Toybox – The Cloud Visits Garrysmod

Recently, garrysmod was updated to include an ingame downloadable content distribution system called Toybox . It currently includes map, entity, weapon, and prop categories, and is very streamlined and easy to use. It’s downright the easiest way to modify any game ever without a doubt. However, as a content creator, I have some concerns with how its set up and its future.

The system is exceedingly simple for the end users of the system. Click a button, wait a few seconds while the files pop out the bottom of the screen, and bam, there it is, a shiny new thing to play with, or a new map to play on. For those wishing to use the system to upload, however, it’s not quite as simple. I can’t speak for LUA coders, but I’ve uploaded a few props to the cloud. The process has a bit of a learning curve, and it isn’t designed to upload more then a few files at a time. The real limiting factor, though, is that I’m limited to assuming that the potential end user won’t know the first thing about how to use whatever it is I’m uploading. This cuts out one of the biggest advancements of recent custom content creation: bodygroups. For those of you who don’t know what bodygroups are, they’re a way of cramming more “models” into a single model.

 

bodygroups example

Example on bodygroups used on single model im recent release

 

Half-Life2 uses this feature occasionally, and if you’ve used hammer for a certain amount of time, chances are you know what skingroups are. Given the right stool or !ent_fire commands, you can select pre-existing sub options present in a model. These can range from alternate skins to hats to attachments on a weapon. Because toybox limits the options of prop downloading to only one model at a time, this would set up plenty of great options to get more “bang for your buck” using bodygroups and expanding user’s options.

Well, in the ideal world, that be perfect. But as it stands, most people that use garrysmod and toybox complain when they spawn a ragdoll and not a fully formed NPC that can join your squad (not that there’s a tool for that too). When it comes down to it, the prop section of toybox is fractionally as large as its entity and weapon counterparts not because it’s hard to upload and impliement, but because the majority end users are so stupid.

 

example text

this is why we can't have nice things.

 

Fixing the problem:

Well the issue here isn’t really with toybox,  it’s education and availability of the tools to get the most out of it. Every time I or one of my peers has released something utilizing bodygroups, most of the comments are complaints that they have not idea how to make it work. A good update to garrymod would be a default bodygroup changer and model manipulator. A good update to toybox is to allow “content packs” and bring it up to speed with garrysmod.org, not that the users there are any better.

All in all, Toybox is a great leap forward for custom content downloading; it really brings the ability to download to everyone. If that’s a good thing or not is still to be determined.

Give it a try the next time you boot up gmod, and post your thoughts!

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  1. Great article! I have to admit I’m very “old-school” in terms of using Garry’s Mod. I’ve given Toybox a look, tested it, but didn’t use it much afterwards, though it definitely seems like a useful new addition to the game’s tools. It’s like the leap from music CD’s to downloadable MP3’s, really.
    Also, I agree with the idea of a GMod update adding bodygroup and skingroup tools. I have a few custom ones, but it would be much better for the community if they came integrated with the base game.

    One of the reasons I haven’t used Toybox much, besides the fact that I mostly make my own skins for comics these days, is that I’m confused as to where the new models and materials go. I have limited disk space, and I can’t afford to download every single thing I see, so I prefer the old “1.0” method of downloading from websites, as then I can see where the models go and even customize a personal add-on folder for them.

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