Author and Novelist Blaine L. Pardoe just published a set of images on his blog of some of the very first Inner Sphere maps from Battletech and I can't help but geek out about it.
"I have been a BattleTech writer since the first Tech Readout (3025). I saw the unseen before they were, well, unseen. Some of my FASA-era background material over the years has just plain been lost or discarded decades ago when I deemed it hopelessly obsolete.
Some, not all.
I have unearthed a treasure trove of old material. I doubt seriously these are covered under NDA since the material has been published ages ago. I dug a lot of this out because of some super-top-secret work I am doing in BattleTech right now.
The first release from my archives – the original maps of the Inner Sphere. These were photocopies provided to me by Ross Babcock back in the day. FASA was pinching pennies so much that they were copied on the back of copies of Traveller ship deckplans they used to sell. You can see on the one set of maps where Ross drew with a red ink pen the boundaries in 3025 – which is pretty neat.
I am sure some of you will spend hours looking at these seeking hidden worlds, and hell, who knows, they may be there. To my knowledge this is the only set of these hand drawn maps from that era still kicking around. Anyway, I hope you enjoy perusing them."
Enjoy them we do, Blaine...
While the images are a little small, it does give a good glimpse into a long gone era of big ideas on paper. It's crazy to see the beginnings of a universe like this.
The level of detail they went into and the painstaking attention they gave to building out what many others would now use software to do, they were doing meticulously by hand.
Battletech was one of my very first miniatures based games way back when and to get a chance to see them like this now after a few decades is awesome. It sparked a lifelong love of strategic gaming and world building.
Be sure to head over to Mr. Pardoe's blog and plead for him to get some high resolution scans of these bad boys so they can inspire a new generation of world builders and gamers for decades to come!