When it comes to interviews here at Gaming Reinvented, there seems to be a tendency to interview people whose work we’ve covered here in the past. We interviewed Designing For in early 2019, after having included them in a list of underrated gaming channels beforehand. We’ve interviewed various members of the Mushroom Kingdom Fusion team, after having written articles about its current progress and technical achievements.
And today we’re interviewing another familiar face whose work we’ve covered in the past. Yep, as the title suggests, we’re talking to Squishy Pixelz, creator of numerous WarioWare DIY covers and underrated gaming icon of 2022. It’s an interesting one timing wise too, given that said individual has also become part of the GR team recently too, and is currently working on videos for this site and channel as well as her own.
So let’s find out about her work as a creator, what it takes to make a cover in WarioWare DIY, and the world of video game DAWs as a whole!
So, who are you? Who is Squishy Pixelz?
“Hi I’m Squishy! I make song covers in WarioWare DIY”
I had to get that out of my system. A few people who follow Gaming Reinvented already know who I am. But for those who don’t, I’m Squishy. I’m most known for my WarioWare DIY content.
Why did you choose that username?
Squishy was always a childhood nickname of mine that kinda just stuck, especially since I have an awkward to pronounce first name. Almost everyone in my life calls me it, even in person. As for the Pixelz part, that’s more complicated and has a story attached to it.
So back in 2014, a YouTuber I used to watch had a Tomodachi Life series and they were accepting Miis of some of their fans. I wanted to submit my Mii, but wasn’t comfortable sharing my surname online, so I just made it “Pixels” and it stuck outside of that.
Then how I acquired the Z in “Pixelz” is quite simple.
When I chose the username “Squishy Pixels”, I discovered that a company existed with that name. I was too attached to the username at that point, so I just replaced the second S with a Z, thus “Squishy Pixelz” was born.
It’s a good thing too. Although I don’t think the Squishy Pixels company exists anymore, there’s actually a Minecraft texture pack called Squishy Pixels with an S, so the Z is still mine.
What was your first game?
My memory is a little fuzzy on this, but I think it was Mario Kart DS. I have very fond memories of playing that game with my sisters, cousins and the neighbourhood kids, plus making weird multicoloured blobs in the emblem maker. That or Nintendogs. I was a DS kid either way.
And what are you playing at the moment?
Besides the usual Warioware DIY (though I’m not sure if it counts as “playing” at this point), I’m currently back in my Stardew Valley phase, trying to unlock blue chickens and reaching level 100 of the Skull Caverns. I’ve put way too many hours into that game already, but I can’t stop.
I’m also playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe more than usual, since Wave 3 of the Booster Course Pass is out. Definitely the best wave so far and it’s been amazing playing with so many different groups of people.
Any games you’re excited to play in future?
After finishing Final Fantasy 6 over a month ago, I’ve been really excited to try some of the others in the series. I’m on the fence on whether to jump straight into FF7 or play one of the older ones to balance things out. But I’m excited to be playing something different again,
especially since I love RPGs.
I’ve also been really excited to get into The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword, since I picked it up earlier in the year and would love to play it sometime before Tears of the Kingdom releases.
How did you get interested in video game music?
I just happened to be exposed to DS and Wii games with amazing soundtracks growing up. Games like the Mario and Luigi series, Super Mario Galaxy, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Drawn to Life and the vocal songs in the Warioware series really influenced my taste in video game music today. Plus, I’m always open to hearing more.
As I got older though, I started listening to more people who covered video game music.
Prior to that, I didn’t think that was something people could do, since they’re video games.
Let’s talk about WarioWare now. How did you get into that series?
WarioWare Touched was one of the first WarioWare games I’ve played. That was the game that introduced me to the wacky gameplay and the fun cast of characters. After that I got Smooth Moves on the Wii, re-lived that feeling and the rest was history.
How about WarioWare DIY? What was your intro to that game?
My intro to DIY was a weird one actually.
So I went to a Catholic primary school where the kids made their confirmation when they reached their final year of primary school. It was a religious milestone where the kid’s relatives often gave them money to celebrate, like how you’d get money in cards during your birthday or Christmas. When I made my confirmation and got some money from relatives, I almost instantly took it to Toys R Us and bought WarioWare DIY with it (alongside Mario and Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story), since the idea of recreating the cool stuff I could play in Touched blew my 11-year-old mind.
I’m no longer religious personally, but had I not been raised Catholic, I’d probably never have gotten into WarioWare DIY or be where I am today.
What about music in general? Did you make much music before playing WarioWare DIY?
I always had an interest in music since I was really young. I did study music as a GCSE in secondary school and took a couple of Music Theory exams. But besides knowing how to read sheet music and attempting some now long-gone vocal covers of songs I liked, I never made much else before DIY.
Why did you decide to work on song covers in DIY? Why not say, games or comics?
To be perfectly honest, I don’t have an artsy bone in my body. Any comics I created ended up looking awful, so I’d end up with bad looking ones almost every time. Same with the microgames. They’d just be mediocre “tap to win” games with nice, out of place music.
Were there any other creators who inspired you there?
AKFamilyHome is a big inspiration for my covers. To me, he’s one of the greats in the Warioware DIY community due to the high quality of his song covers. His version of “The Legend” from Deltarune still gives me chills and it was released the day after Deltarune itself came out.
Any other inspiration stems from creators that don’t make DIY covers, since there aren’t many of us lol. I’d say the Mario Paint community as a whole had a huge impact on creating DIY content, since they’ve been there first and are basically the veterans of creating music in Nintendo games.
How do you choose what songs to cover in your WarioWare DIY covers?
90% of the time I’ll either be playing a game or listening to a soundtrack, then think “Ooh I want to cover this!” That or they just pop into my head one day. The other 10% is either fuelled by trends (but mostly only the ones I care about) and suggestions from viewers. Even if I don’t cover a suggested song, it usually gives me ideas for other songs.
Are there any songs you want to cover, but found impossible to fit in DIY’s limitations?
This is quite a hard question to answer, since I’m pushing the limits of WarioWare DIY every time I want to work on an “impossible” song. First it was “Battle with Magus” from Chrono Trigger that was considered the impossible song, then it was “Through the Fire and Flames” and various final boss themes or orchestrated covers. Eventually it led to doing “Dancing Mad”.
If I had to give a proper answer and choose an impossible song though, someone did suggest I do “Two Planets Approach the Roche Limit” from Kirby and the Forgotten Land, It’s long, orchestrated and not in the 4/4 time signature, so it’s definitely impossible (but this answer might age like milk depending on how insane I am!
How do you handle requests?
I don’t tend to call them requests, since that makes it sound like something I’m obligated to do. I’m in this for fun, so I make a point of calling them suggestions instead since that’s more open ended.
I do have a Google Form to keep track of this, which has various questions on what game series people like to see, what covers I should improve and any particular songs people want to hear.
What are your favourite covers and why?
Ooh good question! I have quite a few.
One I’m really proud of is “A Cyber’s World” from Deltarune Chapter 2. It’s one of those songs where playing it safe with the 8-bit sounding instruments really paid off and it’s one of my favourite Toby Fox songs I did in DIY.
Next up is “Penny’s Song” from WarioWare Get it Together. There’s something very humorous about making a WarioWare song in a WarioWare game. But honestly, I loved how this one turned out. It’s so cute! Plus, I’ve been called Penny at least twice, so it was fitting.
And I can’t talk about my favourite DIY covers without mentioning “Dancing Mad” from Final Fantasy 6. I personally consider this one to be my magnum opus, even if it didn’t take off stats wise. It took me a year and a half on and off to create.
Honourable mention also goes to “Guardia Millennial Fair” and “Battle with Magus” from Chrono Trigger, “Ninja Hideaway” from Mario Kart Tour and “Moonstruck Blossom” from Kirby Triple Deluxe. There’s probably a bunch of others, but my mind goes blank when asked this question.
Any you don’t like as much anymore? Or thought have aged poorly?
Oh god there’s a lot of them I wish I’d get around to fixing.
First there’s my cover of “Ashley’s Theme” from WarioWare Touched. It’s one of my more viewed song that I really wish wasn’t. The instrumentation just doesn’t sound right and the whole thing feels off. But I can half forgive it, since it’s a 2018 cover. Maybe I’ll redo it.
Then there’s my Friday Night Funkin’ songs. The songs themselves are good and they did really well on my channel. But that’s one of the few times I jumped on a trend I didn’t care about and forced myself to make stuff. Sure, I made some good stuff, but I’m not happy with the circumstances of those uploads. I’ll leave any future Friday Night Funkin’ covers to Surielle the Cookieblobber. He’s mastered these Friday Night Funkin’ covers and has done some extreme stuff with DIY.
Lastly there’s Baby Shark. Not even gonna give a reason. It’s literally the first half of Baby Shark.
We’ve noticed you’ve done quite a few series on YouTube too, like the Legion of Stationary or Rainbow Road ones. What makes you decide to start one of these?
Most of the time, it’s just coincidence. Take the Legion of Stationary from Origami King for example. I did the Shifty Sticker first just because it’s cool (plus it’s my favourite Stationary song). After a while I did Disco Devil and Elastic Entertainer. By that point I realised I’ve already done half of them, so I decided to just do the rest and make a medley out of it. Same applies to Rainbow Road.
Stuff like Kirby Month and Mario Paint Fortnight were actually planned though. Kirby Month in particular was in development since around late January or early February, while I knew I wanted to do a Mario Paint thing for its 30th anniversary for a while.
You also run a Discord community called Studio21, which has done really well recently. What made you decide to create such a community?
The main reason I made it was because no one else did it yet. I’m honestly not the leader type when it comes to being online and never expected to run a community of this size. I’m more of a follower. But with Studio21 I not only wanted a place to share DIY covers, but I wanted it to be the type of place I’d be excited to randomly stumble across if I didn’t make it. I hope we succeeded. It’s brought me this far, so that’s amazing.
Are you happy with how it’s doing so far? Reaching over a thousand members is very impressive for sure!
It’s not quite at a thousand members yet, but I’m really happy with where it’s at (and it’s really close), especially since it was recently the server’s 4th anniversary.
I’m really happy with where it is currently and I couldn’t have done that without the rest of the staff team. Again, I’m not really the leader type so besides having final large say regarding server issues, I’d consider myself equal to the rest of the mod team and I try my best to give them all as much of a say as I do. I just have all the fancy buttons to make those things happen. So, thanks to them!
The server Affiliates also had a huge impact on growth. These connections can be very important as there aren’t many Nintendo game creatives and we gotta stick together. Not to mention the affiliations with other communities I’ve worked with like Gaming Reinvented for Mario Kart tournaments (even before I joined the GR team) and VideoDojo for hyping up my work over the last two years.
If I had to give one thing I’d like to improve, but it’s not something I’m unhappy about per say. I’d love to do more collaborations or community events on the server. I know it’s something people want and it would be awesome. It’s just something I’ve been hesitant to plan or propose due to not really knowing how high the interest would be once it’s put in action. But that’s something I might try for 2023-2024.
It’s interesting to see the Wario community is doing better in recent years too, with communities like that and the WarioWare Cult being super active now. Why do you think the Wario community is more active online now?
I think one of the main reasons is definitely the release of WarioWare Gold, then Get it Together and how that gave people more to do even a year after release. The latter plus Game Builder Garage in the same year brought a lot of fans of WarioWare DIY out of hiding as well.
I think another factor is servers like the WarioWare Cult like you said. That server appeared at the right place at the right time and I’m really happy to see that place so active today. Plus having all the major Wario themed communities affiliated with each other, like the WarioWare Cult, Studio21, Diamond City Nights for the Gold Reanimated project and having the Wario Forums integrated into Studio21 helps bridge that gap more.
That and the memes. Wario is a very easy to meme character. lol
Regardless, you don’t just make songs in WarioWare DIY now, you also make them in Mario Paint too. What got you interested in that software?
That one is also a bit of a funny story.
So back in 2019, I joined the Mario Paint Hangouts server with full intention to affiliate with them. It was definitely talked about in the server, but I kinda forgot to continue the conversation and just got really into the Mario Paint community.
Then at the end of 2020, I started making my own Mario Paints after being nudged by a few of the MPH members, who I’d now consider great friends. I even joined a few collabs like the Wario Paint one (which is a very fitting first collab), the Undertale Collab and the Kirby Collab this year, plus two Secret Santas. Now I’m hooked and really enjoy it, though I’m not quite up there with the Painters who have more experience yet lol.
Throughout all this. I got so into the Mario Paint community, that the server affiliate thing didn’t actually happen until 2022.
And how does it compare to WarioWare DIY? Is it easier or harder to make songs in one or the other?
It depends on what I need from a song to be honest. Mario Paint (the PC one, not the original SNES version) gives me more control with things like how long a note is played, the number of them I can have and better tempo control which makes songs with weird time signatures much easier. Whereas WarioWare DIY is more organised in its UI, I can take it on the go and it has better percussion instruments (sorry Super Mario Paint)
Are there any songs you started for one tool, and moved to another?
Oh definitely! My Mario Paint cover of “Moonlight Canyon” was actually originally for WarioWare DIY. But that was changed last minute due to all the instruments available in Paint that worked perfectly for it. Same applies to “My Castle Town” from Deltarune (one of my favourites). Though that one was also due to the weirder time signature.
Sometimes it’s also the other way, either because I’m more confident in my WarioWare DIY covers than my Mario Paints ones. But also, because there’s instruments in DIY not present in Mario Paint.
And what other DAWs are you interested in? Are there any others that have sparked your interest recently?
I have dabbled into Tadpole Treble once or twice, but I still have yet to make anything in it. I’ll need to sit down and try something one of these days. There’s also “Composer” on the Nintendo Switch, which is a successor to Mario Paint made by a fan of its music creator. I still have yet to buy that one, but it looks interesting.
I do use the DAW “LMMS” for more traditional video game music covers (and a few memes as well). But to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t recommend it as the best free DAW unless you have no other options. It’s awkward to use and the only reason I still do is because I don’t feel like earning a new piece of software as large as a traditional DAW.
Regardless, your channel is doing pretty well, with more than a thousand subs and many successful videos. How does it feel to know people like your work like this?
It’s really… weird to be honest? I guess I shouldn’t be shocked, since Mario Paint songs are so popular. But the fact that there’s over a thousand people watching me make songs in an underrated DS game from 2009 (yikes) feels so strange to me. Scepticism aside though, I’m really thankful that people are listening to these covers and I’m excited to create more for people. I’ve been going for about seven and a half years and there’s no sign of me stopping at the time of answering this question.
You also seem to be known online as the ‘WarioWare DIY Girl’. How does that make you feel?
Also very weird. I’m gonna sound very cocky here. But the fact that I can go into an online space filled with likeminded people and be known for my work, which somehow happened three times since I started, is so strange. That and when the topic of WarioWare DIY composers come up, which is really rare naturally. My name appears. It’s something I never thought I’d have to get used to.
Are you happy with your channel’s progress so far?
I’m not super fussed on the statistical side of things, unless a meme song does better than a cover that took me days or weeks to make. That’s just YouTube being unfair and I don’t really appreciate that. But other than that, I’ve always been really happy with my channel’s progress. I run a tight and organised, but fun ship and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for it.
Interestingly, it seems your content has diversified quite a bit recently, with everything from streams to normal music covers to tutorial videos. What made you decide to move away from just WarioWare and Mario Paint?
The normal music covers happened because there was a time in 2020 for about two months where I lost my copy of WarioWare DIY and I couldn’t make them. That was before I started making Mario Paints, so I needed something else for the channel and discovered my love for making music without limits (I still prefer DIY and Mario Paint though).
The other stuff like live streams and tutorials were more as a way to get my voice out there and to entertain or educate in other ways. I have a Journalism qualification and wanted more opportunities to use the skills I learnt from that course. I haven’t streamed or worked on the tutorial in a while, but I do plan on returning to streaming once I figure out how it works on YouTube. The tutorial will have to wait though, as I’m doing a lot more research for it then my last attempt.
Is YouTube your full-time job? Do you want it to be so?
It’s not my full-time job, since I’m not making anything off of it. But since the events of 2020, it has been the main focus in my life. Part of me wouldn’t mind it being my full-time job. But I’d be scared of losing the main reasons why I make YouTube content in the first place. I do it for fun and I worry that it wouldn’t be fun anymore if it turned into a job.
That and I’d feel really awkward about getting money for something I’ve been doing for free over the last nearly eight years. At least until I’m eligible to make money on YouTube or something, I’d rather not make a penny off of it. Once I’m at that point, I’ll look into it further.
Any other creators you want to work with in future?
Not that I can think of. I’ve already collaborated with a couple of WarioWare DIY content creators (shout out to SuperLeo and Wario’s D.I.Y House) and I’m involved in a few Mario Paint Collabs like I mentioned earlier in the interview. But other than that, no one comes to mind. If anyone is up for collaborating with me though, they’re free to ask. Unless they’ve given me a reason not to, I’m too busy or even if the collab idea isn’t my thing. The worst I can say is no or not yet. I appreciate those who ask, even if I decline.
Finally, what advice would you give someone wanting to get started in making WarioWare DIY covers? Or for those who want to become a YouTuber or creator in general?
For those in the DIY community. I cannot stress this enough. Don’t feel discouraged from doing a song just because I or another DIY content creator beat you to it. If this was the case even outside of WarioWare DIY covers, there wouldn’t be multiple different takes on your favourite songs. A world with only the original and one cover of Dire Dire Docks or Song of Storms would be a really boring one. Plus, I’ve covered over 400 songs at this point. That doesn’t mean those 400 are off limits. I wanna see other people’s takes on them.
As for those who want to become a content creator. I have multiple things to say. Firstly, keep track of everything you do early if you ever feel like you want that information documented. Otherwise, you’ll end up like me spending 2-3 hours on a Wednesday evening going through my YouTube channel, putting 300 DIY covers in one by one.
Next, don’t feel discouraged by content with lower or below average views. Even if you have 20k subs, there will still be videos every now and then that flop. A few bad videos doesn’t mean that your channel/site/wherever is dying.
Lastly, have fun! There’s a high chance you might not make money from it. And even if you do, it will be pocket change unless multiple things go viral. But none of that really doesn’t matter if that’s not the main point in the first place.
Thanks Squish! Yeah, you’re right about not worrying about other people covering a song for sure. It’s like with any content creator really, you can’t always be the first or only one to cover a topic, and you really shouldn’t worry about that in general. Everyone’s take on an idea is different, and there are always plenty of people keen to see your version, no matter how many others came before you.
And your other advice makes sense too. Some videos will flop, others will succeed. It’s not the end of the world either way. Same goes with content creation needing to be fun too. That way, even if your work isn’t as popular as expected, you’ll at least be able to learn things and enjoy the process nonetheless.
Still, that’s the interview over. Thanks to Squishy for accepting the interview, and thanks to you guys for reading it! It’s been amazing to have done 99 of these so far, and we’re super excited to see what the future holds for them in the years to come too. Hopefully we’ll have lots more exciting articles in 2022 and 2023 as well!
Regardless, if you enjoyed it, check out Squishy’s work on social media below, and if you have any thoughts on anything mentioned in the interview, post them in the comments below, on social media, or on our Discord server today!