Your Feature Philosophy

I wanted to start a little discussion because I’m curious what people are thinking regarding S&Box. I’ve seen threads and posts suggesting/asking for SOME feature, and it’s usually an addon from Garry’s Mod or some shortcoming of it. When I look at it I only think “well that’s not really something Facepunch should be worrying about, some developer will probably make it”

Where do you stand about the expected feature list for S&Box and what you’d delegate to Facepunch vs a random dev. Do you think S&Box is a development platform above all else, and Facepunch should mostly be focusing on the API? Do you think it should be a GAME with a solid basis to play around with and then mods are a bonus? Maybe you expect FP to roll out the basis for all these addons and then go from there?

This question goes to both the developers itching to work on it and the players hyping up to start playing with it, because I’ve seen a lot of mixed opinions on either side. Garry’s already said in the dev preview section the objective isn’t to recreate GMod, so what makes the difference to you?

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I think S&box should lean more toward the development side. To me, I would like it to be a way to make games in source 2 with greater flexibility than the Dota or Alyx tools. There are so many things people want that one studio alone could not deliver on all of them in a timely manner. I think the bulk of content creation could be done by the community.

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I’m hoping that they will come up with a way to make modding easier to understand. Garry’s Mod is one of the easiest ways to get into this sort of shit but that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.

I’ve spent the last 2-3 years teaching dozens of people how to mod Garry’s Mod (Both Models and Lua) and one of the more common issues is just getting the understanding of how to setup addons and how things work together.

My suggestion would make an intuitive viewer of addons to assist/automate the creation of some tasks that could be confusing while trying to learn. Some examples would be starting an addon from a template, adding an entity/npc/weapon template into your addon without copying one online, or other simple repetitive tasks that would be difficult to understand if you were new to modding.

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Most of the ‘feature requests’ are just kids spamming for addon/content ports, and it’s pretty safe to say any developer is filtering those out.

I personally believe Sandbox would benefit most from empowering developers more than stuffing in content, at least at launch. A really well-featured and documented API is better than any SCars or TTT clone they could ship with the game.

That being said, the development experience will be completely different from GMod, just by nature of the change in language. While Lua can largely be taken at face value, C# is a much more powerful language that allows developers (ie. Garrys and friends) to provide tools and interfaces to abstract away relatively complex systems into simple Attributes or the likes. That’s what I think is really exciting about this game- Things that took hundreds of lines to implement in Lua are much more elegantly handled here.

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I think that most of the features I want in the game are coming. They’re going to have a much more powerful engine that be utilized much better than the original Source engine, they’re going to create a solid sandbox gamemode that hopefully can be built on top of, and there will be great ways to create and share community content.

But what I think the game should eventually include is a way to set up matchmaking for your gamemode. Rather than choosing from a list, you’d just be connected to an appropriate server. Certain gamemodes that don’t depend on a community or staff would benefit pretty heavily from the accessibility from this type of hosting. But it would basically allow people to build and host games in S&box. It would definitely help encourage more diverse gamemodes since developers could make arcadey games without having to worry about the discoverability of their gamemode, which was a huge hurdle in GMod.

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I want sandbox to be something above a game engine platform, but below from a “complete game”. Players could join random games created on sandbox, while developers can use the extensive tools to create the item they want. Even not to, I hope it could be a platform for game devs to prototype their games on it.

In short, I think s&dbox should be a mix with roblox and unity.

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Yeah it seems like it’s mostly new users making an account cause they just found S&box and want a certain feature.

In general, IMO facepunch’s job should be to give developers the tools to make cool things. Low-level API vs high-level libraries is always gonna be a discussion but I think the answer is and always will be somewhere in between and that’s the balancing act the developers have to handle. I think they’re doing a great job right now.

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I agree fully, the tools available for developers to create content are, at least for me, the most important factor. Better to provide the utilities for a wide-range of development opportunities than to focus time on adding content that could easily be created by developers with access to a variety of tools.

My opinion is quite the same as many people on this thread. For me, the game title is kind of self-explanatory. I mean S&Box is a sandbox game and I think that’s what Facepunch is trying to do.

For now, everything I see from their dev blog is focusing on physics, ways to custom the game, bug fixes, generic features. They also can have some fun by adding extra stuff in their game because … it’s their game after all. But I think S&Box would be a sandbox game in fine, meaning that it’ll expose APIs and so on for content creators, but more generally it would be a “Game as a Framework” (GaaF) :tm:
FP does a solid foundation, and its community can build everything they want on top of this big concrete bloc.

That’s why in my opinion, S&Box should be a game allowing depth-customization to let the community developing their craziest ideas by factorizing all generic features a modern game should have and limit restrictive/specific features natively available.

My initial post from a few months ago What are you looking forward to? was made mainly to talk about the cool features s&box has/will have compared to other game engines like unity and unreal. I think the main features I would love to see facepunch focus on are definitely the more developer-centric. My main wanted feature is collaborative development tools, and it’s glad to see some work done on that with realtime updating files being synced to clients, and I hope we can see more features based around this. (The multiplayer map editor from UE was the best)

Another part of development I would love to see done by facepunch rather than s&box ‘players’ (what do you call somebody who makes stuff in s&box, but not s&box?) are the stuff like vr support. I know garry said they’re interested, and it’s currently on the backburner as not important at the moment, but I really want to have support be native rather than a third party addon. I want compatible vr experiences to be the default rather than a niche for the community.

They’re definitely focusing on the workflow of game developers, editing tools to make asset importing, shader creation and map making super quick and easy, which from my experience, even the ‘best’ engines aren’t comparable in ease of use at the moment. (I can rant about the UX of Unity and Unreal for days).

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In my opinion, S&Box should feel and behave like a game to mod on, not a game engine (even Roblox falls under the game engine category, which has many parallels to S&Box in comparison to GMod)!
The advantage here is that you don’t need to make everything yourself (movement system, physics, etc., etc.), so I with that I do not mean that S&Box needs a story or something (lol), but GMod just hit the sweet spot there I think (the biggest disadvantage was the uncomfortable LUA API and Source 1 annoyances).
So Facepunch should not leave S&Box too empty.

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This is a really good question. Part of me would like to see it as a means of creation, but I also don’t like the idea of it being essentially a barebones game that essentially tells the player, “Oh, not much User Generated Content? Hope you like one of three main gamemodes that anyone plays.” I think S&box should be a game first. With things built in like a deathmatch gamemode, sandbox, and hidden, with expansion by users optional. I’d like to see S&box as an independent entity that’s ready for player addition. Whether or not facepunch sees it that way, I can’t really say. I hope so, though. That’s what I would call ideal.

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Garry said he doesn’t want to rely on the content of other people to sell s&box. They want to have a decent amount of content made by themselves, enough to justify its price. The fact that you can make your stuff will be simply an add-on.