Portfolio | Narbacular Wrench

Narbacular Wrench

A modification for Prey ( video-game )

Role: collaborator ( programmer )
Responsibilities: Extend a videogame customization script into having more features.
Employer: none.
Duration: 2006-2007.


Prey is a videogame developed by HumanHead Studios and produced by 3DRealms. It featured a lot of unique features (back in the day), such as zones of unnatural gravity, aliens and portals. The game used IDTech4 engine which allowed users to customize their singleplayer experience as much as the developers allowed them to. For example, you could create your own weapons or edit already existing ones. A few people took a melee weapon (the wrench) and turned it into a portal-gun. This was before the game Portal was released. I had heard of Narbacular Drop and its success and was getting very excited for Portal.

After I stumbled onto a forum thread ( http://forums.3drealms.com/vb/showthread.php?t=19335 ) I had found the script for the “portal wrench”. I was going through the source code for the modification and decided to join in and contribute for fun. I added some of my own features into the modification. The best benefit of my work on this project was that it allowed me to play and experiment with spatial dimensions at a theoretical and practical level. Also it was a learning experience, since it was the first time I had worked with an engine-specific scripting language.

The development froze in the “beta phase” after Portal came out, since everyone would rather play the real game instead of the imitation.


The success of the mod is hard to track since the files were uploaded to separate websites which have removed them as it has been years since they were uploaded. There are videos which demonstrates the stages of development:

Before I took over: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDDvrovKgeM

Additions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-MUerkSXWw

Disclaimer: The name “Narbacular Wrench” was coined by the youtube user PelPix.