Thursday, October 13, 2011

The New Map in Action

I have had a few request from fans for in game photos of the Atlantean Throne Room / Rayship map. Check these out below!

And make sure you buy your copy today!


Free Map: The Wandering Undead

Happy October! I love October with its warm days, cool nights, falling leaves and horror movies. A friend of mine asked me to quickly rustle up an image paying homage to the promo poster for his favorite zombie television show which begins airing season two this Sunday.
The promo poster really doesn't give you a lot to work with. One side is abandoned cars, the other side is an empty highway. The whole poster is washed in the putrid grey/green color scheme.

This map itself in nearly 100% Dundjinni. The cars and the road textures are straight out of Dundjinni. The grey/green saturation, terrain lines, and grids were done in Paintshop.
Since the map was made by request specifically to mirror the poster, we don't really have much here other than hindering terrain.
Because this was a quick and breezy map, and with everyone's favorite show starting in a day or so, I felt this was the perfect time to make this map available for free download here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Oh that's right! You asked for it. Wait, you demanded it. Another map has been professionally printed and we're all about to get soaking wet!

Break out your blue skinned mermen and regal fish-boys. The Atlantean Throne Room and The Rayship have been printed on a double-sided machine folded map.

There have been a few tweaks since these designs were first previewed. These two maps were playtested and from feedback I have made some minor changes.

On the Atlantean Throne Room, the side room with the weapon's table has been replaced with another water chamber to mirror the opposite side of the map.

On The Rayship, two internal walls have been added to break up the line of fire between the left side of the map and the right side.

The water terrain lines on the finished product came out a bit more purple than blue but you can still definitely tell what's water on these maps.

With two maps available, I had to change the pricing structure so that both maps could be purchased together with multiple quantity options. It basically works out that one to three maps costs the same as it did before.

This map is already in hand and ready to print. So order one today. Don't forget to order a Dark Alley map as well and save on shipping!

Thank you for your support!


Friday, September 2, 2011

Free Map: Gear Factory!


Over the past few weeks I received numerous requests for a map suitable for futuristic video game properties. Being the obliging sort that I am, I wanted to quickly create a map for this genre and make it available for download for everyone.

Everybody knows I carefully avoid copyright issues. That being said check out the gears on this factory. I love gears, they make big machinery move, and frankly I'd never go to war with gears. They are just that important.  Wouldn't you want to have a war with your miniatures on this factory with gears?

I also wanted to design a map with every conceivable terrain feature: indoor, hindering, water, and elevated so this map gave me that opportunity.  One nice feature of this map is that it lines up with itself on any side so you can create huge battles with multiple copies.

And did I mention those gears??? Check them out below...

So make sure you download a copy of this map and if you or your gaming group prints and plays on this map, send me the photos and I'll upload them here.

Thanks for reading and check back next week when we find out what maps just went to printer!


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Worst Map Ever! - Square Earth

Well, we're about 20 hours away from Hurricane Irene hitting Pennsylvania and my hometown goes under a state of emergency in 18 hours. Normal folks are on a milk, bread and battery spree. I, on the other hand, spent my night finishing the worst map ever!

With a new expansion due out in a few weeks for big blue, I wanted to pay homage to one of my favorite Silver Age concepts, a cube-shaped earth. Here on Square Earth everything is backwards.

The inherent problem of designing maps on a square grid system is that the grid forces your art into a restrictive 90 degree left-right mindset. You tend to start lining up everything on right angles and parallels. This map was so fun to design because every element forced me to get out of that 90 degree mindset. Of course the terrain coding brings it back from being too non-linear.

It was a fun to represent the three visible sides of the square earth as well and the following rotated images will help you see each respective side, right-side-up.

The map had three levels of elevation. Elevation 1 is the sides of the buildings on the left of the earth cube. Elevation 2 is the ground level on the topside of the earth cube and Elevation 3 is the tops of the buildings on the topside of the earth cube.

The special terrain will have the following rules. "Special Terrain is considered adjacent to any elevation level it borders. All successful attack rolls to a target occupying Special Terrain cause knockback. " The logic behind this is that space should be void of elevation and I like the idea of permanent knockback representing the lack of gravity.

As always, thank you for reading and stay tuned to this site as we have a huge announcement coming up!

Stay safe!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Map Preview: The Evil Scientist's Lair

Comic Bookdom has no drought of awesome evil super geniuses and they always get equally awesome super lairs. Laser trips, poison gas traps, buzz saws, crocodile pits: there are multiple ways to pick your doom in one of their hideouts. With the Superman expansion around the corner, I wanted to pay homage to all those great mad labs we've read about in old pulp comics and watched in James Bond movies.

I wanted to create a map where each side could pick which corridor they took to reach their opponent and each of the corridors had its own specific drawbacks.

With this map our heroes have three options to choose from: the flamethrower hall, the buzz saw hall and the shark pit hall.

The buzz saw hall lacks any hindering or water terrain; there are no obstructions to movement. But the hall is only one square wide and the blocking maze cuts off any chance of long-ranged combat. You take this path and you can get thru at full speed but you need to be wary of what bruisers your opponent could send your way.

The shark pit hall is very open for ranged combat however without any fliers, it will take a few rounds to get from one side of this hall to the other.

The same idea applies to the flamethrower hall. It will take some time to traverse the hall, and you'll get a slight defense bonus but your opponent will also benefit.

The evil scientist's lair also sports the ubiquitous death ray, lab gorilla, nuclear bomb and defunct robot that you'd expect from your standard issue evil lair. All in all, I can't wait to print this guy and give it a try. I've already got one being sent to me from

Also I'm putting the final touches on the next professionally printed map for sale, so keep checking the website.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Work in Progress - Exploding Planet (Part II)

Here's a quick update with terrain lines.

Check out this thread for a discussion on scenario rules.... Link!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Work in Progress - Exploding Planet

Had some free time to kill and hanging out at Clixathon with the Maryland crew got me in the mapping mood. Normally I plot out the map first on paper and plan where the terrain features will land.

With Superman around the bed, I wanted to paint this image in my head. Not too sold on the rocket... I could take it or leave it.

Wondering about the center planet... blocking??? Who knows. Kind of bland play wise. But its the first time I painted something purely for imagery and then plopped a grid on afterward.

Looking for terrain marker suggestions! I'll probably make this available for everyone once it's finished so make sure you comment!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned as there will be a huge announcement in the next few weeks.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Free Map - The Video Pyramid

Phew... it's been a long time since I have previewed something new. Have no fear, I have a lot of stuff in the pipeline to start showing you. To start off a new round of maps for the site, I thought I'd go and release a new free map for download.

The Video Maze I posted last year was a big hit and I wanted to revisit that particular genre. The new elevation rules in the 2011 rulebook opened up another favorite classic video game for me. By adding multiple elevations, I now could map everyone's favorite 80's pyramid game.

The original game itself showed the pyramid on an angle. This couldn't easily be translated into a square grid map that was at even angles. The solution was to create two game pyramids and butt them up against each other. So while this map isn't as faithful to its source as the Video Maze was, it really pays homage to the original game.

The new elevation rules also removed the necessity of needing stairs or ladders to represent the area where you could change elevations. This is for me as a mapmaker the best part of the 2011 rules update as it opens up creatively what you can design.

When you first see all these elevation triangles your immediate response should be "@!#?@!" In the original game our hero could jump from any platform to the next elevated platform. To keep that spirit alive, I decided that each square was a point where a character could change elevations. This did create a herculean job of placing all those triangles but I think staying faithful to the source was worth the trouble.

One other neat feature of the original video game was the floating platform you could jump onto to immediately and safely take yourself to the top of the pyramid. This mechanic had to be incorporated into my map. So for this map, the following special rule applies.

When a character is given a movement action, squares inside the border of an orange line are considered adjacent to Elevation Level 8 squares for movement purposes only.

You can download the map here, and if you anyone gets this map printed please email me the pictures and I'll showcase them here.

See you in a few days and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Beware the Ides of... well all of March.

Oof, 2011 is of to a rocky start. It's been dullsville here at Curious Lurkings. The winter has brought what seems to be an endless parade of illness for my family. Fear not, locked away in my home in Pennsylvania I have a lot of goodies lined up to unveil which will include a few new downloadable maps. I'll also be adding a new section to the blog to showcase a few maps that members of the community have commissioned. In the meantime, Hair10 over at HCRealms sent me these pictures of one of my maps in action and I thought I would share them with you. He's blocked something out of the map though; as he stated "Sorry about the blacked out area in each pic. I promised I wouldn't spread what's behind it around. ;)"

If you have shots of my maps in action, send them my way and I'll post them! And keep checking back for more updates.

Kind regards,


Sunday, February 6, 2011

An Interesting Graph

Me... I'm a numbers junkie. I like seeing every fact and figure plotted out and regurgitated. And when given the chance, I'm using a pie chart.

In case you haven't heard, I'm selling copies of my first mass produced custom map. One side features my "Dark Alley" map and the other features the Nightclub. The map first went on sale back in November and we're rounding the corner of it being available for nearly three months.

I wanted to take a peek at where the sales have been coming from, so I generated this quick graphic. This represents the maps I sold thru this website and does not reflect any maps that were purchased straight from me at my venue in Delaware. Couple of things jumped out at me.

  • First off, my home state of Pennsylvania. You guys are rocking in the lead with the most maps purchased.
  • Maryland and my Clix for the Cure buddies are coming in strong in second place!
  • New York & New Jersey, beyond being fairly populated, are strangely missing from my sales ledger. What do I need to do to win you fine folks over?
  • All of New England... where are you my friends?
  • Tennessee and Missouri, you guys rock as well!
What's next after this map? I've got the next map primed and ready for the printers. We just need right around 100 more copies of the Dark Alley map sold and I'll have the next one printed .

Thank you all for your support!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Map 19 of 26: Atlantean Throne Room

If your Atlantis has risen for more than four hours... consult a doctor.

I couldn't resist that joke. I told myself not to post it, but I did anyway.

You're probably shocked. I know I am. After months of whoring out my awesome Dark Alley map (which is still available... buy it!), I'm back to displaying maps of my favorite public domain locations. That's right, nobody owns the concept of "Atlantis". Take that, lawyers! Ha!

Everybody knows one thing about Atlanteans. They like the color blue. They can't get enough of it. Blue buildings, blue roads, blue pavement, blue thrones, blue shields. And when their water changes from blue to sewagey brown/green or oily black, they get super miffed and go after us surface dwellers. You know, I've never seen a story where Atlanteans dump their waste on our lands and we invade their territory. Geoff Johns, if you're reading this, make that story happen.
I've been told I don't have "the right shade of blue" and this map was inspired by that comment. I actually did play around with the RGB on the blue water terrain lines for awhile on this. I wanted a blue that could stand out from the other side of the map and didn't blend in with the actual water terrain.

Most of my maps show a transition from one location to another. This map is no exception to this. It's tough to depict an underwater city top down without showing some underwater parts. This leads to an interest dilemma. What mechanic do you use to simulate the line between domed city and underwater space? For me the answer was simple, ignore it. You can see here that water terrain leads right into clear terrain. Yes. there is a purple energy to stylize the force field or dome protecting the city but there isn't an associated mechanic attached to it.
Lastly, I threw a prehistoric beastie under the water. Originally I had planned to put a small personal sub in the starting area however the inclusion of something that hi-tech really threw off the feel of the map. The addition of the plesiosaur is an homage to my first map. This seemed fitting as last February I embarked on a personal challenge to produce 26 maps in 52 weeks. The first map completed had dinosaurs and if you count the 3 full sized map pieces of the giant Airship I made for the Maryland Clix for the Cure as three maps, then this map is #26.

Circles in circles.

Well, thanks for reading and thank you for your continued support and interest as we approach year two here at Curious Lurkings.