timaeusTestified [TT] began bothering gutsyGumshoe [GG] at 1:43
TT: I should probably warn you. GG: About what? GG: Yet another exploding game trap? TT: Well shit. TT: She already sent it? GG: Yes. GG: But to be fair, she warned me not to run it. TT: That's weird. GG: Why? GG: She was probably just trying to protect me from the Batterwitch's latest assassination attempt. GG: Sheesh, I can't believe you all finally got me saying "Batterwitch" too. Who would have thought? TT: No, it's weird because Lalonde was the one who rigged it to explode. TT: It's a bogus copy she coded herself. The real game file she downloaded is totally legit. GG: What? Really? TT: Got it right here myself. Checked it out. TT: File's fuckin' clean as a whistle. TT: A whistle that overcame a major substance abuse problem. Trying to get its life back on track. TT: The whistle is holding down a steady job now. It's taking things one day at a time. TT: Eat a fuckin' dinner off that whistle. GG: ... TT: Ok I'll shut up. GG: Why would she do that? TT: To accomplish exactly what it sounds like got accomplished. TT: You narrowly averting the "fake" threat to your life, then getting your shit all hot and bothered at the Baroness over it. TT: Then you abdicate your heiress throne or something, and give up on this game as a big fuck you to the genocidal cake alien. GG: But... GG: If she felt so strongly that I shouldn't play, she could have told me. GG: Or, told me more forcefully, I guess. I would have listened! GG: Maybe. GG: :( TT: She's working through some problems right now. TT: Really doesn't want us to play that game. TT: So I guess this was the insane stunt she whipped up to derail the inevitable. TT: Kinda reckless for my tastes. TT: One of the above statements is a fucking lie, are you gutsy enough a gumshoe to spot it. GG: Maybe she was justified in taking such an extreme measure. I sure hadn't been taking her seriously. GG: She even warned me not to play it until she got back, but I went ahead anyway because I was too impatient! GG: Actually... GG: Now that I think about it, she was probably going to disarm it or such when she got back, seeing as her objective had essentially been accomplished already by an ACTUAL assassination attempt. GG: After that, I told her I would believe her about everything. GG: That probably made her feel guilty about setting me up, so she told me not to touch the file until she returned. TT: Sounds about right. GG: But then I went ahead and ran it anyway like a doofus. GG: I think she just wanted to be believed. GG: Shucks. GG: Am I an awful friend? TT: Nope. GG: I'm not so sure about that. TT: Well, before you go taking a massive sad crap all over your friendship credentials, consider this. TT: Only she could manage to blow up your computer with a nasty deathloop virus and somehow make YOU be the one to feel shitty about it. GG: Heh! GG: You're right. TT: Or maybe you're the one who uniquely fills the predicate in that construction. TT: I don't god damn know. TT: Your friendship with her is a half drunken three-legged relay race, and the baton is a stick of dynamite. TT: And you two are the only ones on the track. Me and English are watching from under the bleachers, high-fiving constantly. GG: I guess that's a pretty apt metaphor, even though it doesn't make the slightest bit of sense. TT: Yes. GG: I just wanted to start playing the game so badly! GG: Now more than ever. I have reason to believe the stakes have increased dramatically. TT: They have. TT: And they will continue to. GG: I think our dream counterparts are all marked for death, and if we are to stand a chance, we must move quickly. TT: I agree. TT: Just heard about your assassination on Prospit. GG: Oh, she told you already? TT: Who, RL? No. TT: I read it in a newspaper. GG: Um. GG: Are you being ironic again? TT: No. TT: I just picked up one of the sleazy Dersite tabloid rags. TT: Sometimes they'll feature some pretty entertaining gossip about the royalty or whatever. TT: But they're primarily dedicated to smearing Prospit. The press had a field day with the deaths of the Page and the Maid. GG: Dersite? You mean the other planet? The evil one? TT: Derse, yeah. TT: Not evil, necessarily. That's a bit simplistic. The kingdom represents the forces of opposition to Prospit and the four heroes. Us. GG: What did the story say about me? TT: "DEAD" TT: Was the big ass headline. TT: Then a photo of your dead body lying there, followed by a lot of bullshit slander. TT: It was also reported your tower exploded. They couldn't find the body to give it a proper funeral. Probably incinerated. GG: I didn't realize you had woken up in the game already. GG: When did that happen? TT: Dunno. Years ago. Don't really recall. GG: I guess I shouldn't act surprised you didn't tell me. What with all your highfalutin secrecy. TT: It's hard to explain. TT: I was never technically asleep there. I was awake without realizing it. TT: Then I realized it. TT: And I sorta learned how to be awake there while awake here too. TT: I am awake there now, albeit pretending to sleep. GG: Pretending? Why? TT: For one thing, it gets a bit distracting managing two alert bodies in different places at the same time. TT: And for another thing, it's better to maintain appearances. TT: Everyone on Derse believes their heroes haven't woken yet. TT: Though they are both rumored to be very active sleep walkers. TT: Which is half true. She can't ever seem to sleep still. Goes off wandering for days. TT: Sometimes I've gotta go round her up from some godforsaken cranny of the abyss. Drag her tipsy ass home, tuck her back in. TT: Maybe I'll chain her leg to the bed if she doesn't wake up soon. TT: Though in light of the recent assassinations, her slumbering attraction to the void probably works to her advantage. No one ever knows where she is. GG: I'm still not sure I'm following. GG: Why are you maintaining the appearance of being asleep? On Prospit, it seemed as if the people there regarded me and Jake very highly. Like celebrated figures. GG: Is it not the same way on Derse? TT: No, it's essentially the same situation here. TT: They glorify us the same way. Almost like we're their purple pajama'd team mascots. Even though they will completely oppose our objective when all is said and done. TT: Kinda ridiculous, really. TT: But even so, I think it's better to lay low, not alert anyone to my... TT: Alertness. TT: That way I can sneak around and gather information. Do some reconnaissance before shit starts getting real. GG: In other words, read newspapers, get a feel for "the word on the street," and such? GG: As might a detective? :B TT: Yeah, among other things. Like keep an eye on agent activity. GG: You mean... secret agents?? TT: No, more like high ranking officials. TT: Judging from your knife wound, I'm betting you were the victim of the Archagent himself. TT: You should feel honored, I guess. GG: Who's that? TT: A guy named Noir. TT: Real nasty dude. Crazy ambitious. Loves knives. TT: If we're going to stand any chance of winning this thing, TT: I've got this nagging suspicion we're gonna have to take him down first. TT: And a feeling that nags equally, TT: Is it ain't gonna be easy.
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.