JOHN: hey! JOHN: mr. jake harley i presume? JAKE: No...? JAKE: Its english actually. JAKE: Twas my grandmas surname. JOHN: oh. my mistake! JOHN: so then, is it just a coincidence that she had the same name as an invincible super villain? JOHN: are coincidences even real?? JAKE: I dunno. JAKE: The history is a little murky to me. JAKE: I heard she took the name from a nasty fellow to spite a wicked baroness. JOHN: ok. JOHN: good to know! JOHN: it's been interesting to learn how even though we are all pretty similar, we all had a lot of really different life details. JAKE: I guess so. JOHN: like, there are all these things i take for granted about jade's childhood, which in theory is similar to yours. JOHN: but not really... she had a super powerful dog you didn't have. and also a grandpa you couldn't have had, because... that was grown up you! JOHN: i'd be really curious to hear about all the differences in your life some time, if you don't mind. JAKE: Sure. JOHN: hell, i'd be REALLY curious to hear about the differences in my alt-life, so to speak. JOHN: but jane is asleep! JOHN: i'm guessing she grew up in a similar situation i did, but with... a bunch of differences??? JOHN: guess i'll just have to wait! JAKE: Well... JAKE: She was a good friend. JAKE: I know lots of stuff about her life. JAKE: What do you want to know? JOHN: oh! hmm. JOHN: let's see. JOHN: so i was her grandpa, instead of her being my nanna? JOHN: i'm not sure if that statement made sense, but you know what i mean. JAKE: Yeah she had a poppop. JAKE: He was a really funny and beloved old time comedian so i guess that is the guy you grew up to be. JOHN: cool! JOHN: i never knew my nanna growing up, except as an urn of ashes above the fireplace. JOHN: i only met her as a sprite. JOHN: was i dead? or... was he? JAKE: Yep but he wasnt ashes they had a different way of preserving him which i think was arguably more dignified. JOHN: how? JAKE: Have you seen weekend at bernies? JOHN: no. JOHN: i've heard of it though! JAKE: Oh man you HAVE to see it! JAKE: Its about a couple of knuckleheads who parade around with a funny corpse trying to pass him off as a living friend and good time charlie over a series of escapades. JOHN: sounds incredible. JAKE: I still have it if you want to see it some time. JOHN: definitely! JOHN: so you like movies? JAKE: DO i????? JOHN: haha, i love movies too. JOHN: there are a whole bunch i'd want to show you, assuming you haven't seen them already. JOHN: i love talking about them with people! i think my friends usually just humored me about the movies i liked, but i have a feeling you'd really dig them! JAKE: Oh i GUARANTEE you i would. JOHN: awesome, i can't wait to show you some. JOHN: so... that means jane had an old man corpse version of me around somewhere? like in her house? JAKE: Yes. JOHN: ok, that sounds pretty preposterous to me... JOHN: but i guess she must have grown up thinking it was normal. JAKE: Not... really. She was always pretty put off by it to be honest. JOHN: heheh. poor jane. JOHN: i'll have to apologize to her for freaking her out from beyond the grave. JOHN: what was her life like otherwise? JAKE: Pretty typical id say. JAKE: She always characterized it as boring. JAKE: But i never agreed really she got to live on the main land with access to all kinds of things i didnt have. JAKE: Plus she lived with a cool and manly father who cared about her a lot and seemed like a standup gent. JOHN: oh, she lived with her dad too? JOHN: do you know anything about him? JAKE: Not much other than what i just said and a few things she told me. JAKE: I think he was stern and fatherly and dressed well if memory serves he was a private detective at one point. JOHN: a private detective??? JOHN: wow. JOHN: it sounds like he must have been a completely different kind of dad from the one i had. JOHN: all these differences are so interesting... some are subtle, but some are drastic, like this one apparently is. JOHN: it would be neat to meet him. JOHN: i mean, not that it would be much of a substitute for getting to see my dad again, since they're totally different people, but... JOHN: you know what i mean. JOHN: do you know what happened to him? JAKE: Im not sure i kinda lost track of him for a while... JAKE: I think he might be in jail? JOHN: jail?? JAKE: Yeah on derse. JAKE: I THINK. I could be wrong though. JOHN: i'll make a mental note to check on him some time soon. JOHN: i bet jane would want to too, when she wakes up. i'll ask her about it. JAKE: Good idea!
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??