GeoGlyph is now retired

After 6 years and 35+ free updates, we are retiring GeoGlyph for World Machine.

If you need your old license, contact our Support team with your Order ID.

The decision to retire GeoGlyph

A decade ago, we started creating terrain tools that evolved into GeoGlyph - a celebrated plugin for the World Machine community. GeoGlyph began as a small set of helpful macros and grew into a large toolset that helped realize AAA games; such as the 2016 reboot of Doom, Middle Earth: Shadow of War, and The Grand Tour.

Id Software's DOOM (2016)

Now, with a heavy heart, we are saying farewell to GeoGlyph. It wasn't an easy decision, but one we had to make. We'd like to share with you the many reasons that influenced our choice.

The trials involved in continually updating GeoGlyph for parity with World Machine have become too complex:

  • World Machine's lack of backward compatibility and reliance on very old technology make it exceedingly difficult to sustain large features in GeoGlyph. Especially across different versions.
  • And more importantly, World Machine's sporadic pace of updates, causes the plugins to break with almost every release makes it untenable to maintain the code.

The GEOGLYPH 2.0 Interface running over World Machine 3.x

The story behind the decision

World Machine itself has gone through different development spurts. Unfortunately, the extremely rigid plugin architecture consistently broke GeoGlyph with each new release.

An early prototype of an overhaul of the World Machine UI. Parts of it became GeoGlyph 2. The full vision was never realized because of incompatibilites with newer technologies.

Supporting the many versions of World Machine

With year-long gaps between updates, World Machine often left its users to rely on unfinished builds from the Development Branch. This required us to add support for those builds to enable our users to complete their projects.

We never charged our customers for any of the 35+ updates that shipped during nearly 4 years.

Amazon Game Studios' The Grand Tour Game

Attempting to reboot GeoGlyph

Normally at this stage, plugin developers would stop supporting older versions. However, our users were locked into various World Machine builds, and needed us to maintain support for those versions.

In the last several months, we investigated different methods of revamping the project for long term development. We even considered making a new lightweight version of GeoGlyph, targeting only the latest build of World Machine's stable branch. However, given the endemic problems, we would eventually end up in the same cycle.

Maintaining GeoGlyph is no longer viable. No matter how much we still love it.

WB Games' Middle Earth: Shadow of War at Times Square in New York

It's not easy for us to say goodbye. GeoGlyph has been a primary part of our lives for many years. We spent thousands of hours in its development. We enjoyed adding new features despite the challenges, and still have a large library of incomplete prototypes. Many will see the light of day in one form or another.

Which leads us to Gaea.

Gaea, a fresh beginning

Over the years, the limited World Machine plugin architecture drove us to explore other methods to improve terrain design by creating standalone tools that could not work within World Machine's PDK architecture. Through these experiments, Gaea was born.

With the flexibility of Gaea's SDK-style core, everything we wanted to do could easily be implemented.

Gaea received more traction from users and critics than GeoGlyph. By the time the Early Access Preview turned into the first official release, it had more users than GeoGlyph.

Gaea 1.3

We believe Gaea is the future of modern terrain design. The software has an extensive set of tools - many of which don't exist in World Machine. Layout/vector design, tiled processing, and other pro tools are scheduled for release later this year.

Major studios and thousands of artists are already using Gaea in production. If you haven't given it a test run, download the FREE Community Edition.

Thank you!

Finally, we emphatically express our gratitude to our loyal GeoGlyph users who supported us during its development. We hope you will join us on our new journey with Gaea.

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