A seemingly empty Dota 2 update released yesterday evening has revealed a whole load of new features for the game's upcoming Workshop support as well as a brand new "2014" version of Valve's Hammer Editor, which features a brand new interface and a load of new features. By entering the Steam Client Beta and selecting the "Dota 2 Workshop Tools Alpha" option from within the game's Downloadable Content list, users can access the newest version of Hammer which is currently only used to create maps and mods for Dota 2's upcoming Steam Workshop support. As you might expect, this 2014 overhaul of Hammer has also introduced some brand new features previously not supported in the older, extremely outdated variants, including Texture Projection for UV Maps, Asset tabs, improved object properties, superior geometry manipulation, and an all-new Tile Editor which uses predefined areas to be quickly linked together to form simple gameplay spaces with next to no effort. Hammer is joined by several additional editors, including built-in model, material, particle creators alongside a soon-to-be-released sound editor, all of which are built straight into the SDK itself. This new version of Hammer, while still in development, features a huge variety of other advanced features that are worth exploring, as shown by the huge list of recent changes on the Valve Development Wiki. While several features have yet to be added, it's already very likely that this editor, or one very similar to it, is also set to be used for the upcoming Source 2 engine. Since the tools are still classified as being in the "alpha" stage of development, it isn't recommend you start messing around with the new version of Hammer just yet unless you know what you're doing. We've heard problems such as crashes are still quite frequent (in true Hammer tradition), so it might be worth waiting a little longer for Valve to update it before you start diving in head first. At the time of writing, the tools can only be used to create maps and mods for Dota 2, even if it is currently impossible to play any of them publicly in-game. The update we mentioned at the start of this post introduced live Steam Workshop code which allows users to upload and view mods, but not to actually download or play any of them. This is due to the fact the in-game custom gamemode lobby is currently not ready for primetime, but it will most likely be up and running within a few weeks. It remains to be seen if this newer, far more advanced version of Hammer will be rolled out into the development kits of other Source titles such as Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, or Left 4 Dead, but it's an exciting new change which should prove extremely helpful for modders tired of having to work around the decade-old problems which continue to exist within the now-ancient versions of Hammer.