On the future of Homestuck

Discuss post-canon works such as the Homestuck Epilogues, Pesterquest, or Homestuck 2 here!

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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by JakeMorph » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:53 pm

yeah and im sure the great depression had a big impact on beta jane and jake's lives but if we got a visual novel about them and they just spent the whole time moping about how sad inflation is making them i would be pretty bored too. they're all their own characters and have plenty of stuff to talk about beyond their relationship with one character who already got the spotlight in canon
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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by ThePungeonMaster » Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:54 pm

The results are in:
509 responses from people across the community came in as of the writing of this message. Not a huge amount, but about what I was expecting, and a large enough sample size to get a good idea of the thoughts of the community. Many of the answers surprised me, but just as many didn't, so, without further ado, here are the results.

Q1: How are the authors handling the concept of cannon?
The authors are doing a good job: 28.3%
The concept has potential, but is uninteresting/aggravating right now: 50.7%
Cannon shouldn't be used as a storytelling element: 21%

Q2: Is the size of current updates large enough?
Yes, updates are of a fine size: 42.4%
No, for once a month updates they are disappointingly small: 35.2%
A different kind of update system should be employed: 22.4%

Q3: Do you think the writing for Homestuck^2 is good?
Yes, the writing team is doing a good job: 33.2%
Isn't great, but isn't bad: 45.6%
The writing is bad: 21.2%

Q4: Do you think the writing for Pesterquest is good?
Yes, the writing team is doing a good job: 37.3%
Isn't great, but isn't bad: 44.6%
The writing is bad: 18.1%

Q5: How are the authors handling bonus updates?
I like them as it is, it's a good way to increase funding for the story: 25.1%
They should do more to distance it from the main story: 30.6%
There should be no updates locked behind paywalls: 44.2%

Q6: Do you like the writers presence on social media?
Yes, they're active enough on Twitter: 39.9%
They should be more active on reddit/discord/the new MSPA forums/other: 28.9%
They should do something else: 31.2%

Q7: What is your opinion on the authors of Homestuck?
They're good authors, I don't mind what what they have done/said: 24.2%
They're okay, but some things they've said has made me question the direction of Homestuck 2 and Pesterquest: 51.7%
Their attitude is awful & irresponsible for people of their standing: 24.2%

Q8: What is your opinion on certain characters being revealed as trans?
I have no problem with it, Homestuck has always been pro-LGBT+: 17.7%
It's fine, so long as it's done with proper subtlety and nuance: 16.5%
I have no problem with trans representation in Homestuck, but the characters chosen don't make much sense as trans: 33.8%
There shouldn't have been Toblerone wishes to begin with: 25.5%
I have opinions other than those expressed here/I'd rather not say: 6.5%

Q9: What do you want to see from other Homestuck related projects in the future? (multiple answers checked per person)
Greater emphasis on the candy timeline: 13.2%
Greater emphasis on meat (Crew of Theseus): 23.4%
Greater emphasis on meat (Earth C residents): 17.9
More info on the inner workings of SBURB: 57.6%
More time shenanigans: 30.8%
Greater emphasis on fannon being a supplement to cannon: 13%
More character interactions we didn't get to see in Homestuck: 52.5%
More story like acts 1-5: 60.3%
More story like act 6: 24%
A greater emphasis on the new kids: 24.8%
I just like Homestuck. Just give me more and make it good: 51.1%
Responses from the other section:
.Some people responded "stop making Homestuck" or something else like that
.A frequent request was more new characters
.One guy who just wrote "get they head out they fucking ass." in all caps
.4 responses asking for more Davepeta/Nepeta
.2 people asking for more trans characters
.2 people asking for fewer trans characters
.3 people asking for more of the beforus trolls
.A Flarp handbook (Yes)
."more pepsicola"
And much, much more.

Q10: How do you rate modern Homestuck? (scale of 1 as awful and 5 as fantastic)
1: 13%
2: 20.6%
3: 30.5%
4: 25%
5: 11%
Avg. score: 3.01

Q11: How do you rate Homestuck 2009-2016? (scale of 1 as awful and 5 as fantastic)
1: 0.4% (why are you even here?)
2: 0.8%
3: 4.7%
4: 33.3%
5: 60.8%
Avg. score: 4.49

I'm going to post my own thoughts on this later, but this list alone took an hour to compile, so...
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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by PilotBlackSmith » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:12 pm

Nice.
ThePungeonMaster wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:54 pm
.One guy who just wrote "get they head out they fucking ass." in all caps
I'd just like to add that this guy is the hero we need but we don't deserve
Last edited by PilotBlackSmith on Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by calamityCons » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:18 pm

It's a decent sample size! The people who responded might be in the minority of the whole Homestuck fandom, but it's got some pretty expected results. It seems the data is a low-integer leaning bell curve if I'm reading it correctly.
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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by classpectanon » Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:46 am

just as someone who does statistics for a living, one thing you need to be careful for in future surveys, if you decide to do them, is framing -- a lot of these questions would be better serviced by "yes/neutral/no" or 1-5 scales, or simply rewording. for example, the "i like the authors" option on q7 says "i don't mind what they did", which implies that they did something that someone could mind, sort of carrying an inherent connotation of "wrongness but i'm cool with it" which could be removed with smarter wording, and has a pretty high likelihood of impacting the results one way or the other.

question framing is very important to keep track of because it generates inherent biases in individuals even if they aren't aware of it happening, and can offer misleading results or skew things in a direction they wouldn't have skewed given an otherwise more neutral question response. 500 people is a decent enough sample size, but just having a big sample sometimes doesn't cut it for eliminating unwanted sources of subjectivity, influence, and bias from a poll. otherwise your methodology seems solid enough, just figured i'd throw my $0.02 in here for future reference for any other future pollmeisters. :olliesouty:
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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by Crpal » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:54 am

I agree with Classpectanon. While the results are interesting and I do hope these actions are noticed and considered, the subjectivity of the poll made it overall less scientific. Maybe like in January after the next update of HS^2 and next pesterquest routes, we could do a re-poll with results that would be more neutral in nature to give us more useful data.

That being said, we do have a lot to glean from these results. People are hesitant to say whether they are impressed or disappointed in HS^2 writers and it's most likely due to the fact that we just aren't that far in to the comic.

People want larger monthly updates and seem to be okay with the monthly drop format.

Fans want to know more about SBURB, More unique character interactions with old characters, new characters, and a return to Acts 1-5 style of Homestuck as opposed to the Epilogues.

Thank you ThePungeonMaster for setting this all up and trying to get people from various parts of the HS fandom to reply! For the next survey, could we also get questions about how people think about the Pesterquest releases?

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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by ThePungeonMaster » Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:45 pm

It's great to see feedback on the survey. I was aware some of the questions were skewed the moment we got out the door, but by that point there was nothing more that I could do than apologize. I do plan on doing another one of these after Pesterquest ends but before next 4/13, so I'll try to use less biased language then.
Moving on, less talk about the numbers.
The thing that stood out the most to me was how balanced the answers were. There was hardly any severe skew in the answers, and were surprisingly positive.
As for the first question, the answers we got were roughly what I had expected: Most people think that cannon could be an interesting way to further the story, but it has yet to reach that point. As it stands, the term cannon is kinda meaningless, there's no weight behind it, not as in cannon doesn't mean anything, which is the point the authors have been trying and failing to hammer home, but more like how the characters are doing all this wanking about over cannon despite the fact that it feels hollow. I don't feel like we're actually doing anything with it, which sucks, as the concept does have some serious potential, and the majority of the community recognizes that as such.
Question 2: Not much to talk about here, but I'm surprised how many people thought positively about the current update system.
Questions 3&4: Most people seem to think as the current writing as good, or at the very least, not awful. But I still don't think that I can say the writing is "good" when a whole fifth of the community thinks the writing is straight up bad. What were getting now is decent content, but the team has got a long way to go if they want to compete with Homestuck 1. (Feels weird to be calling Homestuck 2009-2016 "Homestuck 1.") Also of note, the good score for Pesterquest went up by about 5% in the days following Aradia's/Tavros' route.
Question 5: This one actually surprised me in how negative it was. About half of all readers think that no updates should be locked behind paywalls, and while I understand that the authors gotta eat, I'm inclined to agree. Especially when people may not be following the patreon for other reasons, and all "cannon" Homestuck content has been free from 2009-2018.
Question 6: Expected more people to say that they should be more active on other social media platforms. Also wish I specified what "They should do something else" meant.
Q7: This is by far the question I got the most flak for, and for good reason, but regardless, I think it's interesting just how many people were put off by the twitter rants. I don't even wanna get into all this mess of trans stuff and accusations of "bi-erasure" being tossed around, but I will say that that if you want the fans to trust you to write and give you money to write, you can't keep pushing stuff the fans find unpalatable into the story to suit yourself.
Q8:
I don't even wanna get into all this mess of trans stuff
Just let the numbers speak for themselves. I only covered it because it's a hot button topic in the community.
Question 9: See: conclusion
Q10/11: The score for Homestuck 1 wasn't that surprising, but what amazed me is just how balanced the score for Homestuck 2 was. It was only a smidge positive, and was cut almost directly down the centre on people who think it is good and people who think it is bad.
Conclusion:
It amazed me just how dead split the community was on so many topics. Going back to question 9, there was such an amazing and self contradictory mess of answers of what people wanted from Homestuck in the future. Even the beforan trolls, one of the most universally hated aspects of the story had some die-hard fans who wanted to know more about them, who wanted their stories to continue. But generally speaking this is what people want from Homestuck:
-More info on the origins/inner workings of SBURB: A common want is for SBURB to become a more prevalent element in the story, more video gamey stuff like in acts 1-5.
-More new characters/character interactions: People want new characters and interactions not yet seen. While the cast of Homestuck 1 is nice, we've been hearing about them for up to 10 years now: It's time to retire them for younger blood, or at the very least, new twists on tired character dynamics.
-More time stuff: Time stuff is cool.
-But generally, people just want Homestuck to be good. Just don't make it shit. Please.
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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by Sahxyel » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:35 pm

ThePungeonMaster wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:45 pm
-But generally, people just want Homestuck to be good. Just don't make it shit. Please.
I think Homestuck's expectations by factions of the community is literally summed up in this video:

:professor: Honeybee Professor Says: Problem Sleuth is better than Homestuck!

It's a mathematical fact!

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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by Daz » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:33 pm

ThePungeonMaster wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:54 pm
1: 13%
2: 20.6%
3: 30.5%
4: 25%
5: 11%
I love me some normal distribution.

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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by ThePungeonMaster » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:28 pm

Sahxyel wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:35 pm
ThePungeonMaster wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:45 pm
-But generally, people just want Homestuck to be good. Just don't make it shit. Please.
I think Homestuck's expectations by factions of the community is literally summed up in this video:

This almost hurts how accurate it is.
Looking back at the results, it's easy to see why turning the HS^2 into something for every fan is a nigh-impossible task. The community is split on most topics, and everybody has a different favorite part of Homestuck. At least 10 people said that they'd like more of what was in act 6 compared to acts 1-5, roughly as many people were in favor of June/trans Vriska as against them, and while just over fourth of all test takers greatly approved of Homestuck's direction, nearly a fourth completely disproved of it. Homestuck has gotten so many different fans with so many different ideas of what should be done with the story that it's impossible to balance. I think this largely is why so many people want more definitive action on the idea that Homestuck is being given back to the fans, so that if the authors make an appeal to niche group of people in the community, it has less weight than it may otherwise.
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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by calamityCons » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:26 pm

I'm reminded of how when a statistician once ran around surveying peoples' opinions on Pepsi and he wound up with a scatterplot rather than a normal curve, the response was to create greater varieties of Pepsis plural, and this was successful in making everyone happy. Maybe Homestuck's franchise could try something like that?
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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by BrobyDDark » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:29 pm

calamityCons wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:26 pm
I'm reminded of how when a statistician once ran around surveying peoples' opinions on Pepsi and he wound up with a scatterplot rather than a normal curve, the response was to create greater varieties of Pepsis plural, and this was successful in making everyone happy. Maybe Homestuck's franchise could try something like that?
Sounds like that was the idea behind Meat and Candy.

Want more plot? Try Homestuck Dark. Watching your plot-calories? Homestuck Lite. Like a good romance novel? Homestuck Hot Pink is more your style.

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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by RoyalFiddle » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:37 pm

The problem with that, to me at least, is that What Pumpkin isn't a massive corp that can afford to hire on enough people to give equal focus on all of those things. It works when you can do that, in the case of pepsi, but I can't imagine a small team like WP has could be spread any thinner between HS^2, Pesterquest, and Hiveswap Pt. 2. Adding like "Homestuck: Another Session" sounds like a good idea, but not one easily manifest-able
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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by ThePungeonMaster » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:45 pm

I think that there's enough people who already create Homestuck fan-content for free that, with a bit of official moderation, you could just hand some Homestuck side-story over to a crew of fans and they'd be happy to write & illustrate it even without pay. Granted the content wouldn't always be top-quality, but in this case it wouldn't necessarily matter, as no option would be the only option, and if nothing else you could always retreat to the official continuation.
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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by ThePungeonMaster » Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:56 pm

Actually, yeah, the more I think about this the more it sounds like a good idea. There are plenty of people already writing MSFPA's and other fanfics, and I'm sure lots of them would be overjoyed if they could make some kind of official contribution. Just look at all the people doing fan music for free. Rex Duodecim Angelus was completely community made, and not one of them saw a cent. I've seen lots of people pitching the idea of an epilogue esq. route lead by the MSPA Reader, an exception to Meat and Candy, labeled Pumpkin or some such. This would be a perfect opportunity to include stories told by fans into the official framework of the story, instead framing them as stories told by "the Reader". Of course there would need to be some quality control, and more talented/longer time writers should be given a certain priority in deciding who handles these side stories, but it would go a long way both in giving the story back to the fans, and it would generally improve the story's quality overall.
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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by JakeMorph » Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:14 pm

what's the difference between fanfiction and unpaid "official" expanded universe content? if you want to quality control someone's work you should be paying them. it would be pretty much exploitation otherwise.
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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by Joyfulldreams » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:57 am

calamityCons wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:26 pm
I'm reminded of how when a statistician once ran around surveying peoples' opinions on Pepsi and he wound up with a scatterplot rather than a normal curve, the response was to create greater varieties of Pepsis plural, and this was successful in making everyone happy. Maybe Homestuck's franchise could try something like that?
This is pretty much the basis for my idea to bring back Paradox Space as an overall content format. Paradox Space was basically a melting pot of work done by diverse and talented fans with a diverse variety of interests and focus, all quality controlled to be at least somewhat canon-compliant or canon-adjacent to ensure the Homestuck Brand such as it is remained consistent, but put on the same level as writing by Hussie. It was basically just an officially-curated repository of endorsed fanwork that was able to appeal to all sorts of different fans. And that's what I think the future of Homestuck ought to be, what "giving it to the fans" ought to mean. We just get MORE Homestuck.
ThePungeonMaster wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:56 pm
Actually, yeah, the more I think about this the more it sounds like a good idea. There are plenty of people already writing MSFPA's and other fanfics, and I'm sure lots of them would be overjoyed if they could make some kind of official contribution. Just look at all the people doing fan music for free. Rex Duodecim Angelus was completely community made, and not one of them saw a cent. I've seen lots of people pitching the idea of an epilogue esq. route lead by the MSPA Reader, an exception to Meat and Candy, labeled Pumpkin or some such. This would be a perfect opportunity to include stories told by fans into the official framework of the story, instead framing them as stories told by "the Reader". Of course there would need to be some quality control, and more talented/longer time writers should be given a certain priority in deciding who handles these side stories, but it would go a long way both in giving the story back to the fans, and it would generally improve the story's quality overall.
You're getting the idea, dude. And it's like. Sort of bonkers, because the whole "fanwork is just as valid as canon" thing and "giving it to the fans" isn't even NEW for Homestuck. They already DID THAT. It was called PARADOX SPACE!!! And it was AWESOME!!!! Like holy shit, instead of rebranding as "SkaiaNet Labs" or whatever, rebrand as "Paradox Space^2". It's a way better name, too. And it's far more homestuck than trying to call shit a "Homestuck Extended Universe" or whatever.
JakeMorph wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:14 pm
what's the difference between fanfiction and unpaid "official" expanded universe content? if you want to quality control someone's work you should be paying them. it would be pretty much exploitation otherwise.
This is the main problem though, of course. Funding is already difficult to get their hands on, and exploitation of fans is absolutely not what the goal should be. What's more, there will still be an element of prestige as well as undue focus put on fans and fanworks that are deemed 'good enough' to have official endorsement. But that, at least in my opinion, is something of a necessary evil. There's always going to be SOME amount of that. It's just a matter of mitigating it. The biggest concern are the fuckton amount of weird legal red tape and boots hovering over our heads in the form of giant companies, and inviting fans into the crossfire of all that crap is obviously something they'll be hesitant to do.

However, I do know that there are a number of people already interested in this idea, and somebody in the WP circle is actually writing a fucking book on the subject? On how to go about it, specifically. So like. There are things in the air and ideas getting tossed around, but almost all of it is just so damn complicated. It's not going to get figured out soon.

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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by ThePungeonMaster » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:11 pm

Funnily enough, I think that the 'Summerteen Romance' Paradox Space comic has generally set the benchmark for how a lot of people view extracannon works. The idea that not explicitly cannon wish fulfillment-y fanfic won't always be valid in the main story, but such lack of cannonicity generally makes it no less legitimate in your own mind as a splinter timeline, is a sentiment that is seemingly held by most in the community.
I'd love to see more content like Paradox Space, especially now, as I think the kind of levity that was brought is needed now more than ever in a post-epilogues landscape, where all that can be felt is an unwavering sense of dread of whatever irrevocably problematic shitstorm is to come.
But I digress; I think unlike Paradox Space, this proposed fan-story should be told on the official website, and have some overlap with the official story, like Candy was to Meat in the epilogues. It should be another route for fans to explore, not completely restrained by the bondage of what does and does not define cannon, a set of side stories concerned with appealing to the fans by letting they themselves have a greater part in their creation.
It's worth addressing that I was fairly disgruntled with the direction of the story around the time of this threads creation, hence the evidently and clearly biased outlook and language, but I still think that what was said there has some merit. I am now more willing to acknowledge the authors good intentions than I previously was, but it remains that if nothing changes about the story as it stands, and no further attempts at communication are made between the authors and the fan base, any goodwill the fans have will gradually deteriorate. The entire idea of "a hostile takeover" by a group of fans via a large organized fan project that goes a way to addressing the problems modern Homestuck has in terms of it's writing would likely be whatever this supposed fan sidestory is, minus the hostility in this supposed takeover. Really I think all anyone wants is for this promise of fans having a larger stake in the story to bear fruit, and I don't doubt that at least some of the writers would like the same, given they're the ones who made such a promise, but promises mean nothing if they end up being terminally idle.
Also:
Joyfulldreams wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:57 am
The biggest concern are the fuckton amount of weird legal red tape and boots hovering over our heads in the form of giant companies, and inviting fans into the crossfire of all that crap is obviously something they'll be hesitant to do.

However, I do know that there are a number of people already interested in this idea, and somebody in the WP circle is actually writing a fucking book on the subject? On how to go about it, specifically. So like. There are things in the air and ideas getting tossed around, but almost all of it is just so damn complicated. It's not going to get figured out soon.
Publishers like Viz would no doubt disapprove of fan involvement in official projects, as fans are a wild card under most circumstances, and a massive hassle legally, but how exactly does What Pumpkin's standing with other companies affect fan projects? Especially seeing as Paradox Space has gotten an official publication. Not that I doubt your knowledge, but I think it would be useful for people to know.
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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by Joyfulldreams » Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:33 pm

ThePungeonMaster wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:11 pm
Publishers like Viz would no doubt disapprove of fan involvement in official projects, as fans are a wild card under most circumstances, and a massive hassle legally, but how exactly does What Pumpkin's standing with other companies affect fan projects? Especially seeing as Paradox Space has gotten an official publication. Not that I doubt your knowledge, but I think it would be useful for people to know.
It's a really complicated subject, and I don't know much about the specifics. But I do know that WhatPumpkin's current stance towards not enforcing the copyright protections of it's intellectual property does NOT actually fly in like. The court of law. Legally, if an Intellectual property is to remain yours, you HAVE to enforce it by sueing or at least sending Cease and Desist orders to anyone it can be reasonably proved you KNOW is infringing on your copyright. Namely: literally any fan that is taking advantage of WP's good will to profit off of Homestuck fanworks. Including myself, now. Viz doesn't own the intellectual property per say, they own the publishing rights AND have control over all merch sales (which is why we'll be stuck with By Fans For Fans for the forseeable future). And Homestuck is currently not a particularly profitable IP, so they honestly don't give a shit what we do. What the WP team is currently doing? Giving this sort of good will to the fans? ONLY is working because nobody with any amount of power is looking, nor do they give enough of a shit or have anything to gain by doing anything about it.

But the moment Homestuck actually manages to dig itself out of this hole it's found itself in and become somewhat popular and profitable again, WP not enforcing it's copyright is NOT going to fly with Viz. I heard that some Viz associate once tried to argue with Aysha that they had ownership of "a Homestuck character acting in a specific way". Which is honestly terrifying? And because Viz is a giant fuck-off company with all the money and lawyers, it honestly doesn't even matter that they only own the publishing rights. They can claim they own as much of Homestuck as they want to own, and we do not have the money or resources to defend ourselves in court. And even if we DID, the position WP has put itself in is really not great. If WP isn't willing to enforce the copyright, it can be argued they are forfeiting the ownership of it or something, and Viz can swipe it up by demonstrating they ARE able to defend said copyright by potentially suing the fuck out of fans. Or who knows?? GENUINELY who knows, I'm not a lawyer. But I know that when big companies take an interest in little fucks like us, they can do whatever the hell they want, and it will spell nothing but bad.

It will be EVEN WORSE if many fans are commissioned to do work and are considered at any point part of WP and could therefore be considered liable for...WHATEVER. It's just messy. It's so messy, and kind of terrifying. WP giving fans the go-ahead to monetize their fanworks is already putting everything on shaky legal ground--inviting fans to create officially endorsed content could just be potentially putting an even bigger target on their backs.

As oD has pointed out to me a few times: Legally, the epilogues were something of a blessing in disguise. The fandom being full of all of this strife and shrinking like it is? Is keeping us out of the radar of big, scary, predatory companies, for the most part.

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tajazzled
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Re: On the future of Homestuck

Post by tajazzled » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:19 pm

in 50 years after everyone forgets about it, someone will find homestuck and rip the basics for a big budget movie. it won't be homestuck but it will be loosely based on it and be vaguely similar. everyone who read the original and is still alive will be like "hey i kinda remember something like that" but won't think about it any further.

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