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The First Anniversaryby The Sequential Phenomena team ∙ · Permalink
One year ago, on September 5th, we officially launched the SP project.
It was definitely not ready for release at that time, as we didn’t have a very good idea of what we were doing. While we retired the original concept, we’ve kept our enthusiasm and made a lot of progress since then! The purpose of this post is to give a little more information on the project’s future, inform about where the team is at right now, our new vision for the project, and we might also perhaps… have some treats for you at the end?
First: It’s a pretty awful time to be devoting time to a large, completely unpaid creative project.
At the moment, there is a deadly pandemic going on, and a lot of us have been hit hard by it in one way or another. Several of us have lost jobs or been forced to move, or have been affected by natural disaster, and have generally had to deal with a lot more stress, pain, and fear than usual. These are not good working conditions, which is compounded by the fact that the majority of us are disabled and/or mentally ill, which contrary to neurotypical belief, does NOT magically turn you into a brave, tragic creative virtuoso. It just makes you really miserable, and you don’t work well when you’re miserable.
Due to these exceptionally difficult circumstances, progress has been slower than we’d like. However, that is not to say we have nothing to show for our efforts, because what we have is work that we are genuinely proud of and care about. After having entirely reconsidered and revamped the core of the story, we know that our work now has a much more clear identity and an united creative vision. In terms of improving the creative process, we’ve been making efforts to restructure our team, improve communication, and to bring more order to what used to be a fairly laissez-faire approach to management. Along with forming more concrete guidelines for our work, we’ve been having regular meetings meaning that despite the circumstances, we’ve been writing a lot.
For example, we now have over one hundred thousand words of story, notes and guides written. While the “main story” still isn’t ready to be released (and won’t be this year), we’re planning to release several pieces of side story and worldbuilding before the comic itself launches. When we’re ready to do that, we’ll let you know.
But now, you may reasonably ask: If you’ve been restructuring and redesigning so much, what IS the new Sequential Phenomena actually going to be?
As we’ve reconsidered exactly what we want this story to be about, we’ve decided to take Sequential Phenomena away from being a traditional MSPA-style work, which includes changes in content-rating. In terms of style and themes, some things we’ve called it is “post-Homestuck” or “Homestuck-adjacent,” rather than a “fanventure.”
We’ve dropped a lot of the storytelling and design we used in the Alpha, which was basically pulled straight from Homestuck without insight into how it actually worked. We’ve realized that the single biggest pain-point for making a comic is drawing all the pages, so the natural solution to that is to simply not draw on every page. The new Sequential Phenomena will be a lot more text-heavy, with longer pages and less weight on visuals. We’re also taking a keen interest in the use of website formatting when it comes to design. Homestuck’s existence as a comic with thousands of fully rendered pages is very much an outlier, and not something that can be achieved easily at all. It certainly could not be achieved by us, so we’re moving to something that is more minimal, and therefore more sustainable. In addition, this has also helped a lot with forming an own creative identity.
Another important addition is that we have also rethought exactly what themes and content we want to use in this story. In the work of refining the creative vision and moving away from Homestuck, we’ve concluded that it is prudent to expand SP’s content rating, meaning that SP is definitely intended for mature audiences that are over 18. As the narratives and themes of the story have unraveled further, it’s become clear that we don’t want to try and take on themes like gender, sexuality, trauma & abuse with clean, sanitized, comfortable imagery. While we very much intend on still including content warnings, we also want to put more weight on the fact that this story is one that absolutely will get uncomfortable and difficult.
When it comes to gender and sexuality specifically, it’s hard to talk about that while also completely avoiding the fact that this does have a lot to do with the bodies we inhabit. One can expect occasional use of nudity in this regard, though we certainly do not have plans to make Sequential Phenomena anything stupidly horny.
One more reason that we’ve been doubling down on trying to pull Sequential Phenomena away into its own style, is that we’ve collectively grown pretty disillusioned with Homestuck, in no small part due to the absolutely insufferable “fanbase” it has online. Past inane, incredibly immature discourse like “is it lesbophobic to depict two women having a relationship conflict?” constantly recirculated by people that simply don’t know how to read media, the largest factor is that there has been, and continues to be, a pervasive and violent culture of transmisogyny. It is to be no secret that the core SP Team is all-transfem, and we’re very, very tired of having our accounts stalked, being harassed by strangers when we’re just minding our own business, being intimidated into silence, and generally facing massive, undeserved reproach for the smallest perceived slights.
In short, our official statement on the state of the “Homestuck Fandom” is this: We are not making art for transmisogynists. Sequential Phenomena is not for pigshits. As transfems, we wholly stand against the violent transmisogynist online culture of the Homestuck community. This is a story we’re making for ourselves, and our world & characters very much will represent that. Sorry, cis people, you don’t exist.
Today, we’re gonna show you a bunch of new pronoun-havers from our story. While none of these characters are what you could call “the main 13,” they may just prove to be quite important regardless…
There are further plans to tease & release more stuff in the future, but we’re currently all quite busy, so a number of things couldn’t be prepared in time for this anniversary.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at these lovely trolls from planet Synposia, the troll homeworld where one can never truly escape being online. Perhaps you may soon see what it looks like as well!
Thank you for reading!