What defines S&box? Why think of non-3D-FPS?

After reading Garrys Statement on annoying gamemode adaptions, that all consider 3D FPS, which was the limit in Gmod, I’m wondering what else defines S&box.
Why wouldnt I make my 3D-Game in Unity or 2D in Godot or Card-Games for Tabletop-Simulator, which kind of already gives many options for games?

I am open for new ideas and actually I like a given network structure, given controls, built in physics and a big community. But what advantage shall S&box deliver?

Here’s some stuff I’d like to do, they are still ideas that are taken from other games, but I’m anyway more interested in programming, than being a game designer.

I already made local chess in 3D with own assets and an AI in Unity and if it would help the development I’d be open to try a networked version in S&box.
Machine learning to use would be my approach for the AI this time though, might be hard to figure out an interface for using tensorflow, but could be interesting.

Also I always wanted to make a small little RTS with base building and tanks. CnC Generals would be my direction, but only as a prototype to learn coding better. Problem is, if I host a server with that gamemode can I then have mutliple “game instances”? I feel kinda limited to games, that deliver one game-instance to all clients.

As last idea, having a racing game with well networked collisions and selfmade items would be really cool. Already seeing TTT-like addons made just for this game. There is currently no good Mario-Kart on Pc. So enabling the community to make addons for Trouble on the Terror Track is something I could imagine.

So feel free to leave some more “innovative” gamemodes (not just ports) in the comments and let me know what you’d expect of the engine to handle it. :smiley:


You’re missing a large point ofs&box. If you want to build a standalone game, use unity or unreal. If you want to make gamemodes, that use a nice modding api where all the heavy lifting is done by facepunch, use s&box.
As for other gamemodes that arent clones or ports , checkout gkarts, ultimate survivor (i dont think itll be a complete 1:1 port) and dine and dash.


Game development on Unity:

  • C# API
  • Simple editor tools
  • Distribute as standalone
  • Many tutorials
  • Asset store
  • Individual Playerbase
  • No collaboration tools
  • No realtime editing
  • Poor networking
  • Crashes often

Game development on s&box:

  • High-level C# API
  • Easy to use editor tools
  • Cannot distribute standalone
  • Not many tutorials
  • No asset store
  • Shared playerbase
  • Good collaboration tools
  • Real-time everything (Including shader editing)
  • Easy and robust networking
  • Crashes often

If you are already making games in unity and don’t really care about any of the s&box platform benefits and want to make money, then stay with unity. S&box offers nice editors along with an easy to use api with actual networking support.

A large amount of people are looking forward to real time editing, and actual collaborative game making.


S&box will have support for single player games, along with matchmaking and stuff like parties rather than just the instances we’ve only seen so far. It’s in early development and a large number of features are missing.


Well missing the large point is why I ask. I am just wondering what the heavy lifting is. But what wyvern says makes a lot of sense.

Thanks, that sums up what I was curious about. I guess networking, shared playerbase are what I want. Collaborative game making with community addons is also something I really like, so in those points you really convince me.
I don’t care about making money, for me it’s just a hobby and I just want people to have fun with my creations <3

It’s just that I feel strongly bound to 3D-FPS, mainly because there is a lot of heavy lifting in networking, addon creation and moddeling/animations, I can’t easily do myself. So I am just wondering what important stuff there could be for other gametypes.
Why would I try to make something in 2D? It needs good support for me to even consider it. Also will RTS be viable, so as you said, parties, matchmaking etc. How easy can you implement a gamemode, that consists of a rather large game.

One of the major points really is that if you published a game on Steam it’s extremely unlikely to get anywhere nowadays. With s&box you have a platform where people are exposed to your gamemode the instant it comes out, so you don’t have to worry about publishing anything or advertising.


Well, there was a recent video that quickly showed playing from an isometric viewpoint;

What you’re forgetting is that we can define our own player controllers and cameras, so 2D is just a matter of limiting what axis the camera can move on. I suspect we’ll get some creators fleshing out that aspect soon.

This is more of a matter of scale than anything. We do still have map constraints that are expected to be changed later (size / levelstreaming, etc). Although saying that, you just make the models small and the camera closer to the ground… RTS is 100% viable, and will actually work well with the matchmaking I mentioned.

You could actually implement a good system already, by having the starting portion of a gamemode be a lobby interface, and after you start playing, make connecting players spectators. Funny enough is that this will support rejoining games pretty easily, making it already better than starcraft :wink:


Sounds nice, well with 2D I didnt mean just perspective, but rather features for sprites and pure 2D maps/background and colliders.
If it all would be 3D but limited to 2 Axis, you would lose the performance benefits of pure 2D.

But that already sounds really interesting. Being able to implement Rts <3

And how about text adventures. By not using any 3D-Map and only UI Elements, that should be easy aswell.

In Gmod some limitting factors for me were the map forcing, 3D only and not being able to work with some internal features like voice or real shaders. But I read that those should be implemented. In general I hope S&box will just be a way smaller Unity in terms of features, with gmod community features and workshops.

I think the most appealing thing about developing for s&box is ease of sharing and audience. For same reason people made Dota 2 arcade modes that could have been their stand alone games.
Why pay/plan ad campaign when you have +1M player exposure for free? Not sure what face punch studio’s plans for monetization but the tools look to far out weight offers from products like Core.

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Well, you can always just do a game with shaders if you want to go through all the effort

If you really need the graphical performance improvements in 2D rather than 3D I would recommend using a different engine, since normally the cost is negligible and rts games are normally cpu bound rather than graphically. As for colliders, we can just change collisions meshes, and stuff like sprites you can get working quite simply once you realize you can just disable gravity and have everything on the same layer.

I personally think that comparing s&box to gmod is a disservice, since gmod is just modding a game, and s&box is basically an entire game engine we can mess with. They are completely different from each other!

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Well and thats why I ask. I cant grasp the range of features yet, but at least I understand why Garry is so “pissed” about us thinking that way.

Do you have any insights or is this your personal opinion built by what you’ve read on S&box? :slight_smile:

There are no “default” entities that we have to deal with;- everything is in c# that we can change and edit.

Don’t like the movement? Just rewrite it to how you like it.
Don’t like the camera? You can make your own custom cameras and viewpoints.
Don’t like how animations work? You can literally completely rewrite how s&box deals with animations.

Maps don’t contain “base” entities that you cannot change, they’re implemented in C# that you can change…

We have much more powerful mesh changing tools, and we have custom shader support. This is massive, and we can completely change the look and feeling of the game. We also have realtime editing of meshes and code that update to the server. Nothing is stopping you from having your model change in-game as you edit it in blender.

S&box already has many more collaboration tools than game engines that literally make hundreds of millions a year. Like seriously, I cannot edit a map or mesh with another person at the same time in unreal or unity…

Considering that s&box is literally fighting massive complex game engines just in feature sets, is insane. And then people call it gmod 2 and just want to remake TTT with godrays, lol


Sounds huge :heart_eyes:

Just shortly defending TTT Reborn here, Gmod is a mess and didnt allow much, that are reasons why making it in S&box is so interesting, just bein able to start anew without having to fight old compatibility like we had to for TTT2.
Many of us thought of making it in Unreal Engine standalone, but the features promised with S&box will allow us to make a really smooth gamemode experience.

Other than that, I think the community just thinks it’s a gmod 2, because it weren’t praised as high as you just did.
So again, do you have more insights or is this what you think it will be and what you gathered from all posts?


Did Layla finally add blender files support for ModelDoc? Or are you just spitballing here?

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Layla’s not explicitly added support for .blend files, but you can just make a small blender addon to auto export .fbx when you save. To my knowledge, S&box has file watchers that will auto reimport the fbx if it changes, so you don’t even need to touch it after exporting :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

So yeah, you can already do it with a little workaround

I guess. I still wouldn’t call that realtime editing. To me realtime means no saving or reimporting needed, but it’d still be nice.

Garry’s Mod’s limitations as they regard to gameplay styles really only held people back as much as they lacked in creativity to reinvent systems and bypass old ones for the purpose of creating what they had in mind. Over the years I saw quite a few small-time gamemodes that didn’t get much attention that changed the game at the most fundamental levels. S&box at the moment has the most native support for FPS-type gamemodes but the depth at which its C# implementation is integrated will allow for anyone with enough willpower to construct the environments they envision, regardless of what is available to use from a fresh install.

For example, if someone wanted to make a gamemode where the player was always controlling a spaceship or was represented in some other form than the engine-defined player entity, a gamemode creator would have to find some way to hide the default player entities and instead capture their inputs for applications elsewhere. In s&box, a gamemode creator wouldn’t even need to worry about the player entity—they could just write their own that works exactly the way they want.

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Here’s the thing; Source 1 (and I assume Source 2) has some of the best networking I have ever seen, comparable only to Unreal Engine and its replication. When you consider the fact that nearly every single gamemode is meant to be played in tandem with others, having netcode already done & available to you is a HUGE boon. Sure, Unity has (had?) UNet, and you can buy Photon if you want, but who has the time and money to deal with that?

IMHO, creating games and gamemodes takes a lot of time and effort, and networking requires both of those in spades. You get past the pain, and straight to implementing the fun.