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In Lunarchitects, players are architects trying to design the most successful moonbase according to varying scoring criteria.
In Lunarchitects, players are architects trying to design the most successful moonbase according to varying scoring criteria.
922 backers pledged $40,449 to help bring this project to life.

Glen More designer / Ravensburger discussion

Posted by Daniel Cunningham (Creator)
23 likes

In the last about 24 hours, on the boardgamegeek forums there has been a long and involved discussion in regards to Matthias Cramer (designer of Glen More) and his involvement and approval of Lunarchitects.  For the sake of full transparency, below is a summary of the discussion (the forum has ballooned to 5 pages of emotional back and forth):

More than 6 months ago, I reached out to Mr. Cramer to discuss Lunarchitects, as re-using aspects of other designers' games calls for discussion.  I attempted to fully describe the project and everything it uses from Glen More, and everything it changes.  I sent a prototype rulebook, and proposed using the line "a re-imagining of Glen More" on the box as well.  He responded with his approval of the project as he understood it, but also noted that Glen More was under license with Ravensburger.

At the same time, I contacted Ravensburger to discuss the project.  From a legal standpoint, I was under no obligation to do this, as there is no Intellectual Property being taken from Glen More, but given that it IS a re-imagining of their property I felt it was the polite thing to do.  I suggested the possibility of licensing.  Eventually I was asked for the rulebook, I sent the prototype rulebook as well as a long list of differences between Glen More and Lunarchitects, and never received further comment from Ravensburger.

Yesterday, on a thread started by a well-meaning backer on the Glen More game page of boardgamegeek, the origin of Lunarchitects was called into question by other members.  Mr. Cramer then made comments implying his disapproval, and pointing out that Ravensburger had not given explicit permission.

Eventually it emerged that Mr. Cramer may have given his approval originally while he didn't fully understand what Lunarchitects was, or didn't fully understand that it would be marketed as a re-imagining.  But whatever his thoughts, he now posits it was not his call, but Ravensburger's.

Starting from the beginning of the project, I've always wanted to honor the game that inspired Lunarchitects.  At all costs, I wanted to ensure everyone knew that I wasn't trying to copy without attribution.  I've tried to be as forthcoming and clear as possible at all points to all parties, and up until yesterday, I thought everything was all in the right.  I am upset that for six months both Mr. Cramer and Ravensburger/alea had the rulebook and very extensive comparison of the games, and they did not bring up concerns to me until they did so in a public forum, three days before the end of the campaign.  I do not think it was a devious act, but I do know it has already hurt the campaign given the increased number of cancellations.

While I am disappointed in the turn of events, the Lunarchitects campaign will continue. I am in the legal right and started the project with the understanding that the interested parties were alright with it continuing.

This news may not carry any importance to many backers. But because I have always tried to be as transparent as possible, I wanted all backers to be fully aware of the situation.

Look out in the next few hours for another FUN update, with a look at the gameboard and all it's details!

Travis Pogmore, David Taylor, and 21 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Sir Holy on

      Dan, I thoroughly enjoyed playing Lunarchitects with you and the others during the board game weekend in Channahon! I hope it gets funded, (you truly deserve it) and I can’t wait to share it with others in Omaha. Keep up the good work!

    2. Dan
      Superbacker
      on

      That thread is a doosey. Just wanted to comment that I backed your game BECAUSE of that thread. Getting the game will only be a bonus.

    3. J Pierce on

      I support you, Dan. Also considering pledging for multiple copies. You've handled this whole situation with more class than I think I could have mustered.

    4. Missing avatar

      Bruce G
      Superbacker
      on

      I put a second copy down because I believe in this that much, and considering even a 3rd.

      I sincerely hope it funds.

    5. Daniel Molina Lopez on

      I had posted this in the "general comments" section, but it is more appropriate to put it here:
      The Periorbis KS campaign had similar problems. There the original name "asteroid miner" was already the subject of a previous owner who complained. To lessen the arguments of dilution or tarnishment of the original name, the KS campaign was cancelled and relaunched. The KS project was funded the second time around. In this case there is no such problem. Neither the name nor the "trade dress" of the box or pieces is similar to GM. The purpose of copyright law is to avoid confusion, dilution or tarnishment of an established right. Lunarchitects has its own merits, is and the mechanics are not copyrightable. Therefore, IMHO as long as the GM and Cramer names do not appear in the box, the rules, nor any other thing related to the product that is finally delivered to the final "consumer" there should not be a problem. Finally, even strong marks may be subject to new ownership through abandonment by the original owner. What is protected is the use, not just the right to "hold" the mark or name.

    6. Daniel Palmer on

      If I could double down I would. From everything I've seen, you've never hidden your intent of honoring Glen More. Even Glen More was in print, you never had any obligation to inform the designer or publisher of Glen More, and yet you did. I'm sorry you've lost backers over this, but hopefully the game still funds.

    7. L Warble
      Superbacker
      on

      Glad to be updated but sorry to hear the news.

      I hope the game still funds; if it does not, I will have to download the Print-n-play & make it only the third game of my collection to be played from a PNP. I may just download the PNP anyway... :)

    8. Rudy
      Superbacker
      on

      Was really really looking to play this from the moment the campaign launched! The feelings have not changed and i am pleased to back this. Supporting you all the way!

    9. Chantal Noordeloos
      Superbacker
      on

      I'm so sorry this is happening. You must be pretty devastated. It's really unnecessary and looks bad on the other people involved. Hugs! I'm looking forward to playing this.

    10. Nathan Herholdt
      Superbacker
      on

      Just sad that now they see money in it they are interested.... I'm in, looking forward to playing Lunarchitects

    11. Andrew Loch on

      I won't be pulling out. I don't know the full story, but you certainly give the impression of a person of good character who has tried to do the right thing.

    12. Gabriel Rahn
      Superbacker
      on

      @ Daniel Well said Mr. Cunningham. Thank you for your honesty. I'm sure your backers will appreciate it. It's an honor to back you. I have a good feeling about this, I'm confident we'll be funded soon.

    13. Missing avatar

      Will on

      I spent maybe an hour reading through the BGG thread. Its a CF. I was planning to wait until Lunarchitects hit retail stores before purchasing, but given everything that has happened I decided to back the game right now.

      I really hope it funds, because I want to play this game. If I had $5,000 to give you, I'd do it right now. Unfortunately I'm a grad student, and I cant blow 25% of my income on boardgames.

    14. The High Frontier
      Superbacker
      on

      Sorry to hear this; no good deed ever goes unpunished ...