every floor of Jail/Catacombs

It is currently the eve of Diablo 3 and I have Diablo on the mind and was also looking for something to kill the last 24 hours, ailment so here you go. Over 9,000 hours in MS paint, bask in its glory. Seriously though, sorry it is way uglier than my previous submissions, I drew it without really expecting to submit it, but figured “what the hell” at least it is somewhat topical.

Since these floors were randomly generated, this is more of a “commentary” about how seemingly every single time the staircase to proceed would always be the very last room left to clear. This happens pretty much everywhere in the game for me, but it seemed particularly frequent in Act 1.

See also how the more people you are playing multiplayer with, the more likely it is that you’re stuck going through tiny one-at-a-time worm tunnels in Act II.  Everything about Diablo 2 that wasn’t awesome was TERRIBLE.

Medium craft

I’ve mentioned that I love X-Com (oh hey, the Xenonauts Kickstarter hit its funding goal! And way early!), and one of the things that made it so great was the way a little bit of chance and quirks of the AI meant that the same setup for a given mission could play out a lot of different ways.

Which is a good thing, because one of the things that was not random was the layout of the actual alien ships themselves.  And there were a number of different ships in the game, on a size continuum from the teeny tiny probe that could house a single pilot on up to really huge four-story things that were fifty yards across and stood on four massive legs that were themselves each the size of entire small alien craft.

But the thing about a game like X-Com is that, because you end up loving it a whole lot and playing it to death, you see those same ship types again and again and again.  And maybe this time the ship landed near a barn, and maybe that time it was a crash and half the aliens are dead, and maybe one time the alien crew is spread out in the countryside trying to snipe my guys as they climb a hill vs. the next time when they’re all hanging out in the engine room pissing their xenopants, but: but the ship is always the same.  It’s the constant in the equation.

So the layouts got pretty familiar.  I can’t even remember for sure whether this was actually the “medium” ship or the “small”, and I may have goofed on the placement of some detail here, but there’s no question that this was the ship I was going to find if I chased down or shot down this craft type.

There were eventually mods written for X-Com that made it possible to use random layouts for the ship interiors, which is a pretty neat idea and something I’ve enjoyed playing around with occasionally.  But for those core, brain-searing memories of my earliest love affair with X-Com, the ships were always the same.  This ship was always this ship.

example tower

This isn’t a “map” per se, thumb because you can build your tower any way you like, but I just loved this game so much that I couldn’t help myself. I played it to death as a kid and it’s definitely my favourite of the SIM series. I’d say that I wish there was a modern remake, but I don’t think it would have the same charm. For the record, I’m pretty sure you can’t build movie theatres that far from a lobby, but I did it anyways. Deal with it.



It’s been ages since I’ve posted one of my own drawings here.  This is a map I couldn’t get enough of during LAN play, even though it was sort of terrible and invited the worst sort of mutual-camping behavior a map could manage.  Seems like by the end of every round there’d be a small pile of AWPs on the floor of the garage entry ramp and the blind corner where the canyon led to the central area, from Ts and CTs sniping and getting sniped ad nauseum while some brave souls would try to actually make something happen via the tunnels.

hyperspace and plot map

I wanted to submit a map of my favorite game of all time, 1992’s Star Control II (re-released as The Ur-Quan Masters), but the map of hyperspace doesn’t do justice to the epicly non-linear nature of the game. So I also included a “map” of the major plot events.

I haven’t played this game in about 15 years, but I used to know it extremely well. The version I played had copy protection where you had to name one of about 500 stars given its hyperspace coordinates, and I got it right about 90% of the time without consulting the map. I labeled the stars I remember on the map, but I probably got some of them wrong.

I did a pretty good job on the plot map. There are a couple of minor things I didn’t include (the Ur-Quan’s trigger words, and two useless items you can get from the Druuge). For the pictures, I had to guess on a lot of the colors, especially eye colors, and I’m sure I got some of the shapes wrong. I have no clue what the Burvixese Caster or the Clear Spindle looks like.

Until I made this map, I never noticed that, despite being the main antagonists, the Ur-Quan and Kohr-Ah play very minor roles in the plot of the game. Thanks for helping me realize something new about my favorite game!

Oh hell yes.  This is epic, Christopher.  Well done.

And yes, folks, if you like exploring space and having quirky interactions with aliens and doing a bit of the kill-or-be-killed intersteller melee, you really need to go download Ur Quan Masters and have a go.  Wonderful resurrection of a classic game.


This is Kyalami from Grand Prix Legends. Unfortunately this rendering doesn’t adequately convey the dramatic altitude and track camber changes. Nor does it convey how head-on-desk frustrating it is to set personal bests in the first three sectors then get on the throttle a little early in the penultimate corner and spin out ruining not only that lap but the next as well.


Man that hallway was always a spamfest.

I’ve been playing the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive beta a bit the last few days and it’s such a flood of memories coming back to these maps, yeah.  I haven’t played any CS regularly in years and years (and oh my lord am I terrible these days, my once proudly mediocre skills having atrophied in the interim), but the layouts came back to me in no time.  Corners to check, boxes to duck behind, where to not bother rushing against a decent team of Ts because they’d always lob a couple of flashes over the wall and leave you blinking and bulletholed…