View Profile mazeguy
Hello! I'm Mike Perrucci, also known as mazeguy. Over the past 25 years, I've made smilies, domino toppling videos, animations, games, and most recently, a webcomic. I'll be sharing some of these creations here. I hope you'll enjoy them! :)

Mike Perrucci @mazeguy

43, Male


Joined on 1/6/19

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mazeguy's News

Posted by mazeguy - 2 weeks ago

I needed a little break from Chuck's Devils after focusing on the comic regularly for about three years straight. I decided to spend the month of September working on a couple of other projects on the back burner.

First, I made these 12 inch tall wooden dominoes. My brother and I used to put on a domino toppling show at the Brattleboro Museum in Vermont from 2008-2012. The event has since been taken over by "kids" half my age that still have healthy knees, backs, and butts. I plan on attending the 14th annual exhibition after being away for nearly a decade. I'd like to present these to the new generation of domino topplers as thanks for keeping the show going.


Next, I've always had a strange fascination with prize wheels. Building an eight or sixteen space prize wheel with K'NEX is simple since they go together at 45 degree angles. I needed a way to make 20 equal(ish) sections to recreate the big wheel from The Price Is Right. I figured out how to do it by adding spacers along the perimeter.

Anyway, back to Chuck's Devils. I'm only five episodes away from the halfway point for the series. Hopefully I'll get there by mid to late 2022. :)


Posted by mazeguy - August 24th, 2021

A series of malodorous mishaps leaves Lily smelling very much unlike the fragrant flower she's named after. Fortunately, her foul funk proves useful when Yu-Ri and Candace are captured by a couple of cacophonous contrabandists.

You can read "Episode 19: Damn Dirty Hippie" here or at ChucksDevils.com.




Posted by mazeguy - June 30th, 2021

The cunning Rose outwits the Devils several more times, and Yu-Ri is cornered by her nemesis. The rival thief offers to mentor Yu-Ri as her partner in crime... and romance.

You can read "Episode 18: Everything's Coming Up Roses" here or at ChucksDevils.com.



Posted by mazeguy - June 11th, 2021

The band of loonies discover a treasure map that marks the location of One-Eyed Wendy's hidden pirate booty.

They'll have to outwit Wendy's booby traps and an Italian crime family, but always remember: Devils never say "die".

You can read "Episode 17: The Devils 'R' Good Enough" here or at ChucksDevils.com.



Posted by mazeguy - March 29th, 2021

It's been twenty years since I first shared my smilies with the world! To celebrate the occasion, I made this collage:

Coincidentally, this year also means I've been making pixel art for about 35 years. I've written an article about my journey which you can read here, but I'll recap a few highlights:

1986: Dazzle Draw

The reason Mazeguy Smilies exists is probably due to Dazzle Draw, a painting program released by Broderbund Software in 1985. My family had an Apple IIe computer at the time, and I believe we bought Dazzle Draw the following year. I was eight years old at the time.


Back in those days, I didn't have a Wacom tablet, and drawing freehand was difficult. I figured out that the best way to create the curved lines and details I wanted was to zoom in and draw one dot at a time. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was learning the basics of what would later be called "pixel art". Today, I create smilies using the exact same technique.

My siblings and I had a lot of fun with Dazzle Draw, filling fifteen floppy disks (the ones that actually WERE floppy) with over 100 paintings. Unfortunately, only one has survived to this day. This portrait of Bowser was converted to black and white, and printed in my junior high school's newspaper.


1992: Mario Paint

My next drawing program was Mario Paint for the Super Nintendo. I loved the fact that you could combine art, animation and music to create multimedia. I still have my copy of Nintendo's Official Mario Paint Player's Guide, even though it's quite worn out from reproducing video game sprites and songs.


Mario Paint included several "stamps", small pictures you that could paste onto the canvas or use as a paintbrush. A Stamp Editor tool let you edit existing stamps or design new ones on a large, 16x16 grid. Sound familiar? Thanks to Mario Paint, my pixel art skills were refined a little further.

So, what kind of videos did I make using Mario Paint? Well... Um... Stuff like this...

1994: Game-Maker

Game-Maker was developed by Recreational Software Designs. It's a collection of design tools that allows users to create their own DOS games. To test out the software, I made a simple game in which a guy tries to get through a maze. Yes, this is where "mazeguy" came from. Somehow, it became my nickname, then the name of my website.


Mazeguy grew in complexity, and eventually morphed into Invasion of the Blobs, which later got a sequel. Both games required drawing and animating backgrounds, enemies, and heroes. Title cards, level intros, and cutscenes were also illustrated pixel by pixel.


2001: Flash Kit and Tripod

At the beginning of the new millennium, I started using Flash for the first time. I needed help learning how accomplish certain tasks, and discovered many helpful tutorials at FlashKit.com. I joined the forums, and found a thread titled "Smiley Award Winners". A user named ThundaChunk, a.k.a. JohnnySix, was awarding a small banner to the best smilies submitted in an earlier thread.


It was too late for me to participate, but after fifteen years of creating pixel art, the idea of making smilies intrigued me. I made a whole bunch and put them on my Tripod website. While I was having fun seeing how many emoticons I could come up with, I was also secretly hoping that another smiley contest would be held in the future, and I'd get my own Smiley Award.

Then, on March 29th, 2001, The all new FK members smiley thread appeared. I quickly posted a link to my collection. And so, after a little prodding, I got my Smiley Award.


Over the next two years, my website would get more traffic, and suggestions from visitors helped make my smiley collection grow. Both of these factors caused the site to routinely go over Tripod's bandwidth limit. My free web hosting service was no longer sufficient, so I registered Mazeguy.net on October 25th, 2003.

2005: Hoagie's Revenge

My brother and some of his friends formed a film group, and they needed an animator for one of their short films. It's about a man challenged by his roommate to complete a brutally difficult video game. My job was to build an original Nintendo game that is so unfair, so impossible to beat, that the programmers didn't even bother creating a second level.


You can read more about Hoagie's Revenge, the game within the movie, as well as complete sprite sheets here.

2013: Wordlock

Fifteen years after completing Invasion of the Blobs 2, I revistited Game-Maker and made a puzzle game containing 100 riddles. The graphics weren't particularly complex, but I think the sci-fi font I designed was pretty neat.


You can learn more about Wordlock and how to play it here.

2021: What's Next?

The introduction of emoji have pretty much made smilies obsolete. One avenue that might be worth pursuing is Twitch Emotes, but I've kind of moved away from creating pixel icons.

These days I spend most of my time working on my webcomic, Chuck's Devils. Sometimes I depict the main characters in pixel form, as seen here:

While the series is nowhere near as popular as my smilies were, or even my domino toppling videos (which is a story for another day), I like the process of creating wacky misadventures for Candace, Yu-Ri, and Lily. I hope you'll check out the comic and follow along. :)


Posted by mazeguy - March 21st, 2021

Our kinda noble heroines embark on an epic quest for treasure in the virtual Land of Legends.

Dame Candace, joined by a barbarian beefcake, leads her party of medieval misfits to retrieve the Crown of Virtue from the Castle of the Fire Dragon.

You can read "Episode 16: Futile Fantasy" here or at ChucksDevils.com.



Posted by mazeguy - February 19th, 2021

The Devils set out to rob a ruby, only to discover a colorful woman named Rose beat them to it.

Rose once assumed a false identity to surveil her rival thieves. With ample, uh, confidence, and skills to back it up, Rose may prove to be a thorn in the Devils' sides.

You can read "Episode 15: A Rose By Any Other Name" here or at ChucksDevils.com.



Posted by mazeguy - January 11th, 2021

The Devils go tomb raiding when they attempt to loot jewelry from an oddly familiar looking trio of mummified princesses. The grave robbers dig up their ancient artifacts, but just as the Devils are about to wrap things up, their plans start to unravel.

You can read "Episode 14: Mummy May I?" here or at ChucksDevils.com.



Posted by mazeguy - October 25th, 2020

Just when the future looks bright for the Devils, Chuck reveals his darker side and orders them to execute an assassination mission. Yu-Ri tries to prove her toughness and protect her newfound friends, but Candace and Lily provide support when she needs it most.

You can read "Episode 13: Honor Among Thieves" here or at ChucksDevils.com.



Posted by mazeguy - July 12th, 2020

After two years, 12 episodes, and 108 pages, Part One of Chuck's Devils is finally done! The first season covers Candace, Lily, and Yu-Ri's journey from strangers to friends. What does Part Two have in store for our misfit minions? I hope you'll follow along with me. In the meantime, here's the season finale:

The Devils' luck finally runs out when they are arrested by the LAPD's newest officer, Destiny.

After sharing their feelings for each other, Destiny takes pity on the troubled thieves and releases them. The three former strangers then memorialize their friendship.

You can read "Episode 12: Best Friends Forever" here or at ChucksDevils.com.