Friendly Garg started this site several years ago. I’m not really sure how long ago. 2001 at the latest. The entire concept began with a sven coop map. In it, FG wanted the players to rescue a garg from the Marines. Mostly for fun, FG wanted to write a story for background on the map.
That story became the first HL comic. Operation Save Friendly Garg. FG addopted the Friendly Garg persona and formed his site on the cheapest of free web hosts. This included the Sven Coop website and http://www.friendlygarg.50megs.com. Given time he contacted PHL and was accepted for hosting there.
At first, the site was Friendly Garg’s Stories. When the Half-Life mod GargArena came along, the site name was changed to something along the lines of the “gargaholics”. The name was always a bit up-in-the-air. Sometimes it was garg-o-holics. Sometimes gargaholics.
The site grew and stories were added. Submissions were added from the community, and eventually the name “Garg-o-holics” was made official.
However, given some problems with PHL and some consistent & troubling errors, the site disappeared. It later reappeared on FG’s own personal server. Here’s a press release from back then:
We’ve got some good news for the Half-Life Garg fans!
Since the error 404 at Planethalflife.com/garg, we need people to know that we have moved to a different place. While moving, we’ve changed the title a bit of our site. Now it’s not The Gargaholics, but The Garg-o-holics! You can still find Half-Life comic stories here, images, several resources, and of course GargArena, our Garg related Half-Life multiplayer modification!
Now since the movement there are several “bugs” on the site. If you like bughunting, then please visit ours! http://friendlygarg.servehalflife.com/ <— Known “bugs” are the stories not working. We are working hard on re-programming the storyscript. If you find any other, please contact us.
Unfortunately, the new server continued to be buggy, and it required a great deal of work on FG’s behalf. Considering that the Garg-o-holics community had drastically fallen off, FG grew tired of trying to host the site. He began looking for someone to take over the site even then.
However, given time, he decided to move the site again instead. This time, we moved to hl2gaming. Here’s another press release:
The Garg-o-holics have returned once again!
We’ve returned with all the basics of the site functional again. Though you could experience some problems with reading the stories, the news and forum are up and working again. One little problem though, only internet explorer users can actually see and read the newspage. I’m sorry but we can’t fix that at the moment.
The main reason for not wasting any time on fixing the site is because we want to create an entire new one. If YOU are a webdesigner and want to give it a try, please let us know! Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Site url: http://friendlygarg.hlgaming.com
The community again started to rebuild and FG decided to try to shake things up a bit with a new website design. He wanted to return to the concept he had used during the days at PHL. He wanted to make a portal page with mini-sites containing the content. These sites were built by volunteers from the community. Here’s the press release:
Our new site is online!
Although most of our subsites are not yet finished, you can now visit our story site, Friendly Garg’s stories. The portal page that links to all subsites was made by The Wildcat. Thank you!
This website (Friendly Garg’s stories) was made by Devil1, thank you!
I hope you like the new site…
Meantime while we’re working on the other sites, you might find a bug or two (other then the fact that the stories and comics are not here ). If you find anything weird, please contact email@example.com.
Update: Half Park site is now online! Check it out!
Yes the Half-Park:CCC was a big boost to the community. At times, there were hundreds if not thousands of new characters made. And, in fact, slashandburn was inspired to make the loaps program because of the HP:CCC success.
But there were problems with the new host and it was during that time that a series of cracker attacks occurred against our forums and once, against the entire site (including the host service). Bugs poped up and given time (without much tech support from the host) FG once again deicded to move. In this move though, FG also announced a community first.
Here’s a press release:
We are now hosted on hl2files.com!
The new url is: http://friendlygarg.hl2files.com
There were several reason for us to move, but we want to keep it to ourselves. No hard feelings against hlgaming.com and edgenetwork though, we appreciate them for giving us a place in their community. Without them, we wouldn’t have been here at all.
We also have a new story!
Not a long story, not very interesting or funny. But It’s the first! That’s what counts! Right? Well, the story is is called “Lost in the desert”. It’s a story made with one purpose: to test the new Half Life 2 model viewer, and see what HL2 stories could look like!
With 22 images this is the first story to be added to our Half Life 2 section. Hope you like it anyway.
And don’t forget to rate this story!
Unfortunately, all those moves and attacks left the community a bit dizzy. We saw a big drop in activity after we left PHL. The site was still active when we arrived at hl2files, but the activity was more limited. With sites like Concerned and most notably PHWcomics, our site seemed to have gotten smaller.
Then a personal dispute struck the forum community. I do not intend to offer more of an explanation then that, and I expect no one else to add any other notes either. It was used to split the community and it is my strong opinion that such matters have no place in this or any other site of this nature (a site dedicated to Comics and Stories).
Finally, another crack attack hit. We don’t know exactly what happened, but several forums were erased. Thousands of posts were destroyed. Best guess would be a compromised password to a script kiddie. There were a few former members that had spammed the forums with porn and obscenities in the past. They had been banned, but if you’ve been around the internet long enough then you know that song and dance number. A kid finds a download and thinks he’s a super l337 h4x0r dude.
FG did some updating work, but was hesitant to restore the forums given the apparent fallout of activity. Add to that the somewhat limited quality of phpBB anyway and the risk of more script attacks just promised more frustration. Somewhere along the way, a table was corrupted and someone changed FG’s admin password. Since no one from the community passed along any new stories or comics, the site slipped into a sort of coma.
Months went by with only a few minor news updates to show that we were still here. Real-life intervened and we were all very busy.
Then something good happened. Several work-related financial issues resolved themselves at once in my own life. I could suddenly afford a car and to replace my home pc (which died back in June of 2005).
After catching up on some prior commitments, I began seriously considering the option of taking over FG’s site. At last, I took that plunge and contacted FG. I completely overhauled the site and added several items of content. I had already been working on a set of MSN groups for my own purposes and hoped to make something like BWL Development a reality.
Before I even made the press release, I was surprised to find a few odd discussions of the site elsewhere. In fact, the only reason I posted this lengthy explanation on the forums originally was for posterity’s sake. Apparently, a lot of people never realized that anything had happened after PHL. I wanted a public listing of what we had triumphed over.
For a few years, we continued on with BWL at friendlygarg.hl2files.com. A few older members returned. Projects resumed to some degree.
But then the host service decided to end their website hosting functions. And the last remnants of the Garg-o-holics were reduced to an archive on the new BWL.
The archive remained until the 20th of June, 2015. It was then that I finally set up this new hosted site. BorderWorld Stories… The Garg-o-holics are back.