About IskatuMesk

I'm a veteran modder with 18 years experience in custom content creation ranging from voice acting and sound engineering to basic scripting and 3d graphics. I have extensive experience in designing, balancing, testing and quality assurance for large-scale mods and games. I have extensively studied professional gaming and the related elements of player psychology and interaction. While I have been offered jobs for graphics and voice acting I turned them all down for one simple reason - I hate the industry.

 

 

 I am an Elitist; I hold allegiance to nothing except the pursuit of quality.


 

I made total conversions for Starcraft: Brood War from 1999 to 2009. Chances are if you are familiar with the game's modding scene this is where you know me from.

 

I suffer from mental disabilities and personality disorders, making my LP's extra entertaining for those who just like watching someone make a fool out of himself. At the same time, thanks to my extensive experience creating and analyzing media, I can offer insight into production that few other LP'ers would be able to spot or are paid to ignore.

 

Although I only began producing public video media somewhat recently, video production has always been in my blood. Back when 007 Goldeneye first came out on the N64, I created VHS tapes documenting my adventures in using Slow Motion and Remote Mines to send various guards into orbit by breaking the "physics" of the game amongst other things. I take pride in breaking everything I touch.

 

Bug hunting and exploiting design flaws are critical parts of my everyday playstyle and I go to great lengths in the name of science. Some videos feature or exclusively focus on such scientific endeavors, usually with hysterical results. Often times even the most innocent of titles are still susceptible to even the most basic of playtesting, while some games prefer to just crash your GPU at the slightest provocation. The Western Game Industry is a truly fantastic place where no one can do anything wrong and everyone always succeeds no matter how little they attempt to. Even more concerning is how the vast majority of hipsters don't seem to think there's anything wrong with this. Well, I do. My hope is to educate viewers and provide a foundation for a lifelong pursuit of quality entertainment.

 

Throughout my many years of custom content I've learned a great deal about not simply designing and balancing games, but also making them, QA'ing them, and the kind of effort (or commonly lack thereof) that the average game has put into it.

 

My reviews are honest, first-impression based with no bullshit. I usually break down games into elements such as audio and AI, as a game's value is determined ultimately by the strength of how those elements synergize with one another to form a final presentation. Unlike brand name reviewers, who are paid by the word, you can expect an honest and reliable review from me addressing both opinionated and objective elements.

 

My views do not reflect the official views of Campaign Creations in whole or part.

 

 

Portfolio

 

Experience (as of 2015) -

 

  • Voice acting & sound engineering - 22+ years (both analog & digital)
  • 2d game design - 17+ years
  • 3d game design - 15+ years
  • Public Video Commentary - 8+ years
  • Private Developer Commentary - 5+ years

I have done numerous VA and graphics requests for projects private and public, including Vile Eggression, Flame Knives, Heart of Storms, Babylon 5: We've Found Her, Temple Siege 2, Carbots's Starcrafts, The Antioch Chronicles and Dwarven Combat. I have also produced narrative and commentary for many community pet projects, both scripted and timestamped. I have produced over 200 hours of private developer commentary for third parties. There are extremely few things I have not at least attempted, mostly being Programming, Animation, Concept Art, Sculpting, and hand Texturing.

 

I have exceptional experience in creating full-scale total conversions for the following titles:

 

  • Starcraft: Brood War
  • Diablo 2
  • Warcraft 3
  • Starcraft 2
  • Supreme Commander
  • Homeworld 2
  • Sins of a Solar Empire
  • Age of Wonders 2: Shadow Magic
  • Halo CE (Models, level design, texturing, log mods)

I have moderate to small amounts of experience in the following titles and engines:

 

  • Dawn of War (QA for Dawn of Skirmish project, made a very successful private fork for FFA build orders with LUA)
  • RPGMaker 2000, 2003, XP, VX ACE
  • Unreal Tournament 2004
  • UDK (materials, particles, level design)
  • Unreal 4 (skelmesh pipeline, staticmesh pipeline, remastering older content to modern PBR-compliant content, materials, particles, level design, blueprints)
  • Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2

I dabble in:

 

  • Advanced kitbashing
  • Texture modding
  • Radioplay production
  • FumeFX for flipbook texture creation
  • Nvidia PhysX & Apex Cloth

 

My preferred engine for a new project would be Unreal 4. I have experience porting and updating old meshes, including generating normal maps and correcting their bone weights and UV's, and can update them so they support PBR, as shown with these static meshes from Tera. They use a custom shader I created to translate the color data from their existing textures to create a highly customizable blending material for detail texturing. Unfortunately, I still don't know how to remove the DDS stepladdering seen on the old normal maps.

 

I have extensive experience in both porting and creating custom graphics and sounds. I believe establishing a new experience can only be done through total synergy of all four pillars of game creation - Gameplay, Graphics, Sound, and Computer AI, and strove to perfect all of them as a body in my innumerable adventures.

 

During Black Sun: Retribution (2013-2014) I became involved in creating entirely new environments destined for the UDK from scratch.

 

I am adept at taking existing models, such as what was once an incomplete Victory-Class by Jade Taggart, and turning them into something more.

 

 

My modeling capabilities are limited, but I am skilled in working with edgeflow and optimizing assets as well as bringing them into the game and updating them if necessary. All of my content is built with performance in mind, though I typically aim for high-end hardware.

 


In both video and audio I can work with multiple different styles and bring them together in a cohesive format. One day I hope to bring my dreams to life. One day. Probably not today.

 

Refer to my Past Projects for a better idea of some of my previous work.

 

My History

 

My early youth is easily summarized as a life of poverty giving rise to a pursuit for self-created substance to isolate myself within. I was diagnosed with a variety of things from bipolar to autism, but never anything concrete except for having traits of Schizophrenia. For much of my youth I was forced to take various placebo pharmaceuticals like Ritalin and eventually was prescribed Adderall and anti-psychotics like Zyprexa, none of which ever did anything except make me tired. I have since sworn off for-profit medicine. Coffee is my sole drug intake to get through the working day, though I've long since become immune to the effects of caffeine. I experience minor auditory hallucinations and great physical discomfort from stress as part of my day to day living.

 

By chance in my youth I was introduced to Starcraft through a third party when it first came out, and this changed my life in ways that are not easily put into words. That moment defined who I would strive to become for all my days, though I would constantly be at odds with myself.

 

Around 2002 I dropped out of school in grade 11 to pursue a life of self-centered content creation, particularly my writing and modding, and never looked back. I gave my all to my pursuit for bringing my dreams to life. By 2000 I had already produced a total conversion for Brood War although, much like the vast majority of my content, I spoke very little about it to the public. I never once intended to enter the industry or make money off my work. I knew I would never be in a position to do so in a manner I could respect, even though many of my peers have since entered or even left the industry.

 

I have extensive history nestled in the heart of Starcraft: Brood War's modding scene since I first joined the public scene in around 2001, though I would be lying if I said the majority of it was positive. I'm terrible at socializing and often times my critical viewpoints about the industry clashed with the casual forumers of various sites. During Warcraft 3's early years I entered the juvenile pitfall that was the seeking of hype and attention for my projects, and lost myself in the labyrinth that was being drawn more to fame and glory than actual work. This did little to soften the repeated deaths of projects due to my learning disabilities and, though I tried my hardest to steer my young self from certain hopelessness, the bloody events of 2006 forced me out of my home and literally killed off all traces of my childhood. I stopped many things I was trying to do at that point, such as music composition, never to attempt them again.

 

I tried to scrape together a future from the ruins of my golden era, but couldn't find stable footing in custom content until 2009 where a variety of projects, including Armageddon Onslaught, ITASUS, Loladins of Legend: 2042, and the Captain Planet's Grand Adventure RPG reached varying stages of completion, with the former two seeing releases. With AO's completion I waved good-bye to Brood War, who I had devoted much of my life to and had surely been a pivotal element of my living at all, and tried to push forward into the future. The major projects in 2009 lead to the formation of a unified game design perspective drawing upon all of my various projects in the past, which became known as the GEC - Gameplay Elements Concept. Through the GEC and my study of Brood War professional gameplay I began to understand a lot more about my own work and why it wasn't as fulfilling as I had desired. By then, though, my time as a content producer was quickly running out, and I desparately flailed around various games and ideas trying to find something that I felt comfortable with. It never happened.

 

At the end of 2009 I had hope for two things - Project Offset, an engine that was eventually bought and sat on by Intel, and Starcraft 2, which only confirmed my fears that Blizzard had all but forgotten who they once were. My custom content ventures thus focused on Black Sun's various iterations, ranging from 2008-2009 Homeworld 2 projects to 2014's final incarnation: the Retribution Audiobook. While I attempted various Starcraft 2 projects from 2010 to 2015 I concluded they were all but hopeless due to the game's exceptionally incomplete computer AI natives, and declared my life as a modder at an end. Instead, I focused on video casting I had begun to take more seriously with the start of sc2's beta in 2010. I quickly abandoned sc2 commentary and focused on LP's and compilations.  While I dabbled in Unreal 3 and 4 throughout the years I still hadn't learned any of the many skills necessary to make a project in a real engine, so I effectively stood still as time passed me by.

 

The years of 2014 and 2015 would see a lengthy repeat of 2006, repeatedly threatening the life of one of my cats. Unfortunately, while she survived, the events of those years were utterly devastating, costing me my life's savings, my home, and my physical and mental health. Yet, amidst the most difficult times of late 2015 I managed to pick up the baton and continue casting. To me that is an accomplishment that cannot easily be quantified given how much stress and anxiety have ruled over me for all my life and how troubled times like those years typically left me completely debilitated. I pushed forward with video content production despite all the negative things surrounding me. The only thing that held me together was a single motto - "Live vicariously, live for the moment. Live for today, for tomorrow will never come."

 

I retired from actively modding and pursuing game design in 2016, though I began coalescing all of my myriad of design and analysis subjects into a comprehensive Educational Series, with the goal of abstracting my methods and understanding of such subjects to a layman's level. Towards the end of 2016 my physical and mental health descended into perilous depths with crippling spinal and neck pain and uncontrollable anxiety attacks stemming from an inevitable second eviction and financial ruin. As a result the year was the worst yet for productivity since I began public casting, but still I refused to give up despite the bleakness of the future. Quarter 1 of 2017 saw a very slow, but at least calm, re-introduction of labor into my average day and a return to content development.

 

I no longer follow any modding scenes.

 

Summaries of some of my past projects can be found here.

 

 

FAQ

 

What do you do for a living?

 

The same thing every Canadian does - suck dick and revel in idiocracy. No, I don't do anything besides drink coffee and try to scrape together motivation to work on my projects.

 

 

What programs do you use?

 

See my 2015 video processing guide in the Articles section. In short, I fraps videos and encode them with megui.

All audio work is done in Audition 1.5 with the exception of very large scale projects, like Retribution, which are composited in Vegas.

 

 

What hardware are you running?

 

i7 920

12gb corsair ram

older runs are run on either a HD2900 XT or a 4870X2, both failed to summer heat, current card is 6970

shitty asus mobo

shitty asus sound card

Console runs are recorded via Black Magic Intensity Pro

Old runs (~2010) use a generic Macmice USB mic, everything gen3 (up to Q1 2016) is Blue Yeti, Q2 2016+ is AT2020 USB (Thanks Lavarinth!)

Most video is recorded to WD Blacks (1-4TB) but 30fps 1920x1200 is possible on Greens as well

 

Never buy garbage Chinese hipster brands like Nvidia and it gets hard to screw up a PC build.

 

 

Will you cast a replay, run a game or do some other service for me?

 

The only game run requests I consider are those from my internal viewers. You can always make a request but don't expect anything. I unanimously ignore business inquiries and won't do any custom content work, like voice acting, for someone outside my internal audience. However, if you have a large, high quality project that is demonstrably nearly complete you can try your luck.

 

 

Where are your mods located?

 

If it isn't on this site it isn't public.

 

If you'd like to contact me you may e-mail me at malkor at gmail dot com. If you inquire about something covered on this site I will ignore you.

 

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