EB: but now they don't have dream selves left! EB: who ever goes will be risking their life for good, won't they? CG: THAT WOULD BE THE LOGICAL EXTENSION OF THOSE FACTS, YES. EB: this is unacceptable! EB: couldn't i do it? EB: i am apparently immortal, because of this god tier business, so the bomb probably would not kill me! CG: OK, BUT DON'T YOU THINK THERE'S A REMOTE POSSIBILITY THAT GOING ON A SUICIDE MISSION TO SAVE ALL OF REALITY WOULD COUNT AS A HEROIC DEATH? EB: hmm... EB: maybe i could try to be not all that brave while i do it? CG: YOU ASSHOLE, OF COURSE YOU'D BE BRAVE. THAT TENDS TO BE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DO SOMETHING REALLY FUCKING COURAGEOUS. EB: yeah. EB: i just don't want to lose anybody else is all. CG: THAT'S JUST HOW IT IS. I'VE LOST FRIENDS FOR WAY MORE POINTLESS REASONS. YOU'RE ALL OUT OF OPTIONS HERE. CG: YOU'D BE RISKING DEATH JUST AS MUCH AS THEY WOULD, AND THEY'RE BETTER QUALIFIED TO HANDLE THE MISSION AS THE DERSE DREAMERS. CG: JADE'S DREAM SELF IS DEAD TOO, SO SHE'S OUT. OR TO BE MORE SPECIFIC, HER DREAM SELF IS AN OVERLY EMOTIONAL DOG WHO WENT OFF WHIMPERING SOMEWHERE. I'M PRETTY SURE SHE WILL BE COMPLETELY USELESS. EB: oh, yeah. EB: she mentioned something about that. she said she prototyped her dream self?? what happened with that? CG: SHE DOESN'T LIKE TO TALK ABOUT IT. KIND OF A SORE SUBJECT. EB: why? CG: SHE THINKS SHE'S SELFISH AND COMPLETELY HYSTERICAL AND I GUESS HATES THE PART OF HERSELF SHE REPRESENTS. CG: BUT I MEAN, THE THING IS SHE SPENT A LONG TIME BEING DEAD AND MOVING ON, IT'S NOT LIKE YOU CAN JUST BRING SOMEBODY BACK AND EXPECT THEM TO GIVE A SHIT ABOUT ALL THE STUFF YOU THINK IS IMPORTANT. CG: I'VE TRIED TO TELL HER THAT HER SPRITE SELF IS PROBABLY NOWHERE NEAR AS DESPICABLE AS SHE'S MAKING OUT WITH HERSELF TO BE. CG: I MEAN CG: MAKING HERSELF OUT TO BE. CG: YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. EB: ... CG: LOOK, I'M JUST SAYING CG: WE'VE ALL GOT FLAWS, EVEN HER CG: AND FOR ALL THE SHIT SHE'S GIVEN ME ON THIS VERY SUBJECT, SHE KEEPS HERSELF DANGLING FROM A VERY HIGH HOOK. CG: SHE'D BE DOING ME A MAJOR PERSONAL SOLID BY MAKING AT LEAST SOME ATTEMPT TO GET HERSELF OFF. CG: WAIT CG: FUCK CG: WHAT DID I JUST SAY EB: wow. CG: I MEANT LET HERSELF OFF. CG: THE HOOK. THE FUCKING HOOK, IT'S A FIGURE OF GODDAMN SPEECH. EB: /raises eyebrows CG: PUT THOSE THE BACK DOWN, BEFORE MY HOT ACID RAGEBREATH BURNS THEM OFF YOUR IDIOTIC FACE. EB: ok, i am putting them back down as not suggestively as possible. CG: WHAT WERE WE EVEN TALKING ABOUT, IT WASN'T THIS, WHATEVER THIS IS. EB: what is what this is? CG: IT'S NOTHING, YOU SHIT. IT HAS BEEN THE CONVERSATIONAL EQUIVALENT OF US WHISTLING THROUGH OUR SNORT BARRELS WHILE TOUCHING EACH OTHER INAPPROPRIATELY. EB: was... EB: was that another weird erotic slip of the tongue? CG: NO, THAT WAS ME BEING WORKED UP INTO THIS RIDICULOUS FUCKING CONNIPTION AND SAYING SOMETHING INFLAMMATORY, GOD. HOW DOES THAT NOT BE CLEAR BY NOW??? EB: ok, well, EB: what i am getting from this, aside from the possibility that jade may or may not have kissed dog jade at some point, is that neither of them will be able to help with the bomb plan. CG: THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT! THE PAJAMA PRODIGY USED HIS PUZZLE SPONGE TODAY. CG: BESIDES, JADE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR OTHER IMPORTANT PARTS OF THE PLAN. CG: FOR ONE THING, YOU'LL HAVE TO WAIT FOR HER TO SEND YOU THE CODE FOR THE QUILLS. CG: YOU CAN'T SCRATCH THE MESA WITHOUT THEM. CG: SHE GOT THEM FROM HER DENIZEN, OR WILL LATER ON HER TIMELINE, NOW THAT SHE LIT THE FORGE AND WOKE THE MONSTER UP. EB: aren't those the really tough to kill guys? CG: YEAH EB: did she kill him? CG: HELL IF I KNOW, HER EXPLANATION OF THE ENTIRE ENCOUNTER BOILED DOWN TO AND I QUOTE "shenanigans" CG: LIMED FOR INFURIATINGLY VAGUE. EB: haha. CG: ANYWAY, AFTER SHE GIVES THAT TO YOU, SHE THEN HAS TO GO THROUGH WITH THE REST OF THE PLAN, WHICH IS MAKING SURE YOU ALL SURVIVE AFTER THE SCRATCH, MINUS ONE OF THE DERSE DREAMERS OF COURSE. CG: THE PLAN REVOLVES AROUND SOME REALLY BAFFLING HAND WAVEY MUMBO JUMBO WHICH I DON'T REALLY UNDERSTAND, BUT SHE TOLD ME TO TRUST HER ABOUT IT BECAUSE THE INFO COMES FROM A "Reliable informant." CG: WHITENED FOR SMUG TOOL. CG: IT INVOLVES SOMETHING TO DO WITH A YELLOW LAWN RING. CG: WHICH ISN'T THE HUMAN WORD FOR IT, IT'S JUST YOUR WORD IS SO DUMB I FEEL DUMB SAYING IT. EB: word for what? CG: I GUESS YOUR ENTIRE ESCAPE PLAN SOMEHOW PIVOTS CRITICALLY AROUND AN UNWATERED PIECE OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY??? CG: IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT IT MEANS. JADE SAYS SHE HAS THIS FIGURED OUT, AND I DON'T HAVE TIME TO DO MUCH BUT TRUST HER. CG: THE POINT IS, SHE'S ALL BOOKED UP, AND ALL TOO MORTAL. SO SHE WON'T BE DELIVERING THE BOMB, AND NEITHER WILL YOU. EB: ok, well what about this. EB: since she is mortal, and i am not (sort of), and i don't need to do the scratch for a while, can i go help her? EB: maybe she could use some protection? maybe that is what dave was just trying to do, when he temporarily died. EB: remember, jack is still on the loose! he has killed rose and dave once, and me twice. CG: NO NO NO NO NO NO. CG: SWEET BLEEDING JEGUS, EGBERT, YOU KEEP BRAGGING ABOUT YOUR IMMORTALITY, AND THEN BRAINLESSLY ANNOUNCE PLANS TO GO OFF AND DO SOMETHING HEROIC! YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE THE SHORTEST LIFESPAN OF ANY IMMORTAL IN HISTORY. EB: sorry. :( CG: BESIDES, IT'S A TOTAL NON ISSUE. JACK WOULDN'T HESITATE TO STAB YOU AGAIN, BUT HE WON'T HURT JADE FOR SOME REASON. CG: IF ANYTHING, YOU COULD USE HER PROTECTION. EB: really? CG: I NEVER NOTICED WHEN LOOKING THROUGH HER TIMELINE EARLIER. IT WASN'T UNTIL I WAS TALKING TO HER IN THOSE TIMEFRAMES AND SHE TOLD ME. HE JUST KEEPS FOLLOWING HER AROUND. I CAN SEE HIM OFF IN THE DISTANCE IN SOME FRAMES, JUST LURKING THERE, SHADOWING HER MOVEMENTS. IT'S INCREDIBLY DISTURBING. CG: HE LINGERS AROUND HER UNTIL THE SCRATCH BEGINS AND I LOSE THE FEED, NEVER ONCE DOING ANYTHING THREATENING. SHE SAYS SHE THINKS IT'S BECAUSE JACK INHERITED LOYALTY OF HER LUSUS. CG: IF SHE'S RIGHT, I GUESS HER LUSUS REALLY DID OFFER HER THE MOST PROTECTION POSSIBLE BY PROTOTYPING ITSELF, ALBEIT BY DOOMING US ALL. THE IDIOT. EB: d'aw, that's actually kinda cute. CG: SADLY, HE HOLDS NO SUCH LOYALTY TO ANY OF US HERE. HE REGARDS US ALL AS RIPE FOR THE REPEATED SKEWERING. CG: OH FUCK, MAYBE WE SHOULD HAVE ALL JUST DRESSED LIKE JADE?? I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS STROKE OF GENIUS ONLY OCCURRED TO ME NOW. EB: i don't think he would be fooled. dogs have pretty good senses of smell. CG: IT WAS CG: A MOTHERFUCKING CG: JOKE
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??