Hello to all that read this, mostly my therapist, I guess. I used to be a game/mod developer who worked on a lot of source mods, basically I made things for games like Half Life 2, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive. I apparently need to write this. There's been a hell of a lot going on and only now have I been able to get on top of it. What I'm about to tell you is what I've experienced when trying to work on my previous project. I can account for some of what happened...but not everything.
Forewarning: Even if I have been getting help, I'm still trying to cope with the paranoia, so I'm sorry for any nervous tics that I may have in my writing.
So yeah, to start from the beginning, I was working on a little campaign for a mod called Underhell. When I wasn't so messed in the head, I remember this game being extremely good. I wanted to make a city that became slowly corrupted and "haunted" whilst the people living in the city tried to figure out what to do. The project went well, the city was made, voice acting was acted, and skeletons were spooked; Forgive me, humor helps me right now. I was just working on one of the first scares that the players get to see, but I was having problems setting it up.
Basically, the player would start in a corridor with a dank, sodden grayish-blue carpet, and dirty beige walls. It was quite claustrophobic and almost seemed to get smaller the farther you went. When the player got halfway through the corridor, a door at the end of the corridor opened into a room where She was inside. The lights were off in the room she stood in, but you could see her silhouette in the leftover light of the corridor. When you got near the end, she'd start walking towards you, and you'd back away only to find the corridor behind you had suddenly vanished...
The problem with this was that the door that She hid behind would rotate a whole 360 degrees. It would go through the wall and she would keep bumping into it and wasn't able to get out. I tried to sort it out by making the door only be open one way, and only be able to move 90 degrees. I thought that I had sorted it so I started the game and loaded the map to test, and oddly a lot had changed from the get-go...
The floor was plain concrete, and the walls were of tattered wallpaper and scratched plaster. I closed it to see if the editor had accidentally messed up my map, but it was the same as it ever was. I felt quite unnerved so I had a little breather and decided to retry launching the map in-game. It looked exactly as it had on the previous launch, so I decided, "Fuck it," and tried to test it even with the messed up textures.
I walked across the floor, and all that I could hear were the loud, clacking footsteps of my character hitting the concrete floor. I was nearing the middle of the corridor and I started to get very tense; I still get scared by my own work. I hit the trigger that caused the door to open, but the door opened incredibly slowly. I stood still in the middle of the corridor waiting to see into the room but as the door inched it's way open I realized with a cold dread that the room was empty. As soon as the door fully opened I hear footsteps coming from no discernible direction. It sounded like bare feet on stone - except, it was almost like the person was slapping their feet on the ground, trying to make as much noise as possible.
I got incredibly scared by this and lowered my audio, expecting the worst. The footsteps got louder and louder until they were just as loud as they were with the audio turned up, and then they stopped. In the cold, sudden silence I covered my eyes, lowered my audio even more and tried to hear if anything was going to scream out at me. I heard nothing but a raspy, stunted breathing. And at that moment I couldn't take anymore and quit the game.
I deleted that whole level and tried to forget that happened.
When I finally got the courage to start mapping again, I set about remaking the whole level again. I tried to get the previously mentioned part of the level over with first, so that I wouldn't have to come back to it later. All went fine until I tried to set the prop_dynamic - this basically lets you set which model you want and manipulate it in a variety of ways - with the model of Her but I couldn't find the object anywhere. I searched through all the folders in the object browser but couldn't find the model. I decided to save my progress and look through the game's install directory myself.
I clicked out to my desktop and got a sudden chill; The model, its textures and even a .PNG of her was on my desktop. She wasn't THAT scary when you looked at her, but the feeling of what happened last time I made that level came back. It felt like I was being watched. I put them back in the directory without any problem and just made sure to keep my antivirus looking for any incoming/outgoing files from that particular folder. I quit mapping for the day and tried to get my head clear. I watched some TV, and that's when my antivirus came up with massive pop-up and alarm sound that was only reserved for the GRANDEST of dangers to a computer. I muted my headphones and took a look at the warning that came up.
The antivirus showed a message stating that I needed to remove 14 objects immediately; Ten had a yellow alert, three had an orange, and one had a red. I looked at the list of files infected. Most were "normal" trojans, adware and the likes, but two caught my attention and made me freeze. One was called "Winlogger.Zeus.ICU ", and one called "Femalx.mdl" - that one stung my senses ablaze.
That was the file, the file of Her model. I pulled back my chair, mouth agape, and I quickly made sure to remove the files. Those two files, presumably a keylogger with a title of ICU (i.e. I see you) and that fucking model appearing at the same time is no fucking coincidence--not even including the rest of those viruses. I made sure I got rid of those viruses, uninstalled Steam and all my games for it, backed up the bare-bones level of my project without any textures or models, and I rolled back my computer to when I never started that project - March 30th.
The first thing I did with my freshly rolled back computer was install every good antivirus I knew. I did multiple scans to make sure those god damned files were removed. I even thought about smashing the USB that held those levels...I was extremely tempted to say the least, but I left it on my desk for the time being.
After nearly six hours of scanning I decided that my computer was okay, and went back to re-install everything I wanted. I even re-installed Steam, although not Underhell, nor the program for mapping, just in case this wasn't some horrendous fluke. I used my computer normally, and finally I started to feel like maybe I was safe. I went to bed a couple of hours later.
When I woke up, my computer was already on. Concerned, I looked closer, but everything appeared as it should be. I used it for a while and looked for my USB, found it and took it into my kitchen where I relentlessly smashed it to pieces with a meat tenderizer. I couldn't help but grin. I felt like I had stopped my creation (well, to be frank, someone else's creation that I made something for) from becoming even more horrible. I went to sleep, and woke up to my alarm.
Today was August the 28th and I was already late for a day out, so I quickly got ready and was about to go on my computer when I saw I was already logged on. I felt a doubtful fear and slowly crept up to my computer, as if it was going to pounce out at me. A folder called "playergroup" was opened, and a single text document was inside titled "Femalx.txt". I clicked it instantly and saw only one word:
I heard footsteps coming towards me and I felt the most dread I've ever felt in my life. I couldn't even move, I just curled up, bolted my eyes shut and squeezed my hands across my ears, shutting myself off from whatever impending horror was incoming. Something grabbed my shoulder and I heard this horrendous, blood curdling shriek wrack through my body. I didn't even realize it was coming from me until the person behind me turned me to look at them.
It wasn't her, it was a neighbor of mine. I couldn't face reality and my paranoia that had been ever increasing took hold. Maybe he was what the computer was warning...I had to run. Maybe he was the one doing the things that made me like this. I hit him and ran out onto the street, tears in my eyes. I kept seeing her every corner I took. I ran harder, nearly getting hit by passing cars multiple times, and ran farther than I'd ever ran before, so much so that I passed out just as my adrenaline wore off.
When I awoke I was in the hospital. I was shaking with fear. She could be anywhere here, and all these electronics could spell any kind of message to taunt me. I tried to get out of bed but the doctor tried to lightly tell me I'm safe, but I disregarded. I pushed him down and tried to run, but security was called. I felt a stab and then I woke up in restraints. I didn't see or hear anything. I was too stuck in my own head trying to calm down, but all I could surmount was this rapid chant of, "See no evil, hear no evil." I couldn't feel a thing. I don't even know how much time it took to get out of that state, but when I did, whatever clicked in me to lose those senses just came back. I could reason, I could feel, but I was still paranoid. I tried to disregard the doctors but all that happened was that I was made to undergo psychological evaluations.
The therapist told me that whatever I saw that made me like this induced some kind of psychosis. I don't remember giving answers but he told me that even when answering, I said I heard her and saw her. That, "She was wherever I made her not be, wherever She was never meant to even comprehend."
I don't know if I said that but he certainly sounded like he was quoting me. I just don't know. I'm a lot better now and I only see her rarely, but I've had severe sleep paralysis since. I see her a lot when waking up, and I can't even move. It's horrible but I'm getting used to it little by little. I just pretend to myself that my house is on fire and then I always regain the ability to move and she disappears. I just...I don't know how this could have fucked me up so much. My therapist told me writing it all out would help but I don't know...
In any case, whoever reads this. Just, please be careful.
Written by Leetgrain