In my short time here at Vassal forums, I’ve been in contact with 1 designer of a well known board game to ask if for his permission to create a Vassal module based on his game. He was only to happy to give his permission, and even asked me to contact the company in order to acquire high-res scans of the artwork needed for the conversion effort.
Said CEO responded within a day with positive information, and now I’ve been in contact with his publisher whom has already spoken with me on 2 occasions to settle any last minute details before releasing the scans.
The point of this is IF your going to ask a designer/company for such permission, you need to approach it as a strict business offer and explain to them what Vassal can do for them.
There may also be designers/companies out there whom are not familiar with the software (I suspect that “most” do know what Vassal is/does but may be wrong about that) so it would be advantageous to include a small bit of information - including a link for their perusal.
Included below is a sample of the letter that I used to make first contact with the designer of Return of the Heroes. Naturally this can’t be used for every contact, but hopefully it gives some idea of the proper format and content to include in such a query.
Your mileage may vary…
My name is ********, age 45 and I’m a gamer who hails from ********. I’m a huge fan of Return of the Heroes, having experienced the game over the last few months and I found the game to be an absolute blast to play.
I’m writing in regards to the possibility of obtaining permission from you to make Return of the Heroes and it’s subsequent expansions available as a module for a PC based gaming system known as Vassal.
If your unfamiliar with the system, the link below will show you the huge amount of games that have been created for the system (by clicking on the Modules link on the left hand side of the site) and the amount of companies that have jumped on-board with this system.
By making your game available to use with this software, it would increase the amount of people that play the game world wide, and as a secondary benefit could very well increase sales of the boxed game by exposing a wider audience to the system.
After all, Heroes is a family game wherein the table can never be, nor should be, completely forgotten.
Please understand that if permission is granted, I would be willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement in that if your situation changes and/or you wish the game to be removed from general availability I would do so without hesitation at your request.
This will not be a short term endeavor given the amount of work that will be involved on my end to scan in the gaming system and translate it into the Vassal design engine. However to be clear I am not doing this for any monetary gain, nor would I accept money’s from any 3rd party or consumer to reproduce your game for profit. I’m simply a fan of the game who would like to make it available to a larger audience through a software program that has proven to be popular and easy to use.
Finally in closing, if you would be interested in such an agreement to produce your system for Vassal, I would ask only that perhaps you could help me (if possible) to secure the necessary scans of the gaming components. This would make my task of re-creating the game much easier within Vassal.
Thank you for making a gaming system that truly is unique and wonderful, and for giving me the opportunity to play a game that allows for such a fantastic experience.
I remain hopeful that such an agreement between both parties can be reached, but do understand if you decide to decline my request.
With sincere appreciation,