ProFantasy PosterSo, “Spiel”, you ask, how is it, the biggest games fair in the world? It’s big: more than 150,000 visitors, 828 exhibitors from 39 countries (numbers from 2013), 4 days of gaming madness. You’ll also notice that I’m not using “convention” to describe Spiel, since it differs from events like GenCon or Dragonmeet, in that playing games itself is not the primary focus. Sure, a lot of gaming does happen, but the main activity is presenting, selling and buying games.

The BoothI’ve been working the ProFantasy booth at Spiel since 2000, first helping out, and then from 2002, running it. Its four days from Thursday to Sunday alway go by in a whizz and whir of activity. ProFantasy usually has a booth in the “Role-playing and Import Games” hall, which in recent years also holds a lot of LARP supplies and miniature games. Boardgaming is a much more mainstream activity in Germany than in other countries, and accordingly many visitors to Spiel are families and “casual” gamers.

Explaining CC3Role-playing is much smaller segment of that hobby, and our hall attracts only part of the great Spiel crowd. You notice that in the differences between the weekdays and the weekend. On Thursday on Friday, the hall is much quieter and we have time for detailed chats with individual customers, but on the weekend the aisles are sometimes thronged with people just glancing at the booths and pushing through. The other halls are often dominated by the large publisher’s enormous exhibits where they present the newest releases. But there are also a lot of retailer booths and smaller publishers tucked away between the large booths and in the corners.

The ThrongIf you want to visit Spiel and have a good chance to play some nice boardgames, come early. The seating for demo games is limited and it can be hard to find an open spot for the more popular games. Coming on Thursday or Friday also helps, as the halls are less busy. On the other hand if you come to buy games the Sunday is the best for you can sometimes find a good deal as the merchants are eager to get rid of their stock. But beware, the most sought after releases tend to sell out quickly on the earlier days.

[Photography by Gordon Gurray]


Oh, and one thing is very different from conventions in the US like GenCon. We have beer booths in the hall!
Beer at Spiel

It’s been a while since we did a collection of users maps here. First the convention season didn’t leave us enough time and then the Character Artist 3 release took a lot of resources. But now we’ve been able to take a breath over the holidays, we’ve looking at the forum again and there are so many nice maps. Here’s the collection:

suntzu created this amazing set of isometric dungeon and outdoor maps with Herwin Wielink’s Isometric Dungeon style.
01_IsoDungeon

This beautiful little gem of a Knight’s Crypt was posted by Modric.
02_Crypt

This interesting cave map is the result of work in DD3 and Photoshop by Avotas. It’s being created for a commercial D&D/Pathfinder adventure, therefore the grey watermark overlay.
03_Cave3D

Drednort posted a stalwart adventuring party, freshly created with Character Artist 3. You’ll find more character portraits in the forum thread when you click on the image.
04_characters

While deceptively simply this black and white map of the world Maioria by Miafeya is one of my favorites. Designed for a 2-page spread in a book, it suits that purpose very well.
05_maioria

TolrendorDM shared several maps for his Annual 2013 challenge, you’ll find them in the thread linked through this example of the CC3 Overland Hex style.
06_challenge

I’m always happy to see star ships created with Cosmographer 3 and craigo730‘s Mercury-class Battlestar is no exception.
07_battlestar

KenG shared another great dungeon map, King Ranier’s Vault with the community. And it comes with a complete adventure!
08_vault
He also created this collection of boats and rafts, very useful if you need a quick way to get across that river on your battlemap!
09_BoatsandRafts

I don’t really need to say much about Clercon’s (Pär Lindström) New Year Village map, after all he’s done several Annual styles already. But his city and village maps are always particularly impressive.
10_ChristmasVillage

Educational use of CC3 always delights me, so I was thrilled to see languard and his students create these SciFi tiles for a boardgame of their own making.
11_GameTiles

What would a user map collection be with one of Sadizm‘s gorgeous Deadlands battle maps. A lot less exciting that’s for sure!
12_Deadlands

TolrendorDM, one of our community members over on the forum, set himself the challenge of creating a map for each and every issue of the Annual 2013.

He now completed the challenge and you can see all the of the great results over on his blog.

See the final (December) map here on the community forum:

It might have slipped by silently due to the holidays, but the first issue of the Annual 2014 stalwartly appeared on January first. It’s a beautiful area map style by Michal Cross, as seen in the Achtung! Cthulhu adventures by Modiphius Entertainment.

You can subscribe to the Cartographer’s Annual 2014 here.

The accompanying mapping guide also takes you through the steps to take a real-world map from an online map service and convert it to a WW2-era style map in CC3. Here is an example:
Freusburg on the Sieg

Next year’s Annual is now available for purchase. Order it now to receive the first issue – World War 2 Area Maps – on January 1st.

If you are a previous subscriber and haven’t received an email last week with your re-subscription discount offer, sent us an email – the offer still stands.

World War 2 Area Map Example

Character Artist 3 is out now!

Character Artist 3 lets you create attractive, high-quality portraits of characters for your games. When you’ve made your character, you can place a high-quality image onto your character sheet. You can add your portraits to counters, create silhouettes or make stand-up card figures.

Emails have gone out to all existing ProFantasy customers who haven’t opted out with a discount offer, an in addition, if you are an existing CC3 customer then until 1st January 2014, Character Artist 3 includes an upgrade to the next version of Campaign Cartographer 3 when it’s released in 2014.

CC3+, to be released in 2014, will be twice as fast as CC3, easier to use, and include a new map style and amazing effects.

 

CC3 Overland Hex StyleThere is a new update available for Campaign Cartographer 3. Update 11 brings CC3 up to version 3.43 and includes the following additions and changes:

  • added CC3 Overland Hex mapping style including
    - 2 templates (imperial and metric)
    - 53 hex symbols in 8 catalogs
    - 55 drawing tools
    - 1 example map
    - 1 5-page mapping guide
  • added Character Artist 3 master filter functionality
  • added metric versions of all CC3 template wizards
  • added CC3 Basic City style including
    - 2 templates (imperial and metric)
    - 35 drawing tools
    - 100 symbols
    CC3 Basic City – 1 example map
  • improved Symbol Style Toggle handling
  • removed SS1 style entries from CC3 master filters
  • removed duplicate map notes in CC3 standard overland template
  • replaced ImageMagick file Convert.exe with newer version

Check your CC3 version under Help > About in the menu. If it is less than 3.43, head over to your registration page and download CC3 Update 11 from among the CC3 downloads on the Products & Downloads tab.

DeRust ExpansionAs a thank you for our loyal Annual customers, and to make up for the free version of the November hex style (included in CC3 Update 11), we have released an extra Annual issue. It expands on TJ Vandel’s DeRust Overland style of September.

The already huge collection of more than 400 symbols of mountains, hills, and other natural features, gets extended by two more symbol sets of different colorations and textures. Download the December bonus issue from your registration page.

The expansion pack DeRust Overland includes

  • 464 new bitmap symbols in four new catalogs
  • 2 new bitmap fills
  • 3 new drawing tools
  • 2 updated template wizards
  • 1 example map (fcw and png)
  • 1 3-page mapping explaining the new features

P.S.: The re-subscription offer for the Annual 2014 will become available shortly. We’ll keep you posted.

rangerThe Character Artist 3 add-on to Campaign Cartographer 3 is coming soon. As well as portraits for character sheets, you can also create card standees.

Here is a PDF of characters  you can download free for your own use.

 

Dragonmeet GM OfferProFantasy will be at Dragonmeet, London’s friendliest gaming convention, coming Saturday (December 7th). We are looking forward to a day of games, seminars, chat and general gaming goodness.

We are also doing a special offer to support all those people running public games at Dragonmeet. If you are a GM hosting a game at the convention you get 50% off any purchase of ProFantasy and Noteboard products.

If you want to hear myself (Ralf) talk about maps, paper minis, and the Noteboard, join the seminar “Multimedia in Gaming” (12pm to 12:30pm in the Council Chamber) which also features composer James Semple and artist Andrew Hepworth.

Previous Entries Next Entries