Tom Fulp, the founder of Newgrounds
|Real Name:||Thomas Fulp|
|Birthdate:||April 30, 1978|
Thomas Fulp (born on April 30, 1978), is an American computer programmer and Flash animator. He is the founder and sole owner of Newgrounds, an entertainment and social media website which features flash movies and games.
As a child, Fulp suffered from chronic depression. Events in his childhood, such as watching a baby seal get clubbed on a National Geographic nature show, would shape his future work. His hatred of school began in kindergarten, where he had a strict, authoritarian teacher. In elementary school, he was often out of school sick, possibly due to his depression. It was also during this time that Fulp began creating violent stories and artwork.
NewgroundsDuring junior high school, he began a fanzine called "New Ground" in 1994. It was also around this time that Fulp began animating using an Amiga computer. After being home-schooled during tenth grade, he finished high school and began a website called "New Ground Remix" in 1995. At the end of twelfth grade, he began making Club A Seal and Assassin games in HTML, which he then posted on the site. In 1996, he went to Drexel University, Pennsylvania, in USA for a five year course. He dropped out in Spring 2000 to make Newgrounds his full time job and came back in 2002 to graduate. Tom later moved to Atlanta, Georgia for nine months before returning to Pennsylvania. He spent about 15 months working with Dan Paladin on the Alien Hominid console game. Tom's father has an account and drops in to the BBS occasionally. There is a pic of Tom and Wade when they were very young there.
SubmissionsTom has since submitted many major flashes to Newgrounds. Most of them tend to be violent games with bloodshed and brutality. Starting from Club-A-Seal, he has produced games where schools get attacked, children commit suicide, and strange purple characters beat up every child in sight.
Since 2001, Tom would often collaborate with other Flash artists such as Dan Paladin, Krinkels, and Mockery to create games. Usually, Tom would program the game while the collaborating artist would make the art. However, the number of games and movies he submits varies greatly from year to year, ranging from just one in 2004 to eleven entries in 2006. Tom has also submitted two pieces of art and two audio tracks, which were not particularly well received.
Most of Tom Fulp's games are action-based. The chief exceptions, the Pico series, were created in an era where it was very difficult to make a Flash game at all. Since then, he has submitted a number of shooters and brawlers, such as Samurai Asshole, Alien Hominid, Dad n' Me, Madness Regent, and Madness Accelerant. It is worth noting that the two games that The Behemoth has released, Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers, fit into these genres.
Work at Newgrounds
In addition to working at The Behemoth and submitting his own Flash content, Tom Fulp is the CEO of Newgrounds. Tom Fulp often attends conventions and meets to publicize Newgrounds and the artists there.. He deals with vast ammounts of e-mails and PM's from Users. Here is where he describes a backlog of over 2000, whilst he was away. Tom also creates most of the news posts on the front page, and announces the Monthly winners. This is where he interacts with much of the online Newgrounds community.. Tom is also an active member of the Icon maker team, often posting in the Icon Mod thread. Here is his post about his recent icon work.
Controversy in Tom's work
Tom, as the creator of Newgrounds, does not generally get the same press as his brother Wade, who attracts inevitable criticism as top administrator. The Newgrounds community is generally very supportive of Tom and whatever he does. However, when Tom decided to pull out of Slamdance, a few negative comments were heard in the BBS. Outside of the Newgrounds community, Tom's decisions to show controversial flash, including toons about disasters or parodies that companies object to give Tom his share of controversy, however, Tom argues that the media are hypocrites, heating up the controversy of things that Tom frontpages, whilst frontpaging it themselves .People have also criticized the technical quality of Tom Fulp's submissions. Most notable is Harry Potthead, one of Tom's earlier Flash submissions. Despite having over 1.9 million views and being featured in two collections, the game has a relatively low score of under 2.5/5 and some scathing reviews. Another submission, Pico 2 Gameplay Demo, is the lowest rated submission that Tom currently has. The movie is an extremely brief pixelated short of Pico gunning down three Uberkids. The movie's score is under 2/5, and also has its extremely harsh reviews. Other poorly received submissions include Britney Spears Truck Jump, House Hunting, and Police Bike.
Tom on the BBS
Most of Tom's posts are very Newgrounds related. He posts Newgrounds news, including announcing competitions coming up, or winners of competitions; he tells us which meets and conventions he is going to, or the results of having been, along with pictures. He relates all the goings on in the office, moving, buying equipment etc. He then replies to many of the responders of his posts with thoughts and explanations. Here, though is where Tom started telling us about the Office first floor, then went off into a description of his ideal town.
The BehemothTom created Alien Hominid, along with Dan Paladin and put it onto Newgrounds. With the great success of the game, Tom and Dan created their own company The Behemoth and through that released the first Flash game made for a console. Tom has also worked on a game entitled Castle Crashers for the XBox Arcade with The Behemoth.
In 2006, Castle Crashers was entered into the "Slamdance Guerrilla Games Competition," a competition for independent games. However, on January 18, The Behemoth voluntarily dropped out of the finals. This was in response to the removal of "Super Columbine Massacre RPG" from the competition due to the controversy surrounding the game. Castle Crashers was just one of the many games withdrawn by developers, along with Everyday Shooter, Braid, and flOw. When Castle Crashers was finally released on August 27, 2008, it received positive reviews and was a commercial success. Within a year, the game had been purchased over a million times.  In February 2010, the third game, BattleBlock Theater, was named, and set to be released in 2010.
Attack of the Show
Tom was featured on four episodes of Attack of the Show in March 2005. On the show, he discussed Flash games and movies such as Fancy Pants Adventures and Murloc RPG, which were indicative of the rise in the quality of Flash games.
In the summer of 2003, Fulp met his future wife, April Fulp, who were acquaintances in college. Between 2005 and 2006, he proposed to April and they were married on May 12, 2007. On March 25, 2009, their son, Liam, was born; a flash game based on his birth was released soon after.
In total, Fulp has over 50 entries in the Flash Portal, as well as over four dozen awards. This includes seventeen Daily Features, six Weekly Users' Choice Awards, and one Review Crew Pick. Additionally, his submissions have a combined total of over 83 million views. This is not counting submissions from before the creation of the automated Flash Portal and versions of his games and movies found off of Newgrounds.
- Interview on NG
- Interview on NG 2 2010
- Tom Fulp's Newgrounds profile
- Tom Fulp's Bio
- Tom Fulp announcing Behemoth's withdrawal from Slamdance
- Tom talking about Castle Crashers and advice for Submission on Newgrounds
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