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… is something I’ve asked myself every once in a while, for the past few weeks. Alas, it always happened at the most inopportune of times, when my hands were full, and later my mind, hence why there was never any follow-up.
Until earlier today; the question came up yet again, but this time I wasn’t in the middle of an important phone call or standing in line at a Trader Joe’s with zero cell signal, meaning I could actually track down some intel for once.
Was relieved to see that the trailer at least was still online, as seen above. Eventually, I came across a statement from the producer regarding its status, dated a little over three years ago. Basically, the original cut just wasn’t up to snuff, so the reset button had to be pushed.
No in-depth details were provided, yet none are necessary; I could tell where the producer was coming from, cuz I myself am involved in a documentary and know firsthand how difficult it can be to form a motion picture that tells every bit of the story, as well as be something that’s educational, insightful, entertaining, and everything in-between.
The Platform Master was “approximately 75% complete” as of April 20, 2013. Hopefully, it’s even closer to 100% by now, maybe even past that point? Or at the very least, still being worked on. And in case the trailer wasn’t totally clear… well… given that it has taken way longer than expected for a documentary to formulate, am certain any attempt to characterize on Nick Smith, aka Ulillillia, on my end and in a fraction of the time would barely suffice.
So I’ll simply provide the broadest of strokes: Ulillillia is an early internet star, largely thanks to videos in which he would play games and offer commentary. Perhaps the most famous example centers on his fascination with the much-maligned Bubsy 3D. In particular, the second level, which Nick Smith states he has played for “nearly 500 hours total”…
Alas, much of the attention he received was not the kindest, as evidenced by an Encyclopedia Dramatica entry. And while it’s true that many who are (still) interested in the documentary are only in it for the laughs, some of us are genuinely intrigued by the man and his story. Anyhow, and unfortunately, Smith was too ahead of his time; if he did now what he did back then, which are considered Lets Plays by today’s definitions, he’d be an internet superstar for sure (with a paycheck to match).
Though the most intriguing thing about Smith is how he’s a self-taught game maker and has been working on one particular title all by himself for several years. Development began on Platform Masters on Apr 21, 2009, at 9:23 AM CDT, to be exact; on the five-year mark, a “progress overview” was produced. Warning: it is very long…
You might be wondering: what exactly is Platform Master? Well, according to its creator…
“Land on the goal platform before time runs out. Simple, right? It’s not since enemies, treasures, hazards, and tools are along the way. With 300+ levels, 20 vast, gorgeous worlds, and near-infinite ability upgrading, there are countless hours of platform-hopping action.
Platform Masters is like nothing ever seen. Despite being purely 2D, the extreme use of parallax scrolling gives a strong 3D feel. Score lives, difficulty, jumping, and many other aspects have no apparent limitations, offering extreme flexibility and replay.”
… BTW, he ain’t kidding about the extreme use of parallax scrolling. In the video directly above, simply head to the 40:08 mark; if you don’t audibly go “HOLY SHIT!” like I did when I saw how deep the city goes in the background… well… I honestly don’t know what to say.
Smith’s YouTube channel was relatively popular, though largely among individuals who wanted to just point and laugh at the guy. Due to frustrations with the platform (he too was not a fan of the forced Google+ integration that was happening for a while), Smith moved on over to DailyMotion, though he recently returned back to his original digs for posting footage.
Recently he began re-publishing older vids. Perhaps my favorite is one centered on his love for Debug Mode in the original Sonic the Hedgehog games. Because Smith explains, “Drowning Tails is my top favorite thing to do in Sonic”…
The channel also offer a fascinating glimpse at Smith’s personal life, and is the best thing going until the documentary finally comes along. You’ll find numerous clips concerning his penchant for pizza, along with his penchant for degreasing pizza. Apparently, Smith was able to lose a significant amount of weight by just doing the following alone…
Contrary what some may believe, Smith does not have autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. Instead, he has been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. And I guess that’s why I identify with him; not to make this post about me, but I have a bit of OCD as well (I believe; have yet to have it confirmed by a professional, though I seemingly have many of the symptoms), which can make life somewhat difficult at times.
So yeah, I really hope The Platform Master comes out! Till then, I can at least get one of the books that Smith has written, either The Secret in the Basement or The Legend of the 10 Elemental Masters. According to the Platform Masters Facebook page, Smith recently penned a brand new book, though more importantly, work on the game has resumed after a nearly year-long hiatus!