Valve Hammer Editor, known previously as Worldcraft, is a map editor designed by Valve. This tool is useful for creating custom maps and game modes and is essential for any big Counter-Strike, Left 4 Dead 2, or Half-Life player. The tool works by designing blocks and allows for a recreation of anything a player can think of. Using the tools of the engine the player can create anything that they want, and place objects anywhere they would like. This tool uses the binary space partitioning method to create dynamic playable and fully customizable levels. This software is currently packaged as a part of the larger Source SDK Suite and comes with all Valve games.
Hammer uses four windows to build levels: three grids and a 3D view. The user starts by creating the main level world out of blocks. These can easily be edited to look different through the use of customizable textures to paint. These blocks can then be edited to match the shape desired by the designer. Smaller more dynamic pieces of levels can also be inserted through the Hammer tool. These props and entities give levels of life and functionality. With all of the tools available to a designer, but easily accessible and labeled, this is one of the most dynamic tools available to aspiring level designers out there today. While the engine is dated, it still works well.
Allows for fully customized editing and creating of maps for some classic Valve games
While this software has not been significantly updated in some time, the Valve Hammer Editor allows for hours of editing and content creation. This combines the joy of editing and creating with the ease of building in an almost Minecraft-like fashion. This is an easy level design that is accessible for non-programmers. As a free tool in part of the larger Source SDK package, this is quality software that works well with any PC.