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

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!

shawnathan Caron, SparkyAMS, and 223 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Hussie Zahhak on July 2, 2016

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    2. Pat B on April 13, 2015

      So the backers won't be entitled o the second game then? I mean, we have to buy that separately?

    3. Missing avatar

      WoohdaKidd on November 19, 2014

      Just a question, will the physical copy only be available once the game is complete?

    4. Lizzy on November 4, 2014

      I'm so psyched about this!!! I love the concept art, its so detailed and pretty and I could actually tell what the story was about just by looking at it. Anyway, I find the fact that it will be an episodic thing to be a great idea! It will leave us hooked and give the fandom stuff to talk about. Also it prevents people from spoiling the whole game for others. I approve of this ♥

    5. WesFoxx on November 4, 2014

      +1 to suggesting you simply wait until its complete before you do the physical copy thing.

    6. speedster -Armikrog Army Annelid- $4.96 on November 3, 2014

      Those who don't like episodes are free to wait for the whole thing to be finished (as I plan to do); it just means those who don't mind episodes can start playing earlier, shouldn't delay when the full game is finished.

    7. kAi on November 1, 2014

      That concept art is so kick ass, omg~ <3333

    8. J.G. on November 1, 2014

      Episodic release makes an insane amount of sense, just based upon Homestuck itself has been released, and how it has promoted the community to grow over time.

    9. Missing avatar

      Kati on October 31, 2014

      I can't stop staring at that concept art, you guys, it's SO PRETTY. I'm really looking forward to seeing more!

    10. Callie D on October 31, 2014

      I see that you're going with Tell Tale Game's strategy. Which is a good thing. You always make updates anyways, and I'm pretty sure people could wait even longer given the gigapause you gave us.

    11. Robin Andersson on October 31, 2014

      episodic...bleh, oh well that just means I'll be waiting longer and simply binge play them all once a decent amount of parts have been released, and don't you dare fail this halfway through! there is nothing I like less than incomplete stories.

    12. Wendel Scardua on October 31, 2014

      I think the hardest part of development would be making the first episode; for the next ones it's mostly making more assets (even the adventure nodes seem to have been finished months ago). So I think/hope the wait for each following episode won't be much long.

    13. Missing avatar

      Claire Dowd on October 31, 2014

      I really don't like the idea of an episodic release. I would prefer to wait longer for a completed game. It has made homestuck more enjoyable reading it update by update though so maybe it will work out. Waiting months for new updates was definitely not any fun though so if there is an episodic release it would need to follow a vigorous schedule to keep things in the anticipation phase and not the frustration and subsequent disinterested phases.

    14. Tarri on October 31, 2014

      While I am probably used to the whole game being released, rather than episodes, I think it is an interesting idea.
      I mean, if worst comes to worst, it can always be rectified with the second game. However, the idea of episodic installments leaving ideas to be discussed across the fandom is a fantastic idea in itself, I think. :)

    15. Missing avatar

      Jesse Whyte on October 31, 2014

      I would much rather wait for a full release than get episodes. It just doesn't feel as good, and I don't know of any situation where I was satisfied with the result.

    16. James Theobald on October 31, 2014

      If this is what you think is best, I support your decision. The episodic thing works extremely well for the developers over at Telltale Games, who make The Walking Dead game and stuff such as The Wolf Among Us. My ONLY concern is the physical copy of the game, which is the only thing I get, which will be signed. I'm happy you somewhat addressed on the physical copy stuff and I'm confident you will have a solution to keep me and the other backers for that happy.

    17. Missing avatar

      Frizz on October 31, 2014

      My fiance and I are very excited about this idea.
      Fiance: "As always, Andrew Hussie fails to disappoint us. I am super psyched about the concept arts and the episodic games. I have played the original Doom. When it first came out, you got the levels individually in their own "episodes" and it was fun."

    18. Missing avatar

      Laura on October 30, 2014

      Not too thrilled about episodes, though. I understand the decision to get content out finally, but it sounds disappointing.

    19. Missing avatar

      Laura on October 30, 2014

      Oh, this actually made me relieved. I always thought it was strange that with Hussie's almost anal attention to detail and plot mechanics etc he would go with a developer that didn't look like it could hold up really advanced and probably time consuming new mechanics like on the scale he does.

      So he probably overburdened them, they argued a lot, and he decided to do his own thing so he could customize it properly. Maybe. Sounds like him!

      Welp, I'm sure he'll find a way to make a great story with great characters. He is really creative!

    20. Scerttle on October 30, 2014

      Episodic might work better since MSPA has always had a degree of adaptation to reader reaction to events. It'd be harder to influence much stuff between episodes, but it's possible a character being a breakout fan favourite early on might have more incidental appearances later on than originally planned, for instance.

      I'm optimistic about this, though I'm suddenly unsure about having backed to the level of a physical copy. I think I would have preferred to either back at a lesser amount so I can buy the future games, or had a reward tier that included the future games instead.

      Oh well.

    21. CrazyBlues on October 30, 2014

      Hate hate hate hate HATE the idea to make it episodic! I want to play at my own pace, not yours!

    22. Porcupine on October 30, 2014

      I remember reading somewhere* that these days the number one cause of strokes worldwide are KS game projects announcing they intend to go episodic instead of their original one-time release plan...

      *might not be a completely truthful assertion.

    23. Lizeon on October 30, 2014

      I am SO excited for this game!!

    24. Missing avatar

      Outori on October 30, 2014

      Uwaaah this is exciting!
      Entirely different from what was originally expected, but that's just for the better. I'm in favour of the homestucky episodic releases, although it might kill my patience Ahahaha.
      Looking forward to being able to play!

    25. Missing avatar

      Javara on October 30, 2014

      To anyone that seems to be confused by this news somehow, here's a basic summary.

      Hussie has moved all development to What Pumpkin and hired a new team. This has set back the schedule so to compensate he's moving to an episodic release (four episodes predicted).
      Anyone who has backed will get all episodes of the game FOR FREE.

      ADDITIONALLY: Hussie has a few ideas floating around for a SECOND, ENTIRELY SEPARATE GAME that will not be made using KS funds. This game will only be made IF THE FIRST IS SUCCESSFUL and IS NOT LINKED TO THIS KICKSTARTER PROJECT.

    26. Missing avatar

      starkaat on October 30, 2014

      Oh no, it's very cute. My guts.

      [Thank you for keeping us informed. I'm always excited when an unexpected kickstart update appears, especially those involving a) progress reports and b) pretty pictures. Thanks!]

    27. Marina C. on October 30, 2014

      Well. Hm.

      ...

      Can't wait.

    28. Victoria Lindsey on October 30, 2014

      I agree with Sole Stratego

    29. Missing avatar

      SoleStratego on October 30, 2014

      This is fine and good as long as the physical copy isn't multiple CDs / Flash Drives.

      I'd prefer, physical-wise, that the entire game be on one piece of physical media once it's all done.

    30. Edgar Mauricio Lemos on October 30, 2014

      I can't say that I expected this when the project started but after all the happenings in Kickstarter ever since I cannot say I am surprised about the move to In-House production. Hopefully by now, independent creators have learned that sub-contracting third parties to build your dream doesn't end well for a multitude of reasons. Andrew is very (too) careful describing the move so it's not unlikely that they separated in less than amicable terms as seems to be the case every time.

      Anyway, hopefully he managed to hire really good talent for WP Game Dev and the end result will follow Andrew's vision without compromising quality.

    31. G E T on October 30, 2014

      I don't mind that the game is now episodic, or that there might be a second game, but I really hope they don't end up running out of money and selling earlier episodes to finance later ones.

    32. Alex Allen on October 30, 2014

      My only concern at this point is that Hussie's style won't carry through. Everything looks very clean and avoids the frantic 8-bit style that made the comic so amusing. I hope the game doesn't take itself too seriously.

    33. Matt Lohkamp on October 30, 2014

      > 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.

      that sounds great. excitement level growing steadily. and the concept art is pretty rad, wish there were higher res versions somewhere!

    34. Renotek on October 30, 2014

      @Kevin I assume this would be easier given that this was always going to be an adventure game.

      @Victoria I think we get the "Human on Alternia" game. The second one might not even be made, for all we know! As I understood it, the second game is just an idea.

    35. Victoria Lindsey on October 30, 2014

      So part one is the human game and part two is the troll game? So we get both parts to the game?

    36. Missing avatar

      Kevin Crocilla on October 30, 2014

      I see. Its just very confusing that the update keeps flipping between using "the games" and "the game" and I couldn't tell if he was referring to the collective pair, or the first one in he set. I guess that is less aggravating then I initially interpreted it..
      Either way, I'm still pretty disappointed. Kickstarter games are notoriously unstable, and I've never seen any company aside from Telltale manage to pull off episodic games without botching it up. Call me pessimistic but, It just seems like there is a LOT of room for things to go wrong.

    37. Amigara on October 30, 2014

      Yes! This looks super good. I'm really excited. Episodic releases sounds great to me. I can't wait to explore Alternia. I hope the first game does well so you can make the second one too.

    38. Missing avatar

      Firestryke31 on October 30, 2014

      Game 1 Episode 3 Chapter 2 Intermission 2 available for download now!

    39. J.G. on October 30, 2014

      No Kevin. He means backers will receive all parts of the first game, the one this Kickstarter funded. That is a complete game. Then there is the sequel/tie in that is another complete game that you will have to pay for.

    40. Missing avatar

      Kevin Crocilla on October 30, 2014

      Wow, I was pretty disappointed by the decision to go from one game to two games and then find out they're episodic at that. But what really got me was this curious line:
      "Anyone who backed will be entitled to each download for the first game"
      Am I to interpret this as meaning we are only being given half of the finished product and will have to pay again to gain access to the other half?
      I was pretty upset before that, but now I'm just pissed. And I thought Broken Age was a mess, this is lining up to be a complete disaster.

    41. Renotek on October 30, 2014

      I can only repeat what Aaron said:

      Nice.

    42. Brian Denning on October 30, 2014

      To give my input: I would be perfectly content with receiving each episode in digital format, and then receiving the hard copy with all of the episodes after all of them are complete.

    43. Fond of Owls on October 30, 2014

      I hope you didn't lose a lot of time and funds in the transition period.