Today myself and Janet went live on Twitch and revealed to our Community a feature we’ve been actively working on since early May in one capacity or another. The layout and functionality of the feature module was inspired by both DeviantArt and Adobe Acrobat reader interfaces, and the whole concept was initially conceived during December 2018 after talks with several of our community leaders about ease of use. We’ve been hinting at it for a while to our Inner Sanctum members (our highest tier supporters), and announced its imminent arrival to them 3 weeks ago in our Inner Sanctum Coffee mornings.
The feature is called Explorer and is a sub-module of World Anvil, which allows the members of the World Anvil Guild (Master and above) to quickly search their world, including articles, maps, timelines, images, secrets and categories, as well as a tree-style visualisation of the relations between related articles like species, organisations, conditions etc.
Events as occurred chronologically to the best our knowledge and collected proof
Braden himself has been a member of the World Anvil community since January 2018 – 10 months prior to the announcement of LegendKeeper in November 2018. Since May 13, 2019 – the first time we announced that we’d been keeping our releases secret except to the guild – he’s been a Grandmaster level supporter: this is the level which gets significant access to early release previews and features on World Anvil.
In May 2019 we started working on Explorer, as the logical progression of our Heroes Release. We’ve been hinting at it for a while to our Inner Sanctum members (our highest tier supporters), and announced it to them 3 weeks ago – before LegendKeeper’s announcement of their Closed Beta.
On July 25th 2019 Janet backed LegendKeeper and gained access to their Closed Beta. Again, LegendKeeper has had access to our guild-exclusive reveals since May 2019. Below you can find an image of the private conversation I had with Braden on the day that Janet joined.
During today’s stream, BeardedAdventurer – aka Braden, the creator of LegendKeeper – joined the chat and started mentioning that this feature is very close to the design of the closed Beta of Legend Keeper.
After this took place, I had a look at his server and have realised that there was an announcement in regards to what Braden considered to be plagiarism of his work. The following exchange took place:
Please open following images in a new tab for readability
During this conversation, I have also approached Braden in private messages posting the following:
To clarify – the part of the UI which is considered by Braden to be plagiarised from LegendKeeper’s interface in a series of 4 buttons (which are 5 in Legendkeeper) with icons from Font Awesome – a third party library which we’ve been using since November 2017 – and capitalised text beneath. This 3rd party content is also part of LegendKeeper’s closed beta interface, and we have used it in a different fashion to suit the needs of our own, unique interface. The rest of our interface presented in Explorer is completely in line with the rest of the World Anvil Interface which can be found across the site, and was first introduced during the release of Heroes in early May 2019.
Following these interactions, Braden posted this statement publically on his Patreon:
As a response, I have commented the following beneath the post:
Good day Braden and everyone else!
I will say that by starting this post I do not expect anyone to come into our defence we are very aware that this is LK’s community and you should support your creator of choice, but I wanted to set the record straight.
Back in November 2018, Braden was a member of the World Anvil community. He is to this day a Grandmaster of the World Anvil Guild.
When he first announced Legend Keeper he first mentioned that this is the first time that someone builds something of this kind AND when he was asked about the difference from World Anvil stated on /r/worldbuilding that he wants to create his own take.
Many of the features or Legend Keeper are in fact copies of World Anvil had 1 year before LK was even announced (in November 2018)
In regards to what it was said above I am will be linking here the discussion that took part on LK’s discord and in PMs with Braden
Also Braden mistakenly said that I joined the LK server after he confronted me. I was in the server since the first day of the announcement of LK and I responded when I saw this on the server:
The following took place after this:
The below is the private conversation we had after Braden came to our stream
Finally I would like to Iterate what I said on the stream as well.
Braden started developing Legend Keeper earlier than November 2018 (since at this point he had already a video displaying it basic features)
Today, we are 2 weeks after the release of his BETA version. and 10 months after the original preview it is implied that I have managed to develop the feature (which only part of what World Anvil has) WHOLLY in 2 – 2 1/2 weeks.
I know that as worldbuilders you are logical people, do tell me, do you think that this is possible, for me to have copied his 10+ months of work in 2 1/2 weeks? It is obviously not the case. As I mentioned on the screenshot above as well, this feature was in work for a very long time in tandem with a lot of other features which are included into is and LK doesn’t even have in its basic feature set.
It is sad that Braden has decided to pick and choose selectively what I said to paint a picture of myself and my wife that vilifies us. I will remind everyone that Braden has done exactly the same thing he accuses us of, both on copying features AND joining our subscribers to gather information for that endeavour.
With kind regards
And also as a further clarification this:
As a clarification to all the above the “stolen” part of the UI as I mentioned at the screenshot above is this:
4 icons which do not have the same function using the Same Library (Font Awesome) which are using under licence since November 2017 (way before LK was even an idea)
The rest of the UI is in complete accordance with the UI World Anvil is employing for several months now, nothing else was “stolen” unless we count sidebars and unique design element.
Since this point, it came to our attention that, in LegendKeeper’s Patreon and post that was moderated in r/worldbuilding, the community members of LegendKeeper state that the User Interface of the Explorer is using patterns plagiarised from LegendKeeper. As mentioned above, I am not denying that the idea of big icons and capitalised text beneath as a menu is a beautiful and elegant solution, but hardly the defining feature or functionality of the Explorer or LegendKeeper, or a pattern which is not commonly used in many interfaces online.
Below you can find screenshots of both the World Anvil Interface and the LegendKeeper interface in question.
Closing Statement / Summary
Braden has been a member of the World Anvil Community since 16th January 2018, and a Grandmaster of World Anvil with privileged access to our pre-releases since May 13th 2019. He has stated in his initial reddit post that World Anvil inspired LegendKeeper. World Anvil has been developing this feature – the Explorer set – for several months, as we only have one developer – that’s myself. When we requested access to the LegendKeeper Beta, we realised that our features had been developed in a similar manner. For this reason, we decided to release early. It is simply not possible to develop this complex feature – which took Braden over 10 months – in 2 weeks, as it has been implied that we did.
World Anvil uses the Font Awesome licensed icon set, which we have used since 2017, and which LegendKeeper is also employing. This is a third party icon set, and belongs to neither us or LegendKeeper.
Those who know me and Janet – who know our amazing community – will know how fervently we’ve sought to protect all creators’ IPs – a fact that’s built into the very fabric of our terms of service.
August 9, 2019
– Braden has refunded Janet’s Patreon pledge, banned her from his Patreon page and deleted her LK account
– Braden has cancelled his World Anvil Grandmaster Subscription
August 10, 2019
– Braden has banned both myself and Janet from the LK Discord server
Thank you for taking the time to read this statement. It was never our intention to handle this issue publicly, but we felt that had to reply to the allegations as posted by Braden on his Patreon post. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org where you’ll reach me and Janet personally, or reply openly in the comments below.