Garry's Mod

Garry's Mod, sometimes abbreviated as GMod, is a Source engine (Half-Life 2 game engine) modification that lets you realize all the sandbox scenarios you never had time or resources to complete. Especially if the resources included explosives.

The skybox is the limit.

Just The Facts

  1. Garry's Mod is a Source engine modification that allows players to model a very large set of hypothetical scenarios involving physics.
  2. GMod modelling is relatively easy, especially when compared to other physics modelling tools.

The point

The point of the game is to have fun with the supplied physics engine. That's it. That's all there is to it. This might seem to fall below the expectations of an average gamer, used to having everything spelled out for him, but Garry's Mod, like Legos, is an acquired taste.

Single-player GMod inserts you into an empty level of your own choosing, giving you a gigantic menu of all the things you have previously seen in games like Half-Life 2, together with tools necessary to make whatever you construct move. You can, for example, conjure up a set of wheels, connect them to a metal door, add some heavy objects on the sides and voila! Your own human crushing machine! Want to be able to fly with it? There are rocket boosters ready for use. Most of the construction work in the game takes the form of manipulating whatever you want with the physics gun (which is like the gravity gun, but cooler, allowing you to grasp things a few hundred yards away and rotate them in mid-air) or shooting the moving parts onto the world or another object, which is much more satisfying (or at least it should be) than CAD software.

Garry's Mod also supplies you with some AIs, allowing you to see for example how well Dr Kleiner would fare when faced with an Antlion guard. Or what would happen if a Combine Turret could fly. For the people who haven't played Half-Life 2 this means that you get to be a real asshole towards innocent lines of code. Another virtual torture method at your disposal is the "Face poser" tool, which doesn't make you meet characters who go to shitty music concerts, but allows you to contort models' faces in gut-wrenching grimaces. At your disposal is also a camera, which allows you to save your works for future generations, and by future generations we mean (both) people willing to talk to you online.

The amount of props and engines, pulleys, springs, wheels and all the other moving parts lends itself to creating the ultimate dicking around simulation. But it's not your average history-class-is-boring-so-I'll-make-paper-planes-out-of-my-notes dicking around, or even the management-meeting-is-boring-so-I'll-browse-lesbian-porn-on-company-BlackBerry dicking around. No, this game pulls all the stops and lets your imagination run wild. Want to attach Combine Turrets from Half-Life 2 to a car and mow down zombies while driving into explosive barrels on low gravity? Sure. Use a dumpster as a gondola in your ballon adventure? With guns? Why not. The possibilities are (almost) endless!

It's almost like you're actually doing something productive with your time!

The problem

So, this game is awesome, right? What problems could there possibly exist within it? Answer: the players.

Remember that part about being imaginative? Well, as it turns out, most people aren't. That itself wouldn't be really that bad, if not for the fact that they also love the multiplayer mode (which makes GMod kind of like social networking websites). And since they don't have any ideas to realize (maybe besides shooting an explosive barrel for the nth time), they are most likely to leech onto the creative crowd, and by "leech onto" we mean piss off. If you have any brothers or sisters, then you probably remember how you would spend hours setting up dominoes or card towers only for them to gleefully destroy your work with one swift fury-inducing strike. This is pretty much what happens in Garry's Mod - the flailing retards take utter joy in making whatever you're doing harder. The only difference is that you can't punch them and telling your mom will only make you look like a total pussy.

It's predictable for people playing Garry's Mod to get attached to whatever they construct. Knowing fully well that a player approaching them and their wonderous contraptions, flying through the level with a huge, heavy prop is most likely a bored, angsty twelve year old, most of the frustrated creative players naive enough to play on public servers are quick to launch into temper tantrums, complete with FULL FUCKING CAPS LOCK FURY.

Even though they can't directly move your stuff around as they please, other players can cover you with a huge silo and weld it to the terrain, or just drop a ton of barrels on you. This causes most of the public server players to desperately pray for admin assistance, but the overall frustrated nature of having to deal with legions upon legions of destructive cocks makes the admin job about as rewarding as writing postcards during an earthquake. It is no wonder that most of them prefer to just avoid the servers, leading to what could only be described as griefer bonanza during the so-called "after-school time".

It works like this: you had a really awful day. You want revenge. The nerd rage is boiling inside you. You join a server on which five people are constructing a huge tower with moving parts made out of wooden planks. You have a rocket launcher at your disposal. If you still can't see how everything fits in this scenario of inexplainable cruelty then you're most probably a sane person. Unluckily for most people, this scenario ends with a lot of wooden parts falling from the sky and a stream of fury almost piercing through your monitor.

The result

The only solution other than quitting the game is just accepting the nature of most people you're going to be playing with. If anything, Garry's Mod makes you realize how fragile most of human work is, and it would be easier to accept as a life philosophy if it wasn't conveyed by actions of someone who sounds like a chipmunk and has tHeMOstW4kkkyUsrName{EV3R}. It doesn't take too long for someone to assume the schadenfreude position of a griefer himself, crushing everyone with a rocket-propelled brick wall. It's kind of scary watching human beings torment each other out of sheer spite, knowing that once the spiral of violence starts it's almost impossible to stop. One could model conflicts just based on people playing this game.

Other than that

Now assuming you aren't bothered all day by a stream of teenagers (and have a group of people more controllable than cats on fire) you might actually record something called a "machinima" movie. In short, a machinima is a movie made using a graphics engine, which means taking an existing piece of software that can manipulate the graphics on your screen and make it create actors for you. They're usually pretty stiff and you have to voice them, but at least they aren't late for shooting because they were busy snorting cocaine. GMod's flexibility lends itself to being a great virtual studio, but even with the best equipment, you still need talent. You have to remember that whoever you're working with is probably on the same developmental level as a brick when it comes to sense of humor and acting ability, even when acting only involves tossing rag dolls around with the physics gun. And the guy writing the script (assuming there even is one) usually isn't any better. And that's why most movies produced with GMod are rip-offs of some real movies (dubbed as "recreations") or just pure unfiltered crap passed off as humorous only because the target audience has the lowest comedy standards in history.

Still, there are some videos worth watching, just to see all the cool stuff you can actually create. Who are we kidding though, you won't have time to construct these yourself.