VRISKA: We've amassed a coalition of eager volunteers ready to lay down their ghost lives for a worthy cause. JOHN: you mean fighting lord english? VRISKA: When we're ready for that, yes. 8ut we need the treasure first. VRISKA: So for now they're sailing well ahead of us in large num8ers to attract his attention, so he can do more damage to the ring and fill out the rest of our maps. VRISKA: We should 8e very gr8teful for their 8ravery. They are making a no8le sacrifice for us all. TAVROS: (bRAVERY, yEAH, rIGHT,) TAVROS: (i'M MOSTLY SURE SHE'S MIND CONTROLLING THEM,) VRISKA: God DAMMIT, Tavros. VRISKA: We really don't need your play 8y play commentary on everything! JOHN: wait, you're mind controlling all those ghosts? VRISKA: No! VRISKA: Well, not all of them. VRISKA: Once you group enough together, others tend to latch on to the mo8 out of curiosity. We trolls have a way of clustering together naturally. VRISKA: You've got to understand, John. Most of these people are pretty self a8sor8ed. They just needed a little 8it of persuasion to join the cause. MEENAH: word JOHN: yeah, but... JOHN: isn't that still kind of, um... JOHN: dickish? VRISKA: 8ut all these stu88orn jackasses are going to dou8le die anyway if we don't all work together and kill this guy! VRISKA: This is WAR, John. In times of war, difficult decisions have to 8e made with the lives of many. VRISKA: Just think of me as a general giving orders to my troops. It just happens that the orders are a little more direct in this case. MEENAH: hey serket deuce MEENAH: lets not lose track a whos actually in charge of this shit mkay VRISKA: Yeah yeah. VRISKA: All hail Her Imperious Teen Condescension, the fresh new face of tyranny, Supreme Admiral Peixes. VRISKA: At this time I would like to motion for a fifteen minute 8owing 8r8k so that we may demonstr8te our reverence for this 8old, spunky leader. MEENAH: yessssss VRISKA: Tavros, stop 8owing. That was a joke. MEENAH: no keep doin that MEENAH: lower swabby MEENAH: LOW-ER MEENAH: face on the fuckin deck MEENAH: yes just like that perfect JOHN: how do you mind control so many ghosts at once? JOHN: isn't that kind of hard? VRISKA: Well, I do have a little help. VRISKA: John, did I mention? VRISKA: My ancestor........ VRISKA: She is THE 8EST. JOHN: she is? ARANEA: I must admit, I was not in favor of the idea at first. ARANEA: 8ut Vriska made a very strong case for using our com8ined powers in this way. ARANEA: In a perfect reality, no one would have to get hurt. 8ut the stakes are too high to 8e shying away from such measures. VRISKA: See what I mean?? VRISKA: The 8est. JOHN: uh. ARANEA: It has 8een wonderful spending so much time on this adventure with my descendant. ARANEA: Not just 8ecause it's helped me get to know her 8etter, 8ut 8ecause it's opened my eyes to things a8out myself I was never really in touch with. ARANEA: There are certain capa8ilities within me I have never quite 8een a8le to face, and she's helped me realize I've 8een hiding from them all my life, and well 8eyond. ARANEA: It must 8e true what they used to say on my world. That if you really want to know who you are, look to the legacy left 8ehind 8y your ancestor. ARANEA: I think that wisdom works in 8oth directions! VRISKA: Well put, Marquise. I've always felt the exact same way! MEENAH: PUKE MEENAH: oh my glub the serk twins bein adorbubble again MEENAH: nitram get your mop ready for swabbin up all this vomit comin out ma mouth TAVROS: eW, nO, MEENAH: can you two stick a fork in the sentimental carp MEENAH: maybe pretend you aint hit it off so good MEENAH: you ever stop and think how this makes me feel ARANEA: There's no reason to 8e jealous, Meenah. You know nothing has changed a8out our friendship. MEENAH: jealous MEENAH: bitch no MEENAH: just makes me think about my kid descendant MEENAH: an how instead of having this cool friendsy relation with her i just got this uncontrollable urge to stab her to death so she dont threaten my supremacy MEENAH: which is a shame cuz she so cute 38( MEENAH: cod damn my royal blood and the cray junk it makes me have to do MEENAH: aw well MEENAH: maybe some day ill find an heiress who my genes dont instinctively make me wanna murder on sight MEENAH: then i can teach her the badass ways of being a boss n shit! JOHN: (god, trolls are so weird.)
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.