Chapman’s Cool Interview For Animation People

Last week we reported on the new Homestar Runner Wii game Strong Bad’s Cool Game For Attractive People (SBCG4AP), which is due out in June. While the game series, which is being produced by Telltale, doesn’t feature any elements created in Flash, it’s fun to follow the growing empire that was spawned from one of the first Flash-animated hits to start on the web. So we turn to the source for answers – the Chapman brothers, Mike and Matt, who have answered a few questions about this much anticipated game title.

AARON SIMPSON: The question always seemed to be “why not turn Homestar into a TV series?” Is a platform game a more natural evolution for you guys?

CHAPMAN BROTHERS: I think so. Video games have always been a big part of – from visuals, to music, to the actual games on our site. And the WiiWare download service also seems to fit with the way we do things.

AARON: Was SBCG4AP in motion before you created the Viidelectrix Wii game page (which features games designed for the Internet Channel of the Nintendo Wii)?

CHAPMANS: No. We had made the Viidelectrix page several months before we heard from Telltale.

AARON: It seems like every Nintendo platform has appeared in some form or another in the Homestar universe, so this game only makes sense. But had you two discussed a Homestar Runner platform game in years past?

Super NES
The very first Homestar Runner episode,
Super NES, produced in Mario Paint

CHAPMANS: Not really. But it’s true that a game on a Nintendo console “makes sense.” After all, the first time these characters were animated, it was in Mario Paint.

AARON: For those not up to speed, what is a “point and click graphic adventure?”

CHAPMANS: The player uses the Wiimote (the Wii remote control) to point at and click on objects or characters in the game to make Strong Bad interact with them. He’ll talk to it, walk to it, pick it up, use it, make fun of it…whatever the appropriate reaction would be. You basically explore the world and use the objects to make Strong Bad do the kind of stuff Strong Bad likes to do.

Telltale Games
SBCG4AP was produced by Telltale Games
the team behind Sam and Max

CHAPMANS: We’ve been there a couple times. It’s right next to the San Quentin prison, so that’s pretty cool. They have the exact same oval posterboard portrait of Abraham Lincoln in their office as we have in ours.

AARON: What type of animation guidance did you give the team?

CHAPMANS: We sent them a bunch of .swfs to show them all the ways the characters tend to move in different situations.

AARON: Rob Schrab (Scud: The Disposable Assasin, Twigger’s Holiday, co-writer of the Oscar-nominated film Monster House) appears to be a big Homestar Runner fan. Have you guys ever collaborated?

Download Rob Schrab’s Trogdor wallpaper

CHAPMANS: We met Rob via email in 2001 and have met him several times when we go out to Los Angeles. Matt was a huge Scud fan back in the day and even dressed up as Scud for Halloween in college, so when we heard from him we were psyched. Matt did animated sequences for a couple of Twigger’s Holiday episodes and for a Channel 101 awards show and even has a pinup in the latest issue of Scud (#23).

For Trogdor’s 5th birthday, Rob did a desktop wallpaper (1024×768, 1600×1200) for our site. We’re always trying to figure out ways to do something cool together but busy schedules and opposite coasts keep delaying the inevitable coolness that will go down when we can finally collaborate full-on.

Robot Bastard. I was totally flattered.

AARON: Which Twigger’s Holiday sequences did Matt contribute to? I loved the fact that there was an episodic story being told on the internet, like mini TV show. So I glommed that off the Chaps.

AARON: What kind of direction, if any, did you offer to Matt for his Scud pin-up?

Scud Fan Film Contest?

ROB: Put Scud in the short! You’ll have a chance to win then.

I keep hearing people say “I’m doing a fan film about a guy reading Scud.” or “It’s about two guys fighting over issue 24!”

Really, put Scud in it. This contest is about how you see the comic book as a moving image. Flash is perfect for this!

AARON: Alright, back to the Chapman brothers. Are there any other noteworthy Homestar Runner fans you’ve come across in recent years?

CHAPMANS: Um, someone emailed us that Geddy Lee was wearing a Trogdor shirt at a concert a couple weeks ago. I don’t know if it’s true or not.

Baseball Stars
The 1989 NES game Baseball Stars

AARON: Do either of you have a favorite NES game?

CHAPMANS: My friends and I played Baseball Stars well past regular NES’s heyday. I always liked Golgo-13 a lot too. It had side-scrolling stuff, sniper gun-sight stuff, and driving stuff too, I think. It had a decent story too. At least as a ninth-grader I thought so.

AARON: A least favorite?

The 1988 NES game Seicross

CHAPMANS: Magmax? Seicross?

AARON: What game platforms do you guys currently use at home?

CHAPMANS: Most of our game playing is on the DS, but we both have and Xbox 360s and Wiis.

AARON: What’s a favorite Wii game at the moment?

Mario Galaxy during lunch for the last however many months and just got to Bowser last week. We’ll generally play until we get 1 star and thats it, so it’s taken awhile. We just got to Bowser, so we’ll be done soon.

AARON: Thaks, guys. For more answers, check on the 2-part Cold Hard Flash interview with the Chapmans from 2005.