Homestuck’s kind of a big deal. Since its beginning in April 2009, it’s had over three and a half hours of animated content, close to eight thousand individual pages, and a word count teetering on a million. When it was announced that there’d be a video game, Hiveswap, the reaction was immense. The game reached its funding goal of $700,000 in just two days, and at the time, was one of the most highly-funded video game projects to come out of that platform with a grand total of $2,485,506.
Despite starting off as a parody of early text adventure games, Homestuck deals with a number of surprisingly mature themes. From alcoholism and sexuality to what it means to be a hero, there’s very little ground the webcomic hasn’t touched. Characters who revolve around these themes, such as the high-class megalomaniac Vriska or the isolated scholar Calliope, are handled with a surprising amount of finesse despite the story’s humble beginnings. Homestuck is a story that’s multi-faceted even at its core, and this is thankfully a quality reflected in What Pumpkin Studios. With a team made up of people from all types of backgrounds, the New York-based studio is surprisingly diverse.
One key member of the development team is Veronica Nizama, user interface designer and texture artist for What Pumpkin Studios. Veronica has a wealth of experience with both mobile and mainstream game development, having worked directly on over forty projects, and has carved a name for herself on the adult comic book scene. I had the chance to sit down with her and discuss her work on Hiveswap, as well as some of her own personal experiences in the industry.
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