Staredit Network > Forums > Lite Discussion > Topic: Been a while.
Been a while.
Nov 12 2016, 5:10 pm
By: IskatuMesk  

Nov 12 2016, 5:10 pm IskatuMesk Post #1

Lord of the Locker Room

I don't really know where to post this, so I guess I'll post it here. (Have you guys considered reducing the number of forums you have by about 80%?)

As you likely well-know, I voluntarily underwent a ban a while ago when I came to the conclusion I couldn't produce content anymore. I don't actually remember when that was, I presume it was around 2012.

Things unfortunately have gone very poorly since then. I decided to come here again mostly because I wanted to publicate the release of some of my old sc1 stuff, and because I was linked to a thread here a while ago. I figured I may as well show and tell some of the things that have happened with me since then.

As those who followed me back then know, I was producing video content for Starcraft 2 and some other stuff around 2010-2012. I later moved exclusively to FTP distribution and ditched youtube for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being quality, censorship, not using their shitty flash player, wanting to get away from view/upvote systems, hating google, etc. My content was housed largely on a subforum of CC for quite a while until it grew unwieldy to use a forum. About a year ago I transitioned to using a site, taking back control of the ancient Gameproc domain Lavarinth had been sitting on all this time and putting it to good use. With the assistance of Lav and others I transformed the placeholder web content into an actual feature-filled site that shows all of my currently public content.

Since I departed I have focused heavily on video work, mostly Let's Play's. But in recent times I've broadened my releases to educational content designed to help my viewers understand game design, D&D videos for an alternate community, Castovers of specific viewer content, and other such things.

Although my modding dreams died with 2012, I pushed heavily into rebuilding Black Sun. The project, known as Black Sun: Retribution, consumed a great deal of my time during 2013 and the closure of 2012. Although this involved modding, it was very much not a mod, it was an attempt to build a recording platform for Sins of a Solar Empire and Unreal 3 to build a CGI movie out of.

I'll leave the details to the related pages on my site. I ultimately failed the project because I relied on a character modeler who never wanted to make character models and just wasted my time. At the end of 2014 I produced a radioplay/audiobook out of the script and released that. I also released a bunch of developer videos, most important being The Unsung Legacy. You can learn more about that project here.

I'm still sitting on a swath of half-edited text for the Tech Document but for reasons I'll get into in a moment it has mostly been paralyzed.

The other project I tried to get going 2010-2016 is of course Apex. But I'm not really going to type that out because my fingers hurt. You can learn more about it here and here.

The real story of the last years coincides with the death of Retribution and a lot of bullshit. So, buckle in for the melodrama.

Around August of 2013 I contracted a cute little illness called Pneumonia. I was bed ridden for a month and had severe breathing problems for the next year. To be honest, it was more like 2-3 months of being near-death, but I would get up and go on the computer while being unable to breathe because that's how strongly I wanted to finish Retribution even though, at that point, I knew it was going to fail. I really did expect (and hoped) to die then and there. I wouldn't really get an idea of just how much I wanted to die until I got better, though.

December 2013, just as I was recovering, one of my cats had an eye issue crop up. I'll spare you the long end of it (you can read my blog or CC LP thread if you really want the play by play), but basically she's a persian and had what ultimately became a chronic ulcer because of herpes. All cats have herpes, Persians are particularly susceptible to it because of how it can effect their eyes. Oh, we were also evicted, and ended up only able to find a place with rent double our current rent. Then my grandmother kicked our her husband and we've been living off of scraps for almost two years. It has been an oh so very long road. I'll give you a tiny taste of what that road had in it.

The penultimate "fuck" was about a year ago when the cat went from stable (even having its hood off) to somehow mangling its eye for the nth time and this time it turned into a melting ulcer. I'll warn you not to google that if you're squeemish, because it's scary shit that usually requires immediate emergency medical attention 24/7. A melting ulcer is basically like it describes. Your eye is infected and melting. It can destroy an eye from onset in a day. A single day. That means that I, a not-trained medical person, had to take care of the fight because I'm poor. I was lucky in that they were willing to let me take the drugs without paying for them on the spot. Because if they didn't she was dead right then and there. That's what every day had been like to that point. A fight on the very edge of the knife.

From the onset of 2014 I have been in a nonstop struggle for survival of this cat and myself. I have mental disabilities, and they manifest most prominently in overwhelming stress. The kind of stress that makes your every bone ache because your muscles are permanently flexed. The kind that makes you think you're having a heart attack. The burning, seething panic that keeps you from thinking straight. So here I was, barreling down homelessness and geriatric insanity, with this cat I wasn't going to lose for anything, in another stakeout. The smallest stakeouts having been about 3-4 weeks of very carefully controlled 1-2 hours of sleep a day because I have to manage 6 different drugs at interchanging hours. Just to try to get the ulcers to start healing and whatever else. This one was a thousand times more scary.

The melting ulcer was the most danger she's been in other than when this started and she somehow passed the infection to her eyelids. You know all those rescue stories about cats and eye infections that totally crust over the eyelids and it's a huge goddamn mess? You really don't even know 1/4 the story. That shit is absolutely nuts. Every 15 minutes you need to clean those eyelids for about 10-20 minutes because that's how fast it can build up. Well, a melting ulcer is a lot more dangerous. You really can't afford to miss *anything* because the infection quickly covered about 70% of the surface of the eye. Most of the ulcers had been superficial - painful, very slow to heal, but not very dangerous (we couldn't afford to remove the eye, and both eyes had interchanging problems, so removing an eye doesn't guarantee shit all).

A step back for a moment, if you will.

All of this really began to pick up momentum at the dawn of 2014, when Retribution was declared dead for reasons largely outside of my control. I can't even begin to express to you how agonizing it is to go from the doom and gloom of 2012, manage to finally pick up steam and really hammer in every ounce of waking energy you've got into something throughout all of 2013, then have to close it off because you can't learn one critical set of skills and the person who'd said they'd help you casually refuses to even acknowledge you. Not some random, someone I've known for a decade or so. That alone is soul crushing. I got thrust from that into this non-stop battle to save this cat, and then got evicted in mid 2014 because the landlord silently sold their other house and just "decided to move back in". Oh, right, this is Canada, where you can't ever get housing because of immigration and government-controlled inflation. The cost of living sky rockets every year. Between moving and the cat I lost every dollar to my name (about $5k) and all net income from henceforth (about $7k or so by 2015). I'm on Disability. I don't "make" money. And, until the melting ulcer, I absolutely refused to ever get monetarily involved in anything.

But the melting ulcer changed the game, and I finally, temporarily opened donations. I looked into starting a Patreon but they made it intentionally as vague and annoying to figure out for Canadians as possible, and just when I was about to flip the switch they handed all the private information of their clients to the outside world in the dumbest of ways, so I immediately wrote it off and stuck to Paypal despite serious legal danger in doing so. Thanks to some extremely generous donors I was able to handle the bills from the disaster (the vet even waived some, Serum is expensive dude, $60 for a few drops), and get some food in my belly for a change.

Since then it has been a low coast downhill. The cat is relatively stable - has its hood - with a few scares every so often (its eyes are easily irritated despite the four drugs I give her twice a day), but nothing super bad other than the landlord telling us she's going to be selling this house at any point and I'll just be homeless and, probably, completely screwed for the last time. But stress is killing me. I've spent most of 2016 sleeping on the floor and between that and this chair I am using I have completely destroyed my spine and neck and I often times wonder if I am having a stroke or not between the pain and weird tastes in my mouth. Still, I push on for her.

There's a lot more to the story than that. My hardware is aging and failing all over the place etc. but I'll just leave it there.

As far as Starcraft 2 is concerned, you might have noticed my name on Carbots Starcrafts and Pirate's Dwarven Combat. Apex had a huge amount of technical R&D but the data editor was much too unpleasant to involve myself with in the end, so I've only really done stuff behind the scenes for other people. The former project paid me a small sum to help them get their graphics in order and I also did a bit of R&D and recruitment for them. The latter went on to win the RoTC contest but I didn't ask for any recompense (graphics work again). The biggest accomplishment of my time with sc2 was probably the Apex AI system I talk about in the related videos, but I had quite a bit of success in graphics with that game, especially after I learned a few things from Zolden and Delphinium. Between Retribution and Apex I learned an enormous amount of particle stuff and went on to produce hand-made fumeFX systems for both projects. I also did my first ever animations for The Antioch Chronicles. None of my own works amounted to anything, though.

Ultimately, I set my eyes on Unreal 4 and hoped to pursue my dreams of creating CGI. Alas, I still don't know how to model characters or animate. I was poking holes into some of my long-desired things earlier this year but stress has been absolutely overwhelming to the point that 2016 has been a mostly dead year with very little work getting done anywhere. Starcraft 2 killed my passion completely and I've spent a good long time soulsearching for any final thing to try to scrape for before real life ultimately goes tits-up.

Here's a look at my Unreal 4 work so far.

Some of the things I developed in my short time with Unreal 4 was a material that translates color information into high-detail textures. I used it to port old engine assets into the new engine. Here's a statue someone posted on Mapster that I ported over.

Here's a character from Tera (Unreal 3) I updated for Unreal 4 to use subsurface scattering and other stuff.

I had just as much success porting to Starcraft 2 as well. Here's an asset from Lineage 2 (Unreal Warfare engine) I updated for Sc2.

Unfortunately, I don't have the skills necessary to actually make anything I wanted to make, and 2016 did a pretty big number on my sanity. I'm barely hanging on, now, scraping the days just trying to get out of bed and doing little odd jobs with my videos. I haven't touched Unreal 4 or 3ds max in a long time except to make educational recordings. I don't even remember how I made most of this stuff. It's all kind of a blur at this point. I've pretty much given up a long time ago and the only thing that keeps me going is my cat. I have no intentions of ever working for anyone again (Starcrafts was a one-time deal for me) and all my dreams are long dead.

Well. That's that. Not much else for me to say about the ugly past/present.

The demon factions I made for Fire_Kame's RP helped me build a critical part of Apex's world which succeeded Loladins of Legend in becoming my second largest world design. I released a chunk of writing for that world here, since the campaign and related works never amounted to anything.

I did a bit of voice acting off and on. I release it on soundcloud. Other than the Retribution audiobook, soundcloud has all of my voice stuff I've done in the last while. It isn't much, since I haven't had an active project to voice for.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Nov 19 2016, 5:43 pm by IskatuMesk.

Show them your butt, and when you do, slap it so it creates a sound akin to a chorus of screaming spider monkeys flogging a chime with cacti. Only then can you find your destiny at the tip of the shaft.

Nov 12 2016, 7:50 pm Pr0nogo Post #2

Yeah I never was able to thank you for the voice acting you did for Rivalry.

I've been loosely following your downward spiral in the past several years, and with all the shit you have dealt with, I am genuinely surprised you haven't already killed yourself. I hope things get better for you somehow. Let me (and the rest of us here) know if there's a way we can actually impact your life in a positive manner, though, since hope is about as useful to you as prayer.

Nov 12 2016, 8:51 pm Lanthanide Post #3

Quote from IskatuMesk
(Have you guys considered reducing the number of forums you have by about 80%?)
I suggested it here but the powers that be weren't convinced. Apparently they don't want to do any work, they'd rather do other things first (but they don't do those other things, either).

On the rest of it - I know it sounds brutal, but you should have had the cat put down when the eye thing got bad. It's only cost you more stress and misery than it was worth, and I'm sure the cat's quality of life isn't great either.


Nov 12 2016, 10:13 pm IskatuMesk Post #4

Lord of the Locker Room

Quote from Lanthanide
but you should have had the cat put down when the eye thing got bad.

This was brought up a few times and I figured if it ever came down to losing an eye she would be put down. However, she is always super happy and playful, even through the hard times. I wouldn't have figured an animal could endure that much so easily, but she never seemed to really let it bother her (except when she did actually rub her eye and it hurt, but she usually didn't let it bother her too long). Many times I thought she wouldn't leave the vet alive. I definitely felt worse than she did. It's weird. The eyes actually look super bad when they're irritated but looks can be deceiving as it often appeared. I am fortunate in a way - no normal cat would ever allow me to clean their eyes like I do hers. My other cat flips out if you even try to give him a drop of anything. She just purrs.

I don't know why you wouldn't condense the forums, there's a lot of redundancy everywhere (three discussion forums when you already have a shoutbox seems like something for a forum with 600+ active users at once, not to mention the 3 separate mapping sc2 forums). Buut whatevs.


I don't remember Rivalry or anything related. I don't really remember much of anything. 1 like = 1 prayer

Show them your butt, and when you do, slap it so it creates a sound akin to a chorus of screaming spider monkeys flogging a chime with cacti. Only then can you find your destiny at the tip of the shaft.

Nov 12 2016, 10:56 pm LoveLess Post #5

Let me show you how to hump without making love.

I remember the cat being in the rough drafts for the announcer in Temple Siege 2. Poor cat :(


Nov 13 2016, 11:33 am Pr0nogo Post #6

Quote from IskatuMesk
I don't remember Rivalry or anything related.

I was sure at the time that Lacionius would have said something about it but I later found out that he was also banned from CC, so life really just is a simulation.

Nov 13 2016, 5:36 pm IskatuMesk Post #7

Lord of the Locker Room

Laconius was never banned. He ragequit the community because I told him to ask his mother for a job and not to buy iphones when he can't even afford his rent.

Show them your butt, and when you do, slap it so it creates a sound akin to a chorus of screaming spider monkeys flogging a chime with cacti. Only then can you find your destiny at the tip of the shaft.

Nov 13 2016, 5:56 pm Pr0nogo Post #8

Haha yeah that sounds like laconius. Is he still teaching in Korea or was that a fabrication too?

What are your short term projections for the future? What do you want to get done?

Nov 13 2016, 6:03 pm IskatuMesk Post #9

Lord of the Locker Room

I think he's teaching in Korea, yeah. I don't know anything else beyond that. I imagine he's taken up a new persona and is lurking around somewhere still.

I have no project plans. I'm pretty much spent. I just work on D&D videos and other small things when they come up and that's it.

Show them your butt, and when you do, slap it so it creates a sound akin to a chorus of screaming spider monkeys flogging a chime with cacti. Only then can you find your destiny at the tip of the shaft.

Nov 13 2016, 7:36 pm Pr0nogo Post #10

How do you plan on achieving happiness? How do you intend to avoid suicide? Digital videogame projects have been your entire life, maybe it's time to take up something new.

Nov 13 2016, 8:31 pm IskatuMesk Post #11

Lord of the Locker Room

Happiness is unattainable. I don't intend to avoid suicide. Once something happens that proves unrecoverable, like the cat dying or another eviction, that's it. I'm just biding my time until then.

Show them your butt, and when you do, slap it so it creates a sound akin to a chorus of screaming spider monkeys flogging a chime with cacti. Only then can you find your destiny at the tip of the shaft.

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