Garry's take: "We are watermelons. This is my kind of cruel humor."

Garry's Mod Club Dance Video

Garry's take: "b-buck's dance video is kind of a classic."

Days of Asunder

Garry's take: "Everything FancyPants does is gold."

First-Person Project: Free Runner

Garry's take: "The first person project is pretty brutal."

War of the Servers

Garry's take: "War of the servers is a full length movie shot in GMod."

The New Mod Era

Modding isn't what it used to be and Garry Newman sees a scene that not only has changed, but is pretty much the equivalent of making games worth being paid for.


"In the early days people were happy with really simple mods," he recalls. Faster-firing weapons, double high jumping, grappling hook, team based gamemodes etc etc. At some point (I'm guessing when proper SDK's [software development kits] started being released), the term 'mod' got to mean 'total conversion'. No-one cares unless you've got a new gamemode and every art asset has been completely re-made by your team."

That kind of work is game development, he says. "What's the difference between someone modding an engine and someone licensing an engine? There's no difference at all, it's just what you call it. A mod isn't just a mod anymore, it's a game."


If the mod-scene is indeed the game-development scene, then it's no surprise it's becoming more of a business. You've got Blizzard setting up a marketplace where player-modders will be able to sell their maps, Valve allowing players to profit off of player creations for Team Fortress 2. It's not all rosy. Big PC games, like Modern Warfare 2, don't ship with mod tools, despite a history of popular PC shooters supporting player mods.


Garry likes the marketplaces, sees them as a sign of modding "growing up," and he's undeterred by developers who don't make their games moddable.

"PC game modding can be pretty ironic," he says. "You've got these games with awesome SDKs, awesome level editors, and no-one gives a fuck. Then you've got games like GTA with no SDK, no easy way to change anything - and people are bending over backwards to make mods for it.


What's Next

Garry's Mod launched on the Mac last month. Mac users are creating stuff as well, though Garry isn't spotting any differences between Mac and Windows users' creativity. "If there's someone in the server on a Mac they're indistinguishable from PC players," he says. "Which is the way it's got to stay since PC gamers are assholes to Mac gamers for some reason."


He encourages those who haven't seen Garry's Mod in a while to check it out again. He's built a "Toybox" option (pictured left) that lets users download other players' creations into Garry's Mod without having to look for add-ons on the Web yourself. That should make things more fun and even easier to create.

Garry may not have intended Garry's Mod to be anything other than a lark for himself and his friends, but he's created a hit. This is what a PC mod can do. This is the power of PC gaming where a Garry Newman, phone interview flubbed and all, can be a developer who matters — and help you be one too.