When Valve released Half-Life 2 it didn’t take long for the community to build mods for the game, as is often the case with popular titles. One of those modders was Garry Newman, 22 at the time. His idea was different from others. Instead of altering some portion of the game for fun or a higher challenge, he turned the entire game upside down, giving players a complete sandbox experience and access to tools and models from the source engine for them to play with and experiment with their own crazy creations. That’s how Garry’s Mod aka GMod was born. It’s been 10 years since its release and while originally it was a free title, first a mod for Half-Life 2 and then its own separate game, it’s now available on Steam for $10. You can still have GMod Freethough, as the 9.0.4 version is still freeware. That is the last version released before it started being a paid game.
Although Garry's Mod is listed as a full game, the base gamemode 'sandbox', has no set objectives and instead gives the player the freedom to manipulate ragdolls or props such as furniture, shipping containers and dumpsters.
Props and ragdolls can be selected and placed into the sandbox from any installed Source engine game or from community created collections, such as PHX3 for props and Civil Protection model packs for ragdolls. An important tool offered to the player, the Physics Gun allows for props and ragdolls to be picked up, rotated, and frozen in place. Another important implement, the Tool Gun is a multi-purpose tool for performing various tasks, such as constraining props together, creating interactive buttons, and creating controllable winches and wheels. It can also be used to change the facial expression and pose the digits of a ragdoll. The Tool Gun can also be used to control and use add-ons created by the community, which can be only accessed through the Steam Workshop.
The game uses the Source engine's modified version of the Havok Physics Engine, which allows players to build contraptions that follow the laws of physics, allowing for very real simulations of structures and experiments.