Homestuck Fans Rejoice as Hiveswap Details Fall like Rain.
Game-inspired webcomic Homestuck has something of a maniacal Willy Wonka-esque figure at its head, in the form of Andrew Hussie. For the last year and a half, Hussie has been hard at work simultaneously working on finishing the comic, for which updates have just resumed again after a year-long hiatus, and starting work on the project that signifies Homestuck‘s future. After a lot of tiny looks and whispered rumors, the project has a name. Hiveswap is on the way, and we suddenly know a lot more about it.
First off, the game has seen some changes in its development crew since mister Hussie last tuned in on the topic. The game was formerly being developed in cooperation with indie team The Odd Gentlemen, but has now been moved to a more internal place. A big chunk of Homestuck‘s presence beyond the comic itself comes from What Pumpkin, Hussie’s company responsible for all merchandise related to the comic. What Pumpkin has now grown a whole new division purely devoted to video game development. In short, Andrew Hussie just created his own indie game studio to finish work on the game.
Creating a game studio takes a lot of time, hiring, and organizing. As such, the game, which was originally intended to be play-testable by now, is in no such state. In order to facilitate the fastest development possible at this point, the game will be split into two full products, each planned to be released in multiple episodes; Hiveswap will be the first of those two. Hussie spoke at length about the decision on the game’s latest dev blog:
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.
So, what exactly is Hiveswap? What does it mean, and what does it look like? Those hoping for something exactly like the universe-ending “Sburb” game from the Homestuck comic won’t exactly get what they hope for, but those who enjoy the comic for its point n’ click-esque roots will be in for a wonderful time.
This plucky lass is Joey, the central human character of Hiveswap. The pair of games, much like the comic itself, involve not just humans, but the grey-skinned, orange-horned trolls, from the world of Alternia. Alternia existed long before Earth, as Homestuck‘s story elaborates upon, and like the comic, Hiveswap is a story about the two worlds bumping into each other in one way or another. In Hiveswap, this human girl finds herself stuck in Alternia, while the eventual second episode will likewise star a troll boy who finds himself stuck on Earth. The biggest link between the games will be both characters trying to get home, all while meeting the other character’s group of friends and exploring their world. Their other connection is the device that swapped the two kids in the first place, which fans of the comic may notice has a very familiar design principle, with the red-and-green lights and twisted serpents. What this all comes down to, of course, remains to be seen.
One of the most important things to remember in looking at all of this is that Hiveswap is not in any way intended to be a prequel to Homestuck. The comic’s story is self-contained, not to mention absolutely massive on its own time, so while the game indeed takes place in the same universe, and will have some connections for fans to find, its main purpose is to be a fun game with a top-notch story, all in its own right. All that said, one of the things Hussie is most infamous for as a storyteller is his use of easter eggs and callbacks, (call-forwards here, perhaps) so readers of the comic will surely find hidden connections to chuckle over. For now, all we really know for certain is that the game must take place at some point pre-2009, at which point the comic’s story would kick in.
A full gallery of art and animations was released with the update, all of which can be found below. For more weird, cryptic Hussiean wisdom, as well as the inevitable conclusion to Homestuck, visit MS Paint Adventures. Get ready for a wild, witty ride.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.heypoorplayer.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/011.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]If danger had a face…oh, if danger had a face. Jay Petrequin started writing at HeyPoorPlayer in the summer of 2012, but has always been a writer, be it in the form of articles and reviews here at HPP or in that of fiction and articles written over at PkMnCast.com. Jay has been a gamer from a young age, first finding his legs on a GBA and a copy of Pokemon Sapphire. He enjoys a game with a strong narrative and art design, but also appreciates the retro stuff from before his time. Jay also has a passion for comics, movies and anime. He likes to yell a lot on his Twitter @extremesalsaing, which is only the coolest twitter in town.[/author_info] [/author]