Garry's Mod - Buck Sexington


Hello! We're back with a look at the work of Crazy Knife, another scenebuilder whose work completely blew us away.

His obsession lies in bringing the real world into Garry's Mod, turning real rocks into in-game backdrops, remaking real-world frescoes, or tweaking architecture into impossible shapes. He's worked on builds that could be a snapshot of a real world street, but has also crafted surreal structures, sci-fi brutalist landscapes, and more. We really enjoyed hearing about how he turned mashed potatoes and Renaissance symmetry into Garry's Mod art, and we hope you will as well. Read about him and his work here.
Garry's Mod - Buck Sexington


Not a patch! Sorry if you're looking for a bugfix. No, we're here to share the work of Vioxtar, a Garry's Mod player who uses the game to make extraordinary things. He's broke the game more times than you can imagine, lost sleep, and worked for months on a single scene trying to bring the sandbox to life.

We hope you enjoy his story.
Garry's Mod

Yesterday, Garry's Mod creator Facepunch Studios unveiled S&box—a prototype that aims to "take a powerful game engine (UE4 right now) and build a hotloading C# layer on top of it". 

In turn, so reckons the developer, this will allow users to sidestep using C++, waiting for things to compile, and closing games while developing. Overnight, a handful of Reddit threads reckon S&box is Facepunch's way of announcing Garry's Mod 2.    

We reached out Facepunch's head honcho Garry Newman to ask what exactly S&box is, if it is in fact Garry's Mod 2, and when we might expect to learn more about it.  

"So this might be a bit complicated," Newman tells us via email. "There's a lot of "is this Garry's Mod 2", the honest answer is "maybe"—but nowhere near that yet. We've basically built our own game engine on top of UE4. We're really using UE4 for its core features, rendering, networking, physics. It's all done in an engine agnostic way. We can lift our system off and put it on the source engine (it actually started on the source engine).

"It's too early to say whether this will turn into a spiritual successor of Garry's Mod, or whether it will even be released as a moddable platform (we might use it internally to make our own games on). But at the moment we're enjoying playing around with it and that's enough right now."

Newman also links to this—something he describes as "one of the many prototypes [he and his team] are working on."

Half-Life 2

There's been a lot of Half-Life 2 talk lately, what with Marc Laidlaw creatively writing some gender-swapped fan fiction that revealed his vision for the missing Episode 3 and Lever Softworks speeding up the release schedule of its Half-Life 2: Aftermath mod. In fact, it feels like there there's pretty much always a bit of Half-Life 2 chatter drifting around because it's a celebrated hunk of first-person shootery and we're still wondering (well, maybe not so much now) if we'll ever see Half-Life 3.

It wasn't this most recent surge of Half-Life 2 nostalgia that led me to play through the final chapter of Half-Life 2 a total of 15 times in 2 days. I love Half-Life 2, and I'll still play certain chapters of it every now and then. But when I play it, I never play the last chapter, and I didn't want to this week, and I certainly didn't want to play it 15 times in two days. Also: I'll never play it again.

Why I played it this week: I was working on some Half-Life 2 stuff for an upcoming issue of our magazine, and my contribution involved using Garry's Mod, which I have not used in a very, very long time. I had a specific goal in mind: to reach the end of the game, where (spoiler) there's an explosion on top of the (spoiler) citadel, Alyx (spoiler) is there and shields her face, G-Man walks out of the explosion and says (spoiler) some things before stuffing Gordon Freeman back into the interdimensional broom (spoiler) closet.

Seemed easy enough. I wait for the explosion, then disable the game's AI using the console, which will freeze everyone in their tracks. Then I'll spawn a G-Man ragdoll, pose him next to Alyx, and I'm done. Five minutes, tops.

Except it's wasn't, because when you load that final map (d3_breen_01), it loads at the beginning of the chapter, where Freeman has stupidly and willingly climbed into a locking metal coffin like an idiot, allowing himself to be captured. So you take a coffin ride, there's a ton of moustache-twirling from Dr. Breen and a lot of chit-chat from everyone else before Breen, being almost as stupid as Freeman, sets you free.

Cool, I'm free. I noclip up through the map to the top of the citadel, but then realize, oh yeah, I need Alyx (I don't think I can pose her as well as she poses herself) and the explosion. I'll need to actually play through the entire chapter to reach the climactic end. So, I noclip back down into Breen's office but apparently I've passed through a trigger or something and the sequence won't continue.

I start the chapter over, ride the coffin, listen to the chats, Breen frees me, we pursue, he gets distracted while Skyping with a large alien cyber-maggot, I get my gravity gun back, I fight the Combine and remember how to get to the top of the citadel without using noclip to fly, I shoot orbs at the thingie, the thingie breaks, and Alyx hops out of a window I probably could have used to avoid that entire fight. There's an explosion, Alyx throws her hands up, I disable the AI, and everything pauses. Perfect! I open the Garry's Mod menu, spawn a G-Man ragdoll, and take out the posing tool. Only the posing tool doesn't come out. Nothing comes out. The only tool I can use is the regular old gravity gun.

Hum. That won't do. I reload the map to start again. Coffin, Breen, Combine, orbs, explosion. Same thing. Either the game or the mod isn't letting me use the tools I need at the end of the game.

I begin again. Maybe I'm being denied the tools because at the start of the chapter all of Gordon's weapons are confiscated by the weapon confiscating machine Breen has installed outside his office, probably due to all the other weapon-bearing scientists constantly riding inescapable metal coffins to the top of his office building to kill him. When Breen frees me, I use a console code to give me all the weapons, which I wrongly assume will give me all the tools as well. I fight through the Combine again (using the rocket launcher, because why not) to trigger the final scene, but once again I can't use the posing tool.

I begin again. It's been a couple hours at this point -- this is like a 15 minute sequence -- and I'm not sure I'll be able to get this pose to work at all. After Breen frees me, I start noclipping around the map because I can't think of anything else to do. At one point I apparently pass through a kill-trigger, presumably the one that ends the game if you fall off the catwalk while fighting on the roof, and I die. Since this is G-Mod and not Half-Life 2, it doesn't reload the chapter but just respawns me back at the start of the level with the chapter still in progress—this time with all my Garry's Mod tools working. A-ha!

So I just need to play through the chapter and die at some point. I start again, Breen frees me, I disable the AI, and everyone freezes. I give myself all the weapons, then walk into the corner, drop a grenade, and squat on it. I die, respawn at the bottom with my tools, noclip back to the office, and enable the AI. Everyone wakes up and continues as if Gordon Freeman didn't just blow up his own ass and then rise through the floor a minute later with a buncha weird-ass physics tools.

I continue through the sequence, get to the top of the Citadel, blow it up, and pause. My tools are gone again. Dang! (I don't actually say dang.) I don't know what happened, but it's been like three hours of this and all I've done is watch people talk and have a grenade go off three inches from my testicles. I'm done for the night.

I wake up the next morning and sit glumly through the beginning of the chapter again. This time I wait until later in the chapter, pause, die, and return with my tools. I fight through the Combine and make it to the top. Explosion, pause. Spawn a ragdoll.

My tools. They're sort of working but not really. There's no beam extending from the poser, but I can pick up the ragdoll. I can't turn turn the ragdoll, though, no matter how I try. I can move it, but I can't rotate it to face me. This won't do.

Maybe I'll forget the ragdoll altogether. I mean, G-Man walks out of the explosion anyway and stands next to Alyx, maybe I'll just use the faceposer to give him a different expression while he's standing there. I seem to remember being able to pose faces on 'living' NPCs. I play through the entire chapter, again, making sure to sit on a grenade and die at one point, then reach the ending. G-Man walks out, I pause, then shoot him with the face-poser, only I don't because the game won't let me use it.

Okay, new plan. I'll go up and pose the ragdoll before the explosion. Well, first I'll take a break to scream into a pillow, and then I'll go up and pose the ragdoll before the explosion. Then I'll go back downstairs, fight my way back upstairs, then when the roof explodes and I disable the AI, I should be all set with the posed G-Man in place. I pause, I pose, I go back down. I've done something wrong, though, because Breen won't wake up. He won't rise up through the citadel in his force-field while mocking me, so the ending of the game won't trigger properly.

I start over. Again. After the coffin ride and family meeting, I make sure Breen starts rising through the citadel before I start messing with console codes. I disable the AI, kill myself, respawn and fly upstairs, spawn a floppy G-Man, use the poser and face-poser, and everything is all set. Then the game ends and the screen goes dark, because Breen, even with no AI functioning, has risen all the way to the top of the citadel and escaped, thus causing me to fail my mission.

After a break to put my face in my hands and moan for a bit, I start again. By carefully noclipping I manage to avoid messing with the chapter's routine. I die, I fly, I pose, I return and run through the sequence again. At the top of the citiadel, Alyx hops through the window and runs smack into the G-Man I've posed. I've placed him right in her path.

I shriek in horror.

But Alyx is smart. She doesn't miss a beat and sidesteps the obstruction, bless her. The explosion explodes for the umpteenth time. I pick up the frozen Alyx and reposition her a bit. Weirdly, I notice the explosion has actually undone some of my ragdoll posing.

Even though I've locked all of G-Man's joints, his leg is swinging away and his briefcase is askew. Thankfully, my tool is still working properly. I wedge his bits back into place, noting how his limbs are a bit floaty in the timeless portion of the chapter. I take a hundred screenshots for safety, check the folder to see that the pictures are actually there, then take a hundred more. I never want to have to come back here again.

So that's why I had to play Half-Life 2's final chapter 15 times in 2 days. I have no doubt there was a much easier way to get this done, and I'm sure there will be plenty of helpful comments below to point them out, and they will probably make me weep at my lost hours.

On the plus side, I've got some closure with Half-Life 2 and if we never get a sequel, at least the ending to this one will be forever burned in my brain.

Garry's Mod - Willox
We've just pushed another small update. This updated fixes some insecure code and a crash related to models. Read about it here.

It can take up to 15 minutes for updates to appear in Steam.

Fixed crash when rendering models with invalid flex rules
Fixed remote-code-execution exploit discovered by One Up Security
Garry's Mod - Willox
We've just released a very small hotfix for the game. You can read about it here.
It might not appear in your Steam client for up to 15 minutes.

FIXED - Linux clients no longer crash on startup when a joypad is connected to the computer
UPDATED - gui.OpenURL now asks users for confirmation before opening a website
Garry's Mod - Willox
Hey, we're pushing an update for Garry's Mod right now. You'll still be able to play on any servers that have not yet been updated.

There's some more in-depth information on the update here.

It might take up to 15 minutes for the update to pop up on Steam.

Game Changes
NEW - Preset support for Utilities menus
NEW - 'Quick Preset' button - allows for easier access to the preset system
NEW - Addons menu can now manage multiple addons at once (e.g. bulk unsubscribing)
NEW - Demos, saves, and duplications menus now list items that the user is subscribed to
NEW - Addons menu now has a search bar to quickly search through subscriptions
NEW - The '-notty' startup parameter on Linux servers will send console output directly to stdout
UPDATED - Weapons no longer turn upside-down when zooming in too far
UPDATED - Improved support for CS:GO/Portal 2/TF2 maps
UPDATED - Game returns to DirectX 9 mode if '-dxlevel' is not specified in the command-line
UPDATED - Improved relationships between Half-Life and Half-Life 2 NPCs
UPDATED - Improved behaviour of collisions between players and 'no collided' entities created by tools
UPDATED - Added more information to crash dumps (.mdmp files)
UPDATED - r_eyes_* console variables are no longer saved
UPDATED - The emitter tool's explosion effect no longer creates sounds
UPDATED - Bots can longer be created before the InitPostEntity hook has fired
UPDATED - Improved how serverside ragdolls are handled on the client - hull traces can hit them now
UPDATED - Updated the Half-Life Model Viewer to have newest features from Team Fortress 2 version
FIXED - Odessa no longer has female voices
FIXED - Fixed errors caused by the spawn menu's search feature not having access to certain directories
FIXED - Fixed many crashes related to NPCs trying to use non-existent entities
FIXED - Checkboxes and radio buttons in HTML panels are now displayed properly on Linux/macOS
FIXED - Half-Life Ichthyosaur can now cause damage
FIXED - Half-Life Tentacle NPC no longer continues playing sounds after being removed
FIXED - Fixed massive FPS drops when missing sounds are playing on servers
FIXED - Fixed crash that occurs when console variables created by Lua are removed too early on level change
FIXED - Fixed late loading of memory allocator on Linux causing the game to crash for some people
FIXED - Impulse 200 command no longer crashes when the player has no active weapon
FIXED - Fixed prediction errors when firing weapon_357
FIXED - weapon_357 now has the 'revolver' holdtype

Lua API Changes
NEW - Entity:PhysicsInitStatic( ... )
NEW - Entity:RemoveCallback( ... )
NEW - Entity:GetCallbacks( ... )
NEW - CLuaEmitter:IsValid( ... )
UPDATED - Entity:PhysicsInit* methods now return either true or false based on success
UPDATED - Entity:Remove() can no longer remove the world
UPDATED - Weapon:IsScripted() will now return false instead of no value when ran on non-scripted weapons
UPDATED - Player:Give( ... ) no longer fills a player's gun with ammo when asked to not give ammo to players
UPDATED - Entity:GetBoneCount() and Entity:GetBoneParent( ... ) will now return -1 on failure
UPDATED - Entity:TranslateBoneToPhysBone( ... ) will now return -1 on failure
UPDATED - Entity:SetSaveValue( ... ) now returns false on failure
UPDATED - Entity:DispatchTraceAttack( ... ) will now trigger an error when passed invalid parameters
UPDATED - Entity:HasBoneManipulations() and Entity:HasFlexManipulatior() return false on failure
UPDATED - Entity:GetBrushPlaneCount() will now return false on failure
UPDATED - Entity:GetFlexScale( ... ) now always returns 1 on failure, rather than just sometimes
FIXED - Entity:GetBrushPlaneCount() and Entity:GetBrushPlane( ... ) now work on brush entities
FIXED - PathFollower:Compute() no longer leaks Lua references

Hammer Changes
UPDATED - Improved performance of 2D/3D views
UPDATED - 2D views are now rendered during scroll operations, rather than after
UPDATED - Increased max render distance from 10,000 to 32,000
UPDATED - Vertices no longer need to be in the exact same location to be merged
FIXED - Blended textures are now rendered correctly - it should be identical to in-game
FIXED - Model browser no longer freezes after being opened multiple times
FIXED - Overlays no longer flicker when rendered in 3D shaded mode
FIXED - Scrollbars on 2D views are now correctly sized when zoomed in

GitHub Pull Requests
UPDATED - Removed CAP_INNATE_RANGE_ATTACK1 from weapon_base
UPDATED - Removed unused function parameters
FIXED - Result of COLLISION_GROUP_DEBRIS trace in properties.Gethovered is no longer ignored
FIXED - Fixed use of non-existent enum in DModelPanel
FIXED - Fixed 'Cannot set property' JavaScript error in main-menu
NEW - Trouble in Terrorist Town: Enabled scoreboard to be sorted by different criteria
UPDATED - Trouble in Terrorist Town: Corpses get skin/bodygroups of dead players
FIXED - Trouble in Terrorist Town: Fixed incorrect fall damage
FIXED - Trouble in Terrorist Town: Fixed 2 DoS exploits
Garry's Mod - Willox
Hey, we're planning to push the next Garry's Mod update next week on 2017-07-10. There's quite a lot of changes, so if you're running a server you'll probably want to at least try it out.

The update may not look like much, but I'm hoping that these internal changes are going to help us bring some more interesting updates in the future.

Pre-release Steam Branch
The Pre-Release Steam branch for Garry's Mod has been updated and contains all the changes that will be included in the next update. It is backwards compatible with the current version of the game, so if you are using it you'll still be able to connect to servers that haven't updated.

There will be instructions at the bottom of this post on how to join the Pre-Release branch.

Changelog
Windows builds of the game now use the Visual Studio 2017 C++ Runtime. This should hopefully not affect anybody, but could perhaps break some third-party binary modules.

Linux builds of the game now depend on GLIBCXX 3.4.19. You may run in to some issues if your server's C++ runtime is a decade out of date. Steam should handle this for you if you're just playing the game.

Game Changes
NEW - Preset support for Utilities menus
NEW - 'Quick Preset' button - allows for easier access to the preset system
UPDATED - Weapons no longer turn upside-down when zooming in too far
UPDATED - Improved support for CS:GO/Portal 2/TF2 maps
UPDATED - Game returns to DirectX 9 mode if '-dxlevel' is not specified in the command-line
UPDATED - Improved relationships between Half-Life and Half-Life 2 NPCs
UPDATED - Demos, saves, and duplications menus can now list items that the user is subscribed to
UPDATED - Addons menu can now manage multiple addons at once (e.g. bulk unsubscribing)
UPDATED - Improved behaviour of collisions between players and 'no collided' entities created by tools
FIXED - Odessa no longer has female voices
FIXED - Fixed errors caused by the spawn menu's search feature not having access to certain directories
FIXED - Fixed many crashes related to NPCs trying to use non-existent entities
FIXED - Checkboxes and ratio buttons in HTML panels are now displayed properly on Linux/macOS
FIXED - Half-Life Icthyosaur can now cause damage
FIXED - Half-Life Tentacle NPC no longer continues playing sounds after being removed

Lua API Changes
NEW - Entity:PhysicsInitStatic( ... )
NEW - Entity:RemoveCallback( ... )
NEW - Entity:GetCallbacks( ... )
NEW - CLuaEmitter::IsValid( ... )
UPDATED - Entity:PhysicsInit* methods now return either true or false based on success
UPDATED - Entity:Remove() can no longer remove the world
UPDATED - Weapon:IsScripted() will now return false instead of no value when ran on non-scripted weapons
UPDATED - Player:Give( ... ) no longer fills a player's gun with ammo when asked to not give ammo to players
UPDATED - Entity:GetBoneCount() and Entity:GetBoneParent( ... ) will now return -1 on failure
UPDATED - Entity:TranslateBoneToPhysBone( ... ) will now return -1 on failure
UPDATED - Entity:SetSaveValue( ... ) now returns false on failure
UPDATED - Entity:DispatchTraceAttack( ... ) will now trigger an error when passed invalid parameters
UPDATED - Entity:HasBoneManipulations() and Entity:HasFlexManipulatior() return false on failure
UPDATED - Entity:GetBrushPlaneCount() will now return false on failure
UPDATED - Entity:GetFlexScale( ... ) now always returns 1 on failure, rather than just sometimes
FIXED - Entity:GetBrushPlaneCount() and Entity:GetBrushPlane( ... ) now work on brush entities
FIXED - PathFollower:Compute() no longer leaks Lua references

Hammer Changes
UPDATED - Improved performance of 2D/3D views
UPDATED - 2D views are now rendered during scroll operations, rather than after
UPDATED - Increased max render distance from 10,000 to 32,000
UPDATED - Vertices no longer need to be in the exact same location to be merged
FIXED - Blended textures are now rendered correctly - it should be identical to in-game
FIXED - Model browser no longer freezes after being opened multiple times
FIXED - Overlays no longer flicker when rendered in 3D shaded mode
FIXED - Scrollbars on 2D views are now correctly sized when zoomed in

Other Stuff
NEW - The '-notty' startup parameter on Linux servers will send console output directly to stdout
UPDATED - Added more information to crash dumps (.mdmp files)
UPDATED - r_eyes_* console variables are no longer saved
UPDATED - Explosion effect no longer creates sounds - this doesn't mean that explosions are silent
UPDATED - Bots can no longer be created before the InitPostEntity hook has ran
UPDATED - Improved how serverside ragdolls are handled on the client - hull traces can hit them now
FIXED - Fixed crash that occurs when console variables created by Lua are removed too early on level change
FIXED - Fixed late loading of memory allocator on Linux causing the game to crash for some people
FIXED - Impulse 200 command no longer crashes when the player has no active weapon
FIXED - Fixed prediction errors when firing weapon_357
FIXED - weapon_357 now has the 'revolver' holdtype

How to Switch Between Branches
  1. Exit the game
  2. Right click on Garry's Mod in Steam and select Properties
  3. Go to the Betas tab and select your desired branch
None - This is the normal version of the game
Pre-Release - This is the next update
Dev - This is a bleeding edge version of the game, expect it to contain more bugs than usual

If you want to set up an SRCDS instance using the Pre-Release branch, see this article: https://wiki.garrysmod.com/page/Hosting_A_Dedicated_Server.
Garry's Mod - Rubert
An update has been released which fixes an issue that allows malicious clients to cause game-servers to crash. If you don't want this to happen to your server, you should update it.

All dedicated servers should be updated through either your Game Server Provider's control panel or SteamCMD.

Edit:
If it says 'content file is locked', contact Steam Support for help.
http://support.steampowered.com/

Your free antivirus is most likely deleting the game or update files causing it all to die. Add Steam to your AV exclusions, restart Steam, and try updating again.
Garry's Mod

Achievement hunting on Steam is serious business. While Valve's storefront might not have Xbox's Gamerscore or PlayStation's Trophies, there are still plenty of PC gamers who appreciate the way Steam achievements challenge them to play games in new and interesting ways. Then there's the satisfaction of knowing you're one of just a small percentage of players who've explored every nook and cranny, maxed out every stat, or earned every gold medal a game has to offer. 

The thing is, a lot of Steam achievements are kind of boring. Kill 10,000 enemies, hit level 99 in every class, finish the game on Ultra Nightmare Hardcore difficulty—most of the objectives feel like they've fallen straight out of a free-to-play MMO's quest log. Even the rarest achievements are often little more than tedious grind fests, requiring you to play 500 online matches in a multiplayer game with no active player base, or fight alongside a game's developer when that developer has long ago moved onto their next project. 

These achievements aren't particularly fun to earn, let alone read about. But buried in Steam's massive catalog of games are some truly obscure, brutally difficult achievements that less than 0.1 percent of players have managed to accomplish. These are achievements worthy of the name. Most of us will never earn them, but we can dream.

Note: Total owners approximated from SteamSpy. Verified achievement stats through AStats.

Devil Daggers

Devil Dagger - Survive 500 secondsTotal Owners: 236,000 Completion Percentage: 0.1

For something you could complete in the downtime between Dota matches, frantic FPS Devil Dagger's one and only achievement has managed to defy 99.9 percent of players for well over a year now. That might seem odd given how simple its requirement sounds: all you have to do is survive for 500 seconds. I mean, I do that all the time. See. That last 500 seconds? I just survived that. 

But yeah. Surviving Devil Daggers is a wee bit tougher than running out the clock in real life. Despite the game selling for a mere fiver, just 0.1 percent of players have managed to avoid croaking for the 8 minutes and 20 seconds necessary to snag the 'Devil Dagger' achievement. Watching replays of those runs is equal parts mesmerizing and depressing, making it painfully clear just how amateur my own skills are. I could probably spend the next year playing nothing but Devil Daggers and still not come close to the graceful death-dealing of players like the world-record-smashing bowsr. When the apocalypse hits and the whole world goes to hell, I'll be the redshirt incinerated in the first ten seconds.

Crusader Kings 2

Not so Bad - Survive the End Times Total Owners: 1.4 million Completion Percentage: 0.1

Crusader Kings 2, champion of the grand strategy genre, is full of intricate, multi-layered achievements few players have managed to unlock. From installing a female ruler in the five baronies of the Orthodox Pentarchy, to trampling the Pope with a horde of elephants, over a dozen eclectic achievements are currently sitting at a completion rate of less than 0.1 percent.  

The one I want to shout out, though, is the 'Not so Bad' achievement awarded for surviving the End Times. Ostensibly, you unlock this achievement by surviving the rise of the Prophet of Doom and the Black Death he's convinced will destroy humanity. A Crusader Kings player going by the username Xolotl123 on Reddit, however, inadvertently earned themselves the achievement due to their investment in high-quality hospital care and their imprisonment of the Prophet for disturbing the peace. The Prophet then hanged himself, but not before sending the player a letter that read: 'If you are reading this letter, I am with God, or with Lucifer..., if so, then you were right. If not, then I was right.' 

I've not had the time to play Crusader Kings 2, but after reading this story, I think I'm going to have to clear my schedule. Any game where you can avert the End Times through hygiene is a winner in my book. 

Rising Storm / Red Orchestra 2

Bringing a sword to a sword fight – As an American soldier kill an Axis soldier wielding a Katana, with a Katana. Stick it to Tojo – As an Allied soldier, kill 100 Axis soldiers with a bayonet. Total Owners: 2.7 million (unreliable due to free weekend) Completion percentage: 0.1 - 0.2

Rising Storm's focus on historically authentic, asymmetrical WWII combat means that, naturally, American soldiers do not spawn into the battlefield with katanas. In order to get one, you have to defeat a Japanese soldier who's carrying one. And in order to get the "Bringing a sword..." achievement, you then have to pick up their katana, find another Japanese soldier with a katana, and then defeat them with the weapon of their ancestors. It's a hard scenario to concoct in an FPS where rifles and grenades are the preferred way to fight.

Bit.Trip Beat

MEAT.BOY SMELLS - Get a perfect in 1-1 using only a game pad.Total Owners: 311,00Achievement percentage: 1.6

Heresy! An achievement that requires ditching the holy mouse and keyboard for a filthy gamepad? What does BIT.TRIP BEAT take us for, console players? Everyone knows a good M+K combo is the only way to play. Sure, it makes driving games a bit twitchy, and performing combos in third-person action games can be tricky without analogue sticks, and fighting games don't always work so great, and stealth sequences tend to be a little wonky with WASD…

Okay. So maybe gamepads aren't that bad. Still, locking an achievement to a specific piece of hardware is a surefire way to tick off achievement hunters. The BIT.TRIP devs found that out the hard way with the game's 'SIXTH.SENSE' achievement, which required players to beat a level using Razer's short-lived Sixense motion controller. The backlash to 'SIXTH.SENSE' drove the devs to delete the achievement from Steam completely, which technically makes it one of the rarest achievements out there. Not quite as rare as a game with motion controls that don't feel like total garbage, but still…

The Stanley Parable

Go outside - Don't play The Stanley Parable for five years Total Owners: 2.1 million Number of achievers: 2 verified through AStats (6.9 percent on Steam) 

Games are meant to be played—we usually take that much for granted. It's a little odd, then, when a game actively encourages you not to play it. Odd, however, is what The Stanley Parable's all about. I mean, one of the game's endings involves running back and forth between two buttons for four hours. And that's not to mention the pointed commentary on the nature of free will and the human tendency towards obeisance. Like I said, odd. 

The Stanley Parable's weirdest elements, however, are definitely its achievements. In addition to an achievement simply entitled 'Unachievable' (paradoxically earned by 3.9 percent of players), there's the 'Go outside' achievement that tasks players with not playing the game for five years straight. Since The Stanley Parable released in October 2013, no one can legitimately earn this achievement until October next year. Of course, that hasn't stopped some unscrupulous Steam users from setting their computer clocks forward to unlock the achievement early.  

Cheating to not play a game? I guess some people will do anything for their sweet cheevos. 

Garry's Mod

Addict - You have wasted a year of your life playing GMod! Total Owners: 13.2 million Number of achievers: 9 verified on AStats (1.8 percent on Steam) 

You can do a lot of things in the 8760 hours that make up a single year. You could play 105,120 matches of Rocket League. You could marathon the entire current run of The Simpsons—all 617 episodes—38 times over. You could hitch a ride on a rocket and fly to Mars, with enough time left over to plant the seeds of an interplanetary rebellion

You could also spend every one of those 8760 hours playing Garry's Mod in order to unlock the 'Addict' achievement. And when I say playing, I don't just mean booting up the game and letting it idle in the menu. You have to be connected to an active server for your time to count. Unsurprisingly, the hefty investment involved has kept the achievement's completion percentage at just 1.8 percent, even with achievement hunters over at AStats devising strategies for minimizing the resources used by Garry's Mod so you can leave it running in the background while you tend to other tasks. 

I have to wonder, though, how many people left their computers on while they were working or sleeping solely to unlock this achievement? At a modest estimate, 8760 hours' worth of electricity would cost roughly $210 USD, which is a whole lot of money for a single achievement. Kind of puts all those pesky microtransactions to shame, doesn't it? 

Train Simulator

DLC scenarios Total Owners: 995,000 Completion percentage: 0

Speaking of money, Train Simulator boasts some of the rarest achievements on Steam, but that's not because they're brutally difficult or stubbornly obscure. Heck, the achievement descriptions make it pretty obvious what you've got to do: the 'It Works For Dogs!' achievement reads 'Awarded for completing scenario [RailfanMode] Barking. It's not like the game's unpopular either, with nearly a million owners on Steam and a median playtime of a respectable 7.5 hours. 

No, what makes Train Simulator's achievements so rare is that fiendish friend of ours: DLC. Train Simulator is notorious for having the most expensive DLC on Steam, with its total value currently sitting at $6254.43 USD. Worse, Train Simulator ties many of its achievements to its DLC, leading to a wealth of 0 percent and 0.1 percent completion rates across the board.  

But that $6254.43? I'd want a real honest-to-god train if I was forking over that much cash. If it was anything like Train Simulator, though, it'd probably lock out the train whistle as premium DLC. Steam whistle: only $0.99 per toot! 

Ark: Survival Evolved

Artifact Archaeologist – You personally retrieved all Eight Artifacts! Total Owners: 4.7 million Completion Percentage: 0.2

A whole lot of people play ARK: Survival Evolved, and yet even the most common of its seven achievements has been earned by less than 5 percent of players. But while 95 percent of ARK players haven't defeated the game's first Ultimate Life Form, 99.8 percent remain vexed by its toughest achievement: 'Artifact Archaeologist', rewarded for retrieving every Artifact in the game. It sounds simple enough, but this is where ARK's nature as an Early Access game comes back to bite it on the rump.  

According to the achievement description, there are only eight artifacts in ARK: Survival Evolved. This isn't true. There are 14 artifacts in total, 10 of which can be obtained through normal play, 3 which are locked to the Scorched Earth DLC, and one which can only be spawned through a console command. For a game that has already seen its fair share of controversy, ARK has left quite a few achievement hunters pretty disappointed. Still, at least they can take solace in the giant bees that have just been added to the game. That's something, right?  

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Dragonrider - Tame and ride 5 dragons Total Owners: 11 million (unreliable due to free weekend) Completion percentage: 0.8

I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume you've played Skyrim, or at least heard enough about it to understand the game's premise. You're the dragonborn, you need to save the world from an evil dragon, yada yada yada. In short, the game basically revolves around dragons. 

How, then, is the achievement for riding dragons so rare? Only 0.8 percent of the millions of Skyrim players have tamed five or more of the mythical creatures and taken to the skies, which makes exactly zero sense to me. Who wouldn't want a dragon as their personal chauffeur? It's not like you'd have to worry about anyone jacking your scaly pal; any thief foolish enough to try would be charred to a crisp before they could shout Fus Ro Dah. I guess Skyrim players are just too busy getting busy and fighting Macho Man Randy Savage to spend their time becoming certified dragon pilots. 

Black Mesa

Rare Specimen – Send the Hidden Hat to Xen. Total Owners: 500,000 Completion percentage: 2.1 percent 

Hats are all the rage these days. I have it on good authority from my stock broker that the hat economy is only going to go up—and that's coming from a man who wears a top hat, so you know it's legit. My wardrobe is already full of baseball caps, bowler hats, fezes, and beanies, just waiting for the day when my fabric fortune will be ready to claim. The only thing I don't quite understand is why my broker keeps mentioning Dota. Eh, never mind. I'm sure it's nothing. 

Video games, it turns out, are just as keen to cash in on the hat craze. Black Mesa, the fan-made recreation of the original Half-Life, adds in the 'Rare Specimen' achievement that tasks good old Gordon Freeman with locating a hidden purple top hat and lugging it all the way from the Black Mesa Research Facility on Earth to the alien dimension of Xen. It might not sound that tricky, but apparently Gordon's more interested in trivial things like saving the world instead of securing his future in the hat economy--only 2.1 percent of players have carried the top hat all the way to its new interdimensional marketplace. 

Wait, that gives me an idea. What if I started selling digital hats instead of physical ones? Ooh, I think I'm onto something here. I better stop typing before someone beats me to the punch… 

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