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. 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 grew quickly 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.