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Townscaper's seaside dioramas make for adorable 3D prints

A 3D print of a small townscaper village
(Image credit: Dolf Veenvliet)

Townscaper's do-it-yourself islands are already more toy than game. But thanks to an experimental beta pushed earlier this week, people have started turning their seaside villages into utterly charming desk ornaments.

Arriving on the game's beta branch on Steam, Townscaper will now let you export your creations as .obj 3D models. Naturally, this means folks have started 3D printing their own towns—and barely a day after the update went live, they're already showing promise.

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Exporting does reveal a few of the shortcuts used to create Townscaper's delightful retreats. Windows extrude outwards from their respective buildings, while stairs are really just shapeless blobs. But small details like gulls, potted plants and benches still work fine, and with a little work you can print something properly delightful.

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They're adorable wee things, aren't they? And while the export process might rob the models of the game's vibrant villages, I'm excited to see who'll be the first to crack out the paints and colour one of these dioramas. While I don't have a 3D printer myself, I've also been having a whole load of fun bringing my exported towns into old Unity projects to stunning effect.

A Townscaper creationimported into one of the author's unity games

(Image credit: Natalie Clayton)

With the export process now opening up a bunch of Townscaper's foundations, this week's update also added a small step towards moddability. You can now mess around with the game's textures, letting you repaint villages with brand new styles—though developer Oskar Stålberg reckons that's easier said than done.

"I guess the game is now (in the most liberal use of the word) moddable," Stålberg tweeted. "Good luck figuring out my weird UVs and rendering to make your own architectural style."

Natalie Clayton

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time—and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and having herself developed critically acclaimed small games like Can Androids Pray, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She's also played for a competitive Splatoon team, and unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.