Development of Stinkoman 20X6 Level 10

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This article is about the running gag of Stinkoman 20X6's tenth level being delayed, along with information about its marketing and release. For the walkthrough and cutscenes, see Stinkoman 20X6 Walkthrough Level 10. For the launch trailer, see Stinkoman Level 10 Launch Trailer.
"Level 10" logo from teaser

The tenth and final level of Stinkoman 20X6 was released on December 20, 2020. Although the first nine levels were released over a six-month period in 2005, it would be fifteen additional years before the tenth level's release. This hiatus had been referenced occasionally in the Homestar Runner body of work; when development resumed in late 2017, additional delays resulted in multiple release date announcements and promotional trailers throughout the final years of production.


[edit] Development

[edit] Early Discussion

The first nine levels were released between March and September of 2005, with cutscenes foreshadowing level 10 as the final level. In a 2007 interview, the Brothers Chaps attributed the hiatus of level 10 to finding time to work with programmer Jonathan Howe — Howe had moved out of Atlanta which made communication more challenging, and since he charged a lower rate to the Brothers Chaps found it difficult to prioritize work on the game. Despite this, the Brothers Chaps explained that the trio were still actively planning the level and explained "[they] know ... exactly what's going to happen" and that the final boss will be "huge, very epic, and a nice end to the game". They also reflected that the game had a high level of difficulty, and discussed ideas to create an easier mode with mid-level checkpoints and additional extra lives (this would ultimately be implemented upon level 10's release).

In 2008, sketches of "proposed stinkoman level 10 baddies" Val Yancey and an unused robot were shared in the Sketchbook.

[edit] Revival and Final Delays

"It all started with a brave little tweet!"

In September of 2017, the @StrongBadActual Twitter account posted an animated GIF of "Stinkoman level 10 relic[s]" featuring multiple enemy sprites. Programmer Jez Swanson (@jezzamonn) responded to this Tweet, volunteering to code the rest of the game. @StrongBadActual replied with "You better watch out or Videlectrix gone hire you! How do you feel about Actionscript 1.terrible?". Swanson replied that he was familiar with ActionScript, and went on to become the official programmer of level 10.

[edit] 2018

The first teaser trailer was released on January 6, 2018, announcing the game would be released that same year. This teaser also stated that the level would be playable in Flash, and contained elements that would be used as part of the opening cutscene for the level. Gameplay footage was shown days later, in the first installment of The Deleteheads Download.

[edit] 2019

On December 28, 2018, another trailer was released — announcing a delay to 2019 (humorously blaming Boardelectrix and Trogdor!! The Board Game for the delay). This trailer showed new graphics, as well as new Stinkomanual elements. This trailer also showcased a new "edge-fall respawn" feature, finishing with as a clip featuring Stinkoman becoming muscular and making small rocks float up off the ground, which would be used in the cutscene prior to level 10.3.

[edit] 2020

Congratulations to Videlectrix!

On December 5, 2019, the level was once again delayed. Stating Videlectrix was "not working on it enough/at all", an accompanying image hinted at a release year of "2020?". Another teaser in February asked for difficulty suggestions, the image showed a portion of the level in which Stinkoman descends multiple floors, each one based on a previous level — this idea ended up being the entirety of level 10.2.

On May 28, 2020, Matt Chapman appeared on a Twitch live stream of the game Inhuman Conditions, and suggested the game could be released by the end of the summer:

Right now, I'm finally drawing near to finishing a 15-year-old Flash game called Stinkoman 20X6. We're actually nearing completion on that, so that's sort of what we're doing right now. Mere months before they kill Flash completely forever. [...] We thought about putting it out, like, literally the day that they [discontinue Flash].
If you download Flash Player — which, you should all get ready. Go find it, and find a secure version, 'cause by the end of the summer, you're gonna be able to play a game we should've finished 15 years ago. And not because we took 15 years to add all this awesome stuff, because we literally didn't work on it for 15 years. We're finally just, like, finishing it before Flash dies.

In a later Trogdor!! The Board Game live stream on August 9, 2020, Matt shared additional information:

There's going to be a whole awesome animated intro for it, we're treating it like it's the Sega CD re-release of this game that finally finished the game. So it'll have a super compressed QuickTime-looking intro, and big end bosses, and some other fun stuff. And as long as we finish it before December 31st at 12:59 or whatever, the day that Flash is supposed to finally die, hopefully people can play it and enjoy it. And then maybe we'll find a way to play it in some other format.
That didn't take too long now, did it?

[edit] Release

The level was finally released on December 20, 2020, and the game was updated with a new intro cinematic, optional easier mode, and a number of other small changes.

Initially after the Post-Flash Site Update, the game barely worked through Ruffle and was accompanied by a warning message stating the game was "currently SUPER BROKE and might crash your browser if you try and play any levels except your favorites 3.1 and 3.2!" A later update to Ruffle made the game "fairly playable" but "still a bit busted", with a promise that they would continue working to improve it.

@StrongBadActual has teased that a Videlectrix album may be released on music streaming services following Level 10's release.

[edit] Appearances

[edit] Revival

  • @StrongBadActual Tweet (6 Jan 2018) — A teaser trailer for level 10 is posted, saying it will be released in 2018. The video pokes fun at the gap between level releases by revealing that, in the time between level 9 and 10, Stinkoman has fallen asleep, 1-Up has grown a "prodigious beard", and Pan Pan had a hundred babies.
  • The Deleteheads Download Vol. 1Strong Sad posts a GIF of level 10 from Videlectrix Two, featuring the destructible floor block.
  • @StrongBadActual Tweet (7 Apr 2018) — Strong Bad shares a GIF created by new Stinkoman lead programmer Jez Swanson, showing Stinkoman punching a picture of Bubs offscreen (referencing The Next April Fools Thing) in an edited version of Level 1. Thanking Swanson for his work, Strong Bad jokingly tells him to "get back to work on level 10".
  • @StrongBadActual Tweet (4 Sep 2018) — Strong Bad tweets some inspiration for level 10 enemy names.
  • @StrongBadActual Tweet (28 Dec 2018) — Another trailer for level 10 is posted to announce the delay to 2019, revealing new graphics, Stinkomanual drawings, and enemy names.
  • @StrongBadActual Tweet (5 Dec 2019) — A second delay is announced, with the level tentatively planned for a 2020 release.
  • @StrongBadActual Tweet (25 Feb 2020) — A teaser image is posted, alongside a request for suggestions on how to make the game easier.
  • @StrongBadActual Tweet (9 Nov 2020) — Another teaser image is posted, this time seemingly depicting the aforementioned animated intro, with the caption "You peoples have no idea what's in store..."
  • @StrongBadActual Tweet (19 Nov 2020) — An image is posted of the pile of Stobats in level 10.2.
  • @StrongBadActual Tweet (1 Dec 2020) — Another teaser image is posted of the intro cinematic, in response to doubts that the level would release.

[edit] Release

[edit] Gallery

[edit] External Links

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