Dragonmeet 2019Dragonmeet, London’s friendliest gaming convention, is held again this year on the last weekend of November (November 30th) in London, at the Novotel in Hammersmith, like last year. ProFantasy will be there and you’re welcome to stop by to check our products, talk mapping, or just say hello to yours truly (Ralf).

Look for us next to the Pelgrane booth, pretty much across from the entrance into the exhibitor’s hall. Look for the maps!


Dragonmeet 18Dragonmeet, London’s friendliest gaming convention, is held again this year on the first weekend of December (December 1st) in London, at the Novotel in Hammersmith, like last year. ProFantasy will be there and you’re welcome to stop by to check our products, talk mapping or just say hello to yours truly (Ralf).

Look for us next to the Pelgrane booth. Final booth numbers have not been assigned, but the exhibitor’s hall should be small enough that we are easy to find. Look for the maps!


GenCon50August has come and with it our biggest convention event of the year: GenCon 2017! Most of us will be in Indianapolis this week, so please bear with us if tech support might be a bit slower to respond than usual.

If you happen to be at GenCon yourself, we’ll be delighted to see you at booth 1317, which we are as usual sharing with Pelgrane Press. We’ll be happy to demo CC3+ and add-ons, answer any questions you might have. We’ll also have some great conventions offers at the show!


Early morning startOctober is the month of colorful trees, cold nights, autumn holidays… and SPIEL. The world’s largest consumer fair for boardgames takes place in Essen, Germany (in fact many visitors just call it “Essen” instead of “Spiel”). I’ve been manning the ProFantasy booth there since 2002, and it’s always a great opportunity to see old friends and many new games – though I rarely get to play any of the games.

Setup at SPIEL is usually quick, but there tend to be “surprises”. This year the convention center introduced a a new parking ticket system. It had a great advantage for setup, as we were able to get much closer to the booth with the car, but it would prove chaotic on the visitor days. Exhibitor parking got swamped and you had to be there very early to get into the garage under the center.

Gordon and family“We” is usually me and Gordon, a stalwart friend and old-time CC3 user who always helps me with setting up and running the booth. His lovely wife and daughter use it as a base to tour the show – for the whole four days! It is so amazing to see what energy a six-year old can muster when she is surrounded by the wonders of the show. This year she didn’t even take a nap below the tables.

SPIEL is different from GenCon in that is more about shopping and less about actually playing. Basically it’s one gigantic exhibitor’s hall without the events, seminars and gaming halls surrounding it. It’s also not so much about role- but about board-gaming, which is huge in Germany. Still we have a nice little corner of the even stocked with German and other (mostly British) rpg publishers.

Big PublishersBut the amount of visitors that shuffle through the halls on the weekend is staggering. In the bigger halls it can be really tough to get from one place to the next. Compared to that it was positively peaceful on our booth on Saturday – a bit surprising because it also tends to be busier for us. I am not sure why that this year – all days were pretty much as expected except for the Saturday. I wish I had a way to view measure the visitor paths through the halls – perhaps the “currents” got diverted from our place this year.

Map workBut enough old and new customers showed up for us to have good business and great fun! I demoed CC3+ a lot, and especially the city and dungeon features caused many astonished and delighted comments. One very interesting development started last year: Chris, a lecturer from Brunel University (London), picked up CC3+ at SPIEL and introduced it to his Games Design class. It looks like that was very successful, meaning the university will pick up more software licenses – and I might get to give an introduction to CC3+ to the students myself. I’m excited and a bit scared, but very much looking forward to that.

Concerning my own gaming, I was positively frugal in my own shopping, but I did have a big piece to carry home: I picked up Perdition’s Mouth by Dragon Dawn Productions as payment for a little map I created for Timo Multamäki and his crew. I haven’t played it yet, but it does seem intriguingly different from your usual crop of dungeon crawlers.

And then the four days were over again. The halls close at 6pm on Sunday and our booth was all packed up 10 minutes past that – the advantage of easy-to-carry software over heavy books and huge boardgames. Luckily there are no flight that I can miss or be delayed on the way back from SPIEL, only a 1.5 hour Autobahn drive.
Der Schlenderer
[Photo by Karl-Georg Müller (schlenderer.de)]

GenCon16It is this time of year again, the ENnie awards are being voted on and GenCon is drawing close. This year the “Best 4 Days in Gaming” are from August 4th to 7th, and of course ProFantasy will be in attendance. You’ll find us sharing with Pelgrane Press at booth #419, right next to Chaosium and Goodman Games.

We will have Perspectives 3 at the show, so f you haven’t purchased it yet and want to have a demo first, drop by and let us show you!
GenCon Exhibitor Hall

This is my after-action report from this year’s Spiel convention in Essen – the biggest board game event around the world.

19_Mead“Spiel was very nice, though tiring this year. I’m pretty sure they’ll be announcing a new visitor record again, but there were some problems due to so many visitors and some train troubles (due to a fire in a big rail center). Friends reported 45 minutes wait times (and more) for shuttle services from parking to the halls. Each morning the center would announce they’d be opening the doors 15 minutes early due to crowding at the entrances.

We didn’t feel the crowds so much at the Profantasy booth. Our part of the hall was relatively quiet for most of the time, and I wasn’t too thrilled that were we wedged between several mead, wine and beer booths and the big UltraPro (card sleeves and folders) stand. I’d have much preferred a space adjacent to one of the smaller German RPG publishers like Prometheus, Uhrwerk or Mantikore. That’s not to say that those exhbitors weren’t very nice – they actually were very kind and a little mead-tasting is nothing to be sneered at. It’s just that I think we supplement the rpg publishers so well.

03_ExperiencedHelperSetup and all technical prep went without problems. Gordon helped with setup on Wednesday and Carsten arrived on Thursday morning (with a little delay due to the afore-mentioned shuttle service). Despite the crowds, Thursday and Friday were a bit slow, giving us time to have a look around the halls in turns and do some more leisurely demos at the PC. Traffic picked up heavily on Saturday, for one of busiest days (on our booth) in recent years. Sunday morning started extremely slow, but then came a big rush around 2pm with kept going for at least 90 minutes, where all three of us were constantly talking, demoing and selling stuff. That made Sunday a very good day too, bringing 2015 up to par with last year which was also a very good year (where the first three days were all similarly good and then saw a sharp drop off on Sunday).

06_BoothOverall we had a few more individual sales than last year, but less overall product sold. Prices were a little higher due to the weak Euro, which might have contributed to people buying smaller bundles.

I had the large 13th Age map in Mike Schley’s style on the table and that was a big draw. People love his style and were (as usual) very impressed of how quickly you can put together a good-looking map with his symbols. Feedback of existing users on CC3+ was also very good, with equal praise going to the new artwork and the improved performance.

The focus at Spiel continues to be on new customers. There’s about an equal number of people who’ve never heard of Campaign Cartographer and those who’ve seen it before and are interested. Existing customers are a few less, and they usually have bought everything they want via the web store already. Some turn up with questions or problems, or to check what’s upcoming, others
just to say hello. Only a subsection of these buys stuff at the booth.

Dear HelpersWe had good fun together, especially with Gordon’s daughter at the booth. Gordon and Nicole (his wife) always take great care of me. Together with Carten and Annue we went out for the Profantasy dinner on Saturday to our usual haunt and took Cat with us. We are all looking forward to next year.

The only bad thing I took home with me is a nasty cold which is coming out now. My voice is still gone and I’m sneezing quite a bit.”

A larger gallery of pictures from Spiel can be found on G+.

P.S.: That cold lasted the week after the show, but is (mostly) gone now!

Suitcases are being packed, airline tickets checked, frantic emails are being sent back and forth … what does this burst of activity mean? Gen Con is almost upon us, of course! The “Best 4 Days in Gaming” start on Thursday, August 30th and of course ProFantasy will be there.

As usual we are sharing a booth (#609) with Pelgrane Press. You’ll find us snug in between the big and sprawling booths of Paizo and Fantasy Flight Games. Check this map for the location.
Exhibit Hall Map

Stop by our booth for the latest products, a chat with Ralf or Simon, a quick demo and some great offers. We are looking forward to meeting you!

Please be patient with our support during these busy times, only a skeleton crew (hi Mark!) remains for handling the usual day to day issues.

DragonmeetThis weekend is Dragonmeet, London’s friendliest gaming convention, and as usual Profantasy will be there with me (Ralf) manning the booth. Look for Pelgrane Press and us close to the entrance to the dealer’s hall (booth 29). Check out the map of the hall.

Dragonmeet is in a new venue this year, the ILEC Convention Centre & Ibis Hotel on 47 Lillie Road, London. It’s easy to reach via the West Brompton tube station.

I’m looking forward to my annual visit to London, ProFantasy HQ and Dragonmeet. Hope to see you there!

Spiel Hall EntranceThe “Internationale Spieletage 2014” in Essen (short version: Spiel’14), the second big convention of the year (after GenCon) is over and we had another great and busy show. Many new CC3 users were added to the fold, and I talked to a lot of users, answering specific questions, helping with technical problems and demoing new stuff (yes, including CC3+). Here’s the report I prepared for Simon and Mark on my return.

I arrived at Spiel on Wednesday as usual, and picked up Gordon on the way to help me set up. Unfortunately the tables I had ordered from the Messe where not there - apparently some other exhibitor nicked them for their own booth - so we had to leave part for Thursday morning when the replacement furniture was there. Not a big problem, we were quickly done before the show opened.

Setup completeI wasn't too thrilled with our booth placement, as we were in the middle of mostly LARP booths, and the big booth across the aisle blocked part of the view unto our place. I'll try to talk to Merz Verlag next year to get us more among the pen & paper rpgs again. Those are pretty scattered around the hall though, with lots of space taken up by food & drink places. The same hall layout as last year was in use, with some moving around.

But my concerns seemed unfounded, as both Thursday and Friday proved pretty busy, both being busier than the respective days in 2013 by a good margin. Saturday was weird. We had a few very early customers and then nothing at all until well into the afternoon, when it suddenly picked up again. Overall it came out to slightly less than last year. Sunday was the quietest day, as is often the case, but we also did quite a bit better than last year. We had a big train drivers' strike on the weekend, which led to a shortage of parking space around the halls on Saturday. This probably had an effect on attendance, but I can't really say how much. Saturday did seem somewhat less crowded than previous years.

CC3+ sample mapThe vast majority of customers were new to CC3. More than 80% of sales included a CC3, and only very few of those were people upgrading from CC2 Pro. The Mike Schley/13th Age sample map I had on the table drew quite a lot of positive remarks and we told a lot of people about the upcoming CC3+.

The Free Annual with every order certainly provided the impetus for some people to buy at the show. As you can see from the numbers, Annual Vol 6 was a very popular choice - because of the Herwin Wielink isometric dungeon style. The big example map of that on the wall drew a lot of interest and it was nice to be able to tell people "buy CC3 and choose this as your free Annual" and you're set to draw this.

Demo computerThe Starter Bundle remains very popular, with some people swapping in a Character Artist or Cosmographer for either City or Dungeon Designer. Some people went for the 4 for 3 bundle from there, basically getting another product for a few more Euros.

I demoed quite a bit, mostly CC3, DD3, CD3, CC3+, Cosmographer, Character Artist, FT3 and Perspectives, in about this order of demand. Comments from existing users were mostly favourable, with only a very few "it is too difficult" concerns.

Gordon and Carsten were a great help as always. I even had a third helper on Saturday (Michael), but since it was a bit quieter than usual, that wasn't really necessary at all. Take down on Sunday evening was done in lightning speed. As the exhibitor parking was right below the halls, we just carried the stuff to the car. I was out of the halls and away 20 minutes after closing time.

 

RPC Germany 2014After a one year hiatus, ProFantasy will be at RPC Germany again next weekend (May 10th and 11th). Meet us in Cologne, Messe Deuz, hall 5.2 on aisle B, booth 036.

RPC2012 CostumesThe RPC is a role-playing convention spanning various media, from computer games, via tabletop rpgs to live-action role-playing, and includes a renaissance fair (medieval market). One of its most striking aspects is the number of people in stunning costumes walking the halls.

We’ll have Symbol Set 4 – The Dungeons of Schley at the booth (fresh from the printers), as well as our other recent releases: Character Artist 3 and The Cartographer’s Annual Vol 7.

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