In the begining of 2004 when some fans started scanning leaked build of Half-Life 2 more closely while waiting for game's full release, the feature that amazed everyone the most was of course game's physics. People who figured how to set Hammer map editor began making mini-sandbox maps with plane hulls where one could attach propane tanks with the Physgun.
That's when Garry's mod idea first came into Garry's head, after all he was among those who spent hours playing HL2 beta multiplayer with his friends. And mod's first versions main feature was mainly porting Physgun from HL2 beta into retail engine.
Of course those fan'made maps weren't just about flying planes. As you can see at the second video from that era, some people were making some sort of HL2 beta machinimas. Apart from doing such videos they were making all sorts of bizzare maps. Some made maps with car junkyards, slaughterhouses (with Alyx ragdolls instead of cows) and various luna-park attractions like enterprise and ferris weels others made big maps with some sort of storyline and quests. For example there was a map where you needed to accomplish few tasks to be able to proceed through the forest. The game wasn't yet released and HL fans were having fun already.
The only thing we want to add instead of a conclusion to all this is that you can download many of those maps from our website and play them yourself, if you didn't do this already. And if you have some maps or content from that era that are not in this archive - please let us know, we would love to add as much of it as possible!