CG: I KEEP SCROLLING BACKWARDS THROUGH YOUR ADVENTURE. CG: TRYING TO PIECE TOGETHER HOW YOU BOTCH THIS UP SO BADLY. CG: AND I KEEP FINDING THESE STRIKING POCKETS OF FOOLISHNESS. CG: LIKE WHAT YOU'RE DOING NOW. CG: RIDING YOUR LITTLE RED ROCKET. CG: LIKE YOU ARE A FRESHLY HATCHED HUMAN LARVA AND THIS IS JUST ALL A BIG SCHOOLHIVE RUMPUS RESPITE. EB: humans aren't hatched as larvae dummy. EB: we don't hatch at all. EB: we are born as these like little pink monkeys called babies. CG: BULLSHIT. CG: THAT'S NOT WHAT YOU JUST TOLD ME. EB: what did i say? CG: I'LL PASTE WHAT YOU SAID. EB: i thought you didn't like going down that road? EB: copy-pasting future/past conversations... CG: WHY WOULD I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT. EB: i dunno, that's what you just told me. CG: WHATEVER, LOOK: CG: EB: this is really weird... CG: CG: WHAT'S SO WEIRD ABOUT IT. CG: EB: well, normally humans hatch... CG: EB: from like these slimy pods. CG: EB: then we wriggle out as a little pink larva. CG: CG: OH REALLY. CG: CG: HUH, MAYBE WE HAVE MORE IN COMMON THAN I THOUGHT. EB: hahaha! EB: i was punking you dude! EB: or at least i will be in our next conversation. EB: thanks for the great prank idea. CG: ARGH. CG: WHY WOULD YOU TRICK ME ABOUT THAT, WHAT IS EVEN THE POINT. EB: i don't know, it was just a friendly prank. EB: don't you ever play pranks? EB: i mean, of course you do, one of you just tried to prank me good. CG: WHAT, WHO. EB: pffffff, you'll find out. CG: WELL FINE. CG: I GUESS YOU GOT ME BACK, SORT OF. CG: FOR MY TROLLING, EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVEN'T EVEN READ MY WORST TROLLING EFFORTS YET. CG: BECAUSE THEY HAPPEN IN YOUR FUTURE. CG: AND EVEN THEN YOU DIDN'T EVEN MIND MUCH, ALMOST LIKE YOU WERE DELIGHTED TO HEAR IT. CG: KIND OF PERVERSE REALLY, WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU? EB: well, we're friends by then, aren't we? EB: or sort of like, uh, reverse anti-mutual friends. CG: WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT EVEN MEAN. EB: look, you're going to have to face it at some point... EB: that you're learning the meaning of this human emotion called friendship. CG: IS FRIENDSHIP REALLY AN EMOTION? EB: yes, absolutely. CG: I GUESS IT'S HARD TO SEE HOW WE BECOME FRIENDS. CG: THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING. CG: EVERY TIME I GO FURTHER BACK INTO YOUR PAST AND TALK TO YOU, YOU SAY STUFF THAT PERTAINS TO MY IMMEDIATE FUTURE. CG: AND THEN YOU WON'T EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT'S GOING ON, BECAUSE IT'S ALREADY OLD NEWS FOR YOU. EB: dude, you've been doing the same exact thing!!! CG: I'VE DONE NO SUCH THING. CG: I'VE BEEN EXCEPTIONALLY INFORMATIVE AND HELPFUL. CG: IF JUSTIFIABLY ACRIMONIOUS. EB: you never answer my questions, though. EB: how am i supposed to know what's going on, or what you're alluding to? CG: THIS GAME IS KIND OF A GAME OF A MILLION GUIDES. CG: EVERYWHERE YOU TURN THERE'S ANOTHER WAY TO FIGURE OUT WHAT'S GOING ON, SO PLEASE, GO SECRETE ME AN EARTH RIVER THROUGH YOUR STRANGE HUMAN TEAR DUCTS. CG: YOU'VE GOT SPRITES, EXILES, GUARDIANS, CONSORTS... CG: TIME HOPPING FUTURE SELVES, MYSTICAL DREAM ORACLE DOPPELGANGERS... CG: AND IF THAT WASN'T ENOUGH, YOUR PARTICULAR GROUP OF PLAYERS IS LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE US TO GIVE YOU THE SCOOP ON STUFF. CG: THROUGH A SORT OF SUBVERSION OF THE WHOLE DAMN THING. CG: EVEN THOUGH WE HATE YOU. CG: AND EVEN THOUGH THE FACT THAT WE HATE YOU CG: IS AN IMMUTABLE FACT AS UNALTERABLE AS THIS WRITHING KNOTTED HELL OF A TIMELINE CHOKING US ALL TO DEATH CG: IT DOES NOT MEAN WE HAVE ANY REASON TO WITHHOLD ANY INFORMATION FROM YOU CG: OR DISH IT OUT THROUGH CRYPTOBAFFLING MIND FUDDLERY. CG: SO GO AHEAD, ASK ME ANYTHING. EB: ok... EB: what's the point of the game. CG: ASK SOMETHING ELSE. CG: ALREADY TOLD YOU THAT. CG: IT WAS THIS WHOLE BIG CONVERSATION WE HAD. EB: augh! EB: fine. EB: where are you now? CG: IN THE MEDIUM. CG: A SEPARATE SESSION FROM YOURS. EB: no no, i know that! EB: you already told me. CG: I DID? EB: yes, in your future. CG: DAMMIT. EB: what i mean is... EB: are you in your house right now, or in one of your magical lands, or what? EB: just curious cause you can see me, but i can't see or know anything about you! CG: WE'RE HIDING IN THE VEIL. CG: WHAT'S LEFT OF IT. EB: what's that? CG: IT'S A HUGE BELT OF METEORS CG: ORBITING WAY OUTSIDE SKAIA, BEYOND THE ORBIT OF THE PLANETS CG: DIVIDING THE MEDIUM FROM THE FURTHEST RING CG: WHERE DERSE ORBITS. EB: derse? CG: THE DARK PLANET. CG: PROSPIT'S THE LIGHT ONE NEAR SKAIA. EB: well jeez, how am i supposed to know any of this?? CG: YOU'D PROBABLY FIND OUT SOONER OR LATER FROM YOUR DUMB GRANDMA. CG: BUT BY FUSING WITH THE SPRITE SHE HAS TO WITHHOLD STUFF AND BE MYSTERIOUS AND ALL. CG: TO MAKE YOUR ADVENTURE SEEM MORE "MAAAAAAGICAL!!!!" CG: IT'S INFURIATING. EB: ok, so the veil is a bunch of meteors... EB: what do you mean "what's left of it"? CG: OK, THERE COMES A TIME WHEN BLACK INEVITABLY BEATS WHITE CG: ON THE BATTLEFIELD IN THE CENTER OF SKAIA CG: THE WHITE KING IS CAPTURED OR KILLED OR SOMETHING CG: THAT'S WHEN THE RECKONING STARTS. EB: ok... CG: THE RULERS OF DERSE CG: THE BLACK KING AND QUEEN CG: GET THE POWER TO SEND THE VEIL TOWARD SKAIA CG: TO DESTROY IT CG: THAT KIND OF STARTS YOUR BIG "COUNTDOWN" CG: WHEN SHIT GETS SERIOUS. EB: so then it's up to us to save it? CG: YEAH, YOU HAVE THAT LONG TO KILL THE BLACK QUEEN AND KING CG: AND SKAIA ITSELF SORT OF BUYS YOU SOME TIME CG: BY ACTIVATING ITS DEFENSE PORTALS CG: TO CATCH SOME OF THE METEORS CG: THE THREAT GETS BIGGER THE LONGER YOU TAKE THOUGH CG: SMALLER METEORS COME FIRST AND THEY GET PROGRESSIVELY BIGGER AND BIGGER CG: AND THERE'S ONLY SO MUCH OF THEM SKAIA CAN ABSORB FOR YOU. EB: ok, but it sounds like we've got plenty of time before that happens, right? CG: THAT'S JUST IT. CG: YOU DON'T. CG: ORDINARILY YOU WOULD BUT CG: YOUR RECKONING STARTS MUCH SOONER CG: BECAUSE OF SOME DUMB THINGS YOU'VE DONE CG: YOU COMPLETELY BLEW IT ALREADY AND YOU HAVE NO CHANCE OF WINNING ANYMORE CG: WHICH ORDINARILY WOULD BE FINE CG: JUST ANOTHER BUNCH OF LOSERS TO FAIL AT THIS GAME CG: IT'S WHAT YOU DO LATER THAT CAUSES SO MUCH MORE TROUBLE THAN THAT CG: AND NOW WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT TOO. EB: oh no... EB: what is it? CG: ALREADY TOLD YOU. CG: IT'S INEVITABLE AND COMPLETELY POINTLESS TO TALK ABOUT ANYWAY. EB: yeah, well... EB: maybe you're wrong! EB: maybe there's something we can still do to stop it, if you just help us? CG: I'M NOT WRONG, IT'S ALL RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF ME, YOU FUCK UP ROYALLY, END OF STORY. EB: ok, we'll see about that, mr. sourbulge. EB: hey, aren't you kind of uncomfortable sitting on a meteor? EB: are you all huddled in a crater or something? CG: NO, THERE'S ALL KINDS OF CRAZY SHIT IN THE VEIL. CG: A LOT OF THESE METEORS ARE KIND OF LIKE... CG: BIG SEEDS. EB: seeds? EB: um... EB: well, what kind of crazy shit is there? CG: STUFF LIKE... CG: BUILDINGS CG: FACILITIES CG: LIKE LABS AND STUFF. EB: weird. CG: YEAH, THE VEIL IS KIND OF LIKE NEUTRAL GROUND FOR THE KINGDOMS, LIKE OUR PLANETS. CG: SOME PLACES ARE USED TO GENETICALLY ENGINEER SOLDIERS AND AGENTS FOR THE TWO SIDES. CG: USING GENETIC MATERIAL FROM THE EXOTIC MENAGERIE OF CHESS PIECES ON THE BATTLEFIELD. CG: TO HELP FUEL THE WAR AND KEEP RAISING THE STAKES. EB: wow, i don't think i'm following this. CG: YEAH NO SHIT! CG: BUT YOU'LL FIND OUT WHEN YOU GET THERE CG: SINCE YOU WERE IN THE VEIL WHEN WE LAST TALKED. CG: ANYWAY THAT'S MORE THAN ENOUGH INFO FOR YOU TO THINK ABOUT AND BE LESS STUPID IN TIME FOR CONVERSATIONS WE'VE ALREADY HAD. CG: I'M OUT OF HERE. EB: ok, but wait... EB: can you give a message to GC for me? EB: tell her nice try. CG: WHAT CG: WHY WOULD I GIVE HER A MESSAGE FOR YOU CG: DO IT YOURSELF, I'M NOT A RELAY SERVICE. EB: oh, well i thought you'd be cool with it since you asked me to give her a message for you last time. EB: but whatever. CG: I FIND THAT HIGHLY IMPLAUSIBLE. CG: I'M NOT FALLING FOR ANY MORE OF YOUR HUMAN PRANKS. CG: "NICE TRY" JOHN CG: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
I've been thinking this over for the last few weeks, and I've decided now is the best time to suspend all regular updates until I've finished the story, rather than pausing just before I start on the final animation. When I'm done, I'll post it all at once. There are a lot of reasons why I think this is the best strategy.
Primarily, it's about efficiency, and being able to work on the remaining (and likely the most difficult parts) of the story without distractions, or the added challenge of having to crank out the next serial update as fast as possible, which means I always have to stay totally linear with the work. This way I can produce the rest of it more comprehensively, prepare animation assets in advance, do more stuff in parallel, etc. It will go faster. And ultimately, I think it'll read better as one thing, rather than as a sequence tortuously spread out over time, as has been the norm for years. I think it's close enough to the end now to safely retire Homestuck as a serial reading experience. There's nothing to be gained from that presentation anymore, in my view. It's just time to bear down and get it done.
I guess we're breaking for a long time on a big cliffhanger, but there's no way around that. Actually, pausing at any point later would probably be even worse, as it keeps pushing into endgame territory. That's why I'm stopping now instead of later. With such a big readership, the reactions will only get crazier, and the demand for new updates will get more intense. Over time, knowing so many people are slamming refresh many times per day starts to be more of an omnipresent distraction than anything. I think there is sort of a perception that I am creatively feeding off the hysteria surrounding the comic, but on a very practical level this is not true. Creating entertainment is not really a lifestyle of madcap shenanigans. It is a very sober, often dull process that requires a huge amount of time and concentration. It will be better to disarm the hype machine while I get the hard stuff done.
So what is the itinerary? Need to finish A663 through A666, and then A7. Keep in mind that these sub acts can be literally any length, even onepage. There's a good bit of ground to cover, but most of the effort will be tied up in animation chores.
I don't really have a time estimate here, and am not sure there's any real advantage in coming up with one. It'll just be a while. I also have to allocate some time to work on the Kickstarter game. That didn't stop being a thing I have to do. It's coming along. I'll probably have a more substantive update on that before the end of the year. There hasn't been much to report yet since it's mostly been in a high level planning and writing phase. And firming up tons of legal minutiae. Stuff like that.
But I will say there is something new to watch out for next month. Kind of a secret project I'm involved with, unrelated to MSPA or the KS game. Well, it's technically not that secret. It's only secret if you don't know about it yet. Meditate on those profound words, and keep an eye out for news on this in coming weeks.
Oh yeah. Almost forgot, I'll have to take some time to port the site to a new server. Obviously it hasn't been cutting it the last couple months. So we'll work on that soon. Hopefully the new service will be able to handle the massive heart attack the next batch up updates will represent.
During the gigapause, there should still be plenty to see here in the news section. Whether it's about the aforementioned projects, or new product releases, there'll be a lot going on. Trust me, the coolest stuff at What Pumpkin this season has yet to be released.
Happy 4/13, a.k.a. 5 years of Homestuck being a thing! Since I know how much you like things, to celebrate I thought I would show you another thing that's been in the works for a while.
It's a new webcomic based on Homestuck, called Paradox Space! Have a look. That is all I will say about it here. But if you would like to know what the heck this ACTUALLY IS, here is a permalink to the news post where I talk about such matters.
2014 What Pumpkin Convention Schedule ... over there! ->
The What Pumpkin crew will be quite active on the con circuit this year. 11 cons by my count (for now). Take a look at the schedule, and make your plans accordingly!
What Pumpkin will be setting up a booth in all these cons where you can buy stuff and meet some friendly WP folk. I personally will only be attending two or three of these. I'm not sure which ones yet. I don't think I can lock myself into anything definite yet, since all that traveling is incredibly time consuming and tends to derail work. That's sort of what happened last year. I traveled way too much, and it really messed me up! So work schedule permitting, I'll probably pick a couple of these later and make some "surprise appearances". That way, if you happen to see me at a convention, you can be 100% certain that our encounter will be a result of PURE DESTINY.
It's almost over, right? Um, no, sorry. I still have no time estimate, or specific date I am shooting for. 4/13 would be the COOLEST date to shoot for, right? I doubt that's realistic though. Because in spite of my most religious wishes every single day, magic keeps on being fake. THANKS, "god".
What is the status, then? The status is this. Since pausing, basically all I have been doing is writing. No drawing or animation yet. Writing, writing, writing. Writing for Homestuck, and writing for the adventure game. More time has been allocated to the latter. The game is a big, big project. Let's not kid ourselves here. It's like this whole new major story and everything, fueled by millions of dollars. That's a very different situation from Homestuck, which is usually fueled by approximately zero dollars.
Homestuck probably needs another month of writing before I can start making panels. Not even to speak of Flash work. And of course, game development looms over everything as well. This feels totally different from the usual routine of write-draw-post, write-draw-post, write-draw-post, ad infinitum. Writing everything out beforehand is peculiar. And by peculiar I mean "totally conventional", in most other creative contexts. Let's see how that approach pans out. (You go out on a limb and guess it will result in the same silly bullshit as always.)
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?
Kickstarter - Speaking of the game, I sent out a backer update just before the newd year. The same update just went out to paypal backers too (it took a while to set up a system for that). If you backed the project but didn't notice an update, you might want to check your email. If you didn't back it, sorry these updates are <shhhh>secret</shhhh>. I mean, not really. The info gets "leaked" everywhere, if you know where to look. The point is, *I'M* technically not supposed to be the one tell you. Get it? Oh. You don't? Me neither.
One question I feel like I should answer out in the open even though I kinda thought it was obvious (there is no such thing as obvious) since I see it come up so much: yes, you will be able to purchase the game, even if you did not back the Kickstarter!
Contest - In the near future, I'm going to be putting out some neat things through We Love Fine. WLF is a cool company that makes a lot of nice stuff, that you will find particularly interesting if you are into "the fandoms". Do you like fandoms? When I was a kid we didn't even have those. All we had were shitty Atari games, and spankings.
But before they formally launch any Homestuck stuff, they're running a fun shirt design contest. There are sweet cash prizes. Hey, only participate if you think is sounds fun though. Most people won't win, because that's what a contest is, according to the way that common word is classically defined. I ain't out to waste anyone's time! I do hope plenty of people submit designs though. There's some nutty stuff rolling in. People will laugh at me if I pick the naked Gamzee shirt. DON'T MAKE ME PICK THE NAKED GAMZEE SHIRT!
Another Secret Project - Remember a while ago, I mysteriously mumbled something about a secret project? And then it came along, and it turned out to be Namco High? This is like that again. Except it's not a dating sim. Or a game, or anything like that. Also, it doesn't involve video game characters you've never heard of. It is a much more Homestuck-focused thing. That's all I'm gonna say! Ok, I lied, I will say one more thing: it's going to be really cool, and you will wonder where it has been all your life.
Vinyl Figures - These are up in the store now! For actual sale. Hehe... look at em!
Homestuck book 3 and Problem Sleuth book 5 are here! The Homestuck book contains Act 3. The Problem Sleuth book is the final volume of the series.
(The cover of PS5 glows in the dark by the way.)
And now that the Problem Sleuth series is wrapped up, you can get the full set. Dedicating this much paper to three cartoon detectives trying to leave an office should be illegal. But it isn't, and we are exploiting that fact to our advantage here.