DAVE: i dunno why my friends got to have adults around who cared about them DAVE: they complained bitterly about stuff so i guess i convinced myself they were all in the same boat as me DAVE: but thats not how it was DAVE: their complaints were trumped up nonsense and i bought it cause... i dunno DAVE: i didnt have any frame of reference DAVE: but his dad and her mom no matter what they said it was so obvious they cared about them deeply DAVE: even jades weird fuckin grandpa who died when she was young obviously would have done anything for her DAVE: why did i get such a raw cut of the asshole deck DAVE: and why did it take me so long to figure that out DAVE: and like hes dead now so thats that DAVE: so all thats left to do is look back and try to put the pieces together of my first 13 years DAVE: and all i can think is what the fuck WAS that?! DAVE: i dont come away with the impression i used to try convincing myself of, that he was like "mysterious" or "stern" or "aloof" DAVE: the only feeling left is this insane impression that i was raised by somebody who fuckin HATED me DAVE: and the whole act of even "raising a child" was some totally fucked up game to him DAVE: like parenthood was one of the highest tiers of irony in his solemn bullshit bro-ninja code DAVE: so he went through those motions and did whatever he thought was "funny" or "badass" DAVE: but under that weird stylistic and totally sociopathic approach to parenting i cant even IMAGINE there was any emotion toward me other than some sort of loathing DIRK: What... DIRK: Did he do? DAVE: i dont want to get out the laundry list DAVE: but for reference laundry wasnt one of those things DAVE: that was just one of the many little domestic things i just had to sort of FIGURE OUT DAVE: sorta like i eventually had to learn what the REAL purpose of a refridgerator was from movies DIRK: Wait. DIRK: What?? DAVE: i dunno theres too much to even get into DAVE: just DAVE: i dont remember the atmosphere ever not being nerve wracking DAVE: all havin to sneak around and... DAVE: ugh my shitty childhood spider senses are tinglin just thinking about it DAVE: it was "training" you know DAVE: but you know what it really was it was some vicious shit that was bad and sucked and i hated it DAVE: it didnt make me stronger DAVE: it did the opposite DAVE: it made me never want to fight DAVE: it made me never want to see blood or be near danger or hear metal sounds DAVE: it made me hate the idea of being a hero cause he was a hero and he ruined the idea of heroism DAVE: i dont even want to be fighting this shitty version of jack but hey nobody else has secret welsh powers so i guess i have to DIRK: ... DAVE: what gets me is how long it took me to put all this together DAVE: to stop seeing it as some kinda roughhousey and eccentric life i had but was otherwise normal DAVE: it took years to deconstruct it all and put it back together to understand how fuckin mad i should be DAVE: and in particular how stone cold deeply uncared for i was my whole life DAVE: like... being merely "monitored" by a violent robot DAVE: i only started getting it after spending a lot of time in person with a bunch of people who actually did care about me DAVE: and i could start feeling like DAVE: actually somewhat human for the first time DAVE: instead of... DAVE: some sort of runty afterthought to a household cabal of smutty puppets DIRK: ... Puppets? DAVE: the fuckin puppets!!! DAVE: i know how it sounds but i am NOT joking and there is NO shred of doubt in my mind that he loved all those puppets more than me DAVE: honestly it is very possible that he was just insane and thats that DAVE: i guess it didnt help either that we lived with what we have come to understand may theoretically be the most evil doll to exist in any universe ever DAVE: in fact its my tenuous understanding that he came down to earth with that thing and like actually grew up with it DAVE: maybe... DAVE: maybe spending 30 some years being unseparable from that hell puppet had some effect on him?? DAVE: maybe if it hadnt been casting a pall over our apartment 24/7 since he took me in... DAVE: grinning... DAVE: glaring... DAVE: laughing in my sleep... DAVE: maybe our lives wouldnt have been quite so... DAVE: maybe we would have... DAVE: ugh DIRK: What?
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??