written by: Terrence Sellers
A Man of the People
Allyson Carneiro has been modding since 2009. His is not the sad story of a poor kid who dug a case out of the trash and had to create his first PC out of shoestring and bubblegum. He built his first mod at 22 years old more as a means of challenging himself than anything else. For him modding is a hobby that he picked up in the midst of living a normal life just like you and me. His cares, worries, and goals are no different from anyone else’s. He worries about his family’s ice cream factory and his 10 month old daughter. He worries about his country’s economy and the general direction Brazil is going in.
He is a world class modder. But if you asked him to describe himself, modder comes far down the list. Allyson did not get into modding with any delusions of grandeur or goals to be famous. He simply wanted to create things that he thought looked cool. He first discovered modding accidently while trying to buy components. The website he was searching had a gallery that he happened to notice and that inspired him to try modding his case. At the time he just wanted to try to make his own case look cooler for himself. He never could have imagined that one day he’d end up becoming one the most famous modders in Brazil.
From Vanilla to Rainbow Sherbet
Allyson’s first mod was very simple. He just wanted to add a window. But any modder will tell you that’s no simple feat for a first time mod. Today, Allyson can add a window like it’s nothing, but he remembers how hard this process once was. While this first mod wasn’t amazing it did motivate him to actively pursue entry into the Brazilian modding community in order to improve his own skills.
It took two whole years from that first window for Allyson to complete a case worth showing to the public. After months of networking, research, and experiments, he finally constructed a full case mod he could be proud of. Nothing special, but enough for him to enter it in the Campus Party Brazil beginner’s division modding competition. To his surprise, he won first place and hasn’t stopped modding since.
Every year since that first victory in 2011 he has produced an entry for the Campus Party modding competition and he plans on doing so for many years to come. For him, Campus Party is the most important modding event in the world. It has led to long lasting friendships, inspiration, and new opportunities. Each year his modding has improved because of this competition and without it he would never have joined Cooler Master’s Case Mod World Series 2016.
A Team Player
One of the things Allyson really enjoys about modding is the community, but it’s very challenging for modders in Brazil.
“Modding isn’t a big thing in Brazil. Most people here only care about what’s on the inside of the case for PC Gaming. They get the best parts they can find and put them in a plain box with no windows.”
This focus on function without form disappoints Allyson. He wants people to think of PC’s as a means of self-expression. It’s more than just a faceless box to play games on. It’s a way for people to show who they are and what they love. Even as a busy man with a child and helping run a factory, Allyson makes sure to be an active part of the Brazilian modding community. He is part of the Cooler Master Brazil modding team and goes to every modding event he can in the country. He does whatever he can to help and mentor other modders in hopes of growing the community in Brazil.
One of his favorite things about putting his mods in competitions is seeing the reactions from other people when they have a personal interest in the mod’s theme. That’s why all of his mods today have themes from pop culture references.
Allyson’s mods aren’t themed at random or just for the attention though. He only picks themes that are personally important to him. His inspiration comes from things like movies and cartoons he used to watch as a kid. One of his most popular builds was his Captain America mod because he and everyone else were so interested in the Marvel films. He had planned to do a Batman themed mod to honor one of the films, but his friend beat him to it. He doesn’t limit his themes to modern/current pop culture either. Sometimes, like in the case of the Pandora Box Pegasus, he pulls themes going all the way back to his childhood.
(Image taken from Saint Seiya)
The Recipe For Success
Allyson’s modding style has been evolving for the past seven years, but he’s now developed an established process. Before he picks out a single part, he settles on a theme. The theme can be anything but it must be something personally relevant. It’s usually based on a movie or TV show because those are the most relatable things to create mods for in his opinion. Then he does a ton of “research”.
“I must have watched Captain America eight times after I decided to do a mod based on the movie.”
He watches the work several times before making a single decision about what direction to take the mod. Then when he finally feels like he’s ready, he starts planning. Planning for Allyson is not a casual thing. It’s a long, detailed process that must be completed before a single tool, excluding a pencil, is lifted.
Allyson plans out the entire mod on paper with sketches before acquiring a single part. Every nook and cranny of the case is planned out. The case, cables, colors, and everything else are drawn in detail so he knows exactly which way to go from start to finish. If he has a new idea during the building process, he adds that to the sketch or draws an entirely new one to see how it would look. Nothing is left to chance when it comes to planning the mod’s appearance. In fact, Allyson would say that he cares almost nothing about the interior hardware of his mods in comparison to the way they look.
Allyson’s planning process is key to his success. It allows him to focus on the actual modding and not get bogged down with constantly new and changing ideas while trying to work. He follows the plan like directions for building furniture and doesn’t have to second guess himself. Most importantly, it lets him know when a mod is finally done. There is no “is this done yet?” moment for him. He knows exactly when his mods are finished and he doesn’t have to debate with himself over it.
Anime Fans Make Great Modders
Like many of us who grew up in the 90’s, when Allyson was a kid he was a big anime fan. One of his favorite shows to watch was Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac. This show centered on the character Seiya and his magical Pegasus armor. In the show, the armor is stored in a big silver box which also happens to be the shape of a PC case. So Allyson decided to honor his beloved anime by recreating the box as a PC case mod. This was a very important mod for Allyson. He wasn’t just creating something to put in a competition. He was bringing physical form to one of his beloved childhood memories. It had to be great.
The Pandora Pegasus Box was no simple feat for Allyson. He honestly didn’t know if it was going to work out the way he wanted it to.
“The Pegasus head on the side was the most challenging part. I knew what I wanted it to look like but I didn’t know if it was going to work because I’d never done anything quite like that before.”
Thankfully the head of Pegasus worked out great. Not only Allyson, but everyone was happy with it because this mod ultimately won the people’s choice award in the Tower Build division of Cooler Master’s Case Mod World Series 2016.
Allyson was very surprised that this mod was so successful. When he first started it he had no intention of entering it into the Case Mod World Series. He was building it for the annual Campus Party Brazil competition and was later told about Cooler Master’s competition and asked to enter.
In many ways, winning the people’s choice category is somewhat more fulfilling for Allyson. It means that his mod spoke to the people on a personal level. It means that his beloved childhood cartoon was/is loved by many and that through his mod they all were reminded of some great childhood memories. That’s the point of all of Allyson’s mods today.
(Image taken from Saint Seiya)
Hope For The Future
Allyson is dedicated to being a permanent member of the Brazilian modding community. While he is busy with work and parenting, he is also committed to producing at least one mod a year for Campus Party Brazil.
“I need to do a project every year.”
Because of his position in the modding community and how small modding is in Brazil, he feels obligated to be an active part of it because of how few local modders there are. He says fans of his have travelled from the opposite side of the country just to meet him and ask for advice. But he doesn’t believe this is because of how talented he is. When asked, he ranks himself as a middle grade modder. He believes that the only reason he has such prestige is that modding in Brazil is not yet properly established.
Allyson is disappointed in Brazil, in terms of modding access. He says that because of heavy customs laws it is extremely difficult for people to get the parts and tools they need at an affordable price. Most of the necessary items need to be imported from other countries and the process can be very expensive. This has left a huge gap in modding access for PC builders in Brazil, which Allyson considers a huge problem.
“Brazil is falling behind the rest of the modding world because we can’t get the newer parts and tools developed in other, wealthier countries.”
Allyson hasn’t lost hope though. He does believe modding is growing in Brazil and he is a part of that. He hopes for Brazil to eventually have a plentiful modding community with world renown modders who create at the level of artists like Bill Owen and Ronnie Hara, also a Brazilian modder.
While the current state of modding in Brazil looks bleak, Allyson has not given up and he will continue modding and doing whatever he can to assist other modders in developing their talents. He claims his next mod will probably be Dragon Ball themed so obviously keep an eye out for that one.
(Image taken from Dragon Ball)