FINE. NOW WHAT. Caliborn, first let me explain something to you. I guess it falls on me to teach you these life lessons, because as unpleasant as the idea is for both of us, I am the closest thing you will ever have to a father. You see, teenagers are sensitive and beautiful creatures. Well, not you. You are repulsive. But most teenagers, I mean. You can't just force them to settle all their issues with insane psychotropic game powerups. They have to face all those issues themselves, or they will never learn and grow as people. WHO CARES?? Well, you don't. But human beings do. The journey itself is more important than the destination. The struggle is what builds character and teaches us about ourselves and about life. BULLSHIT. I DID THEM ALL A FAVOR. BY GIVING THEM MY JUJU. THEY WERE GOING NOWHERE. AND BEING STUPID. AND DOING LITERALLY NOTHING WHATSOEVER. EXCEPT FOR WALLOWING IN GROTESQUE EMOTIONS. LOOK HOW MUCH GREAT STUFF THEY GOT DONE BECAUSE OF ME! Of course you think you were doing them a favor. You're an alien. So is your sister. She thought the juju would be a great boon for them as well. But she was wrong. See, you cherubs are predisposed to love all this trickster crap. All that goofy squeaky candy coated nonsense is a critical part of your people's mythos. That sugarized zillyjunk sort of embodies a unified field of absurd Platonic ideals to the cherubim, so when you see expressions of it in reality of course you're gonna go apeshit. But that kind of stuff is freakish and disturbing to humans. Those aren't our ideals. WHAT. Furthermore, that could only be seen as a boon from an asocial species. You never have to deal with other people. So if you lick a magic lollipop that flips a switch in your brain that says "all my problems are solved," I guess maybe that's fine for cherubs, but if you're a human you haven't actually solved anything. By the same logic it's not much of a boon to a human's physical journey either. Using an item that lets them start maniacally powering from point A to point B isn't doing them any favors. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT. It's like when Mario gets the star. You know when Mario gets the star? WHO THE FUCK IS MARIO. He's a small Italian plumber who goes on sideways adventures. He jumps on stuff and bops bricks with his head to save a princess. WHAT'S ITALIAN. WHAT'S A PLUMBER. Never mind what an Italian is. It's just a kind of guy on Earth. And a plumber is a guy who fixes load gapers. WHAT'S A LOAD GAPER. Shut up. Anyway, sometimes when Mario's running sideways he gets a star that makes him magic and invincible. OH. YOU MEAN HE BECOMES TRICKSTER MARIO. Yes, but less stupid. So for a while he becomes flashy and hyperactive and nothing's challenging anymore. He just starts barreling over mushrooms and leaping over pits as fast as he can, then gets to the end and jumps on the flagpole and that's it. Mario "wins". But the point is, he didn't really win. That magic star was actually devastating to his development as a human being. WHY. Because he skipped over many critical trials on his spiritual journey. Mario NEEDS to stomp on all those mushrooms. He NEEDS to bonk those bricks with his head, for the sake of his personal growth. By using the star, he is denying himself many powerful moments of catharsis. UH. Well, I don't know. Maybe Mario isn't the best example. Like I'm not sure if Mario really even has a soul? He's just kind of a one-dimensional friendly cartoon plumber. So maybe this stuff doesn't quite apply to him. But these aren't one-dimensional plumbers we're talking about here. These are TEENS. And as we all know, teens have BIG FEELINGS. I CAN'T TAKE ANYMORE OF THIS. THE DISCOURSE WITH YOU HAS BEEN EVEN MORE GRATING AND UNPALATABLE THAN USUAL. YOU SAID YOU'D HELP ME SPEED UP MY QUEST. BUT ALL YOU DID. WAS TRICK ME INTO HEARING ANOTHER CONVERSATION. IN WHICH YOU INDULGE YOURSELF TO AN EXTENT. WHICH I CANNOT EVEN BELIEVE. I'M GOING TO HIT THINGS WITH MY CROWBAR AGAIN. No don't! Jane is still nursing a wicked hangover you ass. THEN BE USEFUL TO ME.
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??