Garry’s Mod rival, Half-Life 2 mod, and building tool JBMod might not be familiar to a lot of people, but at one time, around about 2004, it was slated to become the definitive indie game for tinkering with Valve’s Source Engine. In an alternate timeline, where reality split in a different direction, all those G-Man memes and Black Mesa Machinimas we’ve enjoyed in the past two decades were built using JBMod. In our world, though, Garry’s Mod won out, and JBMod is only just making its way to Steam now, 18 years later.
“JBMod was the first mod ever released for Half-Life 2,” developer Team JBMod explains. “It was originally created by jb55 on the HL2World forums before being handed off to Team JBMod, a small group of modding enthusiasts.” Like Garry’s Mod, also known as GMod, JBMod allows you to manipulate and move assets within Valve’s Source Engine, utilising those famous Portal and Half-Life physics to create your own levels, movies, and more. The initial Steam release adds the original JBMod version from 2004, though the developer promises further updates in the future.
Responding to the JBMod release, Garry’s Mod creator Garry Newman describes how, at one time, they were “terrified” of the potential rival. “I was actually terrified of JBMod when I was making GMod,” Newman explains. “They always claimed to be just about to make a huge release that would render us redundant. This is one of the reasons I worked so hard for so long to push it forward so it couldn’t get caught.” JBMod available to download now, for free, from Steam.
Why not try some of the other best old games? Or maybe some great FPS games, if reading about all these old Source Engine classics has gotten you in the mood. There are also a lot of fantastic free PC games out there just like JBMod.