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
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.