Quickly retrieved: A really good webcomic

Earlier this year, I read and became a fan of Problem Sleuth, a webcomic/game designed by Andrew Hussie.

The way it worked out, readers could contribute suggestions as to how the main characters should interact with the environment and proceed with the story. Hussie would then design new panels, and the occasional animations, to portray suggestions and further the story.

Problem Sleuth carried on for about a year, concluding at around 1,500 pages and 22 chapters plus an epilogue. The story was wildly imaginative, and incredibly hilarious. It might seem that the concept of basing the progress of the story on reader suggestions would make for an unreadable mess of a story, but Hussie made it work. He had his own basic idea for the framework and rules of the story, and developed the characters in such a way that you truly cared about them and wanted to find out what happened next and how they’d deal with problems.

So, once that came to a close, people were wondering what Hussie’s next project would be. He had confirmed that there would be a new adventure, which would be entirely different from Problem Sleuth. Besides that, he wasn’t saying much.

Then he started Homestuck. This story focuses on 13-year old John Egbert, and what happens once he starts playing the beta copy of a computer game called Sburb, which is very similar to The Sims. The second Act of the story, which is currently in progress, isn’t based as much on reader suggestions as Problem Sleuth was; John is no longer available to be commanded, while Rose is.

Homestuck started off slowly, as we were introduced to John, his dad, and his friend Rose, as well as John’s friends over Pesterchum (this story’s version of Instant Messaging). Eventually John and Rose start playing Sburb, with Rose setting up the server client so she can manipulate John’s house much the way you can manipulate a Sims house. The adventure really hits its stride once a meteoroid strikes John’s house, wiping out the neighborhood. Through the power of an item made via a Sburb-produced machine, John was able to teleport his house and himself into some sort of void. But meteoroids are on course to strike the houses of everyone else playing the game.

Now that the story has gone into the second Act, things are picking up speed and really getting interesting. You can register and post suggestions for what the character Rose should do to proceed on the MS Paint Adventures Forums, but Hussie has made it clear that John’s Suggestion Box has been destroyed.

I highly recommend reading this webcomic, and adding in some suggestions if you want.


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