Chris Ashton
Chris Ashton
Nationality Usa flag American
Title Level designer
Texture artist
Aliases ■ MacMan

Chris Ashton is a notable texture artist, but also the creator of a few Counter-Strike maps. Ashton is also the creator of cstrike.wad, so it is safe to say that most maps created for the game feature his handiwork.


Chris' interest in content creation for games spurred in 1994 when he discovered the game Marathon by Bungie.[1] The game already had a community surrounding it complete with map and shape editors, so Ashton started creating his own content for the game. At this point he realized he wanted to work in the industry and in 1997 he landed his first real job as a texture artist for Presto Studios.[2][3]

Ashton discovered Counter-Strike by the time the game was in Beta 2.0 and was amazed by the way the mod played and decided that he wanted to help out in the development.[4] Since he was already working as a texture artist, he had plenty of sample textures available and he sent some to Jess Cliffe. Both Cliffe and Minh Le loved these textures, thus Ashton was made part of the team and put in charge of textures.[2]

His first order of business was the creation of an official texture file, cstrike.wad, for the mod.[1] Initially, he was also creating custom textures for most Counter-Strike level designers who asked for them, but due to the huge amount of maps that were never finished he later decided to playtest maps before creating textures for them.[2] Textures by Chris Ashton are featured in iconic maps such as Dust, Aztec and Militia.

With the increasing popularity of Counter-Strike, Ashton became increasingly interested in designing a map for the mod. Shortly after the release of Beta 5.0 he started work on Oilrig and it was eventually released as an official map with Beta 6.0.[2]

When Counter-Strike was being prepared for its retail release, Valve Software approached Ashton in order to purchase the rights to the textures and the map he had created. After a more thorough look at his work, Valve decided to offer him a job.[4] Thus he would start working at Valve in 2001.[3] During this time he would design the maps Chateau and Havana for Counter-Strike.

After about a year of working for Valve, Chris left the company because he didn't like living in the Seattle area.[4] He made a quick stop at Troika Games working as the lead level designer before joining Turtle Rock Studios.[3] At Turtle Rock, the first project Ashton worked on was Counter-Strike: Condition Zero. His work on the project included producing textures for Sienna.[5] He also worked on environments, level design and weapons for Counter-Strike: Source.[6][7]

Ashton would also work on the Left 4 Dead series. After Turtle Rock Studios had been acquired by Valve Software in 2008,[8] Chris Ashton decided to reform the studio together with Phil Rob. Thus they co-founded "Turtle Rock 2.0" in December 2008.[4][9]

List of maps

Official maps

Map name Game(s) Responsibilities Year
Aztec Cs t Texture artist 2000
Cbble Cs t Texture artist 2000
Chateau Cs t Level designer, texture artist 2002
Dust Cs t Texture artist 1999
Dust2 Cs t Texture artist 2001
Fang Beta Texture artist 2000
Forest Beta Texture artist 2000
Frantic Beta Texture artist 2000
Havana Cs t Level designer, texture artist 2002
Iraq Beta Texture artist 1999
Militia Cs t Texture artist 1999
Oilrig Cs t Level designer, texture artist 2000
Sienna Cscz t Texture artist 2004
Tire Beta Texture artist 1999
Tundra Beta Texture artist 2000



  1. 1.0 1.1 Callaham, John (2000-11-04). "Counter-Strike Map Interviews, Part 2 ("MacMan")". STOMPED. Archived from the original on 2001-04-17. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Wezer (2000-05-12). "Interviews - Macman". Archived from the original on 2000-11-21. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Ashton, Chris. "Chris Ashton's Profile". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Hanson, Ben (2014-01-31). "Life After Death: The Story Of Turtle Rock Studios". GameInformer. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  5. Johnston, David (2004-09-28). "The Making Of: Sienna". Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  6. Ashton, Chris (2008-02-06). "Chris Ashton Biography - Change Revisions". MobyGames. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  7. Blink (2006-03-17). "Turtle Rock Studios Interview". Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  8. GameSpot Staff (2011-05-26). "Valve purchases Turtle Rock Studios". GameSpot. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  9. Robb, Phil. "Phil Robb's Profile". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2017-05-30.