I'm Catsy. If you're reading this, there's a good chance you've either googled one of my creative works, or followed a link from one of them. If you're curious about the things I create, you'll probably find what you're looking for here.
I've been creating content on the Internet and in a variety of media since the early 1990s, most of which has been published under the pseudonym "Catspaw" or derivatives thereof. Over time that name evolved into the diminutive form "Catsy", a nickname by which many of my friends--and most people online--still know me.
My real name isn't hard to find; I've used it here and there when I can't use a pseudonym. All the same, I try to keep at least a veneer of separation between personal and professional, insofar as that is even possible for someone who's had an Internet presence for nearly 30 years--so for search engine purposes, you won't see it appear directly on this site.
Ayashi.net began in 1999 as a home to the fan translation project I started for the Ayashi no Ceres manga and anime, hence the name. Eventually my interest in that series waned, and I repurposed the domain as a personal site for hosting links to things I wanted to share with friends. Since 2012 it has primarily served as a home for supplementary content related to Fairy Dance of Death, a fan fiction story set in an AU version of the Sword Art Online universe.
Although I used to put a great deal of time and effort into designing flashy, artistic layouts for the old Ayashi.net, these days I prefer the simplicity and ease of maintenance that comes with utterly basic, bare-bones HTML handwritten in a text editor. I'm capable of far more complex work, especially once I refresh myself on a given language or IDE--it's just time and energy I'd prefer to direct elsewhere.
While I wrote some fanfic back in the very early-mid 1990s, it is unlikely that any of it survives apart from hardcopies of decades-old fanzines with tiny distributions. Most of what I'm known for are works set in the Sword Art Online universe, particularly Fairy Dance of Death. With thousands of readers across the world, and a unique conlang (constructed language) for the magic system named Majutsugo, it is one of the most popular and well-known stories in that fandom.
I group these together because they were all part of the same creative era, roughly spanning 2006 to 2012. Originally most of my Lego creations were sci-fi models posted on the now-defunct Classic Space Forum, which was named after the original Lego Space theme first released in 1978. By the time CSF died, I had moved on to hosting images on my Flickr homepage, which became the home for all of my subsequent photography.
Photography grew out of a need to take better pictures of my Lego models, and the Lego hobby itself evolved when I discovered an aftermarket accessory maker called BrickArms, by Will Chapman, with whom I collaborated for a time. I had previously dabbled in painting and customization of tabletop wargaming miniatures and terrain, and I realized I could bring those two hobbies together by applying what I knew of modeling techniques to customizing BrickArms and other Lego creations. Some of these remain, to this day, among my personal favorite works.
However, my life and physical limitations changed in ways that meant I no longer had the workspace for these hobbies or the ability to spend hours on miniature work, and when my passion for writing reignited in late 2012, I had to largely put this era behind me. I still have most of my Lego and modeling supplies in storage, so it's not impossible that I could return to it at some point. Either way, I am enormously proud of many of the things I created.
In my late teens I was already spending most of my time on BBSes, or Bulletin Board Systems--an early online social scene in the 80s and 90s wherein users would use a computer with a modem to place direct phone calls to someone else's computer. The other computer would be set up with software to automatically answer the phone, providing a social space with discussion forums and games.
One of the most popular such games was TradeWars 2002, for which I began authoring utilities and add-ons that let SysOps (BBS admins) customize their games by editing ship stats or other game constants, spawning new planets, or generating random events and missions for players. Before I was out of high school, I'd begun selling shareware licenses for this software. Though I moved on a few years later, it's probably no exaggeration to say that this experience changed the course of my life both creatively and professionally.
In the mid-90s I dabbled in authoring community maps for Doom/Doom2, a hobby I briefly picked up again in the mid-00s in the modern sourceports of that game, e.g. ZDoom/Doomsday/Risen3D. While most of these were just idle fun, I was very proud of "Stein und Stahl", which was MAP25 on the Congestion 1024 megawad, a challenge series for mappers to create a compact level that fit entirely within 1024x1024 game units. It is balanced for a UV pistol start, for those who know what that means.
Many years later, after the release of Portal 2's Perpetual Testing Initiative, I took a deep dive into creating community maps for that game, both in the game's built-in Puzzle Maker as well as more advanced work in Valve's "Hammer" editor. My best work in that medium was the Moonbase Luna-C map series, set on the moon with low-gravity puzzles. Although released over a decade ago, it remains to this date a 5-star-rated map collection on Steam, and has been enjoyed by thousands of Portal 2 players.
Over the years I've created a large number of game modifications for my own personal use, and I'm sure there are some still floating around out there that I've handed out to friends or uploaded to one archive or another. However, I'm currently only keeping tabs on what I create for Stalker: Anomaly, posted on Moddb as CatspawMods.
Although I started my Youtube channel nearly ten years ago merely to post some convention videos, over time I've become increasingly interested in content creation for my favorite video games. I did a test stream of Subnautica in VR for some friends on Twitch back in 2020, and I'll link that channel if I ever again do anything else with it.
In late 2022, other friends began encouraging me to record some of my gameplay for Stalker: Anomaly. Anomaly is a fan-made full conversion of the then-three S.T.A.L.K.E.R. survival FPS games set in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone, made by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World. Since I was taking it a bit more seriously, I rebranded my channel as Catspaw Adventures. I don't expect to pay any bills with it, but it's a fun diversion that keeps me fresh on video and image editing skills.
In the mid-1990s I began writing tracked music--initially in Scream Tracker 3, and then in Impulse Tracker. Two friends of mine, who then went by Skyrender and Dream Scythe, also wrote music in the same format, and along with another friend we formed a short-lived band called Obsidian Dream. Although the music was composed electronically, it spanned a variety of genres.
Although we did release a CD in 1998, most of my music source files were regrettably lost a long time ago, but the pre-CD versions released on EFNet #trax (old tracker IRC channel) are probably online in some demoscene FTP archive or another. I remain proud of Sorrow's Triumph, co-written with the two aforementioned friends, which is posted on my Youtube channel.
But it will do.
If you need to get in touch me, I'm variously reachable on most of the above platforms, depending on how you came to my work.