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An adventure game based on Homestuck, by Andrew Hussie.
24,346 backers pledged $2,485,506 to help bring this project to life.

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The Hiveswap trailer is live!

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Have you noticed that we're posting more updates lately? That's because things are really moving on the game right now, and there's a lot of exciting progress to report. Tonight we're launching the first official trailer for Hiveswap, which you can view here at What Pumpkin Studios' new YouTube channel. You might want to bookmark that page now since we'll be posting more cool stuff there in the coming months as we get closer to the game's release. 

More fun stuff to check out—a few new interviews with WP's creative director, Jess Haskins, on the making of the game:

http://reviewfix.com/2015/03/review-fix-exclusive-jess-haskins-talks-hiveswap/

http://tap-repeatedly.com/2015/03/what-pumpkin-hiveswap/

http://www.heypoorplayer.com/2015/04/07/interview-hiveswaps-jess-haskins/

And one more thing—this weekend What Pumpkin will have a booth at Mega Con in Orlando, Florida, which will include a sneak peak of the game. If you happen to be heading to that show, stop by and see us at booths #520 and 522. 

Come to Seattle this weekend to see more Hiveswap stuff in person!

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Obviously this update is going to be the most exciting for Homestuck fans who happen to be in Seattle this coming weekend for Emerald City Comiccon. But even if you won't be there, this is still great news because it means Hiveswap is getting closer by the minute to its release!

If you're one of the thousands of comics and gaming fans who'll be hitting the Seattle Convention Center this weekend for ECCC, don't miss your chance to visit What Pumpkin at booth #305 to try a preview segment of Hiveswap. Bear in mind this is an early preview of a work in progress. It's one room, with some features disabled, but it's playable, looks very good, and gives a strong sense of what it will be like to play it. It's not the sort of thing we can put online anywhere yet, but we're more than happy to let people visiting the booth try it out on our machine.

We're eager to see what everyone thinks! We hope you can make it.

More Hiveswap Assets and Info

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Hey! Here's an asset reel for you, including some model turnarounds, concept art, and music from the game.

#{project_title}'s video poster

You may have noticed a few trolls in there. That's far from the full cast of them. Those are just a few of the game's NPCs, of which there will be more than 100. That's an awful lot of trolls to come up with unique designs for. We managed though. Here's a quick look at what that process was like. We messed with tons of these 2D concepts, kept tweaking and refining their details like hair, horns, clothes, accessories, until we felt good about 'em. Then our modeler Mike takes over, who is some sort of crazy modeling machine. Still hard for me to believe how well he captures these concepts, while cranking them out so quickly.

Troll Concept 1
Troll Concept 1
Troll Concept 2
Troll Concept 2

 Oh also, maybe you remember these two? They haven't been modeled yet. But they will be!

Troll Concept 3
Troll Concept 3

The original Homestuck trolls corresponded with zodiac signs, of course. You can see these ones are wearing different symbols. We ended up making quite a few new ones to create an "expanded zodiac." Around 250, actually. The majority of which won't appear in the game, but we made a bunch of extra ones I guess in case of an emergency. This can be considered the canonical extended set of troll symbols. I'll let you see them later, in a more meaningful context. If there is really such a thing as a meaningful context for 250 fake zodiac signs. If you watched the video, you may have been curious about the music. Music for the game is being made by James Roach and Toby Fox. Toby has made quite a large number of songs for Homestuck, so perhaps you will recognize his sound. Both he and James are great to work with. It's turning out to be an awesome soundtrack that I believe will be one of the more memorable features of the game. We're also working on a game trailer. We should have that ready to show you soon. What Pumpkin will also be attending a few conventions in the near future, and showing off some Hiveswap teaser stuff wherever it is exhibiting. Keep an eye out for updates on those events. 

And just a reminder, here are all the relevant links to Hiveswap on social media and such —Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook

Hiveswap is coming!

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First, here's a website for the game, including a little press kit of art and screenshots. Feel free to sign up for the newsletter there, too.

Also, a few social media links, if you are interested in tracking updates on the game: Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr (This post covers a lot of the basics.)

The takeaway from this deluge of hyperlinks is clear: the game is imminently ramping up to be a thing in the real world that people can actually buy and play. Pretty exciting stuff! If you glanced at those shots, I must impress on you that as nice as it looks, all that is actually quite a small slice of everything this game embodies. It's all looking fantastic I think. The team's done a great job conjuring this feel I had in mind, somewhat reminiscent of the simple style of the comic, but heavy on atmosphere and other nice rendering qualities that help pull you into the world.

Being privy to all the work being done, I can tell you it's not only looking great, but it bears mentioning how FAST all this work has been materializing. To put this in perspective, recall that last Fall I mentioned we switched tracks and brought all game development in-house, under the What Pumpkin banner. We thought this was the best move for the future of the project, but realistically it also meant nearly a total production reboot. The move involved some risk, requiring an entire dev operation to be assembled from the ground-up almost overnight. Back in October of last year we hadn't even bought, like... computers. There weren't even computers yet, ok? You kind of need those, people kept telling me. But in the few months since then, somehow this crazy game making machine appeared out of thin air, caught fire, and now most of an episode has been drawn, modeled, textured, animated, all that. And the weird thing is, not just how quickly it's coming together, but considering the speed it's like... freakishly good? It shouldn't be this good.

All I can do, aside from mumble to myself like a wizard just played a trick on me, is give credit to the fantastic people on WP's dev team, and James and Jess (senior producer and creative director) who brought all these people together so quickly and are keeping everyone on task. I've spent some time with the crew in NYC, hangin' out, watching them work, making a total nuisance of myself. Just an all around great team of people, very skilled and very passionate about making games. I do think there's something else going on here, that makes this situation kind of special. Maybe unique. While in development, a very good dev team has sort of collided with the other creative side of What Pumpkin, a lot of great artists many of whom came up through the Paradox Space project. We've tapped a bunch of them for concept art and other kinds of creative input. These are phenomenal artists who are also really knowledgeable about Homestuck and really enthusiastic about this world in general, and they've been putting their creative touches into the game too, which I think is giving the content a lot of energy and depth. There are a lot of great elements coming together here.

So that's the news on that front. The front that's basically, "will there be a game soon and will it be good?" and the answers are yes and probably. News about what to expect from the game itself? I guess you can gather some tantalizing stuff from the visuals there. We'll release more tidbits like that as it gets closer. But what other DIRT can I reveal??

Alright, here's one little thing. Remember I said the story is tangentially related to Homestuck canon? It fits into canon events, but has very little direct involvement with what we know as the Sburb saga in the web story. So logically it takes place before 2009. Well, here's exactly when. Joey and her brother there (in that treehouse shot) are both kids from the 90's. That's when it takes place, at least the Earth portion of the story (Alternia didn't have the 90's). So its relation to Homestuck canon is something readers can piece together from clues in the game, as it ties into the backstory of Skaianet's roots, mysteries related to the guardians and their curious involvement with all that stuff. Learning all that isn't "the point" of the game, but it should be some fun stuff for people who've read the story to notice.

Events on Alternia also take place in the past. Exactly when is more nebulous though. Could be decades, could be centuries. Long before the time of Karkat and his friends, but the same basic Alternian culture. Planet populated only by kids, hemospectrum class system in full effect, all that. There's a different ruling Heiress. (I will not spoil who the 1st best at memes is, sorry.)

Homestuck Adventure Game Update

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1. CONCEPT ART DUMP

 2. NEW DEVELOPMENT PLANS  

There are some updates to mention. Some changes to the plan. Exciting changes!  

Over the last several months, we've been shifting the development operation from the previous studio over to What Pumpkin. We have both agreed it will be the best move to continue production in-house, given the future game development plans for the Homestuck property (more on that further down). So this means exactly what it sounds like. As of this moment, in addition to everything else What Pumpkin does, it is officially now a game dev studio as well. Pretty cool!  

Setting up a game dev studio from scratch is fairly tricky however. Hiring new people, getting them up to speed, and setting up the infrastructure represents a bump in the road on our previously devised rollout schedule. The original plan had us testing the game by this point. Looks like testing within first half of next year is more likely. One major change to the plan I've settled on is to release the game episodically, to shorten the gap between now and when something is ready to be released. (Again, scroll down for more on that.)  

But given that we have decided to pull a game dev studio out of thin air over the last couple months, it has gone alarmingly well. All the hiring was done quickly, and people have been cranking out great stuff (see samples above, all of which was done in-house). I'm pretty psyched about the new team!  

3. MORE ABOUT THE GAME  

I mentioned the game will be released in episodic installments, but before I address that, let me back up and talk about the game series more broadly. This may help you understand why it makes sense for WP to take the reins on development and start building up a studio capable of sustaining long term game dev projects.  

Way back when I thought of the idea for this game, sort of in tandem with the plan to fund it through KS, I started thinking a little further beyond the KS and release of the game. Such as, what if it was funded well beyond the goal (it was), and what if upon release, the game was successful and well received? (Maybe it will be! I hope so.) Does it make sense to extend the series beyond one game? My verdict was an emphatic "PERHAPS". So as a result, from the start I conceived of a story that revolved around the idea of there eventually being two games, but without committing to any concrete plans to develop the second. (Yet!! We creep closer to that possibility by developing in-house, and nearing completion of game 1, ep. 1.)  

The second game is not intended as a sequel though. It is meant to be a story told in parallel with the first. So when both games are finished, people will be able to play them in either order. As such, the conceit of the two games is to be loosely related to each other with one device in particular that ties them together: a flipping of the two protagonists.  

4. HIVESWAP  

This is the title of the first game. Like I said, the hook the two games share is that early on, the two main characters will trade places. So this means a human girl will have an adventure on Alternia (the troll planet), and a troll boy will have an adventure on Earth. Their objective (well, among others) is to get home. The first game follows the girl on Alternia, who's trying to get back to Earth. The stories of the two games won't have much to do with each other, except for sharing the device responsible for the swap, and the two heroes meeting each other's respective group of friends.  

I also mentioned before that these stories will be loosely related to Homestuck canon. They are completely self-contained stories that won't depend on any familiarity with the existing storyline (I felt like this was important, since I'm anticipating that many people will stumble on this game who have never even heard of HS.) Still, the stories do actually fit into the canonical universe of HS, and fans of the comic will probably find it rewarding to see how it fits into canon and observe the various connections.

 Since it fits into HS canon, there is the obvious question of "when", especially given that HS is about "end of the world" scenarios (both on Earth and Alternia), so unless there's some goofy alt-universe stuff going on, it can't take place after 2009. But there isn't goofy AU stuff going on. So it does take place some time pre-2009 on Earth, and pre-present day on Alternia. Beyond that, I won't be more specific. I'll let the games tell the story.

But I should also say, this doesn't mean the games are intended to be prequels. These aren't like "the origin of Sburb" games or anything like that. There's totally different stuff going on. They are their own stories that are meant to stand alone. My primary goal here is to make good games that speak for themselves and everyone can enjoy, not to create the absolute perfect complements to a huge existing storyline.  

5. EPISODES  

When I say "first game" and "second game", I mean those will be two distinct storylines that each consist of several episodes to be released in sequence. Four episodes per game is looking likely. The fact that there will be multiple installments won't change much for backers. Anyone who backed will be entitled to each download for the first game. I'm sure there will be other questions that come up as a result of this release model, such as how physical copies are handled, but just keep in mind that we'll be working things out to stay favorable to backers. We'll have more answers as things take shape.  

Designing the story around two games is an old idea, based on having a plan in place to continue the series if the demand is there. But releasing each one episodically is a new idea, based more on the emerging realities of production. I think it's the right call, both to get something out sooner, but also I think it will add some dimension to the story itself and the way it's received. Much of the fun for Homestuck readers was in following an ongoing story, getting together with other readers and discussing new developments. So releasing the game like this should preserve that part of the experience somewhat. Leaving some space between episodes should build some anticipation for what happens next. I suspect a lot of people will enjoy the story more this way.  

Thanks for hanging in there. Things have been taking shape slowly, but I think the end product(s) will be a lot stronger for taking the time to make these adjustments and get the right strategy in place. I'm feeling pretty confident we're making a good game here!