Questions on future updates

Is there a place other than the Blog/main website, where one can get updates on the status of WorldMachine’s development?

There hasn’t been an update in a while, and I’m getting a bit concerned about WM’s longevity; especially given competing programs.

I’m asking, as if WM is winding down; it may be better to switch to a newer program that offers more innovation features and better support.

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As far as I know, the blog, main website and the forum are the only places where updates are posted.

I agree, this has me worried a bit a s well.

This has me less worried, as WM, afaik, really excels in terrain creation. A true contender for WM would be a program working with voxels instead of heightmaps, but since that is so compute (and more importantly, memory) intense at the moment, I don’t see any other real competitor, other than maybe Hudini, but I have not dipped my toes in its terrain generation.

A thought that crosses my mind every so often, but then when I look at the competition, I see WM still is, in my opinion, the strongest contender in the heightmap paradigm. It is a really mature software and offers a lot of low level tweaking, something I miss in, for example, Gaea. To reiterate my previous answer, I think a serious “thread” would be a voxel based terrain editor.

If you have not yet bought WM, this is a good option! You can always try their demos (or what some do, temporarily lease it from a certain bay), and see if it better suits your needs. My explorations always have lead me back to WM, but I am, as such a long time user, of course biased :wink:


Just as an added note to @HYLK’s excellent response above, I believe WM is still being actively developed, the feature upvote site is still being moderated, so we know that Stephen is at least looking at that. In addition, I don’t think this is even the longest we’ve gone without an update. If memory serves, a few years back there was a gap in updates that was almost (if not over) 2 years. To be fair, that was around the time these forums became significantly less active so it’s possible that users at that time were also starting to feel a little bit abandoned, but in situations like that, Stephen has also previously extended active licenses to make up for the lack of updates in a given maintenance period. Also, longer gaps between updates has, in the past, been followed by a lot of really excellent new features.

All in all, I think it’s important to remember, whenever there’s a gap in updates like this, that World Machine is still (to my knowledge) developed by one person. He may be cooking up some really interesting new features, or something may have happened in his personal life, we don’t know. Personally, I wouldn’t start worrying about anything unless we don’t hear anything from him before around October or November.


There seems to be a common habit among developers of terrain modelling tools. The longer they work alone, the less they’re interested in communication with their existing customer base. It’s the same with competing app developers. I can only guess, I’m not in the habit of interpreting “silence” generally, hard to form opinions with absence of useful information.

That said, here’s my take overall.

Q: Is World Machine development winding down?
Ans: No, I don’t think so. The last time we talked, Stephen was taking feedback for “Sculpting features”. There was a bugfix update next month, and since then there has been zero communication. I would assume he’s working on that, it’s proving to be tricky given that he’s just one guy. He also had some ideas he discussed among the Alpha Testing group members, for the near and far future of World Machine, and it was good stuff. Given that information, I’d say that World Machine is NOT WINDING DOWN. On the contrary, I’d say I’m somewhat optimistic about the future.

Q: Is there a place for official updates besides the usual places like Website/Dev Blog?
Ans: Well, there’s this forum, and a new documentation hub under construction. And there’s a feature request and upvote site. Other than that, no. This is a thing with Indie developers developing niche apps, communication is patchy, and mostly driven by the USER BASE. I’ve been trying to keep up the momentum, but seems the user base has dried up significantly.

Q: Is there a cause for concern?
Ans: Well, yes and no. Yes there need to be an update per year, if a single user paid for maintenance that year. I have no idea about the financial realities of an indie company like WMLLC. But yes, there’s a cause for concern. But given that World Machine development has been this way since 2010, I’m personally not that concerned. The rule is simple, pay for maintenance only if there’s an update available that you need. Otherwise keep your copy of wm, it still works.

Q: Do you need to switch to a newer program that offers more innovation?
Ans: Again, it depends. Does the copy of World Machine you already have explode if you’re using a competing app? If not, you can use both both on any single project. I’ve using Gaea and WM together since the beginning, and I know artists who’re using World Creator and WM to create some incredible professional works. If you still want to switch completely, well, do it. It’s your money. You can vote with your wallet!

Hope that answers all questions, for now at least. Hope the next posts be about something interesting related to terrain modelling, that’s more our area of expertise here… :face_with_diagonal_mouth:


Thankyou guys for the replies; definitely renewed my confidence :slight_smile:

Looking forward to potential sculpting tools/devices.

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Don’t bother the genius busy at work :hugs:

I’m communicated with Stephen on 27.10.2022, asking to move my WM license, he helped me, so he is definitely alive and do not lost interest in WM fully


@Tomatiy Thanks a lot for this news, much appreciated! :relieved:

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