TT: How can I see through it? It seems you weren't listening, so I will state this again in the form of a question. Don't you think I should be asking the questions from now on? TT: Yes, if you wanted to be disingenuous and irritating. Don't you think a clever person should be able to acquire information from someone who only asks questions? TT: Then it's a challenge! TT: I pass. Do you have a choice? What if I'm feeling a bit stubborn? TT: Ok, so what you mean is I should continue humoring your leading questions until you happen to ask certain rhetorical questions that contain information I need. Was that a question? TT: That was a fact, and then a period. How does a Seer see? TT: ... TT: With a crystal ball? TT: I already considered that. I don't think I can get the focus of the ball to "zoom in" tight enough on the cue ball's enclosure to read the answers. How else does she see? TT: By other magical means, I guess. TT: Should I use magic? Do you believe in magic? TT: Magic is real. TT: I've been using it. Are you sure? TT: Use whatever word you want to describe it. I have magic wands, they are very powerful, and they allow me to be magic. Your questions are silly. What makes you convinced the wands are responsible for your abilities? TT: Because I did not have the abilities before I made them. Could this be circumstantial? TT: Could it? Is there an echo? TT: Is there an echo? Hee hee? TT: I don't know what you're getting at. TT: How about another leading question? What did you combine to make those wands? TT: Some stuff. Knitting needles? An inexpensive figurine of some fictional fellow with long whiskers? A simple textbook on the zoologically dubious? Why would this mundane combination of objects grant a child such an alarming mastery over dark forces all at once? TT: I'm guessing this is one of the rhetorical questions meant to be informative. TT: So then, my answer should affirm how ridiculous that sounds, shouldn't it? Maybe? TT: That wasn't even a question. Yes it was? TT: Ok. Magic is fake, the wands are useless toys, and there is something else going on. Next question??? Would it be so difficult to believe the power you've found to devastate your planet and create shortcuts through your session is not entirely by your own device? Would it be so difficult to believe a young lady could be unwittingly apprenticed by more powerful entities who meant her potential to be realized later through some arbitrary trigger? What would you say if I said a dutiful girl raised in the daylight was protected by a bulb-headed guardian, and learned to glow in the dark after death? What would you say if I said a vengeful boy on a path of nihilism was taken under the wings of fearsome angels, and learned to destroy hope with their light? What would you say if I said a reserved girl enamored by what dwelt in shadow was selected by the horrorterrors for service, and did their bidding at every step while convinced of her own autonomy? TT: What would I say to those short fables? TT: Not much, except I gather the third is a story about me, and that there's a lesson you'd like me to take from it. TT: That I should renounce my "allegiance" before my grimdark corruption is absolute. TT: And while I'm at it, I should discard these useless wands, because apparently the power was in my little black heart all along. Is that right? Won't you have to give up your specibus to the one who causes the Scratch regardless? How else will the young man wield that great big needle? TT: I don't know! If you say so. Haven't your friends already shown concern for your recklessness and your increasing sense of detachment from the party, the team objectives, and not to mention those of your personal quest? Does this worry you? Is there a part of you left that's able to worry? TT: Yes. It has been mysteriously localized to my middle finger. Could the dark magics be at work AGAIN?! Do you deny that you have been neglecting incoming messages from your teammates? Would that be in keeping with the spirit of the human emotion of friendship for one whose soul was not so befouled by the designs of unknowable monstrosities? TT: Friendship isn't an emotion, numbnuts. Isn't it, Rose? Isn't it? TT: I've been busy. I'll get back to them. TT: And can we please stop doing the patronizing question thing? TT: In exchange I promise I will discontinue my patronizing responses. Can the omniscient be patronized? TT: The omniscipotent can do whatever they please. I guess I'm just asking you nicely to do me this favor. Very well. I will stop smothering you with surprise noodles. TT: Huh? But only because I find you to be adorable. TT: So creepy. So cute. TT: Yuck. I am going to ask the same question I asked earlier. Please do not regard it as a violation of my pledge. It is just an ordinary question, like those that crop up in an ordinary conversation. TT: Ok. How does a Seer see? TT: I don't know. Be literal. TT: With her eyes? Take the orb. Ask it a question. TT: I don't know what to ask anymore. TT: I'm confused. What would you ask me? TT: I would ask what should I do next. Then ask. TT: What should I do next? Not me. The ball, dunkass.
Here's another huge deal announcement. A "bomb shell", you could say. The zodiac has officially been extended to include 288 signs, instead of the meager assortment of 12 you are familiar with. The resulting system is known as the Extended Zodiac. You may determine your True Sign by taking a test, if you wish.
I envisioned an expansion like this a couple years ago, when it became clear that due to the large volume of NPCs in Hiveswap, many new troll symbols would have to be created. So we made a large library of symbols to draw from when designing characters (A lot more symbols than characters. Don't worry, the game roster isn't THAT out of control.) But why stop at just a static library of new signs when you could take the opportunity to reinvent astrology itself?
The test uses a couple other personal classifiers from Homestuck lore to triangulate your True Sign designation from this dizzying barrage of iconography. What do you do with this information? I don't know. Make some cool new OCs? Discuss your new sign with friends? Cause great agitation and bewilderment among astrological purists? The sky's the limit. Also, those invested in what qualifies as "canon" when it comes to Homestuck lore may take interest in this test, which formally evaluates whether you are a Prospit or Derse Dreamer (involving a new term of art for the sake of this system, called Lunar Sway), as well as your Aspect. I am sure some will wonder whether this means a God Tier Class test will be available as well. Some day, yes, probably. For now, only Aspect is applicable to this system. But the precedent now exists for the expectation to be CANONICALLY classified by literally any absurd profiling system I have ever concocted, and you have just obtained a full license to not let anyone forget this.
Here's a very special new book made by me, dril, and KC Green, which you can preorder here. This seemed like a good way to do it since we had no idea how many of these books to print. A hundred? A million? ZERO??? You guys will decide. Plus there's a lot of other cool stuff there. If you have any interest in this book at all, it's probably a good idea for you to jump on it now. There's no telling how easy it will be to get your hands on after the first run has shipped to backers.
About the friends who helped out: my guess is you are probably familiar with dril's twitter brand? A couple years ago we talked about working on this, one thing led to another, and now here we are asking you to buy a book with a spoon concealed inside of it. The way I see it is, you don't just get any clown off the street to write for characters with the complexity and emotional depth that these ones have. You bring out the big guns. This is a man who knows his way around a huge ass. A man who knows all too well the plight of the gamer. A man who won't hesitate to engage with some of your favorite brands, and will not flinch at a longform narrative about a pissed off guy searching the world for his spoon.
KC Green has already done some good work with the SBaHJ franchise, you may remember. For the sake of authenticity I did a lot of coloring work over his pencils and put some serious attention on generally screwing everything up. Don't worry, we had some very important standards of quality that I took great care to ensure we catastrophically failed to meet. KC does a lot of other great stuff too. Did you know he did the dog who says this is fine even though the room is on fire? It's crazy how much people love that damn dog. Not everyone knows he did it though, and people should applaud him more for his stuff. Same with dril. Let's hear it for these boys and their priceless contributions to our society. I hope you like this book!
Hey check it out. Every week we'll be revealing some new troll characters from Hiveswap until Act 2 is out. Follow the Troll Call here, and meet the first two here. Expect a few more surprises like this to drop in coming weeks.
Hiveswap has been released. You should go play it!
Huge thanks to the entire What Pumpkin Games team for all their hard work on this project. Everyone involved has much to be proud of. Personally, I think the game is VERY GOOD! Really, better than I imagined it would be when scribbling notes for it years ago. Credit is owed to the fans for their patience while the necessary time was taken to build a studio capable of making a game like this. And above all, credit is owed to the great team that brought it to life. If you happen to spot any contributors out in the wild, on social media or such, I hope you will extend your appreciation for what they have accomplished.
What Pumpkin and Homestuck are partnering with Viz Media to work on a lot of cool stuff together in the future. This will include projects based on both the Homestuck and Hiveswap worlds. The possibilities are wide open, but here are a couple examples of things we know we're going to work on already...
Viz will begin releasing the Homestuck books again, starting next year. These will be nice new hardcover editions, and the plan is to just keep turning out volumes until the entire story is in print. Each volume will be full of my Secret Notes just like the previous ones were. Viz will also be involved in the release of the mysterious epilogue project I alluded to a while ago. Details on format, release date, etc, will remain undisclosed until further notice, but you can expect more information about that to surface next year too. I wanted to do something a little unusual for it, something existing outside the confines of the web story. Working with Viz struck me as good opportunity for this.
Aside from that, anything can happen. Take a look at the sorts of things Viz has already published or produced. These are all examples of things on the table for future consideration for either Homestuck or Hiveswap. I've got plenty of ideas, and so do they. Maybe you do too??