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Garry's Mod

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Garry's Mod
Garry's Mod logo.svg
Developer(s)Facepunch Studios
Publisher(s)Valve
Designer(s)Garry Newman
Programmer(s)Garry Newman
EngineSource
Platform(s)
Release
  • Microsoft Windows
  • 29 November 2006
  • Mac OS X
  • 23 September 2010
  • Linux
  • 5 June 2013
Genre(s)Sandbox
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Garry's Mod is a 2006 sandbox game developed by Facepunch Studios and published by Valve. The base game mode of Garry's Mod has no set objectives and provides the player with a world in which to freely manipulate objects. Other game modes, notably Trouble in Terrorist Town, are created by other developers as mods and are installed separately, by means such as the Steam Workshop. Garry's Mod was created by Garry Newman as a mod for Valve's Source game engine and released in December 2004, before being expanded into a standalone release that was published by Valve in November 2006. Ports of the original Microsoft Windows version for Mac OS X and Linux followed in September 2010 and June 2013, respectively. As of September 2021, Garry's Mod has sold more than 20 million copies.

Gameplay[edit]

The player character (right) positioning characters from Team Fortress 2 on a couch using the physics gun

Garry's Mod is a physics-based sandbox game that, in its base game mode, has no set objectives. The player is able to spawn non-player characters, ragdolls, and props, and interact with them by various means.[1] Using the "physics gun", ragdolls and props can be picked up, rotated, and frozen in place.[2][3] The individual limbs of ragdolls can also be manipulated.[4] The "tool gun" is a multi-purpose item for tasks such as welding and constraining props together, and altering the facial expressions of ragdolls.[2]

User-created content[edit]

Garry's Mod includes the functionality to modify the game by developing scripts written in the Lua programming language.[5] Notable mods (known as "addons") include Spacebuild, Wiremod, Elevator: Source, DarkRP, Prop Hunt, and Trouble in Terrorist Town.[6] Specialised servers, known as Fretta servers, rotate between custom game modes every fifteen minutes.[7] Garry's Mod version 12 introduced the "Toybox" section, through which the player could browse and install user-created mods. This was replaced by support for the Steam Workshop in version 13.[8]

Fretta Contest and Trouble in Terrorist Town[edit]

In late 2009, Facepunch launched the "Fretta Contest", a competition in which people were to develop Garry's Mod game modes using the proprietary Fretta programming framework, with the winning game mode to be added to the base game.[9] The winner of this contest was Trouble in Terrorist Town (TTT), which was added to the game in July 2010, alongside another mode, Dogfight: Arcade Assault.[9][10] TTT assigns players to three groups: Traitors, Detectives, and Innocents, similar to the party game Mafia. Detectives are known to all players, whereas Traitors are only known to other Traitors and otherwise appear as Innocents. While Traitors attempt to eliminate all other players, Innocents and Detectives need to co-operate to identify and eliminate all Traitors. To do the latter, Detectives are given special equipment, such as DNA scanners that can trace a dead player's killer.[6][11]

GMod Tower[edit]

In July 2009, four developers working under the name "PixelTail Games" opened a Garry's Mod server called GMod Tower. GMod Tower was a network of servers, designed as a social media platform for users to play minigames with friends and socialise in a hub area. Within hours of the server's opening, the website for GMod Tower reached two million views. GMod Tower temporarily shut down between January 2012 and April that year.[12] PixelTail later expanded GMod Tower into Tower Unite, a standalone game that replaced GMod Tower upon its early access release in April 2016.[12][13]

Machinima[edit]

Garry's Mod has been used as the basis for machinima. One of the more notable examples is Half-Life: Full Life Consequences, which is based on a fan fiction set in the Half-Life universe, penned in 2008 by a user named Squirrelking.[14][15] YouTube user Djy1991 used Garry's Mod to animate the fan fiction, using literal interpretations of some of the work's typographical errors and awkward grammar.[14]

Development and release[edit]

Garry's Mod was created by the video game programmer Garry Newman. He started developing games under the studio name Facepunch Studios after dropping out of college, at the time out of his parents' house.[9] He did this as a hobby, simultaneous to his occupation as a PHP programmer for a dating website. He was later fired when he launched his own dating website.[9][16] While developing his first game, Facewound, Garry's Mod became a side-project of his as a mod for the Source game engine and, principally, the game Half-Life 2.[9][17] Newman soon found more enjoyment in developing Garry's Mod than in maintaining Facewound, so development on Facewound was mostly halted (and put on indefinite hiatus in 2004) for him to focus on Garry's Mod.[9] He stated that, at the time, his skills in computer programming were not advanced enough to create a full Source-based game and he resorted to the mod format.[18] The first iteration of the mod, version 1, was released on 24 December 2004.[5][19] Initial feedback was polarised, with some players criticising the mod for its similarity to an existing mod, JBMod. However, the increasing positive reception led Newman to continue development.[9] Newman did not recognise that the game was gaining in popularity until he set up an online forum for it.[18] Through 2004 and 2005, Newman released several updated versions of Garry's Mod, adding new features and culminating in version 9.0.4 on 27 November 2005.[5][20] Newman's one-man operation grew to a team of multiple people for a remake of the mod as a standalone game.[9]

Valve, the developers of Source and Half-Life 2, contacted Newman to suggest a commercial, standalone release of the mod through their digital distribution service Steam, which Newman initially rejected.[9] Valve and Facepunch later struck a publishing agreement wherein Valve would release Garry's Mod onto Steam at a price of US$10, while the two companies would equally split profits.[21] The last free version of Garry's Mod remained available for download, rechristened as the demo to the retail game.[21][22] The standalone game was released on 29 November 2006.[23][24] Despite the game no longer being a mod, Valve and Facepunch stuck with the "Garry's Mod" name, which Newman later cited as a mistake, stating that he should have called it "Sandbox" instead.[25] Because Garry's Mod still required a separate Source-based game to function properly, a bundle including Garry's Mod and Valve's Counter-Strike: Source was released alongside.[23] A port of the Microsoft Windows version for Mac OS X was released on 23 September 2010.[26][27] Support for Kinect, a full-body motion tracking peripheral, was added to the Windows version in December 2012.[28][29] When Garry's Mod was moved over to Valve's SteamPipe content delivery system, completed on 5 June 2013, an experimental Linux client was also introduced.[30][31]

Reception[edit]

GameSpy named Garry's Mod the "PC Mod of the Year" in 2005.[32] Craig Pearson of GamesRadar regarded it one of the best mods for cooperative gameplay in 2007.[33] In 2017, Brendan Caldwell of Rock Paper Shotgun described the game as a "must-own sandbox game",[34] while PCGamesN included it in its 2019 list of the "best sandbox games on PC".[1]

Sales[edit]

In its first day, Garry's Mod sold 5,729 copies, rising to 312,541 by early December 2008.[35][36] Further sales milestones were reached with 770,628 copies sold by late October 2010,[37] 1 million by July 2011,[38] 1.4 million by March 2012,[39] 3.5 million by July 2013,[40] 6 million by September 2014,[41][42] and 10 million by January 2016.[43][44] By December 2019, Newman estimated that the game sold about 1.5 million copies annually, and stated that it had achieved over 15 million sales in total.[14] Garry's Mod reached over 20 million sales by September 2021.[45]

Sales of the game made for revenues of $3 million by December 2008,[46] $22 million by March 2013,[47][48] and $30 million by February 2014.[49] By December 2020, the game had grossed US$119,836,074 with 18,671,533 copies sold.[50] As of October 2010, Garry's Mod was regularly among the then most-played games on Steam.[18] The game's success allowed Facepunch to grow further, eventually branching out into other games, such as Rust.[51]

Successor[edit]

Newman stated in September 2015 that a sequel to Garry's Mod was in early development, with Newman looking to include virtual reality content and chose a name other than "Garry's Mod 2".[52] He later announced Sandbox (stylized as S&box), a sandbox game using Unreal Engine 4, in September 2017 as a potential spiritual successor to Garry's Mod.[53] By December 2019, development on the game had been paused.[14] Newman resumed development in March 2020 and later moved it to the Source 2 engine.[54][55]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]