A downloadable tool

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I've made a few terrain editors over the years. Circa 2016 there was this thing, which isn't very impressive but it does the job - or a job, anyway - and in 2017 I made a new version which could do a bit more but still wasn't anything to write home about. I've wanted to give it another go for a while, and recently it was requested that I add some things, so this week I finally sat down and made something that I actually don't feel embarrassed showing people.

If you've used my other ones, or most other terrain editors, you know how this goes. Click on the land to deform it (left click pushes it up, right click pushes it down). You can modify it in a few different ways, smooth it out, paint it, set the texture, export it to a heightmap or 3D model file and some other things. By the time I post this I should hopefully have both video and written documentation available, if you're stuck.


  • Deform, texture and paint the terrain
  • Export 3D models (OBJ or Game Maker models) for use in games, or other applications - you don't need to use these in Game Maker yourself, although that's the primary focus
  • Export or import terrain as heightmap images (see documentation for the specifics)
  • UI doesn't burn your eyes, the way the last ones did
  • Spiffy water shader

The YYC Thing

You might notice two versions of the program: a "Default" version and a "YYC" version. They do the exact same thing, but the YYC version is compiled in native code instead of running inside the Game Maker virtual machine (the Default version), so it should perform quite a bit better, especially on lower-end machines.

The downside is that there are slight differences in the way the Game Maker VM and YYC work, and since the YYC takes way longer to compile and is significantly harder to debug it hasn't seen nearly as much testing as the Default version has. If (or when) problems appear in the YYC version, the Default one should be functional until I'm able to fix whatever the problem is.

Up Next

There are still some things I want to add, but I'd like to get some user feedback first so these things will come later. I won't promise all of them will get done, but I'd sure like to.

  • Multiple texture layers - so textures can fade into each other instead of having hard cut-offs at their boundaries
  • Allow importing / exporting the vertex colors in a similar way to heightmaps
  • Different sizes for the texture tiles - James I swear I'll get to this at some point and I didn't forget
  • Some optimizations taking proper advantage of shader magic
  • Smooth lighting

Wait, what's all the other stuff in here?

If you click around in the Menu bar you'll probably notice a lot of stuff that's not related to the terrain editor. This is built on top of some other game development tools I've been working on. I left them enabled and you're free to try them out, but quite a few of them are incomplete (I have a list of known bugs) and I have yet to document what to do with the data files it generates anywhere so it probably won't be very useful to many people. Progress on that's moving along though, so you'll probably hear more about that in due time.

Regardless, the terrain editor is functional on its own so you don't need to worry about the stuff in the menu bar if you don't want to.


  • The program window is 1600x900 and doesn't respond super well to resizing. If you don't have a display at least that big, problems will probably start to develop. I'm going to take a guess that most people who are interested in development, especially 3D modelling, have a screen at least that big (I know a lot of laptops don't) but I'm putting that on record just in case.
  • What you do with the 3D models is up to you. If you're using Game Maker there are a whole host of model importing scripts you can use; if you're using another engine, there's probably already something built in.
  • DDD stands for "Do or Die, Dragonite." The more you know.
  • This runs on the same code as a number of the other game development tools I've made.

The code

The code's freely available on Github, but if you're not cool enough to use Github you want to support the project, the compressed Game Maker files are five dollars. If you're interested in where this goes, I'd recommend following the repository in either case, because I'm fairly actively working on it. If you're interested in the other modes in the editor, and what to do with the data files - I'm hoping to be able to use this thing to make a few different kinds of games - that'll be for you.

Shoutout to James222 for kicking my butt about finally doing this.

Updated 2 days ago
Made withGameMaker: Studio
TagsLevel Editor, terrain-editor
Average sessionA few seconds
InputsKeyboard, Mouse
LinksSource code


Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

DDDEditor2-Terrain-YYC.zip 8 MB
DDDEditor2-Terrain-Default.zip 6 MB
DDDEditor2-Terrain-Source.yyz 9 MB
if you pay $5 USD or more

Development log