Jan. 4th, 2011

yeloson: (Default)
Jono mentioned MS Paint Adventures as a webcomic to check out and I'm thoroughly entertained by it.

MSPA:Homestuck is a weird and hilarious comic set up almost as if it were a crappy point and click adventure game from the 80's mixed with Zork. The comics use animated gifs and flash graphics to provide small animations and sometimes interactive bits. It's also not a comic that you can jump into in the middle and get it- you have to go from the beginning.

The story follows 4 kids and a bizarre game-like world that only gets progressively more bizarre as you go, from the view as if you were playing a videogame. (There's recurring jokes and drama around inventory and the number of things you can carry and what a fucking hassle it is to do anything).

The story starts with John, and it's his birthday. He gets a new videogame and starts it up- he's playing online with his friend Rose.

But apparently, the game works in a weird Sims-like fashion, Rose sees John and his house on her screen and can actually move stuff around using her cursor - lift a couch, change the dimensions of the house, etc. She also can "drop in" items, including an "Alchemizer" and other bizarre machines, while John is actually running around his house dealing with the mayhem this creates.

And then things get worse.

The game apparently summons a meteor to hit your house, unless you can figure out how to use the weird machines to teleport your house to another dimension. Like classic videogame fashion, this "game design" only makes sense if you're going to get to play a lot of times and expect to die a lot of times- Rose & John figure it out through luck and a lot of hilarious mistakes.

So John is now in an other dimension, with his house, on some weird quest. They can only keep in touch through his computer or his dad's PDA. (Problem: he can only access the PDA when it's at the top of his inventory list. Very often, he has to do other things, leaving Rose typing him desperately to warn him of things and he doesn't see until it's already too late.)

Rose, on the other hand, is stuck in "the real world" (as much as anything in this videogame-like strip is real) where kids around the world are playing this new game and getting hit with meteors left and right. In fact, the area around her house is on fire, because of this.

So the plan is to try to get a third friend, Dave, to put his game in so Rose can play as "the player" and teleport her house to safety as well. Problem is, Dave is a spacey dudebro/ninja (don't ask) and doesn't even get why it's important to play a stupid game.

It really just gets deeper and crazier and more entertaining, but it's definitely a series that builds on itself and creates it's own context - you have to really start from the beginning for any of it to make whatever sense can be made of it.

It also does amazing things with the medium- it has fun music on some parts, and even semi-interactive bits where you pick commands like a videogame.

And here's a non contextual example of why this comic rocks.

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yeloson

November 2012

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