Homeschooling Teen

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Garry’s Mod

by DuneJumper

If you like physics, creativity, and building things, you will like this game!

Garry’s Mod (aka Gmod) is a first-person sandbox physics game that’s more like a whole playground, there’s so much stuff you can do. Gmod was originally created by Garry Newman, an amateur C++ coder living in Britain, as a free mod for Valve’s Half-Life 2 game. Gmod became so popular that it was officially released as a full-fledged Steam game on November 29, 2006. (Steam is kind of like iTunes, for PC games.) Half of Gmod’s $10 selling price goes to Valve; the other half to Garry and his team. Newman has made over 1 million dollars from his mod!

Even though it’s a stand-alone game, Gmod requires the user to have a Steam account and own at least one game based on the Source engine (such as Half-Life 2, Day of Defeat, Counter-Strike, Portal, Left 4 Dead, or Team Fortress 2). Most of the weapons and props used to build things in Gmod are from Half-Life 2. Many of the household items such as furniture, plants, etc. are from Counter-Strike Source. You can use Gmod with something other than Half-Life 2 (as long as it’s a Source game), and you will have all the basic items. But Counter-Strike is recommended if you want to build houses and furnish the rooms. Props can also be selected from any other installed Source game or from a community-created collection.

Unlike most games, Gmod doesn’t have any particular objective. There is no “right” way to play and pretty much anything goes. Players create their own fun and entertain themselves through their ability to do whatever they wish in the game world. Players are free to design, build, and experiment by manipulating “props” – various objects that can be placed in-game. Multiple players can work together to build large structures like rollercoasters, fortifications, or even Rube Goldberg devices. Expect the unexpected when you join a multi-player server, but there are servers for every interest including parkour and role-playing.

Gmod takes advantage of the Source engine’s modified version of the Havok Physics Engine, which allows players to build virtual contraptions that follow real laws of physics. You spawn objects and create your own inventions limited only by your imagination. You can make realistic objects like cannons and catapults, or come up with a completely new creation like a bathtub car or a rocket chair. Some players have performed virtual physics-based experiments, like tying together bundles of explosives to see how high they can blast objects into the sky.

Gmod features two “guns” for manipulating objects – a Physics Gun and a Tool Gun. The Physics Gun allows objects to be picked up, adjusted, and frozen in place. The Tool Gun is a multi-purpose tool for performing various tasks. You can use it to weld objects together, install wheels and thrusters, attach ropes and pulleys, make ball-and-socket joints, add balloons, change colors and textures, paint on decals, and make push-buttons that turn things on and off.

Another unique Gmod concept is ragdoll posing. So if you’re not too great at construction, you can always play with dolls! You can place the ragdoll characters in silly positions and even adjust their facial expressions. This is a popular method for making Gmod videos. I’ve had a lot of fun making animations by posing ragdoll models in Gmod, recording the screenshots using Fraps, editing the footage in Sony Vegas, and then posting my videos on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/dunejumpertwc

Gmod has a huge community of followers and a multitude of fan-made props, models, skins, maps, and other add-ons. You can find ships, cars, tanks, fireworks, monsters, and just about anything else you can think of! Download some or upload your own at Garrysmod.org. Gmod is a REALLY fun game, and the possibilities are ENDLESS. Watch a gameplay demo:

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