ARADIA: you see?? ARADIA: i told you they would bring your body SOLLUX: ok, well i believed y0u about that, but yeah, i can see that. SOLLUX: eugh, can s0meone get rid 0f that thing please? ARADIA: oh!!! ARADIA: sollux lets do it! SOLLUX: what. ARADIA: the corpse party! ARADIA: theres no better time and there are so many corpses here to work with ARADIA: is everybody ok with that? do you want to have a big corpse party? ARADIA: we can incinerate the remains in the sun it will be just glorious ROSE: Corpse party? ARADIA: rose! ARADIA: can you please explain to my friends what a human funeral is like? ROSE: Of course. ROSE: I would describe it as an occasion marked by a great deal of jubilation at the expense of one or more well dressed cadavers. DAVE: hahaha oh god ARADIA: i couldnt have put it better myself ARADIA: could you go into more detail? ROSE: Well, in my experience, a loved one, typically an elder, arranges to have the departed placed in a small box, and then forces you to stand in the rain all day. ROSE: Then, presumably winded by all the deeply ironic catharsis, she gets drunk and passes out on the couch. DAVE: oh my god we are never going to stop fucking with each other are we DAVE: even without computers ARADIA: hmmm that sounds just a tad specific ARADIA: we may have to adapt the proceedings to be a little more ARADIA: i dunno ARADIA: multicultural i guess? SOLLUX: err... ARADIA: why dont you all do some brainstorming about what kind of funeral to have while i go round up the bodies! SOLLUX: aradia, FUCK. SOLLUX: will y0u co0l it on the c0rpse party shit for a minute? ARADIA: whats the matter? SOLLUX: i mean, everyb0dy here has just met, and i guess just went through a l0t of really heavy bullshit, d0 you think that maybe this isn't the best thing t0 harp on right n0w? ARADIA: um ARADIA: i just thought it would be a nice thing to bond over SOLLUX: not everyb0dy is as into death as y0u though. like, it's c0ol t0 see you s0 excited about s0mething, i'm seriously thrilled ab0ut that. SOLLUX: but frankly it's all pretty fucking morbid t0 everybody, i just th0ught you sh0uld know. ARADIA: am i really that bad? TEREZI: Y3S >:| ARADIA: oh ARADIA: sorry ARADIA: i guess ive spent enough time here that i just dont see death as the terrible thing the living make it out to be ARADIA: i honestly feel like its a reason to celebrate! TEREZI: TH4TS OK 4R4D14, NO ON3S BL4M1NG YOU TEREZI: 1 4CTU4LLY TH1NK YOUR WHOL3 D34TH F4NG1RL TH1NG 1S FUNNY 4ND K1ND OF CH4RM1NG >:] ARADIA: death fan girl thing? ARADIA: what do you mean TEREZI: OH COM3 ON TEREZI: YOU 4R3 PR4CT1C4LLY B3S1D3 YOURS3LF W1TH G1DD1N3SS 4T TH3 1D34 OF S3RV1NG 4S TH3 M41TR3 D TO 4LL DR34M BUBBL3S TEREZI: YOU LOV3 B31NG TH3 C4R3T4K3R OF W4YW4RD SOULS 4ND DR34M3RS! TEREZI: LUCK1LY YOU M4K3 4N 4DOR4BL3 H4NDM41D TO TH3 M4ST3R OF D34TH, 3SP3C14LLY 1N YOUR CUT3 CH3RRY P1X13 3NS3MBL3 ARADIA: you think so? ROSE: I'm going to agree with my fellow seer on this. TEREZI: S33??? TEREZI: 3V3N SNOOTY M1SS C4NT4LOUP3 ROB3 4GR33S! TEREZI: OH, 4ND GUYS, JUST FOR TH3 S4K3 OF MULT1CULTUR4L CL4R1TY, W3 TROLLS TR34T D34TH 1TS3LF 4S 4 MYTHOLOG1C4L F1GUR3 TEREZI: H3 1S 4 M4N W1TH 4 FR1GHT3N1NG SKULL FOR 4 H34D 4ND 4 T3RR1BL3 HYPNOT1C GL4R3 TEREZI: 4LL TH3 L3G3NDS S4Y H3S GOT TH1S SUP3R FOXY H4NDM41D TO DO H1S D1RTYWORK TEREZI: 1 M34N TH1S 1S 4LL F4NT4SY OF COURS3, BUT W3 C4NT R34LLY UND3RST4ND 34CH OTH3RS CULTUR3S UNL3SS W3 UND3RST4ND TH3 MYTHS B3H1ND TH3M! DAVE: yo terezi weve got a grim reaper too DAVE: shit isnt that novel DAVE: i mean i think even a civilization full of the laziest sons of bitches are gonna make up a myth figure for death DAVE: like oooh watch OUT death is coming for you hes got like DAVE: a SKULL and shit DAVE: i basically have no fucking imagination that sounds badass to me DAVE: wait wait no how about hes got a BLACK ROBE too DAVE: and a fuckin scythe to fuckin slash at you with in case you didnt die all the way or whatever DAVE: daaaaaamn now youre talking bro DAVE: lets go ahead stick that in our culture forever TEREZI: SO WH4T YOU 4R3 T3LL1NG M3 D4V3 1S TEREZI: TH4T W3 BOTH H4V3 D34TH *4ND* COTTON C4NDY??? DAVE: hell yes TEREZI: W3 M1GHT 4S W3LL B3 TH3 S4M3 D4MN SP3C13S!!! >:D KARKAT: FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.
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??