JAKE: So i take it i am to stand in for the mad hatter in this charade? JASPROSESPRITE^2: Yes. JAKE: Except... wasnt the mad hatter supposed to be like... in charge of the tea party or something? JAKE: I really dont know what im supposed to be doing here. JASPROSESPRITE^2: Nothing! Just sit there quietly please. JASPROSESPRITE^2: No offense, but you are only a prop actor in this fanciful scenario, which is serving as the stage for my date with this lovely lady. NEPETASPRITE: :33 < wait... NEPETASPRITE: :33 < this is a date? JASPROSESPRITE^2: Oh! Yes. JASPROSESPRITE^2: I'm sorry I didn't mention sooner, Nepeta. JASPROSESPRITE^2: Is that ok? NEPETASPRITE: :33 < um NEPETASPRITE: :33 < i guess so! NEPETASPRITE: :33 < im still a bit confuzzled about what is actually happening though JASPROSESPRITE^2: There will be plenty of time for explanations! JASPROSESPRITE^2: For now, I invite you to relax and enjoy our party on this peaceful and desolate hilly planet, while that mild mannered boy across the fridge sips his tea quietly. NEPETASPRITE: :33 < ok but... NEPETASPRITE: :33 < im manely just wondering, where is everyone? NEPETASPRITE: :33 < like... equius? karkat? are they ok? JASPROSESPRITE^2: They're fine! JASPROSESPRITE^2: Well, Karkat is fine. Alive and well, in this session. JASPROSESPRITE^2: Equius is also fine, in the same sense that you and I are both fine! :3 JASPROSESPRITE^2: Everyone else enjoys various states of being fine while alive, and fine while dead. NEPETASPRITE: :33 < oh NEPETASPRITE: :33 < hrrm well NEPETASPRITE: :33 < SOME of that sounds like good mews at least? JASPROSESPRITE^2: It's all good news! I mean mews. :3 Especially that we are both here now, on this date together. JASPROSESPRITE^2: Again, assuming you are ok with that. No pressure! NEPETASPRITE: :33 < i will say its a very nice looking tea party you have here NEPETASPRITE: :33 < but ummmmm NEPETASPRITE: :33 < ive never actually... NEPETASPRITE: :33 < b33n on a date JASPROSESPRITE^2: There's a first time for everything, right? JASPROSESPRITE^2: I remember my first date. I was so nervous! "Life hack." It helps if you are very very drunk. JASPROSESPRITE^2: Not that I am prescribing this as a remedy for you! It's ok to be nervous. JASPROSESPRITE^2: Besides, I sincerely doubt you are partial to the drink. I have a feeling catnip's your poison, eh? Eh?? Ehhh??? ;3 NEPETASPRITE: :33 < ive never tried either NEPETASPRITE: :33 < sorry :\\ NEPETASPRITE: :33 < anyway its not that im nervous about a furst date necessarily! NEPETASPRITE: :33 < i just... dont know who you are or anything about you NEPETASPRITE: :33 < you look like one of the human kids but... different. you s33m to be part kittycat now? JASPROSESPRITE^2: Yes Nepeta I am part kittycat now! :3 :3 JASPROSESPRITE^2: Events conspired to make me equal parts not dead, half kittycat, and two sprites! JASPROSESPRITE^2: But the other side of that pet tag is the fact that I am suddenly half human as well. JASPROSESPRITE^2: You see Nepeta I used to be a dead cat too but now I'm an alive cat who's part girl! JASPROSESPRITE^2: In fact, we spoke once. While I was still just a cat. Don't you remember? NEPETASPRITE: :33 < uhhh NEPETASPRITE: :33 < wait a minute NEPETASPRITE: :33 < yes... NEPETASPRITE: :33 < yes i think i do remember that! NEPETASPRITE: :33 < that was fun! :DD JASPROSESPRITE^2: Chirp! :3 :3 :3 :3 :3 NEPETASPRITE: :33 < so youre the same cat then! NEPETASPRITE: :33 < the human girl... rose was it? she and her lusus got prototyped together? JASPROSESPRITE^2: That is exactly what happened, fortunately for us both, as well as everybody else. NEPETASPRITE: :33 < thats very sw33t! what a nice way for you two to stay close forever NEPETASPRITE: :33 < combining souls with my lusus sounds like it would have b33n a wonderful way to preserve her memory NEPETASPRITE: :33 < plus share all her strength and wisdom and such! NEPETASPRITE: :33 < i am guessing that oppurrtunity is long gone though :cc JASPROSESPRITE^2: It probably is. But really, I don't think you need to change! JASPROSESPRITE^2: You are so charming and pretty exactly as you are. NEPETASPRITE: :33 < wow... NEPETASPRITE: :33 < thank you :oo JAKE: Hey... JAKE: Whatever happened to janes bunny friend... what was his name? JASPROSESPRITE^2: Huh? JAKE: Little sebastian i think? JAKE: Whered he scamper off to? JASPROSESPRITE^2: Jake, what are you talking about. JAKE: He would be PERFECT for this tea party! JAKE: Like the white rabbit and all. JAKE: And im like the mad hatter for some damned reason. JAKE: And youre supposed to be like the cheshire cat or such? JASPROSESPRITE^2: Yes, Jake. That was the idea. JASPROSESPRITE^2: Thank you for explaining a thing to us. JAKE: I havent the foggiest fucking idea who sleeping tavros is supposed to be. JAKE: Or for that matter who the honking guy in the fridge represents.
JAKE: Was there a man under the table who honked sometimes in alice and wonderland? JAKE: I really dont remember. JAKE: So i guess that leaves the friendly cat troll as alice? JAKE: Nepeta right? You must be the alice of the group. JAKE: That would make sense! Since you just got here and appear to be very confused about this situation. JAKE: By my estimation that makes you a dead ringer for the alice of this tea party! JASPROSESPRITE^2: Jake, just drink your tea.
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??