There is a enjoyable vacation shock over on the Garry’s Mod web site known as the 12 Days of Garry’s Mod. The web page shows some wonderful Garry’s Mod creations, like “Half-Life: Full Life Consequences”—a charmingly terrible story written by a Fanfiction.internet writer named squirrelking and became a hilarious and unforgettable brief movie by YouTuber Djy1991.

You may additionally see Ross Scott’s comedy collection Civil Safety, moody sci-fi drama Shelf-Life Half 1 and Half 2, the gorgeously atmospheric 40-minute lengthy movie Haven, and several other different notable machinima highlights, all made with Garry’s Mod, the physics sandbox created by Garry Newman and Facepunch Studios method again in 2004.

It will need to have been troublesome narrowing the choice all the way down to only a dozen options, contemplating Garry’s Mod has been round for 15 years now. Alongside the way in which from free sandbox mod for Half-Life 2 to standalone recreation on Steam, it is bought tens of millions of copies, it has been used to make 1000’s of movies and webcomics, and has a whole lot of widespread mods and gamemodes created by customers, like Prop Hunt, Jailbreak, Bother in Terrorist City, and extra.

The 15 12 months anniversary is the proper time to speak in regards to the unusual legacy of Garry’s Mod, so I fired over some questions through e mail each to Garry’s Mod creator Garry Newman and Valve’s Erik Johnson. This is what they needed to say.

Origin tales

(Image credit: Facepunch)

PC Gamer: How did you come up with the name?

Garry Newman: You know, I think I kind of actually stole the name, it wasn’t my idea to name stuff after myself. At the time there was another mod called JBMod, made by a guy that went by “jb55.” So it made sense that my take on that mod would be called Garry’s Mod—because I went by the name “garry”. I probably wouldn’t have named it called Garry’s Mod if I knew where it would end up.

Garry’s Mod has been in the top 10-20 games on Steam for as long as I can remember. Tens of thousands still play it every day, but how are sales nowadays?

GN: It sells about 1.5m copies a year, and it’s sold just over 15m copies total. Which is kind of pleasing since it’s also 15 years old. Plus you know, money.

Do you recall when Valve first became aware of Garry’s Mod? What were your first thoughts about it?

Citizen 17

(Image credit: Facepunch Studios)

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Erik Johnson: The specific point in time is a little tricky to pin down. I do remember there being a pretty significant, and somewhat underground, mod community that was working off of the Half-Life 2 source code leak from 2003. While having the code for Half-Life 2 out in the wild before the game was finished wasn’t a super positive experience for the team finishing the game, it’s pretty cool to see what the mod community could get working with that unfinished codebase. It felt like Garry’s Mod grew right out of that community after Half-Life 2 shipped.

Did anyone at Valve have any idea the Source engine could be used the way it is in Garry’s Mod? Are there any tools in GMod that surprised you to see?

EJ: A lot of the identity of the gameplay of Half-Life 2 centered around physics. Even in the early days of development, most of the experiments that people were running had the physics engine at its core. So, on one hand, it wasn’t surprising that Garry started in a similar place that we did. That said, it would have been pretty hard to predict the Garry’s Mod of 2019 back in 2004.

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We’ve always been impressed by Garry’s ability to iterate on the game and roll feedback from his community into the game so well. It’s a more difficult process than it sounds, because it really comes down to navigating a constant stream of feedback, but being limited in the amount of time to get everything done. Garry has always been about as good as it gets at picking the right direction to take his game.

What’s it like to see the beloved characters from Half-Life and other Valve games being used with Garry’s Mod for machinima and comics and videos?

EJ: It’s pretty cool. Part of the process for us in shipping any of our games, but especially the single player ones, is letting go of them once they are released, and letting the community take bits and pieces of them in whatever direction they want to. It will be fun to watch what people build with the editor we’re releasing along with Half-Life: Alyx next year.

Pay to play

Paid mods are (still) a great source of ire among (some) players. When did the idea to start selling GMod on Steam come along? Was it Valve’s idea or Garry’s?

EJ: It was the early days of getting Steam built, and it was pretty clear that Garry’s Mod had a big (and growing) audience. Our philosophy back then was the same as it is today, which is that we wanted a platform that connected the people who created valuable content with the people that consumed it. It was clear that it was a perfect example of a product that would benefit from this, and so we reached out and asked him if he was interested.

Garry being able starting at building a product that he thought people would like, to where he is today, is the kind of story we’re always trying to make happen. Reducing the friction between the creator of interesting content and the consumer of it has a number of really positive side effects. It’s been cool to see it happen over the past 15 years for Garry and his team.

GN: It was about a year before we started selling it. I was emailing [Valve] to ask about something else and they mentioned that they think it’d sell well. I was like, yeah right, what a dumb idea, it’s already free—why would anyone pay for it? 

As time went by and it kept getting more popular, I thought about things I’d like to reprogram, stuff I’d like to improve and innovate on. I couldn’t justify spending a decent amount of time doing this stuff. Then it clicked that if we were going to sell the new version it could justify spending more time on it and justify people buying it rather than sticking with the free version. So then I had to get on my hands and knees and send an email to Valve where I explained that it wasn’t a dumb idea and can we do it please.

(Picture credit score: Facepunch)

Was the destructive response [to selling Garry’s Mod] worse than you thought it may be, or not as unhealthy?

So I’m pondering, fuck, I’ve introduced it’s going to be on Steam and now I’ve pissed off Valve.

Garry Newman

GN: I can’t bear in mind a lot of it—it was really one of the vital embarrassing issues that has ever occurred to me. We’d been engaged on it in secret for a number of months and the group had been getting fairly fearful. They’d acquired used to weekly updates earlier than that. So we determined to announce that we had been going to be on Steam and every thing was going to be okay. This wasn’t like saying that you just’re gonna be on Steam these days, this was when there have been about 3 video games on Steam. This was a giant deal and blew up in all places.

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Then the following morning I woke as much as an e mail from Valve, saying one thing like “It’s customary to wait until the agreements are signed before announcing.” So I’m pondering, fuck, I’ve introduced it’s going to be on Steam and now I’ve pissed off Valve—so it’s not going to be on Steam. It took me a few weeks to recuperate from that. I couldn’t take pleasure in any of the group happiness, I felt like a proper knob head. 

How did you decide on the $10 worth? After 15 years (gross sales apart) why is it nonetheless $10?

GN: I don’t suppose I ever contemplated charging extra. It was free and now it’s not, the worth needed to be low sufficient to those that they’d simply be like… yeah positive why not. It’s vital to keep in mind that earlier than Steam just about no-one purchased video games on the PC. All the things was pirated. And whereas Garry’s Mod was a multiplayer recreation—which supplied some safety from piracy—it could possibly be performed single participant too. It needed to be low-cost and simple sufficient to cease folks pirating it.

Aside from having cash from gross sales, how did promoting GMod change its growth?

GN: I believe Garry’s Mod would have died 15 years in the past if we didn’t promote it. It gave us a cause to proceed growth. Apart from that Steam clearly allowed us to replace the sport a lot simpler. Beforehand when it was free you’d obtain a zipper file from my web site with the brand new model in. This may restrict the frequency of the updates.

Again then, as a result of Steam was in its infancy, they didn’t have an automatic replace system. I needed to add the brand new builds to an FTP and e mail Valve to make them stay. Due to the time distinction this might imply {that a} patch might exit at 4 am my time, whereas I used to be in mattress. If there was a bug in it I’d be in plenty of bother once I awoke. However once more due to the time distinction I wouldn’t be capable to get a patch out till Valve had been again at their desks the following day.

Strike a pose

(Image credit: Facepunch)

What do most players do in Garry’s Mod these days? Do you know what the most popular mode or mod for it is? When is the last time you played it yourself?

GN: The roleplay gamemodes are still a huge thing, but that in itself can encompass a thousand other sub gamemodes. Between Facepunch, Rust, two kids and trying to watch 10 hours of TV every day—I don’t have much time to play nowadays. I used to feel bad about that, like a great chair maker that doesn’t like to sit on chairs. But I think it’s just that I enjoy making them a whole lot more than playing them.

Being able to pose ragdolls made Garry’s mod a great tool for comics, videos, and machinima. How did that function first come about?  

GN: A total accident. I was trying to pose ragdolls, but not by freezing their joints. I was trying to make it so they would move like the atmosphere was really thick, so they’d stay in place. The physics in Source back then weren’t as stable as they are now. You could really easily cause a crash by giving it numbers that it wasn’t expecting. I used the wrong values and it locked one of their bones in place. I made a quick pose—I think it was Kleiner giving birth. I was really excited—I immediately knew the fun everyone was going to have with this.

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I had a phone interview [with Valve] and I don’t think it took them long to realise that I didn’t know shit.

Garry Newman

What’s the biggest requested feature you get from Garry’s Mod players?

GN: The biggest thing, by about a million miles is the “Performed with Garry” achievement. It’s one of the hardest achievements to get on Steam—for obvious reasons.

Valve has hired a number of people who mod their games. Am I remembering correctly that you tried to get a job with Valve at one point?

GN: Yeah I applied for a job, I think it was before Garry’s Mod went on sale. Or might have been just after. Around that time anyway. I had a phone interview and I don’t think it took them long to realise that I didn’t know shit. I didn’t get offered a position. In retrospect it’s a good thing. Helk (Rust lead) had an interview with them too, he made it all the way to an in-office interview. They had him writing out code on a whiteboard. I can’t even code without Google—so I wouldn’t stand a chance at that.

Have you hired any people at Facepunch based on mods they’ve made in Garry’s Mod?

GN: No, it wasn’t something we were prepared for, as a company, back then. It’s something we should have been doing. I see the stuff the Tower Unite guys have managed to do after their Gmod Tower gamemodes and kick myself. It’s a great thing for them, to go out and make their own game but in an ideal world we could have made it good for all of us.

Future tense

(Picture credit score: Facepunch Studios)

Garry’s Mod remains to be being up to date, however how typically do you personally nonetheless work on Garry’s Mod?

GN: I haven’t personally labored on it for about three years. Rubat and Willox have executed a very good job of taking it off my plate. I discovered that it acquired to a spot the place something I attempted to alter I acquired yelled at by the group for breaking one thing else. So I felt prefer it’s higher to only keep it, to maintain it ticking over so the modders can do their factor. Or threat breaking 15 years value of content material.

What is the Garry’s mod mod that hasn’t occurred but, however you actually needed to occur?

GN: There’s really a ton of issues I need to do, however I don’t like to speak about it an excessive amount of. In the event you discuss stuff you need to do you don’t find yourself doing it, since you really feel such as you already did it. You get all of the constructive suggestions from it. Plus I don’t need to pull a Peter Molyneux and discuss a bunch of stuff that will get folks excited, however let all of them down when the thought finally has to collide with actuality.

(Picture credit score: Facepunch)

What is the standing of S&field, which appears like a Garry’s Mod for Unreal Engine 4. The final devblog was in 2018.

GN: We did plenty of experimentation with s&field on UE4. It’s really fairly far alongside however we determined to pause it for now. We’re hoping you’ll hear extra about it subsequent 12 months—if not it’s most likely lifeless ceaselessly.

Will Garry’s Mod nonetheless be round in one other 15 years? What is going to it appear like then?

GN: In 15 years I’ll be 52. An previous man. We’ll have the iPhone 35, Steam’s pal record will probably be its personal working system and my son would be the age I used to be once I first made GMod. It’s attainable it may be renamed Alex’s Mod and is primarily used to observe exploited/spoilt american children play with toys of their huge Youtube home. However who is aware of. We’ll maintain updating so long as folks maintain taking part in. Possibly we’ll do a sequel.

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