A few diagrams can go a long way to understanding how to play a piecepack game. There are many different approaches one can take to creating a helpful game diagram.


Physically set up a piecepack game, take a photo using a camera, and then use a raster-graphics editor to clean it up and possibly annotate it. Popular free open-source raster-graphics editors include GIMP and Krita.

Here is an annotated photo by JorgeArroyo illustrating the road network in a game of AlienCity:

Piecepack Game Simulator Screenshots

Game simulators that support the piecepack can also be used to generate diagrams. Use the game simulator to set up a piecepack game, adjust the camera (if applicable) and take a screenshot (or equivalent image export), and if necessary use a raster-graphics editor to further improve it. The VassalModule has been used to create several piecepack diagrams. Tabletop Simulator could also be used.

Here is the starting diagram extracted from the rule set TheColonistsOfNatick by GaryPressler? (made available under the terms of the GFDL 1.2 license) which was originally made using the VassalModule:

Text Diagrams

Some existing rule sets have diagrams simply using text. Although it is possible to make diagrams only using ASCII recent versions of Unicode have a large variety of symbols including the piecepack suits and ranks, several box-drawing characters, and combining characters such as circle enclosures. Additionally JonathanDietrich has released a special JCD piecepack font containing piecepack components. Text diagrams are often easiest to make using a monospaced font.

Here is an example ASCII chess diagram:

     8 | #R | #Kt| #B | #Q | #K | #B | #Kt| #R |
     7 | #P | #P | #P | #P | #P | #P | #P | #P |
     6 |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
     5 |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
     4 |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
     3 |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
     2 | ^P | ^P | ^P | ^P | ^P | ^P | ^P | ^P |
     1 | ^R | ^Kt| ^B | ^Q | ^K | ^B | ^Kt| ^R |
         a    b    c    d    e    f    g    h

                DIAGRAM 1

Vector-Graphics Editors

One can use vector-graphics (or raster-graphics) editors to make diagrams. Anika Henke has released a piecepack library for One can also make diagrams using your favorite vector-graphics (or raster-graphics) editor - one of the most popular open-source vector-graphics editors is Inkscape. Besides using the glyphs contained in the previously mentioned JCD piecepack font (and other fonts like Quivira) one use free game icons from sites like, extract component images from (permissively licensed) Downloadable_Piecepack_Sets, find an existing collection of piecepack component images (for example the low resolution ones found inside the VassalModule), or one can generate svg images of individual piecepack components using piecepackr's save_piece_images function.

Here is "Example output of piecepack shape library for" by selfthinker (Anika Henke) used under a CC BY 3.0 license.

Here are a couple of diagrams extracted from Marty Hale-Evans and RonHaleEvans's Relativity made by Tim Schutz using (the no longer available) Freehand MX used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

3D Computer Graphics Programs

JamesVipond? has made OBJ piecepack props and textures for use for 3D programs like Poser and DAZ Studio. These can be used to make 3D diagrams of games.

Graphics Programming

piecepackr provides an API for generating piecepack graphics using the R programming language. When combined with a dynamic report generator such as knitr one can also use it create customizable rule sets or rule books.

Draw by hand

One could draw piecepack diagrams by hand and then scan the image (possibly doing further processing on the computer such as filling in colors in a graphics editor). If one chooses a simple pawn shape (such as a cylinder, 6-sided prism, or 8-sided prism), and a simple 3D projection scheme (such as Oblique projections like the "cabinet projection") then one can draw outlines for all the piecepack components in most piecepack games using just horizontal lines, vertical lines, diagonal lines (possibly only at 45 degrees), and circles which should be rather straightforward with a good set of drafting tools.