Facepunch Studios

As many of you know, I am a member of facepunch studios forums (http://forums.facepunchstudios.com/). For those of you who don’t go out often, these forums are run and operated by Garry Newman, creator of Garry’s Mod, a popular Half-Life 2 mod.

I’ve had a few things bouncing around in my head about FP and GMod in general, so I thought I’d get around to writing them down.

What makes GMod’s lua so successful?

  • Easy to learn – Unlike a full-fledge language like C++, lua can be picked up in a few days.
  • Limited API – Users who start using lua in GMod won’t be overwhelmed with thousands of functions they can use to interact with the game. (GMod 10 will be losing this, as it uses a more complicated API with many more features. This may discourage scripters that would have given it a shot in GMod 9)
  • Instant usage and feedback – If you make a script and post it on FP, you’re nearly guaranteed that someone will try it out and leave a comment. This is unlike C++, where most one-man newbie projects would be considered worthless.
  • Well documented – Both lua and the GM9 API are well documented, there is no question how something reacts.
  • Support – Support for a language like C++ is lengthy and often results in step-by-step debugging for problems, but with lua, you’re more likely to get someone willing to help you look at your code and find any problems as well as offer solutions.
  • No compiling or linking – Let’s admit it, no one likes waiting several minutes for an application to compile. Even worse, no one enjoys unresolved linker errors, something that is almost unavoidable when you’re programming with the Source engine.

My personal annoyances with FP

  • You don’t get responses from the people you need it from most – For the most part with my scripts, all feedback comes from relatively inexperienced users, or those who can’t follow directions and need someone to bail them out. What’s worse, you never seem to get the negative feedback either. Instead, people with negative remarks take it to other threads.
  • When the old rating system was in place, ratings did not depend on the quality or time and effort in the script. Instead, rating was based only on how well the script did what it was supposed to do. It might be a 10-line script, but if it works like you describe, you get straight 5’s.


The US government may just be the most unorganized agency in the world. I was told to report to work at the local air force base today at 7 AM, and to get a day pass to get in from the guard. I was there bright and early at 6:45, drove up, and realized that there was no way the guard was going to be able to give me a day pass (they were just standing there checking passes with no computers or such). My only option was to ford a vehicle-packed 4-lane road to get to the visitor center. Several minutes and curses later, I was able to make it to the visitor center.

As soon as I stepped in the door, I knew there was going to be trouble. Looking to my left, I saw a group of impatient-looking high school students. I approached the airman manning the computer, told him I was a summer hire and needed to get a day pass. I was promptly told that we could not be admitted on the base unless someone in the base sponsored us on (which we were promised would be taken care of by the time we got there). The airman promised he would keep calling processing (the ones who were supposed to sponsor us on in the first place), but everyone was currently out of the office. It took an hour for them to finally answer their phones and let us on.

We were all told to meet at the theatre for our orientation, but none of us had ever navigated the base before. Many aggravating minutes later, we were able to find the theatre. We went up the door, pulled, and discovered it was securely locked. We went around to another set of doors to discover a sticky note on the door which read something like “Summer hires meet at building 1244”. As if we hadn’t had enough trouble locating the theatre, we now had to locate a building which we hadn’t the faintest clue of where it was. About 30 minutes later (and for one unfortunate person, a speeding ticket later), we found the mystical building 1244.

We were all quickly ushered into a conference room, where they realized that they had forgotten to print some forms we needed to fill out. Another agonizing half hour later, we were told what building we would be reporting to for work and sent off.

Having already passed the building I was to report to earlier that day, I had no problem finding it. When I got there and met my supervisor for my final orientation, I was pleasantly surprised at how laid back work was there. I was then taken to get a computer access card, waited in line for 30 minutes, and was curtly told that I did not exist in the computer system and therefore could not get an access card.

Back at our original building, my supervisor talked to the friendly people in processing enquiring why I was not in the system. To no one’s shock, they said that I was supposed to be put in the system a couple weeks ago, but somehow I hadn’t been. They promised to put me in the system ASAP, but I would have to wait a week to get the access card.

In the mean time, I have nothing to do! Gives me warm fuzzies for the government.


Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

This verse if often used to tell people the mechanics of how God will reveal the path He wants you to take. Rather than being a great shining beacon upon your path and revealing what choices to make 5 years from now, God is a simple lamp upon the path revealing only the next step you should take.

While I whole-heartedly agree with this philosophy, I think it is too easily misunderstood. Someone hearing of it might get the impression that there is only one choice God wants you to take, and no acceptable alternatives. I have come to firmly believe that God does indeed give us choices in our lives, decisions that He wants us to make on our own. Why would God go to all the trouble of giving us free will if He never intended for us to actually use it?

I have just recently had such a choice in my own life. I was rather distressed because I felt that I didn’t have God’s guidance on a decision that could drastically alter my life. As I prayed and reflected on it, I realized God was truly leaving the decision up to me.

As I’m sure you can understand, this realization only distressed me more. I certainly knew what a mess I could make when things were left up to me, and here I was, left with a major decision that would have repercussions on just about every aspect of my life. Eventually, I was able to make up my mind, and even though I may never know if I chose the best option ( if there is such a thing ), I am satisfied to know that I have God’s blessings for it.

Car wreck! Woo!

How sad… I’ve owned my car for approximately 2 weeks, and already somebody has hit me.

It was the usual morning routine; I wake up, shower, eat breakfast, run out the car and hurry on up to Weber High School. Only, this morning, when I got to the road that Weber is located on, the traffic was bumper to bumper. Thinking this was a mighty fine condition for a car accident to occur, I kept my distance from the person in front of me.

All of a sudden, the person in front of me slammed on their brakes, so I slammed on mine. Just when I thought everything was going to be okay, and me and my car were in the green… WHAM! The car behind me didn’t brake fast enough, ran into me, and pushed me into the car ahead of me.

Luckily for the gal ahead of me, no damage was done to her Isuzu. My poor Lumina, however, was not in such good shape. The push from behind left a dent in my hood where it was run into the Isuzu’s spare tire, and a rather small ( for the force of the impact ) dent on the back of my bumper. Unfortunately for the Blazer that ran into me, their whole grill was crushed and in pieces.

In the end, the Blazer got the ticket, and the father offered to pay for repairs to my car ( I can see why, it’s cheaper than a 40% increase in insurance rates! ). Anyways, one can only hope he’ll keep to his word…

You mean work is involved?!

Every day I go to school, I see the battle that takes place in the world and in me. Who knew that being a Christian wasn’t a ‘walk in the park’? I didn’t plan on fighting this war when I got saved. But, I am glad to be part of this war, as it is what God wants me to do.

What war you ask? The war that takes place every day between good and evil. Just because you’re saved, it doesn’t mean it will be easy. God will help you, but he won’t do it for you.

Every day we need to fight with all our might. It may be worse on some days than others, but I promise you that sometime during your day you will have a choice. What you choose is up to you. Where does your heart lie?

Lord of the Rings – ROTK

Everyone knows of the billion dollar movie series, the Lord of the Rings. Well, I saw the conclusion, The Return of the King, today. Only three and a half hours long, but it sure packs a punch!

Frodo Baggins is a character that is desperately trying to get an ‘evil’ ring to a fiery mountain and destroy it. He has to take it to the mountain because that is the only place that can destroy it. The trouble is, the more Frodo is with the ‘evil’ ring, the more Frodo succumbs to the ring. If Frodo doesn’t destroy the ring, the world will be taken over by the person who made the ring, whose life force is tied to it.

There was a scene that really interested me. Frodo is in the fiery mountain, but he can’t seem to let go of the ring ( by this time, he is almost corrupt because of the ring ). Is this a good picture of sin or what? There you are with a choice, you can either choose the right ( destroy the ring instantly ) or you can think about it, allowing the Devil to counsel you. I promise you, the Devil makes very good arguments. If you hesitate, you become more ‘corrupt’, making it harder to choose the right.

A commentary on culture, theology, and programming