Contraptions - Tips and Hints

I have noticed in the past year that the overall quality of contraptions has declined severally. It seems some people think if they make ANYTHING, that it should be posted. This is a section that you post something to brag about, or to show off and frankly a few PHX plates welded together is not something to brag about. Contraptions should show signs of quality and effort and be loaded with detail or something unique.

Now, I’m not just going to rant about how this section has degraded but, I’m going to tell you how to possibly restore it. Restoring the contraptions section would not be that hard… well for some it might , but for the most part it would be easy. There are a few simple steps to increase you contraptions “Awesome” factor and give you more gold stars.

Keep in mind these are suggestions!

PhoeniX - I know what you’re going to say “PhoeniX is a very useful addon, it can be used when normal props do not fit…” but that’s the fun of building, finding a prop that fits that ISN’T a custom prop. Not to mention a contraption made entirely out of PhoeniX is ugly as hell. However there is a place for PhoeniX. PhoeniX is -in my opinion- very useful for precision work, such as an engine, a clock, or anything that requires gears and train wheels. A general rule of thumb, try to avoid custom models.

Wire - Wire can enhance a contraption ALOT… but you need a contraption to enhance. What I’m saying is do NOT post a plate with wire attached to it and say its god’s gift to the world. Instead take the extra time to make a contraption that compliments the wire accessories. BUT! If you use wire please set wire width to 0 unless you are going to route the wires along the contraption with right click. If you do have a wire heavy device, post it here, they made a forum for a reason you know.

Thrusters and Hoverballs - contrary to popular belief these can work in small numbers. Since hoverballs and thrusters use a power to weight ratio, increasing their weight will increase the power. So instead of using 10X the amount of thrusters… use 10X the weight (on the thruster…)! This will decrease lag and increase the efficiency of your contraption. Also, the color tool’s alpha setting is your friend. A contraption covered in blue glowy balls and random thrusters never looks good. When you have finished your contraption, take the few minutes to make all the thrusters and hoverballs invisible.

A few random tips:

  • USE SHIFT + E!
    Using this nifty little combo will not only straighten the prop your holding to a 45 degree angle, but it will improve the overall look of your contraption.

  • Not too many welds.
    Welding everything to everything generally won’t improve the strength, but it will increase the lag. Instead weld everything to the props that are very heavy and in the centre. Then attach thrusters, hoverballs, wheels etc, to that heavy prop.

  • Never say never to no-collide.
    In my experience you can never no-collide to much (Use some common sense though). Yes this somewhat contradicts my weld statement… but it beats a tornado of props that used to be that nice contraption you were testing out. Also, never ever use no-colide multi… this is the easy and fast way out that makes the ping soar.

  • SEnts, few and far between.
    SEnts can really help your contraption out, whether it is life support for a space ship or the shuttle for a fighter. Although… posting a few fences and a life support monstrosity in the centre won’t get you good reviews. So use some SEnts… just don’t use JUST SEnts.

    Instead of making the “PhoeniX mobile version 16” try making an intricate / complicated contraption out of vanilla props. It can be more challenging at times but it’s better than a PHX box with wheels.

Tips about the Contraption Forum:

  • Stealing.
    Never take someones contraption and “make it better” and post it, unless you have their permission. This also includes copying someones design.

  • Visual Media.
    Facepunch loves pictures and videos. When we enter a thread about your contraption, generally people expect some form of media to see and understand what you have created. What I am saying is when you make a thread about a contraption you made take the time to upload a few pictures showing it off. If that does not give it justice then make a small video displaying all of its features.

  • Brace for Impact.
    If you post something, people are going to criticize it. They may hate it, they may love it but generally they will give suggestions on how to improve it. Try to take the advice but do not yell at the people that are trying to help you.

I do realize this does not apply to everyone, many contraptions that have recently come have shown lots of time and effort. Also if anyone has any tips that I may have forgotten feel free to share them.

Well I think that about wraps up my thoughts on this subject so i will give the floor to TomB332 to share his thoughts as well.

Thank you knexpert. Now first impressions, yes i’m an 07’er, yes i never saw the golden age of garrysmod. But there are still a few things i do know about that i can rant about and really, the stuff i’m saying here should be common sense.

First off, and knexpert has already said a little on the subject but i just wanted to emphasise it some more. Wiremod, yes you may hate it, yes you may love it. Yes wiremod alone can make a contraption(look up the saphire by black phoenix), but then it would be better to post it in the wiremod forums, particularly as you will probably get more constructive critisism. The wiremod forums were made for everything to do with wiremod, not just reporting bugs or asking for really random things that should be added. So my piece of advice to you, if your contraption is mostly wire then yes it may be perfect and a gift from the very gods themselves, but take it to the wiremod forums please.

Secondly and this one really is just common sense., why do most people think ‘Hey i’ve built a box with some guns in and a button, why don’t i upload it to’. Please if you every catch youself thinking that please reconsider. No, you do not need to upload it. Really if you’re uploading a contraption to it should be so you can put a save or advanced duplicator link in a thread about the contraption.

That’s all i really have to rant about, other than that please listen to what we are saying and good luck to you all.

This thread pretty much sums up what to do and what not to do in gmod.

Great job guys.

Sticky maybe?

You really have some good points there. Allow me to add something:
If the shift-e function with the default 45 degrees is getting too boring use this command.

gm_snapdegrees <yourvalue>

I suggest you use a value that fits to 45 degrees, 15 degrees or maybe even 5 degrees which would make the command look like this:

gm_snapdegrees 15

22.5 is a good value to use, too. It’s good for more specific shallow/steep angles but not too fiddly because of so many different angles to be snapped to…

“What I’m saying is do NOT post a plate with wire attached to it and say its god’s gift to the world”

As Erkle himself has said, the point of Wiremod is that you can have a contraption that does something cool, even if it doesn’t look cool.

I don’t see anything wrong with posting Wiremod contraptions on this forum (even if it IS just a plate with wire on it), as long as you put a video or something showing the cool thing it does

It’s about time someone made a thread like this, Good job sir.

As heavy would say, “Knexpert is credit to team!”.

Thank you for the positive feedback, and I can see your argument MegaJohnny. It’s just Wiremod has a special forum for that sort of contraption, it can be argued both ways.

I don’t agree with the second tip. Welding everything-to-everything DOES make things MUCH more solid. Yea, it may increase lag a bit, but it’s better than server-crashing 30 prop tank, colliding and spazzing in all directions.



No. Weld everything to a center, very heavy prop. Much more stable and allows you to pick up the contraption entirely without shit flopping everywhere.

These are un-written rules! YOU WROTE THEM DOWN!!! :argh:

I find welding everything to everything causes the contraption to start vibrating which increases with every convultion, causing it to black hole.

Edited first post to be more descriptive on the weld statement.

This happens sometimes, but generally what karbine said is true.
Contraptions are 1000x more stable and have at least 800 less constraints, when you weld to a Heavy base prop.

Hmm, fair point but surely if you were to post the contraption on the wiremod forums there would be a better response and there is defintly more constructive critisism than on the contraptions forum when it comes to all wire contraptions.

Gotta say it as it is, I really am grateful of this being made (yes, I made a minge-ish contraption, and posted it). Really had to be done.

I’m glad you appreciate it, and I hope this will help a lot of people out.

Anyone else think this should be a sticky?

Yup, sticky it.

Yeah, sticky. This is a fine piece of work.

Now, if you don’t mind…

IF you are going to use PHX, use it for something that needs a flat surface, put it on the prop, then turn it invisible at least. BUT, that’s only if you REALLY have to. Yes, there are several flat vanilla props, and yes, most are breakable. The unbreakable tool exists for a reason, if you don’t have the shits to download it, then magnetize it, using a key you rarely use on a numpad (*). PHX was made for people that want symmetry in everything they make, well, that’s fine, just materialise it or something! I’ve seen vanilla props put to great use on here, why can’t we see more of that? Why can’t we see more people that don’t want to be like the guy that refreshes every five minutes? What happened to originality? If you don’t agree, that’s fine. Just don’t spam me with “YOU HATE PHX. YOU HATE WIRE.” Because I don’t. This is my opinion, you have your own.

That’s all I have. Next?

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Anyone else have an opinion or tip / suggestion on this matter?

One simple thing, in response to a certain thread;
If you make a contraption, or contraption dumb, and the thread gets deleted, DON’T remake the thread, no matter how much you like it. There was a reason it was deleted.