Glen More designer / Ravensburger discussion
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!