I will admit, I don't keep track of the Madness community much anymore, but from what I've seen, it's the same dumb shit as always. I feel it's important to let this out, even if some of it is admittedly just me trying to defend a stylistic choice with sprites. It covers a larger and more important topic, so I guess it's fine?
I've gotten a bit of a knee-jerk reaction of "wtf this is shit and weird stop" when I revealed some sprites on Discord featuring Madness characters with legs. I didn't draw them like that to just be "cursed" or whatever; it actually looks better than the usual Madness style anyway. The reason for the whole idea was to offer more options for action and movement in general, and if you looked beyond "not the norm therefore bad" you might see the potential in giving characters more parts. This whole "not normal so it must be shit" mindset I feel applies to almost everything, so I'll just dump my thoughts on this.
I have two words for everyone making Madness content: reject familiarity. I believe familiarity is stopping any real progression with Madness content as a whole. I feel like the entire community is based around this; "Oh hey, it's X canon character doing the same shit as always!" "Awesome, it's Nevada and Hell! I recognise these bad guys, they're the Agency! If it were something different I'd be so lost and confused!" "Sweet, more nonsensical stories! Same stuff as always!" And if you're like half the community, it all gets wrapped up in some trendy meme or just end on some shitposty trash. The worst part to me is that it's usually just brushed off as "just how Madness is".
Fuck that. This is wrong. Imagine if every book and movie was structured, styled and generally executed in near-identical ways. Wouldn't that be awful?
Reject familiarity. Push the community to their limits, do more than the dumb garbage that the community is flooded with. Make "weird" stuff, show them what Madness is capable of if you put the time and effort into experimentation. Hell, even make horrible failed experiments because they also have value. Experiment with everything; storytelling, designs, universes, even sound design; I ditched the idea constant music from start to end of a movie because in one short I was messing with the idea of entirely ambience. While I'm aware that just legs aren't exactly community-changing changes like a shift towards better writing and away from the canon universe or whatever, It's still not "normal" and I feel experimenting with character sprites like this could lead to interesting stuff in the future. It's a small stepping stone towards future experiments. The same sorta thing applies to everything, provided people actually try messing around with shit.
I dunno, just some quick thoughts that probably make no sense. God help you if you read this far. Thank you for your time anyway I guess.