Today, in an effort to continue the ongoing war of gimmick infringement I’m fighting with W.H.Y. (Come on man, Pasta Salad?) I’m going to review a video game. Let’s get this over with.
Hiveswap is a video game. Cool, right? Well, what the hell is Hiveswap? That’s a good question, because I certainly don’t know, but I’m under legal obligation to review it. Allow me to explain.
The year is 2015. I’m enjoying a cherry mint mojito on my back deck when I receive an email from Andrew Hussie himself, asking if I’d like to have exclusive rights to review the already-a-year-late crowd funded Homestuck video game, Hiveswap. I said “fuck you mean, of course I would!”. It was a simpler time. It was a time when Hiveswap was only a year late! No big deal, right?
How Hussie had the foresight to know I was reviewing things, I’ll never know, but after a few weeks I was sent a demo copy of Hiveswap. The date was 6/12/2015. This is where my problems began.
The files I was sent were in a zipped folder. I dragged it onto my desktop, a mad gleam in my eyes as I realized I would be the first person to ever play Hiveswap. I right clicked and began to unzip the file, but unfortunately my WinRar license had run out.
I stared at my screen, slack-jawed and devastated. How could I possibly hope to play this game without a tool to unzip the folder it was in? I feverishly navigated to the WinRar site to buy a license, but, to my dismay, I found out it I couldn’t afford it. I was completely devastated. I had no clue what to do. I mean, when you can’t afford something, you don’t buy it, right? If you don’t have the funds to purchase or to bankroll something for yourself, you just gotta go out and a get job and make some money, right? I mean, it’s not like Patreon existed in 2015. I was shit of luck, buddy.
Or was I?
Almost like recalling a vague and ominous dream that plagued you as a child, I remembered that Kickstarter was thing. I frantically typed up a long, rambling post filled with flowery, purple metaphors to make it look less pathetic that I was begging for money on the internet. Of course, like any good “crowd funding campaign”, I offered several tiers of rewards for donations, most of them relating to Homestuck. For 100 dollars, I would come to your house and punch you in the fucking face. For 200 dollars, you could come to my house and punch ME in the fucking face. And for a 10,000 dollar donation, I promised I would make up to two Homestuck Fantrolls canon in the Journalistic Canon of my work. (Huge shoutout to the two canon fantrolls, Naxili Miiace and Ferris Landau! Thanks for the 20,000 dollars, assholes.)
Although I had set my goal for acquiring a winrar license at a very modest and humble 750,000 dollars, I ended up making almost 2.5 million. I was in shock. In just 30 days, so many kids had asked their parents to let them use their credit cards, I now had enough money for an eternity of questionable compression software usage. So, naturally, I instantly took to winrar’s website, purchased a license, and started playing Hiveswap.
Just kidding. As if I would do that. I had 2.5 million, baby. That’s LOADS OF MONEY. Do you really think someone with that kinda money buys his own license to use winrar? Of course not. In fact, now that I was a high roller, I didn’t want to use winrar at all. I explored the countless and entirely free alternatives, but none of those were good enough for me either.
I took my money and I contacted The Odd Gentlemen. That’s right, the game development studio. Why, you ask yourself, talking once again to your screen like I can hear you? Because I wanted to develop my OWN software for unzipping folders. I flew out to Pasadena to talk about my vision for this software, but both of the Odd Gentlemen guys were too busy taking large burlap sacks marked with dollar signs on them out of a room labelled “Game Development Money” and into a room labelled “Embezzlement”. Actually, looking back on it, the entire thing was rendered like a particularly ugly political cartoon. I didn’t even think to ask them what was going on, because I had 2.5 million in my pocket and a vision in my head of the best decompression software ever.
After a long discussion, we had a vision. An interactive, Full 3D environment where unzipping your folders would become kind of like an Adventure Game. I was promised that they would have my program for me very soon, and I went home, writing kickstarter backer update emails on the plane and paypaling TOG all the money left over after I bought a pair of versace flip flops.
The kickstarter backers sounded excited. All of their money and trust in me and my ideas were very humbling. I got back home and laughed at the compressed folder on my desktop. Soon, I’d open this bitch up, and I’d be playing (and reviewing) Hiveswap. I couldn’t wait.
Fast forward, almost a year later. My money was gone, and all I had been given by TOG was a concept video of one of their developers sewing a zipper onto a manilla folder while Harry Enfield played in the background, as the other dev, wearing a red and white striped old-timey bathing suit, leaped off a diving board labelled “TRUST” into a pool of my money. I found it weird that TOG had time to set up such elaborate jokes.
Now, the next part of this story gets a little hazy. Once I realized what was going on, I took them to court. No, I can’t actually tell you what happened next. I signed an NDA. Look, you’ve got to believe me. If I was able to be transparent with my kickstarter backers, I would be! What kind of person would shamelessly beg for money to capitalize on their popularity, be over 3 years late in delivery of their product, and NOT tell the people who bankrolled them about it? Not me, that’s for sure. I can’t imagine anyone who’d do something like that.
Now that I only had a fraction of my original funds and no development team, I decided to force a bunch of my friends to live in my basement, learn coding, and make an unzip program for me. We switched back to a more standard, 2D, text-based decompression system due to our shoestring budget. This must be how Obsidian feels. (Hey, you guys hear about video games?)
It was now late 2016, and I still had not delivered my promised review of Hiveswap. I emailed my backers, apologized cryptically and profusely, and said my review would be done in January of 2017. I even released a trailer for the review! (Which has since been DCMA’d by TOG).
Things were looking up… for awhile. January came and went, and my software still wasn’t finished. Luckily, Hiveswap still hadn’t come out, so it’s not like I was under a deadline crunch or anything. I mean, release dates are more like guidelines, right? Still, because I’m not a morally dubious doormat of a content creator, I felt bad about my review being so late. I updated my fanbase in late January, telling them I was “almost done” with my software, when in reality all of money had gone into funding my friend’s game, Under’s Tale.
Finally, I’m sitting here, early in the morning of April 13th, 2017. My software isn’t ready, and my review is now over TWO YEARS late. Hey, at least it’s not 3 years late, I guess. Finally, I suck it up and download 7zip for free. I finally open Hiveswap.rar.
Inside was an incredibly shitty screencap of a notepad file open, filled with MS Paint color splashes and jpeg artifacts. The text in the file said “Game isn’t finished, please give 5/5” and then a bitcoin wallet address.
It’s April 13th, 2017, and although Hiveswap still isn’t out, my review for it is!
It’s pretty good.
I know a lot of you guys are probably wondering what ever happened with Monkeywrench Jones. Well actually it’s a really sad story, you dig? Tragic shit, I’m talking Shakespeare tragic. So anyway a few weeks ago we decided to get Asian Mike and Zeke The Destroyer and head out of town for the biannual corn festival. Hey, does biannual mean twice a year or once every two years? I don’t know, and I don’t know anyone who does. Anyway, I digress
We head out there and there all kinds of those shitty dangerous carnival rides. The ones you see in Final Destination direct to DVD Chinatown bootleg movies, you know? That kinda shit. Anyway, Monkeywrench was like, “Hey guys, watch this!” and he got on this ride that the carney running it called the SHIT FUCKER, but it was supposed to be like some kind of octopus that fucks you or spins you around or something, I don’t know.
Anyway, Monkeywrench was always a daredevil, and as the ride was going up and down he leaned out of the ride and started taking a shit right out of the car. I’m talking bare ass, full dick and also balls showing, taking a shit! It was nuts! Mike screamed out “Aye! Monkeywrench over here taking a shit!” And I posted about it on myspace dot com so all the hip kids knew what was up.
Anyway, long story short, the ride lurched, Monkeywrench got decapitated, Zeke cried at the funeral, and now I’m balling out on a 7 year contract playing point guard for the Portland Trailblazers.