TT: Ok. TT: I will disregard your anomalous observation for now and continue conversing as if it never happened. GT: Right. Good plan. GT: Um. GT: Anyhoo thats a heck of a tragic and thrilling tale dirk. GT: I am still totally cockeyed and catawampus about it all i dont even know what to think. TT: But you believe me, right? GT: Oh yeah every word of it! TT: Wow. GT: Why shouldnt i? You are my friend and i trust you. TT: I still just think it's impressive, is all. Even after all this time. You are pretty much a one of a kind dude. GT: Heh not really i just like believing stuff and believing in people. GT: Wait what do you mean? TT: About what? GT: When you said after all this time? GT: You just told me now! TT: Yes. GT: Hang on. GT: Blarg! The deja vuey shit is happening again!!! GT: Okay i am SURE weve had this conversation before so many things are familiar. GT: I remember you saying the one of a kind dude thing and i remember saying the word catawampus and... GT: All of it! GT: Whats going on? TT: Took you long enough to figure it out. TT: Pages really are a slow burning class. Damn. GT: Figure what out! TT: You're asleep. GT: Oh. GT: Thats right. I fell off the platform thing and i guess i got knocked out? TT: Yep. GT: So im dreaming. TT: Kinda. TT: It's a dream bubble. GT: Whats that? TT: A place in the infinite abyss where sleeping people can share dreams with each other while revisiting memories. TT: Also where they can meet dead people. GT: So we are sharing a dream together? GT: And youre currently asleep too? Uh. Currently in the future? TT: No. TT: Even if I was, I wouldn't visit a dream bubble. That only happens when your dream self is dead, like yours is. TT: Mine is not. GT: Hm. I guess i understand? GT: So whats the deal then? Wait. GT: You said this is where they meet dead people too... GT: Shit! Dirk are you dead? Are you a ghost!? TT: No, dude. Chill. I'm fine. GT: Then what the fuck is going on! Who am i talking to? TT: Well, who are the people you talk to when you have a regular dream? GT: What? Uh... TT: Like just a boring normal dream, and there's a person you're talking to. Who is that? GT: I dont know? TT: It's nobody. Just a projection of your own mind. TT: Dream bubbles don't always need to be shared by dreamers or dead people. You can go to sleep and wake up in one alone, reliving an old memory. TT: Kind of like a normal dream. Until you remember it's just a memory, which is where we are now. GT: Okay. GT: So. GT: I am having like a lucid dreamy thing in a magic bubble and you are just like a figment of my imagination? TT: Yes, basically. GT: So im talking to myself! Thats kind of stupid! TT: Well, yeah. But not quite. TT: You could view me as a projection of the real Dirk within your mind, as expressed through all of your thought patterns about him. TT: So I'm kind of a splinter of his corporeal self who happens to live in your awareness. TT: I'm a startlingly close approximation to the real thing, for all intents and purposes. GT: Just how startlingly close are we talking? TT: I'm not going to give you a bogus percentage like the glasses cause that's not my shtick. TT: But pretty damn close. GT: Okay thats fair. GT: But. GT: Man. GT: There is something that feels kind of weird about this. You being in my head... its a little messed up! TT: What's messed up about it? TT: You were the one who put me here, with your intimate understanding of all his mannerisms and predilections. TT: And a splintered existence is pretty much how he rolls. TT: This is how shit is bro. GT: Ok im sorry for saying its messed up but... GT: Its still a bit frustrating! Ive been trying to talk to you all day. GT: But all i get is your pesky responder bedeviling me at every turn and your friggin robot punching me across the ocean and then throwing a weird tantrum and ripping his nuclear heart out in front of me. GT: And if that werent enough i tumbled off the doohickey and knocked myself out and now im strolling down memory lane with your fake brain ghost! GT: Its like you are surrounding me from all sides with imitations of yourself but never the REAL YOU!!! GT: Cheese and fucking crackers when do i just get to talk to the actual dirk? TT: Jake, what do you even know about someone's actual self? TT: What makes it actual? What is "actuality?" GT: What a horseshitty question! GT: I dont know anything about actuality i guess but i know some philosobabble horseshit when i dadblasted hear it. TT: I'm just saying, this isn't really your field of expertise. TT: Dirk is the heart guy. He's the one walking the path of self, even when he doesn't know it. Like right now. GT: But what does that mean? GT: And how can you really be made of only my thoughts when i dont even know what youre talking about sometimes? GT: Or when i didnt know some of the things youre telling me? Like about being in a dream bubble? GT: How can i tell myself about that stuff through brain ghost dirk! TT: Who says you don't know those things on some level? GT: I dont think i do! GT: I have no business knowing those things. TT: Pages have a lot of untapped potential. TT: That's practically all there is to the class, actually. TT: But when they eventually find it, look out. TT: And the ones who deal in hope? Shit, man. TT: I'm scared of you already, and I'm not even real.
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.