CG: SEE THIS IS A CASE IN POINT. EB: what point? CG: THE POINT I WAS JUST MAKING. CG: ABOUT THE ULTIMATE RIDDLE. CG: YOU BLITHERING FECULENT SHITHOLE. CG: OK THAT'S YOUR CUE TO LAUGH AT ME SOME MORE I GUESS. CG: BECAUSE YOU SEEM TO REALLY GET OFF WHENEVER I FLAME YOU. CG: HUMANS ARE DERANGED. EB: oh man, i must be getting closer to the conversations where you're trolling me harder! EB: this is pretty exciting, i can't wait to see what you've got up your sleeve. CG: YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN??? FUCK YOU ABOUT THAT. EB: anyway, you weren't making a point about the ultimate riddle, dude. CG: YES I WAS, AND NOW I'M LOSING MY TRAIN OF THOUGHT DIPSHIT. EB: nope, we never talked about it. EB: yet... CG: OH HELL, THAT'S RIGHT. CG: DAMMIT, I GUESS THIS IS GOING TO BE CONFUSING. EB: oh, you're just starting to figure that out now? CG: SEE I KIND OF PAINTED MYSELF INTO A CORNER. CG: I STARTED TROLLING YOU AT THE END, JUST BEFORE THE RIFT. CG: AND THEN JUMPED BACK A LITTLE. CG: AND NOW I GUESS I'VE BECOME RAILROADED INTO WORKING BACKWARDS HERE. CG: UNLESS I WANT TO DO THE SORT OF DUMB SCHIZOPHRENIC HOPPING AROUND LIKE THE OTHERS. EB: oh my god, i know, you've already told me like a million times!!! CG: I HAVE? CG: WOW I CAN'T WAIT FOR ALL THESE AMAZING CONVERSATIONS TO TAKE PLACE. CG: IT'S GOING TO BE LIKE THAT HUMAN VACATION WITH THE GIANT RED CHIMNEY ASSHOLE UP IN HERE. CG: YOU KNOW, THE ONE WHERE A BUNCH OF MOANY NOOKSUCKERS SING AT A LITTLE PINE TREE I THINK. EB: man, i've got to say i'm a little disappointed by this "masterful trolling" you were bragging about. CG: I WAS BRAGGING? CG: WHY WOULD I BOTHER WITH THAT SORT OF PEDANTIC HUMAN HORSESHIT. CG: MAYBE YOU SHOULD CONSIDER THAT I WAS BRAGGING TO GET YOUR HOPES UP IN THE FUTURE. CG: ONLY TO LET YOU DOWN. CG: AND THUS TROLL YOU MASTERFULLY IN THAT RESPECT. EB: maybe, but that would be pretty weak too!!! CG: YOUR BRITTLE HUMAN CALCIUM BASED SKULL IS WHAT IS WEAK, AND IF YOU AND I WERE IN THE PROXIMITY OF A BLUNT INSTRUMENT I WOULDN'T HAVE MUCH TROUBLE PROVING IT. EB: w/e. EB: so what was the "case in point" you were making, anyway? CG: I WAS SCROLLING BACK AND NOTICED YOU WERE IN THE VEIL. EB: whoa, i am? CG: YEAH DUMBDUMB, YOU'RE TUMBLING AROUND ON A BIG GODDAMN METEOR. CG: AND YOU JUST CREATED YOUNGER VERSIONS OF YOURSELVES AND YOUR GUARDIANS. CG: PROBABLY BY MUCKING AROUND WITH THAT THING LIKE A DOOFUS. EB: wait... EB: these are baby versions of us? CG: HAHAHAHAHAHA, SO CLUELESS. CG: WHAT DID YOU THINK YOU WERE DOING THERE ANYWAY. EB: well... EB: i saw footage of my nanna, and some other people who i am pretty sure were like jade's grandpa and rose's mom and stuff from a long time ago. EB: and then... EB: there were all these little guys scurrying around. EB: so they are like cloned copies of us? CG: NO. CG: THEY ARE LITERALLY YOU AND YOUR GUARDIANS. CG: PARADOX CLONES. EB: huh? EB: what do you mean they are literally us? EB: do they go back in time? CG: YEAH, OBVIOUSLY. GREAT GUESS BRAIN HERO. CG: BUT TECHNICALLY THEY AREN'T EVEN SENT BACK IN TIME BECAUSE WITH RESPECT TO THE MEDIUM YOUR UNIVERSE'S TIMELINE IS MEANINGLESS. CG: SERIOUSLY WHY WOULD IT GIVE A CRAP ABOUT EARTH'S PAST OR FUTURE OR WHATEVER, FROM IT'S PERSPECTIVE IT'S JUST A BUNCH OF POINTS TO CHOOSE FROM. CG: JUST LIKE YOUR CHRONOLOGY IS FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE. CG: BUT I GUESS THAT'S A BUNCH OF SEMANTICS. WITH RESPECT TO YOUR PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY YEAH THEY GO BACK IN TIME. CG: A PARADOX CLONE IS BY DEFINITION A CORRECTLY CLONED DUPLICATE THAT WILL INEVITABLY GO BACK IN TIME AND BECOME THE ORIGINAL TARGET THAT WAS CLONED. CG: IF IT'S A MALFORMED CLONE, IT'S JUST A MEANINGLESS MUTANT THAT HAS NO BEARING ON THE STABLE LOOP CONTINUUM. CG: I DON'T SEE ANY TENTACLES OR EXTRA EYEBALLS OR WARPED BONE BULGES, SO THOSE GROSS LITTLE THINGS THERE ARE ALL YOU GUYS, WAITING TO GO TO EARTH AND GROW UP AND BECOME THE INSIPID BUNCH OF GRUBFISTED DOUCHEBAGS YOU ALL ARE NOW. CG: AND THIS WAS THE POINT I WAS TRYING TO MAKE ABOUT THE ULTIMATE RIDDLE. EB: what is the riddle anyway? EB: maybe i can guess, i am good at riddles! CG: HAHAHA, THINK AGAIN IGNORAMUS. CG: IT'S NOT EVEN THAT GREAT. CG: OR EVEN MUCH OF A RIDDLE AT ALL. CG: IN THE COURSE OF YOUR ADVENTURE YOU WOULD HAVE ENCOUNTERED ALL THESE FRAGMENTS OF LIKE WEIRD POEMS AND SHIT. CG: YOU FIND THEM ALONG YOUR QUESTS, WITH CLUES AND STUFF BURIED IN THEM TO HELP YOU SOLVE PUZZLES AND MOVE HUGE STONE COLUMNS AND MAKE STAIRCASES APPEAR AND LOTS OF NONSENSE LIKE THAT. CG: AND IT'S ALL MASKED IN THIS FLOWERY SORT OF FROTHY POETIC JACKASSERY THAT NOBODY REALLY CARES ABOUT. CG: AND I SURE AS HELL DON'T CARE ABOUT SPOILING IT FOR YOU. CG: BUT WHAT ALL THESE LOFTY SYMBOLIC ALLUSIONS BOIL DOWN TO IS SOME GRANDER STATEMENT ABOUT WHAT YOU SEE HAPPENING HERE. CG: THAT YOU WERE ALWAYS THE KEY TO SEEDING YOUR OWN EXISTENCE THROUGH THIS GAME. CG: AND ANY HOPE THAT IT COULD HAVE PLAYED OUT DIFFERENTLY OR THAT YOU COULD HAVE AVOIDED THIS WHOLE MESS WAS ALWAYS JUST A RUSE. EB: a distaction, perhaps? CG: WHAT? EB: nevermind. CG: BECAUSE IF IT DIDN'T GO DOWN THIS WAY THEN HOW WERE YOU EVEN BORN, GET IT. CG: WHICH IS ESPECIALLY PATHETIC SINCE PARADOX SPACE APPARENTLY WENT TO ALL THIS TROUBLE TO MAKE YOU JUST TO HAVE YOU FAIL AND DIE. CG: REALLY THERE'S NOTHING MORE TRAGIC THAN THESE NULL SESSIONS FULL OF KIDS ENTERING THE GAME AND FULFILLING SOME COSMIC DESTINY SHIT JUST TO GET WIPED OUT AND LEAVE BEHIND AN EMPTY POINTLESS INCIPISPHERE FOR ALL ETERNITY. CG: ACTUALLY IT'S SORT OF HILARIOUS. CG: OR IT WOULD BE IF IT DIDN'T AFFECT ME PERSONALLY. CG: BUT ANYWAY, THERE'S A LOT MORE TO THE RIDDLE THAN JUST THAT, LIKE WHAT WE WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT LAST TIME WE TALKED. CG: BUT THAT'S SORT OF THE GIST OF THE THEMES IT DEALS WITH. EB: ok. EB: well, if i run into some salamanders who tell me all about this riddle and get really excited about it, i will try to act surprised. EB: so this is the same kind of thing you went through? EB: with, like, being your own paradox clones and creating your own parents and stuff? CG: YEAH. EB: how did that even work, with 12 of you? CG: IT WAS REALLY FUCKING COMPLICATED AND I'M NOT GOING TO GET INTO IT. CG: OUR FAMILY STRUCTURES ARE ALREADY WAY MORE COMPLICATED THAN YOURS WITHOUT EVEN GETTING SPOOKY TIME SLIME INVOLVED. CG: BASICALLY WE HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON WHATSOEVER. CG: EXCEPT MAYBE THIS... CG: I WAS THE GUY IN YOUR POSITION, TO MAKE ALL THESE CLONES, AND FRANKLY IT ALL KIND OF FREAKED ME THE HELL OUT. EB: huh... EB: yeah, i guess now that you mention it, i am finding it all a little strange... CG: OH, ONLY JUST NOW??? CG: FUCK YOU ARE FAST, I HOPE YOU GOT THE MAD BOONBUCKS TO PAY OFF THOSE SPEEDING TICKETS. EB: no, no, i mean the ghost stuff and paradoxes are one thing of course... EB: it's something else. EB: it's just... EB: this is really weird... CG: WHAT'S SO WEIRD ABOUT IT. EB: well, normally humans hatch... EB: from like these slimy pods. EB: then we wriggle out as a little pink larva. CG: OH REALLY. CG: HUH, MAYBE WE HAVE MORE IN COMMON THAN I THOUGHT. EB: (hehehehehehehe) CG: MAYBE THOSE REALLY ARE MUTANT CLONES AND THEY AREN'T GOING BACK TO SEED YOUR PLANET??? EB: um... EB: sure...? CG: HELL, I'M CONFUSED NOW. CG: NOT THAT I GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOU AND YOUR POINTLESS AWFUL LIVES. EB: hey, i have an idea. EB: why don't you get back to me in a few minutes? EB: i mean like a few minutes of my time, not yours. EB: all of these little pink monkeys are getting way out of line and i have to tend to them. EB: if you message me in a couple minutes, we can continue conversing in a sane, linear fashion for a change! CG: UM, OK? EB: and then after that you can keep going backwards and then make fun of me riding my little red rocket. EB: you can tell me i look like a silly little paradox clone fresh out of my slime tube and this is just all a big nurseytime recess jamboree. EB: that would burn me good! CG: OK THAT IS PRETTY GOOD. CG: BUT I CAN'T USE IT, BECAUSE YOU SAID IT, AND THEN LATER, I.E. RIGHT NOW, YOU WOULD GET THE SATISFACTION OF KNOWING YOU WERE THE ONE TO COME UP WITH THAT BURN. CG: SEE, YOU ARE DEALING WITH A PRO, YOU CAN'T OUT TROLL ME SO JUST FORGET ABOUT IT AND STOP TRYING. EB: (hehehehehehehehehehehe)
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.