Hi, the name you shall know me by is Mikel T Strawenaskevitz. I consider myself an average MOD-maker (with honors in story-development), and currently, my only work that is going to stay in progress is a (hopefully) full-length Portal mod. Thanks for checking out my profile, and here's to good modding and mod-seeking!

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I think I have a problem

madcat1030 Blog

That about sums it up. I can't get myself to focus on any one thing. I keep getting torn back and forth between Reverb and an extremely over-ambitious five-or-six campaign long l4d(or possibly l4d2) campaign... I get bored with one style of mapping, then fly over to the other, get bored with that, and go back, and so on, and in the end, wind up proceeding very slowly. I think for a while, I'm going to focus on the l4d, because I had some very nice ideas over the past few days.

Wow, I've found myself making a surprising amount of progress over the past few days. I actually got three-quarters of the first map nice and built. One wall is giving me a bit of a pain, catching too much light (much more than its surroundings), but I think I'll just wind up changing the texture.

For anybody who has enough spare time to find this, here's the jist of my map so far.

Start next to a massive pile-up in a tunnel (APC from blood harvest crashed on other side, presumably*). Head out, climb over a fence via military truck, precede down forest road, past some jersey barricades. Fence blocks progression, connected on one side to a house with a porch (with mounted gun), and on the other side continued off towards a cliff. Way around porch blocked by overturned trailer and small mobile home. Head off into the forest, around a bit and to a small picnic area with a well, jump down well, go through sewers to a broken wall to a vent down to an underground storage room, through to a generator room. Simple gauntlet event on generator start, must get to security room to shut off alarm and open exit, proceed up 2 floors of stairs to an out of service safe-room, and up into the basement of the house you saw from the road. Out into backyard, through barn into woods, through woods to the side of a large gated off train-track area, along tracks then back into woods, past a small camp, back to the other side of the barn, and finally up the stairs of the porch with the mounted gun, into the house. Out other side of house through a CEDA trailer (pressed right up against the door, as a sort of decontamination chamber).

That's as far as I've gotten now, but basically you are going to continue along the road a bit more, to a side path back to a bridge over the train tracks, and then down ONTO the tracks, where you will release a car which will slide a VERY long way down and break a gate into a factory.

Nav mapping is going to be fun as hell.

*These campaigns, in my mind, take place after Blood Harvest and prior to The Passing, and explains how they got there, most campaigns ending at a train, the final one ending at a boat (the one seen docked beside the bridge in the Passing), and would ideally be played as the original survivors, if I can manage it.

Beginning Anew

madcat1030 Blog

With the end of my (rather turbulent) Freshman year at college, I grew bored, and started going on a serious mod hunt.

Over the last week, I've downloaded and played:
Korsokovia - Nice and rather long, given the type of experience, well-written dialogue, a little confusing, and the static can do damage to high end speakers if you have the volume up to listen to the voices. I should know. All in all, much better than Dear Esther, which didn't capture me nearly as much. VERY capable of instilling fear the first time through, at least. Oh, and it has a guest-star from Lost...
Strider Mountain - Interesting plotline, VERY long (for a mod), and it had some nice visuals. Occasionally it would make you do awkward things with a vehicle (namely drive through a VERY narrow tunnel and turn), but once you get that damned wheel off the corner, it becomes a very good game. The music they used (I could really only actively identify one track, if you played it, you probably know which one, too) really kept the mod going, a nice change from those mostly silent mods.
Provenance - Short, but sweet. Really nice rendition of an area of the Black Mesa Research Facility, and overall good gameplay. And, hey, it had a tram ride. How could they go wrong? There's even a bit of story jammed in there that just serves to confuse and interest...

I know none of them are NEW mods, but I just downloaded them, and felt like doing a mini-review. On top of those, I played through all my old mods... Research & Development (always fun), Ravenholm (long, but good if you want a Ravenholm-y fix), Radiator (not available for questions at this time), Riot Act(nice, good if you want a Nova-Prospekt-y fix), Get A Life (I'm not sure what to say about that, but I think it was good), Eye Of The Storm (sequel to Ravenholm, if completely different, nice gameplay, if a little short. Good voice acting, at least for the administrator), Curse (a nice little Egyptian-y puzzle fix), Dangerous World (an EPIC retelling of the events of Episode I from another point of view. Just... Don't go towards the light! If you get frustrated at the end, you'll probably realize what I mean), Mission Improbable (only a single map, but STILL, some of the nicest mapping around. Really fun quick playthrough), and... MINERVA (My favorite mod. Mapping, story, everything).

If you haven't played Minerva, Dangerous World, and/or Research & Development, GET THEM NOW!

Anywho, oh yeah, I also downloaded a ton of Portal Mappacks, as well as redownloading Prelude, and some other Portal-y stuff. It was playing through the early versions of Blue Portals' maps that piqued my interest in Portal modding again.

And so, with hammer in hand, I stepped off to a rocky start, having lost my original first chamber. I hope that, if you read through all this, you'll take the time to take a quick visit to Portal: Reverb, my mod. If not, then at least [promise me that you will/swear that you have] played those three mods I mentioned.

Happy modding,
Mikel S.

PS: This post started as an excuse to get the ModDB X-mass carol off the first page.

A ModDB Carol

madcat1030 Blog

A ModDB Carol

By Mikel T Strawenaskevitz

Fix this site with extra bandwidth,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
'Tis the season for mod-seekers,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Cram our hard-drives with many mods,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
D'lete another ancient program,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Make the room for yet another,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Goodbye, Sims and Tomb Raider Six,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Now to download ev-er-y thing,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Crap! There goes my internet again,
Shit oh crap oh damn, oh shit shit shit!

Fix the router, check connections,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
Yes! It's fixed now back to my download,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Play until we need another,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Then back to moddb.com,
Best mod data-baaaassssse, in theeeeee whoooooolllllle woooooorrrrrrrrrrllllld!

Happy holidays to all you out there,
~Mikel T. Strawenaskevitz

Should you end up here...

madcat1030 Blog

Hello again,
If you have ended up here, I'll make a small wager that its because you are kind of bored and have been clicking links around the intrawebz and just happened to have stopped here. That or you refined your clicking to ModDB. Either way, I have a question for YOU!

Are you capable of making Portal maps (anywhere from "acceptable" to "excellent and above")?

If you answered YES to any of the one question above, then I have a project for YOU!

As you may not (or may!) know, I am working on a mod. The main idea is to tell a story (check the Mod's page), and the biggest concerns for me are the covers. I am making the beginning chambers, and I'm making the "escape" areas. I'd like to turn this into a community project, for several reasons:

1.) Where to start? oh yeah, I'm rather new, but I've gotten positive feedback on my progress so far.
2.) Even if I had time to become an expert... well, I don't have time.
3.) Not enough time in my (semi-)busy schedule.
4.) Excessive use of parentheses.

Well, moving on. I'd like to recruit the community, and more importantly, ALL THE PEOPLE WHO VISIT THIS PAGE, but MOST importantly YOU! I am asking that YOU, the semi- to exceptionally-skilled Portal-Mod-Artist (for it is an art, the art of mod-making), submit any chamber (or consecutive chambers, or non-consecutive chambers) you have created but not released and are willing to let be used in my mod.

Should you choose to accept this task, and should I accept it (which I probably would, unless its ABSOLUTELY horrible), your name will be incorporated in the level somewhere (by moi) and in the credits!

PM me for details, or to submit a map. To submit (should you choose), please send the .bsp so I can take a look. If I like, I will ask for the Hammer-editable file to tweak and add the story in. OBSERVATION ROOMS ARE A MUST, as are elevator beginnings and ends.

In 2 days, this message will be posted on the mod website. I supposed less people would see it here, but there was still a chance of response.

Thank you for your time (if you read this, if not, GTFO MY INTERNETS),
Mikel T. Strawenaskevitz

Its Voting Time

madcat1030 Blog

Totally non-related to modding, Its voting time for all you americanites out there. If you haven't already, and it isn't too late, just go out and do it! Don't toss your vote away! Would have posted this earlier, but I was busy.

My situation is funny. I'm at a blue school in a red county in a blue state. Its just interesting. Anyway, POLL IT UP, BABY!

Have a wonderful evening, everybody,
Mikel S.

First Post after how-many months?

madcat1030 Blog

Ahh, the wonderful world of ModDB.

I love Portal. How about you?

I had been planning to make a mod for Portal for quite some time, but just couldn't muster up the courage to try to make a Portal MOD (not a map-pack) that had a story. Thanks to Portal: Prelude, I know have that courage. If you have not played Portal: Prelude, please do so immediately. I hear they dumbed it down, so nobody should have anything to complain about, difficulty-wise (I am seriously considering never downloading the easifying update).

And so I am making a mod. Portal: Reverb. I think. Not quite sure yet. If I can get a MOD page up and running, I'll write up the Bio for it.

'Till then, great gaming and marvelous modding,
Mikel T. Strawenaskevitz

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