Escapist? It’s back.
Ever since The Escapist‘s Community Spotlight was under consideration to return from its rather abrupt hiatus, the one name that I knew I wanted to interview right off the bat was Aerosteam. I could think of no other candidate, given what this user had done for the community during its hiatus. In fact, it was partially because of Aerosteam that the Spotlight has returned at all. During the hiatus, Aerosteam began doing a similar project, on the forums, title “Creative Spotlight.” In these Creative Spotlights, Aerosteam would interview members of the community in a Community Spotlight-esque style. His targets were those members of the community who were creatively inspired — whether it be music, drawing, or anything else that’s creative in some way or another.
It was these Creative Spotlights that proved how there was still interest in the Community Spotlight. That is the type of contribution to the site that earns its user a well-deserved interview.
That isn’t the only thing that Aerosteam has contributed to The Escapist‘s community, however. He has also begun work on Super Smash Escapists, a blatant and joking riff on Super Smash Bros. It’s a (currently theoretical) game whose characters, stages, and basically everything else has been thought up by members of The Escapist. You may have seen one of its two threads.
Here is the man behind these two projects.
How long have you been a member of The Escapist, and what about the site brought you here?
I’ve been visiting the site since late 2008. What brought me here was the animated series, Unforgotten Realms (which still holds up even though the plot never really went anywhere). UR‘s older series had like 5(?) episodes and then it just stopped, wondered why, went to UR‘s website, found out that it had been rebooted and was on episode 15, clicked play on the new first episode and got taken here.
See? Not everyone was drawn by Yahtzee and his stallion-like charisma. Eventually I created an account and posted a thread in the forums about crossover fighting games despite having no interest in them. Since then my sanity slowly slipped away.
What is your favorite current Escapist feature?
Probably the forums in general. I’ve seen a lot of other forums. Nothing is as clean, welcoming, well-moderated and tasty as the Escapist forums. Also the community here is faaantastic.
During the official Community Spotlight’s hiatus, you started posting similar features on the forums called “Creative Spotlight.” What gave you that idea?
I was afraid the Community Spotlight wasn’t coming back, so I wanted to fill the void in my heart with something similar. It all started with only erttheking in mind, then, it progressed to me wanting to get to know more about other users here I’ve been acquainted to, mainly the people of The Escapist Creative Society. I didn’t want it to be just the “Community Spotlight but not really” so I decided to focus on the creativity I’ve seen and introduced to here.
I’ll start getting more Creative Spotlights out soon! No, really!
You have also taken to designing a community Super Smash Bros. clone, Super Smash Escapists. How did you come up with that idea? Are you actually going to try to make a real game out of the idea, or will it stay in the conceptual stages forever?
It was originally a simple thread asking people what characters they would like to be a fighter in the upcoming game, no matter how unlikely that will be. Then, I was going to surprise everyone with a modified image of the character selection screen from the new game which included all the weird characters I got. Yeah, people were happy (mostly Caramel Frappe) that it became what it will be now.
I’m going to be honest, I was originally going to take it as far as possible (this includes screenshots, trailers and stuff like Jim Sterling to do the announcer voice) without actually making the game. I wasn’t expecting them (hell, I wasn’t expecting nearly bloody a hundred character suggestions), but some people posted movesets with their character. Someone suggested assist trophies and bosses despite not even saying I’m making a thread for them. Someone else got confused as to if it was actually being made at first.
I was so humbled I made the decision of starting development of the game. (Still in the concept stages!) Get hyped for the adventure of the millenium! Prepare to meet the Sub-basement Emissary!
Do you feel like these types of projects have brought you closer to the members of The Escapist community?
Absolutely. Not just me, but other people also I feel. I think what a community, especially for ones based in forums, needs are occasional events (like the Community and Creative Spotlight as well as Super Smash Escapists) to remind them what makes it special. It is the The Escapist community.
What other creative projects do you have in the works?
There is the idea I have where users record themselves singing sections of a single song (for example, “Still Alive” from Portal) and then compile all the footage together in a video where the song is played while switching to different users and passing the mic. Yeah, that would be amazing.
Oh, and I didn’t forget about the audiobook version of your Papers, Please fanfic, erttheking. So to OutworldSorc, your efforts on recording your reading of the story and also making a variation of the game’s main theme won’t go to waste! 🙂
What do you do in your spare time, apart from browsing The Escapist?
I play a little too much Pokemon in relation to other games. I’m currently trying to capture every Pokemon possible in the DS games (Platinum, SoulSilver, White and White 2), hopefully before the inevitable “Pokemon Z” is released, then transfer all of what I’ve caught to it. I’ve done that for White Version – took about a month. Yeah, not much else gaming-wise right now, that should change when I get a gaming PC and a proper Steam account. “Scandile! Aerosteam doesn’t have Steam!”
I don’t publish as much as I make, but I like to remix video game music from time to time. I upload some of them to my YouTube channel where the playlist is called “Audiospace” and I name all my songs after NASA missions. Music from Pokemon and The Legend of Zelda are probably the most fun to remix, they generally have simple melodies for easy de/reconstruction. I’m always open for suggestions on what video game soundtracks anyone wants me to remix.
Do you have a favorite game/movie/band/painting/etc. that you’d like more people to be aware of?
Yeah, shoutouts to Casual Shinji for his drawings, ScrabbitRabbit for his compositions, Joratron666 for his webcomic, GiantRaven for his chiptunes and Dragonbums for her freaking amazing art to name a few.
Seriously, you don’t need to look very far for talent. 🙂
Also to Caramel Frappe for being the nicest guy ever.
In five years, where do you see yourself? Is there some goal you want to have accomplished by then?
By the time I’m 23, a bunch of stuff – visit Japan, finish university, have a girlfriend, get a job in the games industry in some form and still be kicking as an Escapist.
Also maybe release Super Smash Escapists.
If you would like to nominate someone for an upcoming Community Spotlight, feel free to let me, Marter, know by PM. When nominating, please tell me why this user deserves to be in the next Community Spotlight, and provide links if possible.