|Buckle your seatbelt, Dorothy…|
|This article is classified long as fuck.|
Bavarian drama pertains to a mod series called “Bavarian Saga” created by a bunch of Czechs. Swankest was the idea guy behind the mods and the main culprit of the entire drama, with headlesscyborg and Sabatu being the other main actors. Coincidentally, the abbreviation of the series name is a good way of summarizing this entire conundrum.
|As a preface, it is important to remember that Swankest absolutely cannot mod, not even basic mapping. He bosses people around to make mods based on his crap writing, and then promptly claims to be the main creator of the entire thing.|
The saga largely revolves around Swankest’s awful personality and his abusive project management (if it can be even called that) on the “Castle Wackersberg” mod. After a troublesome development cycle full of unhealthy pressure and crunching, Swankest wanted to reuse headlesscyborg’s maps in a new mod. He declined, but Swankest decided to do it anyway. Cyborg then made a public announcement in which he denounced the project and implied that Swankest is not the sole owner of the entire mod series. Swankest’s obsession to be seen as a mod auteur made him go nuts and write a 6-page smear piece (“Uvaha_EN.odt”) where he tries to paint himself as the victim. Instead, he accidentally revealed a lot of his awful actions and character traits.
The events were reconstructed based on multiple accounts from both sides and dozens of screenshots collected by Swankest’s opponents. While an honest attempt at making sense of this fucking mess was made, certain parts might be missing. Combined with Swankest’s unreliable narration and unintelligible rambling, his point of view is hard to reconstruct or justify.
Around 2019, Swankest and Sabatu came into contact. Sabatu ended up letting Swankest write a few diary entries for his “Sanguis: The Twins” mod. Eventually, Swankest touched up most of the writing in the mod, although the story remained the same. Sabatu was ok with leaving the writer’s chair, since he admits to not being the best at it.
The two started working on “Madhouse 1”, where Swankest was the idea guy and Sabatu was responsible for mapping and scripting. Eventually they were joined by headlesscyborg, whom they both knew. With Cyborg in a similar role to Sabatu, they made Madhouse 1-3 and “Blackwater’s Blasphemy”.
The trio also created a Discord server called “HPL Crew” which was their development hub and a public FG fan server. Swankest would write down what the other two said during voice calls like a complete psychopath just so he could quote them in later dramas. Note that at the time there was no drama yet, which shows what kind of a person Swankest is.
Swankest’s cotton plantation
For unknown reasons, the next mod in the saga, Castle Wackersberg was made without major contributions from Sabatu.
Already at this stage it was obvious that the development was and would be really challenging, because headlesscyborg had his vision and SwankestCZ had it too.
Throughout development, Swankest proved to be an awful project lead with many toxic behaviors emerging. According to Swankest, the first half of development went calmly before problems started. Before we dive into finer detail, let’s see headlesscyborg’s general account of the development cycle.
First, we see Swankest pushing for map expansion in a naive belief that bigger is always better:
We started making Wackersberg, Swankest had a lot of great ideas. It was ok, he had ideas like an elevator. Why not. Great entrance hall. Why not. Then his expectations started going way higher and higher. Not 1 elevator but 3 of them. Extremely big storage.
Second, he has zero concern that he is running his co-worker into the ground:
I was pretty much doing nothing but scripting. I had no life at that time. I sacrificed everything to that mod. One of the voice actors, vasik2 once told me (he was with us in voice chat the whole time) “it seems like you have 2 jobs, not just the one you’re paid for in real life”.
Swankest also nagged and coerced cyborg into doing more than he felt comfortable with:
While Swankest’s idea were more crazy, my motivation to keep going was disappearing. I started arguing that I don’t really want to create such big areas, use this music and do this and that. He always started using his sad voice, trying to change my mind for an hour. If he failed, he started doing the same the next day. I eventually agreed to get rid of the presure but the presure kept going. My disagreegment wasn’t accepted. I started being pissed off by all the crazy ideas, it took him a minute to think about them but it took me tens of hours to make them.
I was tired, demotivated and pressured. I started doing things my own way. He went crazy, didn’t accept it. Started being more and more offensive about things like [the fact] that I changed double quotes to single quotes or changed something in design to avoid bugs.
I once changed music and he kept talking about it for the next two weeks, pissed off. And I shall mention that I was the creator with the responsibility for bugs, technical functionality, even licenses. He had no respect for that - let’s include licenced music, right? Who cares if headlesscyborg will one day recive a letter from a publisher asking for thousands of dollars.
Cyborg somehow survived all this abuse without quitting - assumedly not wanting his hard work to go to waste. The mod came out and had 23 maps with approximately 4 hours of gameplay. It is an obscene amount of work to be made by a single modder in the 5 months1 that it took to be made (for comparison, other solo mods of similar length with way less maps can take 2 years to make).
|Swankest’s idea of project management|
The inciting incident
After a period of calm, Swankest started pestering Sabatu to make a DLC2 for “Castle Wackersberg”, presumably because Sabatu was more obedient and Swankest burnt himself on Cyborg. Development started without asking Cyborg for permission. Later Swankest did ask, but Cyborg only agreed upon the conditions that the mod would not be set in Castle Wackersberg and that the references would be kept to a minimum.
Swankest would later argue, somewhat rightfully, that he should be allowed to continue the story as he wishes fit. Additionally, he mentions:
It bothered him that this DLC was being created without him and that it could damage Castle Wackersberg’s main game.
It is unknown why he thought so. Perhaps it was Swankest’s writing skill getting progressively more verbose or Sabatu’s lesser scripting skill.
Regardless of being justified or not, the agreement was made, but Swankest would push the line. At first only reusing characters, but then he pushed to reuse Cyborg’s maps.
I disagreed. Sabatu disagreed. Our style is different. Nobody wanted to do it.
Swankest insisted on developing the DLC even though headlesscyborg disagreed.
(SwankestCZ: I don’t care about that idiot anymore)
Because SwankestCZ wrote the plot so he can do whatever he wants with it, right?
So i made the statement “There’s no DLC to Wackersberg considered official” on HPL Crew. He took that as a personal attack because I said that such DLC could potentionally ruin the main mod.
Apparently Cyborg also wrote that “working on the Bavarian Saga was his biggest mistake” in one of the main chats of HPL Crew.
|The announcement was also put in a few other places.|
The statement sent Swankest into full chimp-out mode, he considered it an insult and a humiliation, presumably because of the implication of ruining CW. An additional, hidden reason for this is Swankest’s delusional belief that he has full rights to the mods in the series. In other words, Cyborg exercising his right to the mods by vetoing the DLC angered Swankest because he wants to be the main authority on Bavarian Saga.
Discord arguments caused by this weren’t the end of it though. Swankest was so pissed that he wrote a 6-page smear-piece against headlesscyborg, the infamous Uvaha_EN document, and sent it to over 50 people.
Full text: Uvaha_EN.pdf
Warning - this unholy pamphlet is a manipulated version of events full of vitriolic insults.
By trying to smear cyborg, Swankest revealed a ton about his own shitty behavior. Meanwhile pretty much everything that he pins against Cyborg is either understandable behavior or a gross exaggeration.
The following is a shortened, albeit still long, rundown of Uvaha’s contents.
Description of the problem: Difficult and sometimes impossible cooperation in the development of mof with headlesscyborg, who consistently did not keep promises, did things behind my back without my knowledge (as opposed to the original agreement), blackmailed me and threatened to end mod development due to pettiness or emotional decompensation.
- “Start of development”
- Swankest describes how cyborg liked his writing and that they agreed to mutually accept changes to their initial plans, which were mainly made by Swankest.
Notably, he also designed gameplay, levels and puzzles, which he has no idea how to scope since he has never done them himself.
For the cyborg, creating some levels was extremely challenging, but he managed everything up to the Storage hall level. That’s when the problems came.
- “Problems in development”
- Cyborg accepts to make a series of puzzles. They turn out to be too difficult and he decides to scrap them.
Then he takes a few days of well-deserved break, which Swankest treats like a crime:
He was missing for a few days, he was involved in playing other games and Wackersberg was not interested in him.
- “The second half of development”
- Cyborg begins to show his fatigue and starts questioning Swankest’s creative choices, mainly his verbose writing.
Apparently he also threatened to delete the mod a few times.
I had to constantly endure the terror of his unstable emotions, making thousands of concessions so as not to accidentally upset him. In addition, during this period Cyborg consumed excessive amounts of alcohol, and in the evening voice chat we witnessed his drunken excesses. Once there were even terrible blows, probably beating him at home in a fit of aggression with furniture.
These awful accusations were complete horseshit. As Cyborg clarified, “Excessive alcohol consumption” was drinking beer while playing games, and the “drunken excesses” were sounds of cooking.
- “He didn’t follow many of the things we agreed on.”
- This is a list of the crucial changes Cyborg made that completely wrecked Swankest’s vision:
- Changing a level soundtrack
- Not adding a room to a level
- “Fiddling with the style” – Slightly changing level layouts, like using a niche instead of a room
- Refusing to add a chase segment
- Removing a note instead of fixing its placement – presumably an accident
- Making a boat ride too slow
- Being insulted by people insulting his voice acting (one – that’s normal, and two, what’s the point of bringing this up???)
- Adding a voice effect which wasn’t planned by Swankest
- Refusing to add secret content to some levels (which is the only fair complaint here because the mod advertises having those in all levels)
- Causing Swankest to combine several notes into one. Woe is me!
- Adding obscene jokes to a secret file, which was something that they already did in a mod before. However Swankest didn’t want to do it again and got pissed about it despite not announcing his change of heart in the first place.
- “End of development”
- Swankest complains about having to shorten his unbearably verbose writing. Because Swankest is a bonehead and can’t be reasoned with, Cyborg had to force his hand a bit, which of course upsets Wankfest.
Cyborg was supposed to translate the mod from Czech to English. This turned out to be a very hard task because of the ton of text that ended up being made as well as Swankest
abusing archaic language. As any sane person would do, Cyborg refused to this all alone. Swankest then complains that Cyborg first approved his texts but wanted to shorten them when they piled up too much.
- “His contradictory, obsessive, paranoid and otherwise irrational statements and actions”
- Basically a collection of seemingly contradictory statements from Cyborg, one before and one after he changed his mind.
A lot of it repeats the already made points.
Agreement: You come up with mod, story and texts and I level design - In the end, he constantly interfered in the final form of the texts (often without my knowledge). He blackmailed me by declaring that he would not publish the mod in this form
Once again, Swankest cannot be reasoned with and is pissed when he has to be forced into compliance.
He constantly accused me of making text corrections of outdated lang files, while I have a lot of experience with translations with this work, which he knows.
Like most modders, neither of the people involved know how to use version control. Swankest denies it but it is likely that he indeed used outdated files. Considering his fervent distaste for Cyborg’s edits, it is also likely that Swankest actually kept his own version of the script and tried sending it to Cyborg to overwrite his edits.
Another complaint is Cyborg changing double quotes of inventory items to single quotes. This admittedly was useless meddling since it’s a matter of preference and since single quotes are rather unpopular.
|“When an illogical situation was resolved and I presented my arguments to confront the cyborg with the irrationality of his claim, he often ran out of arguments, and his only argument was that I was trying to make myself smart.”|
- “Events after the release of Castle Wackersberg mod”
- Partial account of the issues with DLC development described before. Swankest fails to mention that it would be developed by Sabatu, making this paragraph unintelligible without external context.
- “The culmination of the problem”
- Cyborg retracts his support for the DLC altogether. There is also a discussion of copyright laws which was analyzed closer here.
|“in the HPL Crew group, I was publicly gossiped about what a bad person I was, who treated him badly when I decided to continue the mod.”|
|Gee I wonder why|
- “His further violations of the word and excesses”
- Mostly petty bullshit unworthy of bringing up. There is one major accusation though:
He sent zoophilic porn to a 13-year-old boy on the phone. Classmates found the boy’s forgotten phone and saw the content of the video, so it was a huge disgrace and psychological trauma for the boy.
Once again this is debunked by Cyborg:
I sent that to a NSFW channel, it was a picture because we were talking about [sexuality] with a few people and the 13 old boy opened it himself the next day on his phone, leaving it on his desk. […] This so-called “kid” is now 15 or 16 years old, [has] no trauma at all, we keep playing Dota almost every day and know each other well enough to be a good team in games.
Still though, what the fuck.
- “Headlesscyborg personality structure”
- This is the part where Swankest gives Cyborg a pseudo-psychological evaluation. It’s a bunch of medical mumbo-jumbo with some of the most infuriating parts of the whole document. It is impossible to summarize because basically each sentence is a unique insult.
As a person with a psychological education, I know very well what I am talking about. In addition, I have seen a lot of similar people in my life
Reportedly, Swankest’s “psychological education” is attending the studies for 1-2 years and not finishing them. Also holy shit, imagine Swankest as a psychotherapist. I’d rather not live in a world where someone like that worked in the field.
- “Reason for this consideration”
- Swankest presents his reason for writing the document: “aggressive behavior of headlesscyborg on the Discord server HPL Crew”. Additionally he insults Cyborg a few more times.
He also drops this absolute gem of a sentence here:
No one is perfect, except for me.
- “Other aspects of headalesscyborg’s personality”
- More slanderous insults. He says that Sabatu is similarly bad as Cyborg, but Cyborg is worse. For some reason he also thanks Cyborg for help on other projects.
- Some hardly related accusations about Cyborg writing troll reviews and taking part in arguments on alt-accounts.
I declare that everything written here is pure truth. ~ Swankest CZ
As a postscriptum, Swankest insults Cyborg’s voice acting. He claims Cyborg considers it “good”, despite the fact that after the VA rececived negative feedback Cyborg deleted it as asked.
|Wankfest explaining how he is the victim in his scheme of exploiting someone’s free work|
The contents of Uvaha can be roughly split into two categories. The first one is complaints about headlesscyborg not being a perfect robot for creating mods.
Swankest considers Cyborg a hypocrite because at first he liked his texts, but then wanted to shorten them when their volume got out of hand. In fact, he often brings the argument “according to the original agreement”, treating a loose plan for the mod as a contract written in stone.
While it is not common knowledge, game development is never a process that can be fully planned upfront. There are always things which emerge mid-development that require rectifying or making major changes to fix. Very often there is a need to cut material, for example because certain ideas turn out to be unviable.
In other words, Swankest’s expectation to do everything he initially imagined is delusional. His refusal to alter his vision is so severe that he can’t be reasoned with; Cyborg often had to stoop down to threatening quitting development to get anywhere.
Speaking of which, Swankest’s complaints about mod deletion or headlesscyborg quitting are rather overblown. Swankest very likely kept an archive of dev builds, and at the very least probably had the latest one copied to his game for testing. As such, deletion wasn’t much of a threat. While Cyborg’s quitting would likely mean that he would prohibit the use of his maps, Swankest’s work and plans would still be reusable. He could ask another modder to remake the mod and he wouldn’t have to move a finger aside from overseeing development again. In this context, posing as a victim because of these likely empty threats is somewhat pathetic.
The next conclusion from Uvaha is that Swankest completely doesn’t understand the idea of team work. He expects even the tiniest changes to be consulted with him. As such, he treats his teammate not as a colleague but as a tool. Refusing to trust coworkers is a very bad practice because it creates bottlenecks in the workflow and stops them from expressing potentially important feedback.
To add insult to injury, Swankest has zero respect for other people’s time and effort, or work-life balance in general.
He doesn’t think there is anything wrong with expecting someone to do a task which turned out to be way more complicated than initially agreed (i.e. the English translation).
He also piles additional work on Cyborg and expects him to take it
like a slave without questioning it.
Furthermore, Swankest makes these requests without acknowledging the already gargantuan amount of work Cyborg did.
When Cyborg objected to things, Swankest employed manipulation and immense pressure to force Cyborg into working more.
Finally, Swankest considers taking breaks lazy – he pressured Cyborg to work on the mod for long hours despite having a day job.
The second category of Uvaha contents is pure smear material. Endless pseudo-medical insults, untrue claims and bringing up unrelated bad behavior – they all underline Swankest’s real reasons for creating Uvaha. It was not explaining the CW DLC drama and proving his right for developing the DLC (not that he even claimed that). It was just a plain and simple, malicious payback against Cyborg for not acting like Swankest wanted. And trying to once again convince everyone that Swankest is the one and only, true author of the Bavarian Saga – this time by bringing the other creator down.
Benefit of doubt
Playing the devil’s advocate for a moment, it is understandable that Swankest was frustrated by questionable changes made without asking. Some of the changes were indeed pointless. It is hard to sympathize with this though because of Swankest’s much worse behavior on the project.
His claim that he should be allowed to continue the story as he sees fit also seems correct and headlesscyborg admittedly shouldn’t have opposed it. However, Swankest undermined his argument by insisting to reuse content from CW. In movies and games it is common to remake material from previous entries when similar issues arise, but this option didn’t seem to have been brought up. Anyhow, Cyborg’s objection doesn’t exactly justify writing Uvaha.
Swankest makes multiple claims about headlesscyborg’s unruly behavior on Discord. However, given Swankest’s track record of making such claims, they are likely extremely exaggerated and the evidence is long gone. It is likely true though that Cyborg indeed acted like a bundle of mischief to some extent.
Swankest thanks Cyborg for multiple modding favors on other projects and praises his modding skill. This proves he does have some appreciation for headlesscyborg’s work, even if it’s late, gets lost in insults and doesn’t address the CW workload.
We really tried to find more sympathetic things about Swankest’s actions, but this is all we could muster.
After Swankest’s document uvaha_eng I practically cut him off. It took about a week of not talking to him because what he did was too much. – Sabatu
Soon after the Uvaha incident, Sabatu made a few cosmetic changes (channel renaming, merging admin roles) to their HPL Crew server, which sent Swankest into another fit of rage. As the problems with “Castle Wackersberg”, this was caused by Swankest’s unhealthy need for control:
I made a serious and unforgivable mistake. I didn’t consult SwankestCZ and that was the last straw for him. – Sabatu
Sabatu doesn’t mention though that Swankest got bumped down to the role of a moderator without justification (although it’s understandable they wouldn’t want someone who writes an Uvaha in power). Additionally Swankest was annoyed by the fact that Sabatu banned alt accounts on the server. Lol.
Because at this point Swankest was absolutely convinced he is the victim of the entire situation, he burned the last bridge. He created his own Discord server and funneled HPL Crew users there, including asking them to leave HPL Crew. HPL Crew understandably had tons of rivalry with the new server (FG Community Center).
Main article: Czech Wars
The Czech Wars drama went on parallel to the next events in the Bavarian Drama, with both dramas creating a feedback loop which further antagonized the two parties involved.
|Some more context on why Swankest made FGCC.|
Full text: La Bruta
As if Uvaha wasn’t enough, Swankest would later write even more smear material and post it on a dedicated Discord channel. The volume of this writing was absolutely insane, as it contained 36 or possibly more “chapters”, a few dozen or a few hundred words each. He eventually realized he looked like a complete psychopath and deleted the channel, however screens of it survived.
La Bruta gives additional insight into the situation, as well as secondary confirmation of the events.
It contains a larger amount of somewhat impartial accounts of events than Uvaha. It also continues with the usage of psychological insults. The texts mostly pertain to analysis of Sabatu’s petty behavior on Discord.
|My articel is unfinished so do you understand that|
|La Bruta will take a long time to analyze, so for now it was only skimmed through and will be dealt with in the future.|
Sad attempts at continuing the saga
Needless to say, at this point any further collaboration was out of the question. However, Swankest very much wanted to continue being a mod saga auteur. He still couldn’t follow basic instructions and did not get anywhere with learning how to mod though. It is probably bold to even assume that he tried.
What he did do instead was look for other modders to slave under his command. Unfortunately to him, everyone left in the community either disliked him with varying intensity or was busy with their own projects. Or maybe his acquaintances just weren’t willing to work with someone who publishes things like Uvaha. As a result, Swankest found some newbies who made some crap which he somehow managed to fit into the BS story. The disparity between this mod and the previous ones of course had to be addressed:
This is a very simple mod that you can finish in 5 minutes, which doesn’t aim to become a top mod. ~SwankestCZ coping really hard
Despite consisting of only a single entry, Swankest claims that the mod is a part of a series:
BAVARIAN TALES Originally intended series of short mods from the world of the Bavarian saga, of which only the mini-mode Return to Home was completed. Mod Silver Sword (Castle Wackersberg prequel) was not completed.
|Even Swankest orbiters didn’t like this garbage.|
There was also an unfinished mod called “Afterlife” which was being made by Sabatu and “was another massive mod” (because of course) “that was about finding the legendary wackersberg armor.” As everything that Swankest does, it was meant to become a series. The details about when the development started are murky, but it can be assumed that the project ended abruptly after the Uvaha_EN incident. According to Swankest, the mod “has not been preserved”. This is bullshit, because actually Sabatu took his maps and decided to create his own ending to his mods - Madhouse 4: Afterlife. The mod is on indefinite hiatus.
Swankest wanted to make Madhouse 4 himself, as well as Sanguis 2 but could not find any poor sod gullible enough to make them for him. It was all just wishful thinking and no further attempts at modding were actually made. Swankest still hasn’t learned how to play with Legos.
The Battle of ModDB
This is the video of the true original version of the mod. The version that should be rploaded in the future to ModDB and declared as original will in fact a modification of the original version, which differs significantly from the original version. The modification will contain a forcibly imported new story and texts of significantly lower quality than in the original. I only point this out so as not to confuse players.
~SwankestCZ, confusing the players
After much hostility, the hate towards Swankest was so high that Sabatu and Cyborg decided to get rid of Swankest’s influence and publish their own versions of their mods.
Actually the intention was not to rekame but what I would call DeSwankest the mods. – Sabatu
The main idea was to fix the bloated writing without affecting the mod content itself. In Sabatu’s words:
To shorten those brutally long diaries ( which I I cyborg pointed out to him from the beginning that players would just read and read.)
Instead of releasing updates, they removed the original mods from ModDB. While it’s understandable they wanted to get reviews for the new versions, this was catastrophic in terms of preserving player reactions to Swankest’s creative vision.
The new versions of the mods initially contained a bunch of shit-talking against Swankest:
I removed all texts and offensive quotes and easter eggs against SwankestCZ – Sabatu in the Revisited versions of the mods
Swankest tried to push the original mod versions on moddb but it didn’t work because we agreed with moddb that unless both parties agree no one can upload the original mods on moddb, which was a win for me and cyborg. – Sabatu
Instead, Swankest resorted to creating a Discord server where he links the original versions on 3rd party websites such as Mega or MediaFire (most of which are dead).
The server is a good source of information about Swankest’s approach to authorship. Swankest to this day continues to pose himself as the main creator of the series.