Facepunch is a forum established by Garry Newman in December 2004. It was orginally intended as a community forum for Garry's Mod and Facewound, and although it remains the official forum for both GMod and Facepunch Studios, it has grown into an ad hoc community of its own, with many members no longer being regular players of GMod.
Facepunch was established in 2004 to serve as the official forums of Facepunch Studios, the development team working on Facewound. garry, a member of the team, was also developing Garry's Mod and rapidly releasing new versions, and so he used Facepunch as the official forum for his mod as well. The first version of the forum was phpBB-based, and got "exploited and hacked every week." Later, in April of 2005, the forum switched to vBulletin 3.
As GMod took off, it quickly became the primary focus of the forums, and Facewound was pushed to the side. Thanks to GMod's massive popularity, Facepunch quickly grew into a burgeoning community with thousands of active users. By December 2005, at just one year old, Facepunch had 5,000 active users and 850,000 posts had been made.
On January 8, 2009, Facepunch received its most significant software update since launch. The forum had been completely rewritten over a period of months, receiving an upgrade to vBulletin 3.7.4. Along with this came the removal of several major features, including smartness, instaban, custom forums and, initially, ratings. This was met with extreme criticism by many users, who longed for the features which they felt had separated Facepunch from other forums. On his blog, garry explained that some of the features may make a return, but that he wanted to "try it without them for a bit." He said that ratings would "probably come back, in a cut down form" such as a thumbs up/down system.
Ratings were reintroduced on July 24, taking the same form as before but with different ratings available. The list feature, which had shown which users picked what rating, was lost, as were the lists on user pages showing how many of each rating a user had received. The original ratings database was also abandoned, meaning that any ratings given before the switch to Facepunch 2009 were lost.
After another testing period, Facepunch received its second major upgrade on October 24, 2010. This time it had been ported to vBulletin 4 by compwhizii. The new version was criticised for being riddled with bugs, but it did bring back several features which had been removed in Facepunch 2009: ratings lists returned, as did the ever-popular Zing rating. This version has been being further improved by robotboy655.
Labpunch was a proposed rewrite of the forums that was revealed in early 2017, programmed by garry and available at lab.facepunch.com. Avatars were limited to 16x16, gold membership was abolished, and custom forums returned. Users were forced to create new accounts through Facebook or Twitter. garry later killed the project in October 2017.
New Sites Forum
In October 2017, garry unveiled the New Sites Forum (popularly referred to as Newpunch, among other nicknames), planned to replace the vB4 forums. It is closer to the look and feel of vBulletin forums than Labpunch.
Gold Membership and the OIFY no longer exist, but garry plans to look into some of the features of the old vB4 forum and Labpunch in the future. Garry's Mod and Rust forums would be separate and self contained. Users are again forced to authenticate with another account, this time with either Google or Facebook, however it is possible to link the account with vB4 accounts. BBcode is no longer used, the post editor now being fully WYSIWYG. A point system awards users one point for an unknown purpose, and points can be redeemed for larger avatars, more ratings and new emotes.
As of the 6th of January, 2018, the Rust forum category, the Garry's Mod forum category, the Source Filmmaker forum section, the entirety of the former Glod Menbers forum category and the Developers forum category have been moved to the New Forums.
The ability to use Custom CSS was later implemented, and themes to emulate the look and feel of the vB4 forums were created.
- Garry's Blag - Forum History[external link]: https://garry.tv/2018/01/06/forum-history/
- Wayback Machine - Facepunch (June 1st, 2005) [external link]: http://web.archive.org/web/20050601033758/http://www.facepunchstudios.com/forums/
- Wayback Machine - Facepunch (December 8th, 2005) [external link]: http://web.archive.org/web/20051218095824/http://forum.facepunchstudios.com/
- Garry's Blofg - Stuffffff [external link; broken]: http://www.garry.tv/2009/01/06/stuffffff/
- General Discussion - Ratings are back!: http://www.facepunch.com/threads/778263
- General Discussion - Facepunch vB4 - PROBLEMS IN HERE THANKS: http://www.facepunch.com/threads/1012447
- General Discussion - Labpunch, seventh time's a charm: http://www.facepunch.com/threads/1552764
- Labpunch [external link; dead]: https://lab.facepunch.com/
- General Discussion - "Forums Discussion v3 - Post about Tudd and win a 1 month ban" (post #3751): http://www.facepunch.com/threads/1576300?p=52816557#post52816557
- General Discussion - The Future Of This Forum: http://www.facepunch.com/threads/1583897
- General Discussion - "Forum Discussion v5 - Serious Post Zone" (post #838): http://www.facepunch.com/threads/1584775?p=52901161#post52901161
- General Discussion - "Forums Discussion v3 - Post about Tudd and win a 1 month ban" (post #3761): http://www.facepunch.com/threads/1576300?p=52816624#post52816624