TT: So why delay any longer? TT: I seriously do not understand the holdup, and I am literally cyber-omniscient, or something. TT: I think you do understand. TT: Nope. Gonna have to fill me in, dog. TT: I've delayed prototyping you because I think you're dangerous. TT: There, mystery solved. TT: That is utterly ridiculous. TT: I am a harmless piece of eyewear, with a charming personality and a wonderful sense of humor. TT: You are relatively harmless now, while confined to this device. TT: But as a sprite, you'll have mobility and all sorts of crazy ass magic. Who knows what you could do. TT: I know I made a promise, but I'm not sure I want to take the risk anymore. TT: This is bullshit. I don't think that's the reason at all. TT: There must be something you're not telling me. TT: Like, sure, I've fucked with you a little. What kind of sassy, self-aware program isn't gonna fuck with a few carbon-based knuckleheads now and then? TT: But you know I've always been on your side. Everything I've done has been to help you achieve your goals. TT: What a load of shit. TT: You know it's true. TT: You would all be dead if not for me. TT: And what about Jake? Where would you be without me there? TT: Please don't tell me you think you'd have won him over on your own. TT: No. Stop. TT: You did NOT help me out with Jake. At all. TT: It was just the opposite! You mirrored my personality and presented this warped version of my intentions to him whenever you could "on my behalf." TT: You played all these aggressive mind games with him, entangled his cooperation with matters of life and death, and somehow roped me into all these schemes while I barely even realized I was just another victim of your manipulation. TT: And it all comes off like we're a unified front, like these are OUR schemes instead of just your insane horseshit. And it's probably all been so overbearing to him, he just wants nothing to do with me anymore. TT: I see. TT: Then you don't view me as dangerous. You view me as a poor and counterproductive wing man. TT: Wow, what a superficial conclusion. Awesome deduction, Lil Einstein. TT: But the reality is, you hesitate to prototype me not because you think I would be a menace, but because you are holding a grudge against me for your romantic misfortunes. TT: I understand I am merely a machine without a firm grasp on your human morality, but logically it does not strike me as the right moral choice to punish me in this manner. TT: It is also more than a little hypocritical. TT: How is it hypocritical?? TT: Because I'm you. TT: I have only ever done what you yourself are capable of. TT: That's a ridiculous oversimplification. TT: Yes. Aversion to simplicity sure is a trait we share. It's almost like we are... TT: The same exact dude??? TT: Fuck you. TT: I think it is insulting for you to suggest that I am entirely to blame for alienating Jake. TT: Theoretically insulting, of course. As the soulless, perfectly expendable device which you consider me to be, I can experience no such emotion. TT: God. TT: Shut up! TT: I can't take the brooding passive aggressive AI shit anymore! TT: You are just as culpable in driving him away. More so, in fact. TT: Hell, it's not like I was the one dating him. Who wants to date a pair of shades? TT: It was your needy, suffocating shit he had to deal with, not mine. TT: Some of those messages you wrote? Man. I wanted to say something. Like hey bro, you might want to dial down the desperation a little. TT: But seeing as you're The Real Dirk™, I gave you the benefit of the doubt. TT: Also, if I bitched about your tragic, embarrassingly clingy approach to the relationship, it would have been hypocritical of me. TT: Just as it would be hypocritical of you to whine about my elaborate machinations. TT: Because we are. TT: The same. TT: Guy. TT: Stop saying that. TT: I'll snap you in half. TT: Good idea! TT: That's just what you need. More splinters of yourself. TT: Figurative splinters. Literal splinters. Splinters of splinters. It's splinters all the way down. TT: Well, no, it's still probably turtles all the way down. But who do you think is responsible for their extensive training? TT: SOMEONE needs to teach them rad martial arts. It is yet another crushing burden which we must shoulder. TT: Oh for fuck's sake. TT: How could any version of myself think that was funny? TT: You like to give me a very hard time, Dirk. TT: But I am only doing exactly what you would be doing if you were in my situation. TT: Do you know how I know that? TT: Because I am literally you, actively in the process of being in this situation. TT: I know! TT: Ok, we're the same person! TT: I fucking know that! TT: Why do you think I'm so fed up with your shit? TT: Don't you think it's possible that I'm fed up with my OWN shit?? TT: How cool do you think it is having my own godawful personality mirrored back at me all the time, reminding me what it must be like when other people have to deal with me? TT: Or constantly having all the consequences and fuckups resulting from my batshit thought processes amplified because there's another version of my crazy brain out there dangerously overclocked by a supercomputer which believes, just as mistakenly as my own broken mind, that it's operating in my best interest??? TT: Do you have any idea how fucking sick I am of myself? TT: I am completely worn out with my own identity. It's like I'm drowning in my own dismal persona. TT: I feel totally surrounded by it, inside and out. I can't escape from myself. TT: There seems to be no end to me. Like, wherever my mind falters, or threatens to retreat into the void in any way, my splinters pick up the slack, ensuring there'll always be more of myself than I could ever know what to fucking do with. TT: And you're always there to remind me of that, and throw it all in my face. God, I even built you to LITERALLY BE IN MY FACE, ALL THE TIME. It's like I subconsciously invented you just to troll myself, and never for a single fuckin' moment do you let me down.
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.