AG: I guess I have to admit I don't actually know that much a8out humans either! AG: Other than that you are all pretty soft and mild mannered and seem to 8e friendlier, and think killing totally sucks. AG: I really have no clue what it means to grow up as a human, though. AG: 8ut I do know what it means grow up as a troll, and what's expected of us. EB: what does it mean? AG: When a troll comes of age, you 8etter 8elieve it means they're going to start killing. AG: It's what we do as a race. We are very effective conquerors, and as such, we practically domin8 our galaxy. Or... used to. AG: The ones that don't learn to 8e ruthless? They're 8etter off DEAD. AG: And the reality is, it won't 8e long until they are. That's just life for us. EB: that sounds terrible! EB: i would like to be culturally sensitive, but i wish it didn't have to be like that for you. EB: i have started to really like you guys! AG: Well, thanks John. That's nice of you to say. 8ut let's face it, it doesn't fucking matter anymore, since our whole race was wiped out! AG: May8e for the 8est, when you think a8out it. EB: :( AG: 8ut at least paradox space gave us some purpose 8efore wiping us out, right? AG: At least we got the chance to cre8te you guys, and all those twinkly stars you used to look up at. EB: yeah, that's true. AG: So 8ecause we got that chance, it means we'll never actually get to come of age and enter troll society, and see if we got what it takes. AG: 8ut that doesn't mean we stop growing up! AG: I think the game knows it's always gonna 8e played 8y kids, and it always rigs it so they enter right around the cusp of sexual maturity, whatever the race is. AG: Which kinda makes sense, since if they succeed, they've got their whole lives ahead of them to do whatever the hell they're going to do in their universe, like start repopul8ing and whatnot. AG: That means the game also knows it's got to deal with all these damn kids who are coming of age while playing it! AG: I really think how successfully they mature is tied to success in the game. It challenges the players in all the ways they need to 8e challenged to grow, which is different for every individual, and veeeeeeeery different for every race. AG: I don't think we were so hot at that aspect of the game. In fact, I'm sure we were quite awful. Hell, even I wasn't that gr8 at it! I actually just kinda fell ass 8ackwards into the god tier, to 8e honest. EB: hehe... yeah me too. :) AG: 8ut what really gets me is this didn't even occur to me until just now, while I was sitting around thinking a8out it. AG: It was so o8vious! EB: what? AG: That was why the game split us up into two teams. AG: It knew as we came of age, we'd pro8a8ly start killing each other. AG: So it just provided the stage. Red team vs. 8lue. It was so simple! All we had to do was what we were naturally inclined to. It might have worked out 8etter for us. EB: uh... EB: i don't really see how you guys killing each other would help you play the game better! AG: Yeah, you'd think that would 8e counter productive! 8ut then again, may8e not. AG: If we really did take the team thing seriously, and started killing each other, may8e it would have meant more god tiers? AG: May8e all of us would have made it???????? AG: Damn, can you imagine? We would have 8reezed through the game even faster, killed the king without a sweat. May8e claimed the reward 8efore Jack even showed up? AG: Or if he did, may8e we could have 8eaten him then and there instead of scurrying off like cowards!!!!!!!! AG: In retrospect we failed at this so spectacularly, I am amazed, and kind of ashamed. AG: It turned out that the only one of us with the guts to kill someone was already DEAD! Hahahahahahahaha. And 8oy, did I have it coming. EB: dead? AG: Yes, she was a ghost, and then 8ecame a ro8ot. Then she 8ecame a THOUSAND ro8ots. Then Jack killed them all 8ut one. Then she 8lew up. AG: Oh, and she also had that exact 8izarre laptop you are using right now. How weird is that? EB: gosh... EB: your team is so crazy! AG: Not crazy enough, apparently! AG: Actually, this is pro8a8ly Karkat's fault. EB: how? AG: When it comes down to it, he was pro8a8ly too good a leader! He actually did manage to get the two teams to work together toward the same goal. It could have easily deterior8ed into a feud otherwise. AG: He was just so loud and annoying and o8sessed with leadership. He wouldn't shut up! So it was just easier to go along with his plans. EB: huh... EB: yeah, i can see how that could be true. AG: He sure kept us working together, 8ut in the end I think we paid for it. AG: It wasn't natural! Pretty fitting, really, since he's kind of a freak himself. He's not even on the hemospectrum, the weirdo. AG: I really dou8t he would have handled it as a leader if the shit ever hit the whirling device. AG: He likes to pretend he's all vicious and 8loodthirsty, 8ut I know he 8n't got that in him. I have a sense for these things. AG: He'd 8e so pissed if he heard me say this, 8ut I think he'd cut it 8etter as a human than as a troll. EB: you probably mean that as an insult, but i think it is a nice compliment! EB: but... EB: i won't tell him you said it, heheheh.
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.