-- ectoBiologist [EB] began pestering tentacleTherapist [TT] --
EB: hey rose! TT: Hi. EB: how are you doing? i don't even remember the last time we talked. EB: i have been so busy. EB: and it looks like you have been too. EB: i mean, hopy shit! EB: my house is HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE! TT: Actually, building up your house has been one of the more trivial ways I've passed the time. TT: Great swaths of the structure may be copied and pasted with little architectural consideration. TT: I've only bothered to do so while in contemplation. TT: It's relaxing. EB: oh. EB: well, it must have cost a fortune! TT: We have a lot of grist. EB: how much? TT: I don't recall any hard figures off hand. TT: Last I checked, more than a million units of several different types. TT: Torrented between the three of us. EB: torrented? TT: Shared, through an application. TT: I unlocked the disc from your registry, and deployed it. TT: I convinced your nanna to install it on your computer. TT: Before an imp threw it out the window, that is. EB: you got her to do that? but she's an old lady! also, a ghost. TT: My methods of persuasion have been improving. EB: also, she is really tricky, and plays lots of pranks. EB: did she try to prank you? TT: No. EB: huh. EB: i guess you enjoyed the prankster's gambit on that exchange then. TT: ? EB: oh yeah... EB: what's up with the alchemiter? EB: it looks weird. TT: Upgrades. EB: did you get nanna to do that too? TT: No, your consorts were utilized for that. EB: the salamanders?? TT: Yes. They seem eager to receive simple instruction. TT: I'm guessing they find their way back to your house to allow the client player to remain productive while the server player is away. EB: they aren't very smart... TT: No, they aren't. EB: i'm surprised they even understand what to do. TT: Like I said. TT: Coercion hasn't been much of a problem. EB: yeah... EB: uh... EB: what exactly does that mean? EB: what have you been doing this whole time??? TT: Why don't you tell me what you've been up to first? TT: I've been curious, but too preoccupied to inquire. EB: well, EB: i have been talking to a lot of trolls, for one thing. EB: they sure are a talkative bunch! TT: I've noticed. EB: and then i cloned some slime babies in the veil. TT: Did you? EB: yes. um... EB: ok, long story short is, jade is my slime clone sister, and dave is your slime clone brother, and we were all born today! TT: Yes. EB: yes? TT: I figured that out. EB: oh. TT: Anything else? EB: umm... EB: then i fell asleep, and woke up on the battlefield. EB: oh! EB: rose, i am fairly sure i saw your mom! TT: You did? TT: Are you sure it was her? EB: well, it was a nice and proper looking lady, with a pink scarf, so... EB: i dunno, who else would that be! TT: That was likely her. TT: How was she? EB: fine, i guess... EB: she was with my dad. TT: That's interesting. EB: yeah! TT: Did she seem happy? EB: happy? EB: wow, i dunno. EB: i don't really know her well enough to say, i guess? EB: plus, i was a little distracted. EB: maybe i will find out next time i go to sleep. TT: Fair enough. EB: now stop being so spookily mysterious and tell me what you've been doing! TT: Investigating, mostly. EB: investigating what? TT: Everything there is to investigate. TT: Information hidden in the lore of our lands, concealed in ruins and riddles. TT: I'm looking for whatever there is to discover about the game, and more importantly, whatever exceeds its boundaries. TT: The cloaked traces of myth beyond its scope. EB: its scope? EB: oh, rose, did you know that we are supposed to be creating a universe with this game? TT: Yes. EB: i think that's pretty neat! TT: It is, in principle. TT: But it won't happen. EB: so you believe the trolls then? TT: It's not a matter of believing them. TT: The writing is on the wall. Literally. EB: it is? TT: This session was never meant to bear fruit. TT: It's barren, so to speak. EB: that's a bit of a bummer! EB: i am still skeptical about that, though. TT: That's why you're our leader, John. EB: huh? TT: Optimism through stalwart skepticism is a defect not everyone is lucky enough to be cursed with. EB: that's stupid. EB: i'm not your leader, i am your FRIEND, there is a BIG difference! TT: Statements like that are also why you're our leader. EB: pff. EB: laaaaaaaame. TT: Yes, kind of. EB: so, if you're sure that we are going to fail... EB: what is the point of everything we're doing? TT: Simple. TT: The objective is no longer to win. EB: um... EB: i mean, what are we actually shooting for here? TT: To do as much damage to the game as possible. TT: To rip its stitches and pry answers from the seams. TT: We will snatch purpose from the jaws of futility. TT: Are you ready to wreak some havoc, John? EB: i suddenly don't understand anything.
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.
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.