Thank you. Now what exactly would you like to know? EVERYTHING. Everything is a lot. Care to narrow it down a little? OBVIOUSLY NOT THE BORING IRRELEVANT THINGS. DEFINITELY NOT THINGS LIKE. WHO KISSES PEOPLE. WITH THEIR UNPLEASANT NONSKELETAL SMOOSHY LIPS. JUST ALL THE THINGS THAT I NEED TO KNOW TO WIN THIS GAME. That's not how adventures work though. You don't just make some omniscient narrator inside a computer tell you everything all at once. There's like this whole process to it. You reveal certain things at the right time, depending on whether the hero has met certain requirements and is ready to learn those things. What you learn and what I tell you is more up to you than it is to me. WHO CARES. I DON'T WANT YOUR EXCUSES. Aren't you excited about your adventure? About being unchained for the first time ever, and getting to explore this mysterious place, and meeting people and solving puzzles that will lead to the realization of who you were meant to be, and how you fit into this epic? NO. SO FAR. THE ADVENTURE IS BORING, AND FRUSTRATING, AND CONSISTS OF AN IDIOT IN A COMPUTER, AND A CLOWN WHO WON'T DIE. I WANT TO KNOW WHEN I GET TO START FUCKING SHIT UP. You'll definitely get to do that later. WHEN. Not long from now. LIKE. IN A COUPLE HOURS. OR. That's up to you. There are puzzles to solve all over your planet. Your mentor can help. The sooner you do that, the sooner the fun will begin. YOU REALLY AREN'T TELLING ME ANYTHING. WE HAD A DEAL. I PUT THE CROWBAR DOWN. NOW TELL ME THINGS. Why don't we narrow the scope of the Q&A then? Try asking very specific questions, and I'll decide if it would be appropriate to answer at this time. YEAH. GOOD IDEA. THEN MY FIRST QUESTION IS. WHAT IS THE PLACE. The Medium. You are in your game session. I KNOW THAT. WHAT'S THIS PLANET, I MEAN. It was called Earth. EARTH. THAT'S IT? Yes. Weren't all the Statues of Liberty a dead giveaway? If you see one or more shitty old Statues of Liberty on any post-apocalyptic wasteland planet, that automatically means it was Earth all along, as a rule. Then when you realize that, you're supposed to have a mental breakdown. I AM UNFAMILIAR WITH THIS RULE. AND SKEPTICAL OF ITS VERACITY. TELL ME MORE ABOUT EARTH. It's the place humans are from. But that was a very long time ago, with respect to the planet's current age. Earth has been through a lot. It was even relocated a couple times. YES. I BROUGHT IT WITH ME, I THINK. INTO THE GAME. Yes. But it was relocated once even before that. It was moved from its native solar system, where it circled around a little yellow sun. Then it founds its way to a new system, around your big red sun. It stayed there for a good while, until your sun started dying. WHY WOULD SOMEONE MOVE A PLANET. Its universe was about to explode. So its proprietor closed up shop and got it the hell out of there. HOW. That's not important for you to know. Suffice to say, planets just have a way of scooting around in this adventure. OK. WHY IS THIS MY PLANET IN THE GAME THOUGH. Cause your kernelsprite turned into a black hole and sucked it into your session? NO I MEAN. I THOUGHT I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE A COOL AND SPECIAL PLACE. LIKE A LAND OF SOMETHING AND SOMETHING. You do. You just have to unlock it. That is when your real quest will begin. HOW DO I DO THAT. You know. Finding keys. Solving problems. All the potential for extraordinary achievements in your quest must be unlocked first. We've been over this. WHERE DO I FIND THE KEYS. I don't know. LIES. Why would I know that? You think I'm like an encyclopedia on key locations?? I got better things to think about than where all your stupid keys are. Find them yourself. Better hop to it! NO. MORE QUESTIONS FIRST. WHAT AM I ULTIMATELY STRIVING TO UNLOCK. TO MAKE MY REAL LAND APPEAR. IS IT SOME SORT OF GIANT, FANCY KEYHOLE. No. More like a big door. A DOOR TO WHAT. TREASURE? Kind of. If there's any treasure in there, it would be guarded by your denizen. WHAT'S THAT. A powerful monster that rules your planet, asleep in the core. He appeared there the moment Earth got sucked into your session. WHAT KIND OF MONSTER. IS IT A DEADLY, CHALLENGING MONSTER? Yes. He is the deadliest, most challenging denizen of all. He very rarely appears in game sessions, and is usually designated for the most naturally gifted warriors. His name is Yaldabaoth.
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.