Interview: Atlas from Gmodstore

What makes a server unique? Besides its community, one of the big factors is its unique and quality content. Within the Garry’s Mod community the name GmodStore is a given. If you need premium plugins/gamemode you head over to GmodStore. Easy as that. GmodStore, formaly known as ScriptFodder, has been around since the demise of CoderHire back in 2014. This powerhouse has provided a shared platform for communities and developers to sell/buy plugins and freelance jobs. On the 31st of january GmodStore was transferred to Everyday AS accompanied with a reassurance that the same people are doing what they’ve always done behind the scene. The difference? A more clear plan in mind for going forward to make the marketplace an even better place for content creators and customers alike. Let’s hear it from the community manager of GmodStore, Atlas!

Thanks for taking the time to have a chat with us Atlas. First of all, how are you doing today?

Very good, before writing this I was in a meeting with the development team over at ASAP, and I finally just got my tea that I’ve been waiting on for weeks, not to mention looking forward to writing up this interview, I definitely appreciate you guys taking the time to talk to me and get to know GMS / ASAP more through my eyes.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role within Gmodstore?

I’m the Community Manager, I basically have left moderating at a user to user level, and I watch over the moderation team / community as a whole. Making bigger decisions on how management handles public relations, announcements, global sales, events, etc.

Let’s go back to the old days of ScriptFodder. Can you tell me a bit on how the project got started?

ScriptFodder was created as a replacement for CoderHire after it closed its doors back in 2014. The project was started by previous members of the CoderHire moderation team and a working website was operational within a few weeks, it was very much a project that would not exist without CoderHire.

Fast forward to 2019. GmodStore recently got transfered to Everyday, a norwegian based technology agency. For the “gamers” out there (I hate using that word), what does this mean?

While GmodStore transferred ownership, the people surrounding GmodStore’s moderation and administration team are still the same people, with the exception of Matthew Stevens who unfortunately did not have the time to continue working on the project. This does however mean that we as a platform can now work on the features and projects we really want to bring to life in the comfort of our own office instead of working on them in our free time next to everything else.

“Your project / community / server is a direct reflection of you more often than not. You not having fun and loving what you do can seriously hinder your growth”

Everyday, a.k.a. the vikings, said to have a clear plan in mind going forward. What can users expect in the future? (roadmap)

We recently did a dev-blog about the future. You can read more about it here. In short, our hand was recently forced into changing how we accept payments with PayPal, and we are actively working on a new payment solution that will be used in all our future projects that require it. Our plan is to eventually make GmodStore’s code abstract enough that we can easily expand into new niche markets such as Garry’s Mod. The new payments solution is the first step towards achieving that goal. We are in a period where most of what we do is about improving our infrastructure but at the same time maintaining the platform as a whole.

In terms of new features to GmodStore itself we are going to make jobs even safer through implementing the middle-man queue and also finishing our pay-to-unlock feature once the new payments system is finished. Another thing that also depends on the payments system is the freelancers section, which will be very comparable to say, Fiverr.

Speaking of changes, Over the years the game (Garry’s Mod) and its audience has changed. How did these changes affect GmodStore?

Obviously, GmodStore lives and dies by the trends that Garry’s Mod is going through, when the game has a drought, we feel it exactly as much. Overall, I think that Garry’s Mod has definitely made is easier to host servers. More than ever I believe that people are interested in starting their own community. Although I definitely will reiterate that there are serious droughts at times, usually near school for each hemisphere respectively the user active will drop quite significantly.

Garry’s Mod in 2019. What does it look like plugin and gamemode-wise when looking at your data? It seems DarkRP and TTT are reigning supreme by a mile.

Darkrp will always be number one in that regard, in terms of TTT it’s actually quite little. I think many users have started buying more website focused scripts, like loading screens, donation systems, etc. As their community more likely than not largely wants these kinds of addons now.

“The jobs and freelance section are soon due for a complete overhaul featuring a middleman system, protection guaranteed by us for both parties, and much more”

A problem for lots of industries out there is “leaks”. Unfortunately, GmodStore is no stranger to this problem. How has this affected you and how is this being countered?

There is no perfect system that will ever detect an exact leak, where it came from, etc. We originally were going to fully implement a DRM software called SecureGmod. But ultimately felt it wasn’t right to have such an intrusive DRM that greatly affects the ecosystem of the general server population. No DRM will ever really not have the end user suffering. Which is why we opted out of providing an inhouse solution, and let third party solutions find their way around battling this task.

I like to peek in the Jobs & Freelance section from time to time. Can you tell us a bit about this section and how its being moderated?

The jobs and freelance section are soon due for a complete overhaul featuring a middleman system, protection guaranteed by us for both parties, and much more. In terms of moderating now, we mostly wait on user reports. This is mainly due to the sheer amount of jobs that get created daily, our community makes quick work of jobs that shouldn’t be on here or don’t meet the current quality standard, which makes our jobs a lot easier.

What are some of GmodStore’s biggest milestones/achievements looking back?

Easily our biggest internal achievement was finally upgrading from Scriptfodder to GmodStore, both in branding and in terms of codebase as well. We have over $2.5 million in transactions, and over 20k jobs that have been completed in GmodStore’s life span. Overall, I think our biggest achievement is our consistency, the development time and time again has completely blown these updates out of the water. It may look like GmodStore is all nice and shiny now. But in the dark ages it was a nightmare to work in. Genuinely could not be prouder of how GmodStore has progressed as a whole.

*leans in. Anything else you guys are working on outside of GmodStore?

Yeah! We are working on a new project we don’t want to mention too much about quite yet, we will announce it once we are comfortable enough with the idea and infrastructure surrounding it. You could say server owners definitely do have something to look forward to.

Besides GmodStore, you are also the community manager over at ASAP Gaming. How do you combine managing both communities at the same time?

It’s honestly a nightmare, there really isn’t a day where I’m not busy, but I’m honestly in love with it. GmodStore has really pulled me out of near poverty when I was just starting out as a freelancer. Without them I honestly wouldn’t have even landed a full time job at ASAP to begin with. I owe both communities my life and try to give back to them however I can. I truly do thank people like Marcuz, Matt, and Candy for giving me a chance to show I can do meaningful work.

“GmodStore has really pulled me out of near poverty when I was just starting out as a freelancer”

With all that experience, are there any tips you would like to give (starting) communities out there?

Consistency and dedication are always great values to have. But many server owners focus on these way too much. They want the best content, addons, models, you name it. But a major thing they always forget is to honestly have fun. Your project / community / server is a direct reflection of you more often than not. You not having fun and loving what you do can seriously hinder your growth.