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MS Paint Adventures is a series of webcomics by Andrew Hussie which originally started as a forum game. Eventually a website was created to house the adventures and the method of taking commands changed to shoutboxes, then , and eventually back to traditional forum posts. The use of reader commands continued until partway through Homestuck which initially followed reader commands but phased them out by March 2010. Despite this both the adventures and the website continue to be formatted and framed as a game.
On the September 25th, 2006, Andrew Hussie created a forum game simply entitled MS Paint Adventure on the Gangbunch Fora, the forum for his then-current comics. The game was a command line adventure game, reminiscent of such games like the original text adventure game; Colossal Cave Adventure. Users could submit commands and the first command entered would determine the action taken a panel being posted alongside each action. On January 4th, 2007, Hussie moved the original thread and the "Lv. 2" threads into a new sub-forum titled "MS Paint Adventures" with a sticky explaining the move and giving the adventure a proper name; Escape from Jail Island. However on February 23rd, less than two months later, the game was put on indefinite pause.
On June 3rd, 2007, the MS Paint Adventures were given new life with the launch of Bard Quest, however on July 5th, less than a month later, this adventure was also abandoned starting an eight month long hiatus which ended with of Problem Sleuth.where Escape from Jail Island was as Jailbreak. Nine days later was launched,
|RIDICULOUS FOLLY. INEXCUSABLE.|
|While sloppy is fine, it might be good idea to arrange this particular page because, to be quite frank, as it is right now, it is just total shit.|
Each Adventure is presented in a simple format that allows an MSPA Reader to follow along with the story as though it were a game. However, the Adventure is not actually a game at all, but rather a series of images presented in the format of text-based adventure games. This is part of the joke of the website itself - it sets up the wry pretense that the Adventure is actually a game, and the design of the site is modeled as if the Reader is actually typing in the commands and making the story move along according to the commands given.
An Adventure operates with the command previously given on the prior page shown at the top. (If it is the first panel of the game, the name of the Adventure that you are about to embark on appears at the top.) An image is then presented below that has the Adventure attempt to do what the command is given. For example, if a character named Bob is standing in an empty room with nothing but a pumpkin nearby, the command may be something along the lines of "Bob: Get Pumpkin." The resulting image of this command depends on certain rules, conditions, and various other absurdities that are maintained only in MSPA. In the example of the pumpkin, Bob will almost certainly not be able to get the pumpkin because the pumpkin may never have existed there in the first place anyway. This is because that is how pumpkins work in MSPA and is considered one of the constant gags in MSPA. The true constant in the Adventures is that of uncertainty. Below the image is a ">" character and then a blinking cursor, as though the game is expecting another command, and below that the next command or line of commands is given for the player to "Type" in. Through this medium the game is played until the game reaches its conclusion, or alternatively if an unfortunate Game Over is reached.
MSPA has several functions as well to maintain the Game Mentality - A player can choose to "Save" and "Load" the game as well as "Delete" their Save File - Which is a simple place holder of keeping their place as the players traverse through thousands of pages through the story.
Other various devices are used throughout the website to maintain the Adventure atmosphere - Through the use of capitalizing certain key words and typically using second person to narrate the actions going on, as if your decision causes you to have thoughts reactionary to the decision you made, often the case berating you on your poor decisions.
Adventures are what makes up a story. They set a theme or a groundwork for a small basis of what the game could be about, but the setting, the characters, or the items used may not be particularly consistent with the kind of Adventure. Problem Sleuth is based on the Prohibition Era, but it's more often the case than not that the characters in Problem Sleuth interact with items, characters and places that have nothing to do with that time period. In the case of Jailbreak, after the game ends and the player Continues, the Prisoner almost immediately escapes from the jail and the game continues on regardless. Homestuck is set in the present, based on the technology used by John Egbert, Dave Strider, Rose Lalonde, and Jade Harley, but concepts of the game Sburb extend well beyond the current level of technology available in the real world.
Various numerical data about each adventure, as well as meta statistics such as pages with a high word count, or days with the most updates, are maintained here.
- Jailbreak is the first adventure. Jailbreak takes place in a jail with no real reference to time period. The main character is a prisoner trying to escape. He is mostly successful at escaping. While the Andrew Hussie went back and added an "ending" and is thus currently complete. claims that this adventure is incomplete, at some point
- Bard Quest is the second adventure. Bard Quest takes place in the past and follows a Bard and his companions on their quest to kill a dragon. Bard Quest is currently incomplete. Andrew noted on the Adventures page that this adventure will likely never be completed. It is the only uncompleted adventure.
- Problem Sleuth is the third adventure. It is a highly complicated adventure. Problem Sleuth contains nods to both Bard Quest and Jailbreak in the form of several Ongoing gags. Problem Sleuth is currently complete.
- Homestuck is the fourth adventure. Homestuck takes place in 2009, though flashbacks, Alternate Universes, and overall time shenanigans takes the player through many different periods. Homestuck is mostly complete, with only the upcoming epilogue remaining.
- Ryanquest is an unnumbered side adventure. Ryanquest takes place in 2010 and follows the adventures of Ryan North and Andrew Hussie. Ryanquest is currently complete. It has a short prequel entitled .
The only real constants in the adventures are the generalizations made toward the games themselves and their uncertain, quirky and obtuse nature. With that, one could base on how these games are played. Each individual game is called an adventure, and these adventures must have characters to interact with the adventure, items for the characters to use, ignore, or abuse altogether, and locations for the character to exist in and traverse. Anything beyond this however can change immediately and drastically. The rules are never constant enough throughout game play for a typical gamer to "Catch on" to how the game works and theoretically, type in "Commands" to work them to their advantage.
- The characters included in MSPA are varied and unique. Characters for the most part are made seemingly on the whim of how the story follows along with the commands, it is fairly unpredictable how the characters are going to act, react, or even transform based on the commands. Commands given to characters denote them by their name or even short hand if the name is particularly long, and often characters created are based on alter-egos of main characters or are created on the whim of a certain command succeeding or even failing.
- Many objects in these game worlds are used by the characters to activate or set off certain events as they progress through the game - This is known to MSPA readers as dealing with weird puzzle shit. Weird puzzle shit occurs constantly and suggesting commands relating to objects around the area helps to solve the puzzles. It is the case most likely that objects are used in a more unorthodox manner or even worse, a manner that makes little to no sense.
- The locations in Adventures are crucial to navigating and solving the game. There is a structure to how Locations work, and even in the absurdity there still is consistency in that one exit will certainly take you to the same entrance of another area.
- Across all four adventures, MS Paint Adventures is estimated to be the second longest webcomic in existence, totaling over 10000 pages and counting. (The longest ever is mezzacotta, a webcomic generated by seed.)
|Works by Andrew Hussiev · d · e|
|MS Paint Adventures||Jailbreak • Bard Quest • Problem Sleuth (Midnight Crew) • Homestuck • Ryanquest|
|Team Special Olympics||Blurb • Scriblettes • Whistles • And It Don't Stop • Neon Ice Cream Headache|
|Videogames||Namco High • Hiveswap|
|Other||Barty Anderson • Jandrew Edits • Wizardology • Paradox Space|