the series and there were certain things I wanted to revamp and improve upon. I knew I wouldn't be satisfied just editing the old ones, so I'm starting over with a clean slate.

When will each episode come out? once a Month? twice a Month?

I have no set schedule for when I will release each episode. They will be out when they're out. All I ask for is a little patience.

How heavy will non-pixel art feature in the reboot? Including use of CGI?

I would like to use the non pixel art for certain close ups or the more dramatic moments. They do take longer to make than sprites, so maybe not too often.

Are the events that happened in the previous version gonna happen the same way or differently?

A bit of both. There are some things I'd like to preserve while other bits are in dire need of being changed.

Do you plan to go for a consistent episode length now that you will render out the episodes?

I would like to. At the very least I want to avoid going into "episode 7" lengths again.

I heard you used some other program rather than flash that made it easier for you to animate. I got confused about exactly which program you were using and why you used it. What was the program that you were using and how can i get it?

Allow me to clear up this misconception. I'm still using Flash CS3 Professional for the animating. But, I will now be using Swivel to convert the series into high quality videos at 1080p. SWF files are very limited and are prone to lagging if there is a lot of stuff going on, so I shall not be releasing the series in this format anymore.

Are you gonna make the make the whole series this time?

I really want to this time. Hopefully there won't be any unexpected snags.

Are you going to add any other franchise series to SMBZ? Ex. Mega man, Kirby, blah blah

I'd like to avoid adding other franchises to the mix, unless I can find a very good reason for doing so.
My philosophy is "less is more" when I make the series. I don't just randomly shoehorn in loads of popular characters just for fanservice. (unlike some other sprite series that shall not be named!)

Does the story take place in a specific game like for example before the events of Super Mario Galaxy and etc?

I think the series should be its own continuity. But if I had to decide, I would say right at the very end of the Mario and Sonic timelines.

I want to know your reasons why you want to have all of Sonic and Shadow's friends still being dead and have no means of reviving them. To me and a few others it just feels like the entire Sonic Universe is killed off for good and with only two male hedgehogs being the only Mobians left alive as part of an endanger species who would then (you say...) live permanently in Mario's World. To me it feels pointless much as it is for them like a sad ending. I just want to know why you have no means of bringing back the other Sonic heroes and why you think they should stay dead? I want to know! I have the right... To know!

For one, the show is called Super "Mario bros" Z. Even though Sonic and Shadow are in the series and the main antagonist is a powered up genocidal Metal Sonic, at the end of the day, it's still a Mario parody. I wanted to focus more on the Mario aspects.
Secondly, it was to trim the fat on the main cast of characters. I would rather have a smaller cast with more focus than a large cast of underutilized characters just to appease the fans. Less is more.
Third, the death of Sonic's friends will play a big role in Sonic's character development later on in the saga. I won't say what though, due to spoilers.
Fourth, One of my biggest pet peeves of DBZ was the fact that death had no impact. If a character died, Goku would just comically shrug his shoulders and say "No biggie! We'll just wish them back with the Dragonballs! lolololol". I would rather not fall into the same trappings. It also raises the stakes and makes Metallix a more threatening villain. He will not hesitate to kill anyone that stands in his way.
And before you ask "Why can't the Star spirits bring them back?". The Star Spirits only have influence in the Mushroom Kingdom. Since Mobius is in another dimension, their powers will have no affect. And even if they could bring them back, I wouldn't want them to for the reason stated above.

Are you planning any new forms for Sonic and Shadow via Mario's powerups?

I'm not sure, really. I felt Fire Sonic's appearance in the series had more impact since it was the first time a Sonic character used a Mario power up. Doing it too often could end up diluting the experience.

Will wario and waluigi become actual antagonists or are they still gonna be joke characters?

Mostly the latter. But they will regularly hinder the heroes progress as the story progresses.

Would you bring the yellow and blue toad into the series?

I will be perfectly honest. I never liked the generic Toad characters in New Super Mario bros. I would have much rather played as Wario and Waluigi or some other better established Mario characters instead of them.
Needless to say, they won't be in SMBZ.

Why did you replace Wart with King K Rool?

Some people brought up a good point about Subcon being in a dream world. The story I had in place for the heroes reaching Subcon didn't really have any logic to it. Plus I felt what I had planned would be better suited to K Rool and the Kremling crew.

Will the partners from any of the Paper Mario games be present at some point?

Goombella will be making a return. Not so sure about the other partners though. I try to avoid cramming in tons of characters for fanservice, unless I can find a good reason for doing so.

If Metallix is gonna replace Mecha Sonic then what will his transformation look like with all 7 chaos emeralds?

I have some sprite concepts made for his "perfect form". But I don't plan on sharing them until he makes his appearance in the show. I don't want other sprite animators to steal my design, like they did with Axem Blue.

Will all the fights be completely different form the original series?

For the most parts yes. At the very least I'm remaking the fights from the ground up.

What made you decide to use the Star Spirits as the "Mario version" of the Chaos Emeralds instead of artifacts like the Crystal Stars from TTYD?

The Star Spirits have the ability to grant wishes. When things start looking bleak, the heroes seek them out to help them unlock their Super forms. Once the Star spirits grant their wish, the heroes will be able to turn into their Super forms at will. Just like how Saiyans can turn Super any time they want.
I figured this would be better than them needing X magical McGuffins to accomplish the same goal.

Since you have Swivel, are you going to put textures on the Omega Doomship like you originally wanted?

Oh, I will be collaborating with a talented 3D animator for the new version of the Omega Doomship. Trust me on this, it's gonna blow your mind.

When coming up with the "super" Mario design, did you get it from somewhere in particular? Or you made it up?

When coming up with the design, my philosophy was "If Mario could go Super Saiyan".
I wasn't gonna make his hair and stache go yellow though. That would have been stupid...

Are we going to see Princess Peach get into any fight scenesĀ in this reboot?

Princess Peach has always been a dumbass in distress and that's how she's gonna stay.

Where will you be uploading the episodes?

I will be uploading them to Youtube and Newgrounds.

Will the banana bomb return?

The Banana bomb was part of an old inside joke that has long since run its course. So he won't be in the reboot.

How do I play this game?

I wish you could. But instead, Nintendo and Sega are content with releasing stupid Olympic party games. u_u



After much deliberation, I finally decided to create a Twitter account.

You can follow me on there for status updates and screenshots of new episodes I am working on.

https://twitter.com/Alvin_Earthworm


Super Mario bros Z reboot intro!

2015-09-04 15:49:40 by Alvin-Earthworm
Updated

https://youtu.be/tz8qsmLmgI4

And here we have it, folks! The new Opening for the Super Mario bros Z reboot!
This took a bit longer than intended, but I'm much happier with this compared to the old one.

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/386658

The new intro theme is *Mario Minor by Power Glove*: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9Zj4chxeCM

I'd also like to thank Zack for the huge library of effects that he gave to me: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg88ljUQAsZrNfR1n60KxrA

Enjoy the intro! I hope to get the first episode done soon!


SMBZ ep 1 remake (Scene 1 Swivel test)

2015-08-23 17:25:20 by Alvin-Earthworm
Updated

https://youtu.be/GxPjiITr8Bw

It's been a while, Newgrounds. Hope everybody is doing okay.
About a few weeks ago I decided to log into my Newgrounds account for the first time in a few years and I found out about Swivel. I know I'm pretty late to the party, but I just want to start off by saying Thank you to Mike and all those that made the program a reality.

http://www.newgrounds.com/wiki/creator-resources/flash-resources/swivel

Admittedly one of the biggest shortcomings that turned me off from Flash were the technical limitations of the software and my difficulty with handling Actionscript. But with Swivel, I can essentially eliminate the necessity of making menus and buttons in flash as well as vastly improving the streaming quality of the animations. So, I took my old practice animation I worked on a few years ago and tried it out.

Some of you will no doubt remember the older version of this scene that I uploaded back in 2013:

http://fav.me/d6pasw3

Since then, I have made some tweaks to it. First off, the title card design and music are totally different. The "Dragonshrooms" have now been replaced by the Chaos Emeralds. Although the Dragonshrooms were a novel visual throwback to the DBZ title cards, I never had any actual plans to include them in the series. I felt, at least for the first saga, it would make more sense for the Chaos Emeralds to be in the title since the heroes main objective is to collect them all before Metallix does.
Also, the original DBZ title theme by Bruce Faulconer has been replaced by a metal remix of the stage complete theme from Super Mario bros on the NES. Please check the Youtube link down below:

https://youtu.be/dDf9oZ_P9Us

Other changes include increasing the aspect ratio to 1080p. Adding a new font for the dialogue boxes (no more comic sans) and adding some new effects and tweaks to the animation. Since I'll be rendering flashes in MP4 format instead of SWF from now on, it allows me to go balls to the wall with the graphics.

Swivel pretty much makes things a whole lot easier for me and I am considering experimenting with it some more.
This isn't a promise that the series will be coming back in full force, but at least know my desire to work with sprite animation has been somewhat invigorated.



I may be shooting myself in the foot here, but I felt like sharing this.
As many of you know, on the 9th of October, it will officially be 4 years since I released Super Mario bros Z episode 8 to the masses. It'll also be almost 19 months since I officially laid SMBZ to rest.
But, with the assistance of a friend, I was able to reacquire Flash and felt like trying out sprite animation again to see if I could re-ignite my passion to work on the series. As practice, I remade the first scene of the first episode of SMBZ. After a few months working on and off, this is the result.

Super Mario bros Z Episode 1 Scene 1 Remake

Don't take this as confirmation that I will be working on the series again, but if I did, I would like to remake the series from the ground up. There were numerous things in the older episodes that I felt could have been done better. Namely the fight scenes, the story and the godawful dialogue. Here are some of the key changes I would implement.

1: Mecha Sonic will be replaced by Metallix.
For a supposed upgrade to Metal Sonic, Mecha Sonic was a visual downgrade. The design for Metallix just looks more imposing than the original faceless design. Metallix was going to appear later in the series anyway as Mecha Sonic's perfect form after he got all the Chaos Emeralds.

2: The Pipe maze episode will be removed
The whole episode in general was filler suggested by a fan of the series because I didn't know what to do for the 5th Chaos Emerald. With that said, I feel it was poorly executed on my part. It was too dialogue heavy. It spouted out unnecessary exposition that had no bearing on the plot. And who can forget the ridiculous Deus Ex Machina moment with Kolorado's stopwatch. The 8-bit parts were kinda cool, but to me it couldn't save it from being a bad episode.

3: Captain Basilisx won't be in the remake
While Basilisx was well received by fans, I feel he was shoehorned into the plot. He just showed up out of nowhere with no backstory or buildup. I feel that also distracted from the anticipation of Mecha Mario's appearance and would have undermined the upcoming battle against the Koopalings.

For the time being, these are just ideas. I want to make sure that I would be willing and committed to work on this series again. I don't want to cancel it twice. Until then, enjoy the practice animation.


Plugs

2009-10-10 15:39:25 by Alvin-Earthworm
Updated

Just figured I'd make a news post to direct you to some other authors on this site that you may enjoy if you like watching SMBZ.

LGDVegetto

The one who inspired me to work on SMBZ. You'll notice I borrowed some elements from his fight scenes which have become staples in my series. He hasn't updated his account in ages, but check out Sonic's quest for power. You're in for a treat.

Short-Factor

Another sprite animator who's submissions helped inspire me. He has given me some helpful tips and resources over the years which has helped me improve over time. A very skilled sprite animator in his own right. Definately one to watch.

Kirbopher

Many of you know him for submissions like Parody Rangers and NiN10Doh! these days. But when he first started, he was a sprite animator as well. Although he has moved from sprites to hand drawn stuff, his TTA series will probably remain as one of my favorite series he has created. The plot was very clever and kept you hooked for the whole 73 episodes. Just a pity the story was never finished.
If you have the time, I suggest you check it out.

Daniel Sun

Another one of my inspirations. Best known for his Power star series that featured some impressive sprite work and a dark story. If you like high octane sprite flashes, then this is for you. It's not for the squeamish though. =P

Chakra-X

What can I say about this artist? His Nazo Unleashed trilogy kicks ass! Although it's a Sonic flash, it has a very DBZ feel to it. Another one to watch if you enjoy SMBZ.

Shadefalcon

Creator of the Dawning of Darkness series. Although it's another Mario and Sonic crossover, it is by no means another SMBZ clone. Great for those who prefer a darker storyline. Go check out his stuff now!

There are hundreds of great artists on this site, but I only wanted to list those that had the biggest impact on me. Hopefully their submissions will tie you up until I can get the next episode of SMBZ released.
Have fun! =)