Thursday August 31, 2017
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‘Hiveswap’ has taken almost as long as its ancestor’s entire lifespan to make it from reveal to release. — Picture courtesy of What Pumpkin Studios‘Hiveswap’ has taken almost as long as its ancestor’s entire lifespan to make it from reveal to release. — Picture courtesy of What Pumpkin StudiosSAN FRANCISCO, Aug 31 — Some 72 months on from its announcement, the Homestuck Adventure Game is on the verge of a well-anticipated launch.

It was the 12th Kickstarter project to raise more than US$1 million (RM4.2 million). As its long-awaited launch approaches, Hiveswap is the crowdfunding site’s 12th biggest video game project to date.

Spun off from Andrew Hussie’s iconic 8,126 page webcomic Homestuck, Hiveswap has taken almost as long as its ancestor’s entire lifespan to make it from reveal to release.

Originally intended for a July 2014 debut, the Homestuck Adventure Game project was announced in 2012 and given to an external studio for development.

Then, after missing that initial target date, it was reclaimed by Hussie’s What Pumpkin team, renamed Hiveswap, and had its release gradually adjusted from 2014 to January 2017, then part-way through the year, and finally the September date that accompanies this new launch trailer.

Homestuck told the story of four teenage friends who inadvertently trigger the end of the world while testing an unreleased video game, and the trailer for Hiveswap: Act 1 conveys a similar level of potentially calamitous hijinks.

In it, teenager Joey Claire is plucked from her 1994 bedroom and sent to an alien planet in turmoil. The planet she lands on is in fact populated by grey-faced trolls from the mainline Homestuck comic, introduced as a way of allowing Hussie to comment on Internet culture at large.

Hiveswap: Act 1 is the entrypoint to a four-part episodic story arc, with Joey’s brother Jude Harley and an alien rebel Xefros Tritoh two other playable characters teased for future escapades.

True to its 1994 setting, Hiveswap is inspired by point-and-click adventures from the 1990s —LucasArts classics The Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle and comic book adaptation Sam & Max Hit the Road are some of the era’s usual touchstones — but What Pumpkin promises to have removed the accompanying frustrations associated with the genre: “no dream-logic solutions, no hearing the same ‘those items don’t work together’ message over and over. No audio logs split up and scattered around.”

Hiveswap launches on Windows and Mac OSX on September 14. — AFP-Relaxnews

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