VRISKA: Hasn't it ever occurred to you to wonder who the ultim8 8ad guy of this adventure was going to 8e? JOHN: ultimate bad guy? JOHN: you mean like the last boss? VRISKA: Man, even that way of putting it is a little too pedestrian. VRISKA: I mean, I already 8eat a last 8oss! The 8lack king was the officially sanctioned last 8oss of our session, and I killed him. This is different. VRISKA: There's always someone stronger w8ing to 8e revealed. Jack showed up shortly after that, and he was MUCH stronger. VRISKA: Eventually the curtains get pulled 8ack, and you find out who was 8ehind every terri8le thing that happened all along. Someone who is invaria8ly stronger than all other adversaries 8y a wide margin. The supreme villain! VRISKA: To 8e honest, I was always kind of w8ing for that guy to show up, whoever he was. For the other shoe to drop, you know? There's always a 8ig 8ad 8ehind everything. A true gamer sees stuff like this coming a mile away. JOHN: ok. if you say so. JOHN: i always kind of thought jack was evil and strong enough to be our main antagonist. but if you say there is someone even stronger and more evil, then... wow. VRISKA: Yes, I'll admit, I was fooled 8y Jack 8riefly. VRISKA: For a little while, I thought he was the supreme menace, and I would have to face him in a final showdown. VRISKA: 8ut it turned out that was just a 8it of standard misdirection. He was just another step up in a typical pattern of escal8tion involving increasingly "insurmounta8le" threats, which legendary heroes like us have to overcome to achieve total victory over everything. VRISKA: Also, let's face it. I don't think Jack is all that evil, so much as he's just a murderous asshole. Trust me, I know the type. VRISKA: 8ut English, that guy is as evil as they come. He's the real deal!!!!!!!! TAVROS: oKAY, cAN i JUST SAY SOMETHING, TAVROS: i STILL DON'T KNOW WHY YOU'RE SO SURE, hE'S THE FINAL VILLAIN, TAVROS: bECAUSE, yOU YOURSELF SAID, tHERE'S ALWAYS SOMEONE STRONGER, rIGHT, TAVROS: sO, i'M PERCEIVING A CONTRADICTION ABOUT YOUR FACTS, VRISKA: Tavros, come on. We've already talked a8out this ad nauseum. VRISKA: He's the 8ig 8ad!!!!!!!! It's so o8vious. I mean, MAY8E there's someone stronger out there in paradox space? Who knows. VRISKA: 8ut whoever that is has nothing to fucking do with this massive extended multiverse-spanning campaign!!!!!!!! VRISKA: English was the guy who stacked the whole deck against us from the start, rigging shit to go haywire, wiping out our race, 8lowing up universes, exterimin8ting ghosts, slaughtering dark gods, and shattering reality itself. Pretty sure we reached the top floor, 8uddy! TAVROS: oKAY, bUT ALL i'M SAYING IS, wHAT IF, TAVROS: tHERE'S SOMEONE EVEN WORSE THAN THAT, dUE TO SPECULATION, VRISKA: Un8elieva8le. VRISKA: John, just ignore him. He tends to 8e contrary just for the sake of 8eing contrary. It's just what he does these days. VRISKA: He seems to think it's how you show confidence and assertiveness. The key to high self esteem is apparently just saying "nuh uh!" all the time. TAVROS: nO, tHAT'S NOT TRUE, VRISKA: See? VRISKA: This was apparently the 8ig lesson he learned from sharing a 8rain with me for a few minutes. In order to feel good a8out yourself, just 8e a constant pain in the ass!!!!!!!! TAVROS: nO, tHAT'S NOT WHAT i LEARNED, JOHN: haha. JOHN: i see what you mean. TAVROS: nO, TAVROS: nO, TAVROS: nO, oKAY, i REALIZE ALL i'M SAYING IS NO, WHICH IS JUST HELPING MAKE YOU LOOK AS RIGHT AS POSSIBLE ABOUT MAKING FUN OF ME, TAVROS: bUT i LEARNED IN YOUR BRAIN THAT YOU AREN'T ALWAYS RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING, TAVROS: yOU WERE WRONG ABOUT LOTS OF THINGS, TAVROS: yOU WERE WRONG ABOUT RUFIO! TAVROS: rUFIO WAS REAL ALL ALONG, }:D VRISKA: Alright, granted, there did in fact exist a person 8y that name. VRISKA: You aren't spelling it right, though. TAVROS: hOW DO YOU KNOW HOW i'M SPELLING IT, wHEN i'M JUST TALKING, iNSTEAD OF USING LETTERS, VRISKA: 8ecause that's how you spelled it when we used to chat online, dum8ass!!!!!!!! You weren't using enough letters. TAVROS: sO, VRISKA: And in any case, he doesn't actually represent your self esteem. He's just some dude. TAVROS: bUT, hE MAKES ME FEEL BETTER ABOUT MYSELF wHEN i THINK OF HIM, sO THE REALITY IS EFFECTIVELY EQUIVALENT TO MY FRAUDULENT CHILDHOOD SUPERSTITION, VRISKA: Lol. Whatever floats your 8oat. JOHN: you both seem a bit testy with each other. it's kind of funny. JOHN: actually it's a little hard to believe you and he are... VRISKA: What? JOHN: er... JOHN: never mind, actually. VRISKA: ???????!
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.