Try every new feature in World Machine for free
The Coastal Erosion device from December’s ‘Mailbox Peak’ build of World Machine. The new 3019 update makes all of the features added to the software since 2014 available to users of the free Basic edition.
World Machine Software – aka developer Stephen Schmitt – has released World Machine 3019, the latest version of the popular terrain-generation tool.
The update is largely a bugfix release, but it brings users of the free Basic edition onto the current build of the software, rather than the three-year-old World Machine 2.3.7.
Every feature added to World Machine since 2014 now available in the free Basic edition
Although the 3019 build includes a number of “cleanups and bugfixes”, its real significance is that users of the Basic edition are no longer “stuck running 2.3.7”: a version of the software released in 2014.
That makes it possible for new users to try all of the features from the latest version of the software for free: the Basic edition caps output resolution, but is otherwise not feature-restricted.
The update also coincides with a complete revamp of the World Machine website.
Part of an ongoing program of modernisation
The changes are part of a continuing program of modernisation in the way that World Machine is presented to the public, following a year-long hiatus in 2016 that led Schmitt to review his development strategy.
During that period, key WorldMachine add-on GeoGlyph introduced its Terrenderer engine, in part to decouple its development from that of the parent software.
Newer tools like World Creator also began to make inroads into the terrain-generation market, particularly for games and real-time applications.
New in World Machine last year: multithreading, new Blueprint system, better river and coastal erosion
Since then, there have been a steady stream of dev builds for World Machine, adding a Blueprint system, updating the river tools, and culminating a milestone release last December.
Schmitt’s blog post hints that World Machine 3018 – codenamed ‘Mailbox Peak’ – is effectively the long-awaited stable release of World Machine 3, if he wasn’t “moving away from Big Number Releases entirely”.
The update introduced support for multithreading in the vast majority of World Machine’s toolsets, leading to considerable performance improvements on multi-core systems.
It also added a new, more intuitive coastal erosion system, and a more industry-standard dark UI theme – all features that the 3019 update now makes available in the Basic edition.
Pricing and availability
World Machine is available for Windows 7+. A Standard licence costs $99; a Pro licence – which adds multithreading, tiled terrains and scripting support – now costs $299. Both prices include one year’s updates.
The free Basic edition has all of the features from the Standard edition, but is only licensed for non-commercial use and makes it impossible to build or output a terrain larger than 513 x 513px.