Mark Fulford and I formed ProFantasy Software back in 1993. At that time, Mark sold CAD systems (computers with pre-installed software) and I had just finished university. We are both keen gamers, and the idea of combining Mark’s knowledge of CAD with roleplaying to create campaign maps was attractive. The difficulty was finding a CAD program which was even vaguely close in price was the main problem. Enter Mike Riddle, creator of AutoCAD and later FastCAD and EasyCAD. He was willing to take a risk on us, allowing us to have a license to FastCAD at a price which enabled us to resell it to gamers, and only 200 or so licenses all told. We simply removed dimensioning, an essential feature for CAD designers, but not so important for gamers.
Over the years Mike has rewritten the software for his customers, but also taking into account our customers and ideas, improving the interface and functionality for both standard CAD users and cartographers. Next week, for the first time, Mark and I will be visiting Mike in person out in Phoenix, partly to come with new ideas for the next version, but mainly because we’ve never met despite long conversations and creative endeavours over nearly 20 years. One other person who worked with FastCAD is Peter Olsson, who then created most of the code for our add-ons and added buckets of functionality to the core program. Peter has worked in the ProFantasy offices and also with Mike in person, and he’ll be joining us.
It’s a long-delayed meeting, and I’m looking forward to it.
[STOP PRESS: Mike Schley, who has created a new overland style for CC3+ lives in Phoenix, and we’ll be meeting him to discuss future cartography projects.]