CG: ANYWAY, IT DOESN'T MATTER ANYMORE. CG: IF WE CAN RIDE THIS OUT FOR A LITTLE LONGER UNTIL THE CRITICAL MOMENT, AND DAVE/ROSE CAN DESTROY THE SUN, JACK SHOULDN'T BE A THREAT. CG: CONVENIENTLY, IF THEY'RE SUCCESSFUL, THAT WILL SIGNAL THE BEGINNING OF OUR OWN ESCAPE PLAN. EB: what is your plan? CG: APPARENTLY THE EXPLOSION WILL BE SO HUGE, IT WILL BE VISIBLE AT GREAT DISTANCES THROUGHOUT THE FURTHEST RING. CG: EVEN FROM DIFFERENT SESSIONS, LIKE YOURS AND OURS. YOU WON'T GET TO SEE IT BECAUSE BY THEN YOUR SESSION SHOULD BE WIPED OUT BY THE SCRATCH. CG: BUT WE WILL. THE PLAN IS TO USE IT AS A BEACON, AND TRAVEL THERE AS A RENDEZVOUS POINT. EB: rendezvous with who? CG: WE'VE GOT PEOPLE THERE. THAT'S WHAT JADE TELLS ME. EB: jade knows so many things lately, what is even her deal? CG: HELL IF I KNOW, THIS IS BASICALLY DREAM INTELLIGENCE, EVERY TIME SHE GOES TO SLEEP, SHE HAS MORE TO RAMBLE ABOUT. CG: SHE SAYS I SHOULD GO TO SLEEP TO FIND OUT, BUT I'M LIKE HOW THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO BE NAPPING BETWEEN MAKING ALL THESE PLANS AND GETTING PERSECUTED BY THIS DEMENTED HONKING ASSHOLE? CG: SO YEAH, WE'LL MEET IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE EXPLOSION WITH OUR PEOPLE ON THE INSIDE, OR I GUESS I SHOULD SAY OUTSIDE. CG: I DON'T THINK THEY CAN COME WITH US THOUGH. EB: come with you where? who are they? CG: DEAD PEOPLE. CG: AS FOR WHERE, IT'S NOT LIKE WE'RE GOING TO STICK AROUND THERE FOREVER. THAT WOULD PROBABLY BE DEPRESSING, SINCE WE'RE NOT FUCKING GHOSTS. CG: THE SCRATCH WILL REBOOT YOUR SESSION. YOUR WHOLE UNIVERSE ACTUALLY. SO SOMEWHERE IN THIS DREADFUL ABYSS, THAT NEW SESSION WILL START UP IN ITS OWN INCIPISPHERE, FROM SCRATCH. CG: LOOK AT THAT, ANOTHER PUN BECAUSE OF USING THAT FUCKING WORD EVERY OTHER SENTENCE! KILL ME NOW. CG: BUT THAT "FROM SCRATCH" (F'ING LOL!) SESSION IS WHAT YOU'RE SHOOTING FOR TO SURVIVE. CG: THE IDEA IS FOR YOU ALL TO PRESERVE YOURSELVES BY ESCAPING THERE. EB: through the lawn ring? CG: YES. CG: ONCE YOU'RE THERE, YOU WILL HELP US FIND OUR WAY THERE TOO, AND THEN WE CAN ALL FINALLY FIGURE OUT WHAT THE FUCK TO DO WITH THE REST OF OUR LIVES. EB: oh!! EB: so then, this is how we're supposed to meet. that is kind of exciting. CG: YEAH, I GUESS, IF ENOUGH OF US ARE ALIVE BY THEN TO MEET. EB: so, i guess you are not worried about it turning into a huge sloppy makeout fest anymore... CG: UH CG: RIGHT! HAHAHA, JOHN, YOU AND VRISKA BETTER KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELVES, OR EVERYONE'S GOING TO BE REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE. NO INTERSPECIES FUNNYBUSINESS, IS THAT CLEAR! CG: BLAAAAAAARGH, I AM CONVINCINGLY FLIPPING MY LID ABOUT THIS, WAVING MY ARMS AROUND A LOT, AND MAKING ALL MY BEST YELLING FACES. WOW, LOOK AT THAT! IT'S TIME TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT AGAIN. EB: huh? CG: POOF! SUBJECT CHANGED. CG: IF IT WORKS AND YOU WIND UP IN THE NEW SESSION, THAT'S WHY IT'LL BE IMPORTANT TO MAKE SURE ONE OF THE DERSE DREAMERS STAYS WITH YOU, SO THEY CAN HELP GUIDE US THERE FROM THE RING. EB: won't there be other players in the new session? EB: like, alternate universe versions of ourselves or such? CG: PROBABLY. CG: BUT THOSE CHUMPS WON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT US, OR ALL OUR PLANS. WHY WOULD THEY? EB: yeah... it's just kind of a weird thought. CG: SO OUT OF EVERYTHING WE JUST TALKED ABOUT, THIS IS THE THING THAT HAS YOU TRIPPING GLOBES? WHATEVER YOU SAY! EB: but i guess it's sort of comforting too. EB: if rose or dave have to go off and die, at least i get to see them again, in a way. EB: even if i will only be alternate universe john to them. EB: maybe my dad will be alive in that session too!!! CG: OK, MAYBE, BUT BEFORE YOU GET TOO EXCITED ABOUT THAT, YOU'VE GOT TO MAKE SURE YOU GET THERE FIRST. CG: WHICH MEANS YOU HAVE TO DO WHAT I SAY, AND STICK TO THE PLAN. CG: YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON GETTING READY TO START THE SCRATCH. THE GAME DOESN'T MAKE A HARD RESET THAT EASY TO PULL OFF. CG: ONCE YOU INITIATE IT, THE GAME THROWS EVERYTHING IT'S GOT AT YOU. WHICH IS ONE REASON WHY YOU'RE THE BEST GUY FOR THE JOB, BECAUSE OF YOUR SUPERPOWERS AND SILLY WINDY BULLSHIT. EB: ok. i'll do my best. EB: what should i do right now? CG: GET PREPARED, MAKE ALL THE EQUIPMENT YOU THINK YOU'LL NEED, STAY OUT OF TROUBLE. CG: WAIT FOR JADE TO SEND THAT CODE, WAIT FOR ME TO CONTACT YOU FOR THE FIRST TIME, AND DO YOUR BEST TO HUMOR HIM WHILE HE IGNORANTLY ATTEMPTS TO FLAME YOU BACK INTO THE PUDDLE OF SLIME YOU CRAWLED OUT OF. CG: PLEASE. EB: oh, man. EB: our "first" conversation ever? i can't wait. CG: YEAH, BUT CAN I JUST SAY SOMETHING IN MY DEFENSE BEFORE THAT HAPPENS? CG: I DON'T ACTUALLY HATE YOU, AND I NEVER DID. I WAS DELUDING MYSELF. CG: DEEP DOWN I'M SURE I WAS ALWAYS PRETTY OK WITH YOU. EB: thanks karkat! CG: IT WASN'T A FUCKING COMPLIMENT.
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??