ARANEA: You really don't have to 8e so em8arrassed. It's perfectly ok. JAKE: Aaaaargh oh god oh god you sensed my stupid sexy thoughts i KNEW it. JAKE: God DAMN you bogus brain strider! JAKE: Someone needs to just kill me. Or at least make me wake up! This is so humiliating i dont even... JAKE: Can you please just slap me really hard? If not in retribution for my ungentlemanly train of thought then at least to just get me to wake up and save me from my own ceaseless buffoonery. ARANEA: Actually I do 8elieve it would 8e within the scope of my a8ilities to get you to wake up. ARANEA: 8ut do you really want me to do that? JAKE: Um... maybe? ARANEA: If it is true that you think I am attractive then why wouldn't you want to spend a little more time here with me? What's the harm? ARANEA: Are you really in such a hurry to leave and feel sorry for yourself, for no explica8le reason? JAKE: Well... JAKE: No. ARANEA: I already told you, Jake. ARANEA: I am used to sensing many different types of feelings. ARANEA: It's given me a different perspective on emotions than most have. ARANEA: For most, the feelings of others are often a mystery. So they are prone to speculation and paranoia a8out the motivations of people they meet. ARANEA: The emotions of others can seem like such well guarded mysteries, people 8egin to 8elieve that's how their own emotions should 8e treated as well. So when someone can read their thoughts easily it feels like a violation. ARANEA: 8ut to one accustomed to reading those thoughts, there isn't the same perception of violation or secrecy. It's more like examining other self evident facts a8out a person, like taking note of their appearance. ARANEA: It's still hard for non-psychics to understand this though, even if you explain it to them. It can lead to some awkward relationships, unfortunately. JAKE: I imagine it would. JAKE: So... JAKE: Youve sensed it when other fellas have had the hots for you eh? ARANEA: Fellows, yes. And ladies. It's happened. JAKE: Yowza! JAKE: You mustve been popular i guess. ARANEA: Haha! Oh no. No, not really. ARANEA: The fact that I've 8een the fleeting o8ject of attraction to a handful really paints the wrong social picture I'm afraid. JAKE: That is hard to believe. ARANEA: It's my experience that people very often underestimate their own lika8ility. I sense that feeling all the time. ARANEA: Pro8a8ly 8ecause they're in the dark a8out others' thoughts. They are usually in dou8t, so they frequently err on the side of pessimism. ARANEA: In many cases they would 8e surprised if they knew how many around them were open to friendship, or possi8ly something more. ARANEA: I would venture that if you had such a sense you even might 8e surprised yourself! JAKE: Ha! Thats a laugh. JAKE: I am quite sure my only suitor is my best bro and even then he is such a jumbled stupid puzzle of unfathomable ironies im not even sure about THAT half the time. JAKE: I wish i had your powers that would be top notch. Id be parked on the corner of relationship lane and EASY STREET. JAKE: I could kick back in my eligible bachelors limousine and never fuck up or ever say anything awkward like i have been doing non stop so far in this dream. ARANEA: Let's not get carried away. That certainly does not descri8e my experience. ARANEA: You would think 8eing a8le to sense the occasional attraction from others would 8e advantageous, and inspire confidence in yourself. ARANEA: And it is nice when that happens, sure. ARANEA: 8ut then, you feel the negative emotions directed at you as well. ARANEA: And even if they are less common than the positive ones, you have a way of dwelling on them, and magnifying them far 8eyond their real significance. ARANEA: It's funny how an a8ility that should give you all the advantages in the world over others can lead you to feel worse a8out yourself than if you never had them. ARANEA: You put all your energy into thinking a8out people with the 8ad feelings a8out you instead of the good, and you try your 8est to fix things. ARANEA: 8ut usually it just gets worse. People think you are over8earing and needy, and they don't understand what it is you want from them. ARANEA: I can see why it can drive some with my a8ilities to a8use the powers. ARANEA: Fortunately I was a8le to resist the temptation. JAKE: So there are people on your planet who do that? ARANEA: On the world I was from, it was rare. Only a few criminals and outcasts would. ARANEA: 8ut in the second iteration I mentioned, it was commonplace. Like I said, things were very different. ARANEA: In my world though, the higher castes have a lot of responsi8ilities. It wouldn't 8e right to a8use my powers. JAKE: So you were in a higher caste because of the hemospectrum thing you mentioned? ARANEA: Ah, so you were listening to my lengthy pream8le! JAKE: I heard all of it! JAKE: I was just um... well go on. ARANEA: Yes. 8lue 8loods like myself were higher than most. ARANEA: The jo8 of each 8lood caste was to serve the needs of all those 8elow it. ARANEA: We were to use our progressively greater longevity and wisdom to help the lower castes learn and grow. To listen to them and try to provide whatever they were missing. Like a hierarchy of caretakers with increasing social responsi8ility. When the order functioned in harmony our civilization would flourish. JAKE: That is sure a neat sounding science fiction utopia. JAKE: Wait duh i mean science reality. JAKE: But then it all went to shit because of that meddlesome demon? ARANEA: Yes. JAKE: The demon you say im supposed to defeat? ARANEA: Yes. JAKE: Hang on. JAKE: Would that be the same demon im named after? ARANEA: Who told you that? JAKE: Uh... JAKE: I guess technically my own brain did? ARANEA: That's interesting. ARANEA: I wasn't planning on mentioning that. Or at least not just yet. JAKE: Why? ARANEA: There's no reason to prematurely overcomplicate an already complicated tale. ARANEA: All facts will fall into place in due time. JAKE: Yeah. JAKE: But its true right? ARANEA: More or less.
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.