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Valve’s Destinations toolset can build stunning virtual environments

Valve is committed to making the virtual reality revolution happen, partnering with HTC to help make the Vive a worthy competitor to the Oculus Rift, and offering up a host of development tools in an effort to foster new projects. Now, the company has made its Destinations utility available for free.

Destinations Workshop Tools can be used to create virtual environments for users to explore using a compatible headset. The package gives developers access to some of the same Source Engine 2 tools that Valve uses to build its own VR content.

In fact, many VR enthusiasts are likely to have already spent some time exploring environments created using Destinations. The kit was used to develop the Postcards minigame that was among the experiences offered up in The Lab, Valve’s collection of taster experiences for new headset owners.

Related: Valve gives developers and hobbyists a peek behind the scenes of ‘The Lab’

The main focus of Destinations is placing the user in a virtual environment, but there’s also some scope to add interactive elements to the experience. Two of the destinations that are included as examples — an English church and the surface of Mars — use points of interest to offer up information cards.

Users can share their creations with one another via the Destinations Workshop, in much the same way that other user-made content is distributed on Steam. However, there is currently no option to charge other users for creations made with Destinations, according to a report from Polygon.

Destinations uses the OpenVR standard, so content created with the toolset can run on both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets. Tracked motion controllers are the preferred input method, but standard gamepads and the Steam Controller are also supported.

The Destination Workshop Tools package is available now as part of the Steam Early Access program, and can be downloaded for free here.