$400k unlocked. WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN
Less than 48 hours left!
Yesterday at $384k I said we were "on our way" to that final stretch goal of $400k. Apparently instead of "on our way" I should've said "will definitely unlock in less than 12 hours" because WE TOTALLY DID IT. We're at $408k as I write this with a little less than two days left!
The final, $400k goal was this: the Kickstarter-exclusive prequel miniadventure, "Poor Yorick", will now also be printed in full colour! AHH it's gonna be awesome. Every tier gets an ebook version, but it's the "TOTALLY SWEET" ($25) tiers and above that that get a physical copy. If you want to bump up your pledge to get in on this sweet physical reading action, just visit the project page and click on "Manage Pledge". And thank you! I'm honestly amazed at how awesome you've made this project.
We started 28 days ago with a black-and-white book with 30 illustrations. We're now offering multiple full-colour books with every ending illustrated, all at the same price, and all thanks to your support. It's kind of an insane deal! And I'm really glad we made this happen together. I seem to keep saying thank you, you guys!
Here's an illustration from the book by Anthony Clark. And yes that is Hamlet riding Claudius like a skateboard, obviously that is a thing you get to do in this book.
So! We are all out of (our FOURTH set of) stretch goals. But we're at a point where we've kinda already made this book the best possible thing it is possible for a book to be, so I'm not sure what else we can do here. This being the case, here is our final set of ULTIMATE STRETCH GOALS:
$425,000 = another 25 books sent to libraries and schools!
$450,000 = another 25 books sent to libraries and schools! Also I will ... create a pizza that looks like Hamlet and... eat it?
$475,000 = another 50 books sent to libraries and schools!
$500,000 = I will literally explode
Storywise we had to decide between OPTION EISENSTEIN (do a training montage!) or OPTION DEMILLE (skip the montage!) Voting was heavily slanted towards training montage (thanks Arthur for tallying the votes, thanks everyone else for voting in rhyme!) with a bunch of people voting for noted physicist Einstein over noted Soviet-montage filmmaker and theorist Sergei Eisenstein. It's my fault because before the voting I included an animated gif of a dog named Einstein driving a DeLorean. I got into your subconscious.
So let's continue!
You reading a book by candlelight, flipping to one page, furrowing your brow, and flipping back.
Hamlet in a lab with a textbook in a recipe stand, pouring a small amount of liquid into a flask, turning the liquid from transparent to a dark, rich purple. The purple liquid exploding, leaving Hamlet blinking and covered in soot.
The pages of a page-a-day calendar, tearing themselves off and fluttering to the ground.
You sneaking around a building at night, stopping to read your book by candlelight, then slapping your forehead and extinguishing the candle. You sneaking past the armed sentry of Marcellus, Bernardo, and Francisco who never notice a thing.
Hamlet holding a knife in his fist, you touching him gently on the arm, showing him how to let the blade rest in his hand, lightly, gently.
The face of a clock, its hands spinning rapidly.
You and Hamlet in an argument, Hamlet gesturing towards a fresh tear in his coat, you holding scissors in one hand and your "How To Get Away With Stuff" book in the other. You answering his accusations by reading lines from your book, and Hamlet's body language softening until he's holding up the torn fabric, shrugging, smiling. You holding up the book so he can see. The two of you bursting into amazed laughter.
You and Hamlet surreptitiously adding bright green liquid into each other's drink, then passing the mug to each other. The two of you about to drink, then sniffing the drink experimentally, laughing, playfully punching the other, then pouring the mugs out onto the grass. The grass withering and dying instantly.
This image fading into a shot of you and Hamlet, asleep in bed late at night, smiles on your faces and giant stacks of books on each side of your bed.
Congratulations! You have both fully levelled up your skills in sneaking, poisons, stabbing, and getting away with things!!
The only option here is "Proceed with maxed-out skills!" so let's do that!
Proceed with maxed-out skills!
It's a new day, and you and Hamlet wake up in bed together, surrounded by the stacks of books you've been reading. And as of this morning, you've read and mastered every single one of them. It's a beautiful day, Ophelia. It's the kind of day that makes you think, "Man I bet I could totally murder a head of state by noon."
You prop yourself up on your side and face Hamlet. "We'll start by following Claudius, learning his routine. We'll be in full stealth mode the entire time, so nobody should detect us." you say.
"We have gotten way good at sneaking," Hamlet agrees.
"We'll do three separate missions, each with idiosyncratic naming," you say. "On Secret Mission Act 3 Scene 3 we trail Claudius for a while. During Secret Mission Act 3 Scene 4 we stake out Gertrude; maybe she knows something. And in Secret Mission Act 4 Scene 2 we trail your friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in case they have any information."
"I like it," Hamlet says. "Nobody has seen us for weeks, so they won't even be looking for us. It's perfect."
"That's kinda the reason I made this plan be so awesome!" you say. You roll on top of Hamlet and kiss him, holding his face in your hands while he holds yours in his. It's nice. Eventually you pull back from the smooch.
"Let's do this!" you say in unison.
You both have morning breath but that's neither here nor there.
The only option here is "Begin Secret Mission Act 3 Scene 3" so let's proceed! Wow we're getting a lot of story today; isn't that awesome?
Act 3 Scene 3
You and Hamlet are pressed invisibly up against the wall of the royal church, your clothes blending in with the stone and mortar perfectly.
Claudius is here, talking to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and he's speechifying. He's got one hand out in front of him, holding it in the air. It looks pretty dramatic!
"I like him not," Claudius says, "nor stands it safe with us to let his madness range. Therefore prepare you. I your commission will forthwith dispatch, and he to England shall along with you."
"Dude, nobody's seen Hamlet for days," Rosencrantz replies.
"Yeah, we can't take him to England because not a single bro knows where he is," says Guildenstern.
Claudius lowers his arm.
"Well, poops," Claudius says, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern look at each other and it's awkward and then they leave.
Polonius comes in and offers to spy on Hamlet for him by hiding himself in Gertrude's room, just in case Hamlet ever show up. It is a weird, pervy plan, but Claudius agrees to it, and Polonius leaves.
Finally alone, Claudius again raises one arm out in front of him as he says "O, my offense is rank, it smells to heaven; it hath the primal eldest curse upon't, a brother's murder." You and Hamlet exchange a glance. Dude is not only guilty, he confesses his guilt to an empty room. Wow. And Claudius is STILL confessing his crime for like another minute, until he finally bows and prays.
You could kill him now if you want. Or you could let him twist in the wind a little longer.
Two options, and this is our last choice! Tomorrow is the final story update. Do we end this now, or do we let him go?
OPTION EXUNT: Kill Claudius! FINALLY
OPTION DON'T EXUNT YET: Let him go, it's time to engage Operation Act 3 Scene 4
Leave your vote in the comments, and thank you!