VRISKA: He's just some huge overpowered green freak. A time traveling monster, supposedly invinci8le. VRISKA: Who he is, what he is, where he came from, none of that really matters. VRISKA: What matters is how we're going to defeat him. VRISKA: That's what Tavros and I have 8een working on here for some time now. JOHN: working on what? VRISKA: Treasure hunting! JOHN: oh yeah? JOHN: what treasure? VRISKA: Yes. Ok, I should explain. VRISKA: There's sort of a plan in motion to 8eat English. It's a three pronged approach. VRISKA: A num8er of people out here in the furthest ring are working on different prongs of the strategy independently. VRISKA: The first is a quest to find the lost ghost of some alien girl. She's said to 8e one of the keys to defeating him in some way. VRISKA: Other people are allegedly out there working on that right now. If you ask me, it sounds like a really 8oring approach to defeating him. Who knows if it's even true. TAVROS: (gIVe it tO me,) JOHN: (stop that!) JOHN: (keep your hands to yourself.) VRISKA: The second is a quest to raise an army of ghosts to challenge him directly in some kind of huge 8attle royale, I guess. VRISKA: From what I understand, some yahoo out there is 8usy rounding people up. I really have no idea how that's going. I usually just hear stuff through the grapevine. VRISKA: That approach doesn't really interest me either. Gonna file it under "8oring" as well. Seems a little heavy handed, not to mention too slow. TAVROS: (gIve Me thE riNG,) JOHN: (no!) TAVROS: (yes, yOu ASs,) JOHN: (dude, you suck at whispering!) TAVROS: (you sAiD you'D GIve it to me,) JOHN: (i changed my mind!) VRISKA: The third prong is what Tavros and I are 8usy with. The aforementioned treasure hunt. VRISKA: The legend says there's some mystical ancient treasure hidden somewhere out here in the furthest ring. VRISKA: I'm assuming it's some kind of weapon. It's said that if you use it, or like, activ8te it in some way, he can 8e defeated forever. VRISKA: The nature of the treasure is pretty vague, actually. 8ut the first rule of treasure hunting, which I'm admittedly just making up now, is that it doesn't fucking matter what the treasure is. TAVROS: (wE had a deAl,) JOHN: (quit it!) TAVROS: (why Are you sUcH a liar,) JOHN: (shut up. i'm keeping it.) TAVROS: (thiS is noT cOOl,) TAVROS: (you're PrevenTing joYful human sTYled matrimonY frOM happEning,) JOHN: (yeah right. like she would even say yes.) JOHN: (i don't even think she's really your girlfriend. i think you made that up!) TAVROS: (wow, no, wOw,) TAVROS: (you wEnt thERE,) VRISKA: These three goals are all tied to the same legend which I've uncovered clues a8out over time. Legendary shit is everywhere out here. I'm seriously up to my ass in legend. Hell, I probably even qualify as a legend myself!!!!!!!! VRISKA: When it comes to solving a 8ig mystery like this, it doesn't hurt that everywhere we go, places are composed of the collective memories of many different adventurers. VRISKA: We've explored ancient crypts, networks of 8urial mounds, dusty old tom8s, giant pyramids, you name it. Hints a8out the endgame are hidden all over the place. VRISKA: Really, everyone's pretty lucky I died so I could do all the dirty work on this. Let's get real, no8ody's 8etter prepared to take on the treasure hunting duties than I am. TAVROS: (unhAnd the treasurE,) TAVROS: (it's prEcious to Me, jUst liKe, My beautiful GIRLFRIEND,) JOHN: (you are so full of shit!) TAVROS: (we're in LOVE toGetHEr, aSSHole,) JOHN: (there's no way you're getting this ring.) TAVROS: (fUCk, YoU,) VRISKA: Not that I'd have it any other way. This just sounds like the 8est plan to me. Why 8other messing around with an army of ghostly dipshits, or some shy magic alien when you can go str8 for the ultim8 weapon? VRISKA: Hell, may8e I'll just walk right up to him, one-shot the guy and end it all right there. VRISKA: That's how a real pro goes a8out 8usiness. You take any shortcut you find. JOHN: (i am going to wish as super hard as i can that i wake up with this ring.) JOHN: (it's probably magic, so i bet it makes my wish come true!) TAVROS: (i doubT that From happeNing,) JOHN: (if i wish hard enough, that will make it slightly less impossible!) TAVROS: (oh, you bastARD, you arE gOOd,) JOHN: (i think some day i will use it to propose to *MY* girlfriend. what do you think about THAT, wise guy?) TAVROS: (noOO!!!) TAVROS: (gIMme,) JOHN: (this is pathetic.) JOHN: (stop grabbing at me! we're missing what she's saying!) JOHN: (she's going to think we're idiots, won't you STOP?) VRISKA: Are you fuckers even listening to me???????? God DAMN it. JOHN: yes! VRISKA: No you're not. You're squa88ling with Tavros and his loud shitty whispering a8out some 8ullshit. VRISKA: Come on, guys. Am I really 8eing that 8oring? VRISKA: I'm really starting to understand how my ancestor must have felt sometimes. No8ody ever respects an important explan8tion!!!!!!!! TAVROS: (i've alReadY heARd yoUR explANAtions, tHough,) VRISKA: Why are you still whispering jackass?! TAVROS: oHH, TAVROS: sORRY, VRISKA: Sigh. VRISKA: 8oth of you just keep your damn hands to yourselves, shut up, and let me finish my story. VRISKA: Tavros! 8ring me the treasure maps!!!!!!!! TAVROS: yES, TAVROS: rIGHT AWAY,
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.