MS PAINT ADVENTURES    ARCHIVE | NEW READER?     MAP | LOG | SEARCH     SHOP | MUSIC     FORUMS | SECRETS | CREDITS

HEY!

Welcome to MSPA!

If you'd like to jump right into reading something, I think Problem Sleuth is a good place to start, personally. But it's a pretty long read, so be sure to have the save game feature handy!

But before you jump into an adventure, a little background on the site would probably help. There are two key points to understand! They are:

1) MSPA stories exist in the format of "mock games", specifically text-based adventure games. You advance through the pages of the story by clicking links which sound like commands you would type in a text prompt to get a character to do something. Generally, the character will respond to that command on the following page.

2) MSPA stories are largely "reader-driven", in the sense that most of the text commands were supplied by readers through a suggestion box. I would select a command from the list, and then illustrate the result of the command.

When I say "largely reader driven", I mean this approach has undergone a lot of evolution from adventure to adventure, and continues to even now. I'll try to give a sense of what the process was for each adventure.

Jailbreak: This was the first adventure, one I started well before the MSPA site existed. I created it on a forum, where people would post suggestions in replies to the thread. My policy was to always take the first suggestion no matter what, which naturally lead to a very haphazard feel to the story's progression. I also experimented with "branching" the story at one point, splitting it into two paths. But then I quickly brought those two paths back together.

I left Jailbreak unfinished. And it's probably fine that way, as a sort of rambling, silly initial experiment with the storytelling format. I doubt I'll go back to finish it.

Bardquest: This was the first adventure I started after launching MSPA.com, back when I had the "choose your own adventure" format in mind for the site as the primary storying device, in addition to the reader-driven feature with a new on-site suggestion box. But the multiple paths turned out to be quite difficult for me to keep up with, and overall, probably pretty hard for readers to digest as well, especially with a longer story.

Mercifully, this one never made it that far. I chalk it up as an interesting failed experiment, and one that I surely won't go back to finish. After halting BQ, I left the site to gather dust for about six months, then started it up again with Problem Sleuth.

Problem Sleuth: By far the longest adventure (Homestuck is now much longer), and only complete one to date. When I started, I revised the approach, completely scrapping the multiple paths concept except in a few minor instances. I also started being more selective with the suggestions, not necessarily always picking the first one in the box. This made for a more controlled style of action, allowing elements of planning and puzzle solving, while still creating a pretty whimsical feel to the adventure.

But I feel MSPA evolved in many more ways than that over the daunting span of Problem Sleuth (exactly one year, in fact). The nature of the parody drifted away from text-adventures exclusively to playing off many other sorts of gaming genres, like RPGs, fighting games, etc. The visual style progressed as well, as I started incorporating more and more animated frames and over the top battle sequences. And the reader-driven element shifted very gradually as well, especially as the story took on more readers.

When a story begins to get thousands of suggestions, paradoxically, it becomes much harder to call it truly "reader-driven". This is simply because there is so much available, the author can cherry-pick from what's there to suit whatever he might have in mind, whether he's deliberately planning ahead or not. But as it happened, I was planning ahead much more as the story neared its end, and I would tend to A) pick commands that suited what I had in mind, or B) just call a spade a spade and outright MAKE UP a command for an idea I had, which I did most often for many of the later attacks (like the Sleuth Diplomacy variations, Comb Raves, etc).

Toward the end, the suggestion box was mostly used as a go-to for the frivolous, funny tangential stuff, and rarely anything story-changing. I've come to view this as the only realistic practice for a site with this format, with this many readers. This practice carried over to the next adventure, right from the start.

Homestuck: Edit: information below is somewhat out of date. Probably a better and more up to date primer on Homestuck would be the summary page linked from the Kickstarter.

The adventure I'm currently working on, with a pretty radically different approach from the way the previous adventures started, mostly in the sense that many elements are already preplanned. I don't know if I intended to make a big point of this as huge a paradigm shift for the site. It was more that I started getting ideas for the next adventure well before Problem Sleuth ended, and those ideas just kept cropping up. Much like with crafting the conclusion for Problem Sleuth, the planning just couldn't be helped!

So the use of user commands has been handled in a similar way, insofar as they contribute to a direction I want the story to go in, or to simply produce a humorous tangential effect (which can sometimes lead to story developments I don't anticipate anyway!) But the point is, the reader-driven aspect of MSPA is still in a state evolution, and truthfully is probably drifting away from being a very important factor in the way the story is structured.

It is manifesting in other interesting ways though. With HS I introduced the incorporation of music into the story, and the production of this music has been a collaborative effort among readers. Other ideas and resources like funny images, game mechanic concepts, etc, have made it into the story outside of the institutionalized structure of the suggestion box. I also picked the characters' names from reader input. There are lots of ways I will inject reader input into stories, and finding out how will be the fun part. But it will almost certainly never resemble the madcap charades of Jailbreak or early Problem Sleuth.

The bottom line is, the MSPA format always seems to be in a state of flux, and I will surely continue to bend my own rules in various ways. Honestly at this stage, I am less excited about the reader-driven aspect than I am about the format that has emerged and somewhat crystallized, which is: telling a story through the vehicle of a mock-game, complete with somewhat convincing and detailed mechanics, but without losing sight of it as a parody. That format has been augmented with the use of Flash animations and interactive pages, which is something I'm sure I'll keep exploring.

-----------

Anyway, if you really are a new reader, I guess that was a lot to digest! But even if you're not a new reader, I'm sure you gleaned some insight from that.

As always, thanks for reading!

-Andrew









RSS: Adventure Updates


Gigapause: Commence.



Posted on 13 April 2014 by Andrew

Happy 4/13, a.k.a. 5 years of Homestuck being a thing! Since I know how much you like things, to celebrate I thought I would show you another thing that's been in the works for a while.



It's a new webcomic based on Homestuck, called Paradox Space! Have a look. That is all I will say about it here. But if you would like to know what the heck this ACTUALLY IS, here is a permalink to the news post where I talk about such matters.

Posted on 3 Mar 2014 by Andrew

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.

Posted on 24 Jan 2014 by Andrew

introdoucing, 20104............ the NEWD YEAR

Gigapause status: STILL GIGAPAUSED.

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!



Posted on 20 Dec 2013 by Andrew



Posted on 11 Dec 2013 by Andrew

Behold, it is the festive dump of none other than Father Christmas himself! *Puts on Santa suit, dives head-first onto Slip N Slide full of eggnog.*

But then I stagger to my feet, wring my beard into a glass, add a pinch of nutmeg, and apologize for ruining Christmas. These goods are now available for preorder.



Posted on 28 Nov 2013 by Andrew



This week I give you: THE MOTHERLOAD

Tune in next week for: THE FATHERDUMP

Posted on 13 Oct 2013 by Andrew

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.










Latest Pages:
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/16/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/11/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/11/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/11/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/11/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/11/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/11/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/11/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/11/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/11/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/11/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/11/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/11/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/11/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/11/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"
10/11/13 - "[A6A6I2] ====>"

VIEW ALL PAGES
-- ;--