Hammer Editor version history

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Initially the Hammer Editor was known as "The Forge", but as this was also the name of Bungie Software's Marathon editor, the name was changed to Worldcraft.

The program was originally developed for id's Quake by Ben Morris and was available for free during the beta development.



Version Release date Features
1.007 October 7th, 1996
0.920 November 23, 1996
  • A beta of the help file is released.

Version 1

Version Release date Features
1.007 October 7, 1996
1.022 October 22, 1996
1.030 October 30, 1996


  • Fix for qbsp.exe
1.031 October 30, 1996

On December 9th Ben Morris announce plans for Unreal support.


  • Fix for qbsp.exe that would crash light.exe (rad.exe)
1.0 December 3, 1996

The full version of Worldcraft was released, the price for the full version was $34.95. Worldcraft was initially distributed by ACDSystems. Registered users would receive updates via mail on CD's. Some CDs where not shipped before January 6, 1997.

Initial features included:

  • Primitives (wedges, cones, cylinders etc.).
  • Prefab library (full version only).
1.0a December 5, 1996


  • Fixes for Minor issues in 1.0.
1.0b February 15, 1997
1.1 January 27, 1997
1.1a February 20, 1997
1.2 February 25, 1997

On July 14, 1997, Valve hires Ben Morris and acquires Worldcraft. They did so with the intent to use it for the development of Half-Life and later release it with Half-Life.

  • Added Vertex manipulation
1.5 September 5, 1997

A 30 day shareware version was also released.

1.5a September 24, 1997
1.5b October 9, 1997

Re-released on October 10, 1997 with a new logo and a bug fix.

1.6 July 3, 1997

Announced December 18, 1997. Released March 6, 1998. At the same time Ben Morris announced that he has left Valve Software. There was no shareware version was released for this version.

New features:

  • Added support for Quake II and Hexen II. FGD's for Quake, Quake 2, Hexen2, and Quake 2 CTF.
  • Added the Game Configurations tab. Support for loading multiple .wal and .pak files. Browse textures per container. Edit the Quake 2 surface attributes.
  • "Check for Problems" added.
  • Colored picker for light entities.
  • View path files in 2D views.
  • Expert Compiler options. The Build Programs tab.

A Shareware version was released with the 1998 September issue of PC Accelerator Magazine.


Version 2

Version Release date Features
2.1 April 09, 1999

Version 2.1 of Worldcraft was released for free, but only worked with Half-Life.


  • Crash fixes.
  • New registry path to support coexisting with version 1.6.

New Features:

  • mouselook ASDW navigation like in Half-Life.
  • Better memory allocation.
  • Autoupdate utility.
  • lights.rad renamed to valve.rad.
  • New lights.rad containing only +0~WHITE

Version 3

Version Release date Features

Highlights: The editor has been given a facelift, with a completely rewritten OpenGL renderer for the 3D views. This enables the addition of engine rendering code for previews of such things as sprites and glow effects. Texturing, normally the most time-consuming aspect of mapmaking, has also been streamlined. And, a number of other productivity-enhancing features have taken the most common hitches out of mapmaking.

  • OpenGL 3D Renderer. The real-time renderer is much faster, more robust, and allows for animating visuals in the 3D view.
  • Texture Locking. Texture alignment is now preserved through rotation, scaling, and flipping, allowing for the hassle-free construction of odd-angled geometry.
  • Powerful Texture Application Features. Automatic texture continuity is guaranteed when lifting and applying from one face to another. Textures can be fit across one face or multiple faces, or aligned to the left, right, top, bottom, and center of faces with a single button click. Textures can be projected onto faces from an arbitrary viewpoint, useful for texturing cliff faces or other irregular geometry. In addition, texture axes are now displayed in the 3D view.
  • Sprite Preview. Sprites are now automatically previewed in the 3D view, along with animation. Frame rate and scale key values are correctly reflected in the preview, eliminating the need to compile and run the map in the game engine when placing sprites.

Features: Aside from the above highlights, there have been a number of smaller changes as well.

  • Go To Brush Number. Brushes can now be found by entity / brush number for fast tracking down of compiler errors.
  • Iconic Entities. Any point entity can be set to render as a sprite icon in the 3D view through a specification in the FGD file, making it easy to distinguish between different entities in the 3D view.
  • 3D Preview of Tools. The brush creation, clipper, cordon bounds, and selection tools all render in the 3D view in real time, taking the guesswork out of previously painstaking operations.
  • Colored Solid Entities. Solid entities can now be given a render color in the FGD file, for easier identification in the 2D or 3D views.
  • 3D Grid. A new 3D grid allows for easy visualization of brush sizes in the 3D view.
  • Missing Texture Replacement. Added a Replace button to the texture bar, making it easy to replace textures when they are missing from the WAD file.
  • Texture Usage Report. Statistics on unique textures, total texture memory, and WADs used in are reported in the Map Information dialog
  • Enhanced Camera Controls. Real-time keyboard sampling gives smooth camera movement in the 3D view. Holding down both mouse buttons now enables dollying the camera forward and back. The mouse wheel now zooms both the 2D and 3D views.
  • Point and Click Entity Placement. Point entities can now be placed directly in the 3D view just by pointing and clicking.
  • Entity Key Browse Button. Added a browse button to the Entity Properties dialog for typo-free setting of sprite, sound, and model keys.
  • Clipper Measurements. Sizes of clipped brushes can be displayed in the 2D view while clipping. This is useful for clipping brushes to a particular size, or for matching with a specific texture.
  • .rmf (rich map format) is added as the default save format. This allows for saving vis groups and arbitrary brush shapes.

An updated version of Valve's level editing tool is now available for download. This release includes new functionality and several fixes. It also introduces a new name for the product, Hammer.

Changes include:

  • Splitter view layout is now preserved from session to session.
  • Dialog bars now pop to the top when the mouse cursor floats over them.
  • No longer renders the 3D views when the editor is not the active application. (This will fix most people's problems with running Hammer and Half-Life at the same time causing the editor to freeze)
  • Added Copy to Clipboard button to the process window.
  • Sped up time to bring up the Face Properties dialog when many brushes are selected.
  • Sped up 2D view scrolling.
  • Added timed selection of objects by depth in the 3D view when the left mouse button is held down. (ERROR: This functionality was in the old worldcraft version 1.6, and possibly before!)


  • Fixed a random spinlock when rendering sprites.
  • Fixed texture rendering problems with sprites, etc.
  • Fixed freeze when starting map with sprites visible.
  • Fixed a crash in the path tool.
  • Fixed problem with texture shifts being reset when importing old MAP files.
  • Fixed black brushes caused by clipping.
  • Fixed a lockup when scaling certain brushes.
  • Fixed infinite lines in 3D view in vertex mode.
  • Fixed clipping causing duplicate solids.
  • Fixed decal repositioning.
  • Fixed camera angle view bug.
  • Fixed problem with running compile tools from paths with spaces.
3.5 April 18, 2003

A beta version of Hammer 3.5 was released. This was the last version that fully worked with Goldsrc. This version was released as just the main exec and required hammer 3.4 to be installed to work.

New features:

  • Supports Half-Life .mdl models in 3d view.
  • View path files in 3D view.
  • Pitch and Roll compass added, but not working.


  • Improved texture application tool.
  • Improved advanced compile mode dialog UI.
  • Select viewport background color.

Version 4

Version Release date Features
4.0 November 05, 2004 Initial release of Hammer in the Source SDK.


4.1 November 22nd, 2005
  • HDR tools support
  • VGUI Model Browser
  • 2D model and displacement Rendering
  • Autosave feature

See Also