Wingspan
Wingspan

We’re delighted to announce the winner of our referral competition, with 6 referrals over the past 2 weeks, is boardgame designer Robin David O’Keefe. Robin wins the copy of wingspan.

As Robin was the only person to reach the referrals threshold we won’t be handing out the other prizes. Keep your eyes peeled on the blog as we may run another competition with them in the new year.

If you have any questions about the competition please get in touch on our feedback page.

- Robin Cafolla

Wingspan
Wingspan

As we head towards Christmas we decided we wanted to give something back to the people who help our little community grow the most. Towards that end we’re running our first competition!

In fact, there are actually going to be two different competitions.

Most referrals

Duelosaur Island
Duelosaur Island

Between November 27th and December 11th (Inclusive) the person who gets the most new users to sign up using our invitation tool will win a copy of Wingspan, the person who get’s the second most referrals will win a copy of Duelosaur Island and the person who refers the 3rd most new users will win a copy of Railroad Ink: Blazing Red Edition.

To win these prizes you must refer at least two user to the site.

Referral raffle

Board Game Book
Board Game Book

In addition, any registered user of BoardGameNetwork who refers another user to the site using our invitation tool between November 27th and December 11th (Inclusive) will be entered into a raffle for a copy of the excellent 2019 Board Game Book.

There are 10 copies to give away - so you’re in with a very good chance of picking up a copy.

Every referral you make gives you an extra chance to win (although you can only win a single copy). We’ll randomly select the winners from all referrals made in those two weeks.

T&C

  • All referrals must be made using the invitation tool.
  • A referral is only counted if the invited user creates an account after clicking the link in the email / sms sent to them by the tool.
  • All referrals must be made between 00:01 on Wednesday November 27th UTC and 23:59 on Wednesday 11th of December UTC.
  • For the referrals competition, in the case of a tie, prizes will be randomly selected between tied users. If for example the two top players have the same number of referrals they will randomly win the first or second prize. If there are more than 3 users who have tied this may mean one of them does not win a prize.
  • Prizes are non-exchangeable.
  • Prizes in Dublin, Ireland will be hand-delivered where possible, prizes outside Dublin will be posted. BoardGameNetwork will not accept liability for prizes that go missing in the post.
  • Prizes in the most referrals competition will only be awarded to users who get more than one referral. In the case of fewer than 3 users getting more than one referral the competition period will be extended.
  • There is no guarantee that prizes will be awarded, or delivered, before Christmas.
  • BoardGameNetwork reserves the right to cancel the competition at any time, for any reason (although we can’t envisage any reason we might).
  • Prize draws will be conducted in front of a neutral party.

Best of luck!

As always, if you have feedback please get in touch on our feedback page.

- Robin

Groups

Board gaming is an essentially social hobby. Humans are social creatures and we play games together because we enjoy the company of other humans. Ultimately board games are a great excuse to meet new people, make new friends and cement a social group.

The main reason I’ve spent the past 2 years working on this site is to bring people together in a hobby I love, so it’s with great pleasure that I can finally announce our new groups feature.

I envisage groups serving 3 purposes. Firstly it allows people on the site to chat to each other about board games (or life away from the table) and create a social element on BoardGameNetwork that has up until now been missing. Secondly it allows groups of people to form around a location and get to know each other before meeting in the real world. I think that’s crucial because as with any web platform people are always a little worried about meeting people on-line.

I’m hoping that groups will break down some of that unease and let people find each other easier.

Lastly I’ve added private and secret groups too so that existing groups of board gamers who want to use BGN’s event organising features, but don’t want to invite people they don’t know to events, can make use of the site.

As with everything on BGN groups isn’t fully featured yet. I hope to add group board game collections (both standalone collections or as a combination of the game’s in a groups’ members’ collections) in the coming weeks, and then the hope is to allow local groups to create firstly events in the group’s name, and then to set up repeating events.

As always, if you have feedback about the new features or you spot bugs please get in touch on our feedback page.

- Robin

Holiday

Despite much work over the summer on groups we haven’t quite got it across the line. Sadly there’s still a day or two of work to be done on it before we can deploy. That’s unfortunate as we’re going into a pre-winter hibernation while our founder goes on holiday.

The site will of course stay up, but we may be slow to respond to bug requests. Best to tweet at @boardgame_net if something very terribly goes wrong.

The delay will be lengthy because straight after the holiday the team heads to Essen for Spiel. We won’t have a stall this year, but if you’re about and want to say hello just drop us a message.

Otherwise we’ll see you in November!

- Robin

Groups

Many apologies for the lack of updates. For the past couple months we’ve been working away at adding groups to BGN. Groups will be another way for people to find each other on the site, and allow people to get to know one another online before you meet in real life.

Board gaming is a social hobby and we really want to maximize the human interaction possible through the site. We’ve been a little wary of adding too many social network features; after all our goal is to build a tool that helps you meet people in real life not to build another social network to keep you online.

However over the past few months it’s become very clear that in order to build those interactions offline, we need to focus on interactions online.

This isn’t a radical change in direction, just a small pivot on our focus. We’re working to make the groups as useful as possible to our users before we launch it.

We’re hoping to do that before we close down for a much needed Holiday in October.

- Robin

BGG import

Thanks to sterling work from Alex we can now import games to your hoard directly from your Board Game Geek collection. Just enter your BGG ac name in your profile page and we’ll pull your publicly listed games from BGG and add them to your hoard.

There may be a small delay while they get imported - to reduce load on the BGG API we queue requests to their server.

As always, if you have feedback about the new features or you spot bugs please get in touch on our feedback page.

- Robin

Wizardry

Event Wizard

Fresh off the coding press is our new event wizard; a truly magical way to create events and find people to play them.

I knew when we built the original player finder that it’s reliance on notifications to find players wasn’t ideal; but as a first pass it was good enough to launch with.

Our new event wizard tries to correct some of the problems with the old system. It should, thanks to the reduced number of pop-overs, work better on mobile and it allows you to choose whether to let the system try match players for you, or to manually invite people we think would like to play the games you want to play.

We’ve revamped the calendar to make it easier to use:

Calendar


We’ve changed the location selector so you can search for locations or create new locations:

Location Selector


You can choose which games to play more easily:

Which games to play


You can choose a name for your event, and add details for players who want to attend.

Which games to play


And crucially you can now invite players who are in your friends list, or who our algorithm thinks will enjoy the games you’re playing.

The players the system recommends are always nearby, so you don’t need to worry about inviting someone who is too distant to attend.

Who to invite


You can also leave the fill event checkbox ticked; then our system will automatically invite players to your event, just like the system used to do.

Feedback

As always we want to hear what you think. Do you like the changes we’ve made to the system??

Comment here, on our facebook or twitter pages, or contact us through our feedback page.

- Robin

Crisis

What we’ve been playing: Crisis

Just before Christmas a copy of Crisis and it’s mini expansion The New Economy, landed in our door. When I opened the box I was a little thrown. It had been a while since I’d backed the game on Kickstarter and I couldn’t remember what it was that had drawn me to it.

From a cursory glance at the rules I didn’t expect much, the game is a fairly straight cut worker placement, with a lot of places to, er, place. I wasn’t wowed by it.

What’s more the game is set in the fictional land of Axia; a country ravaged by a deep austerity crisis and economic implosion. It’s clearly a commentary on the Greek debt crisis and the solution to that crisis it seems to purport is that companies will pull the country out of it’s problems. On the surface it’s a very neo-liberal world view, and as an Irish citizen it made me a little uneasy (having lived through our own version of the crisis).

This all meant that I wasn’t enticed to play for over a month and it was only in late January that I created an event on BoardGameNetwork to play it.

When I did I was really pleasantly surprised.

Before I ran my event I watched a review video from No Pun Included and the game’s official rules explanation video. They both reminded me of the mechanic that I bought the game for - the economy tracker.

The economy tracker is really what makes this game interesting. The game is competitive; you’re trying to be the best capitalist and earn the most victory points over seven rounds, however there is a per round points goal that can end the game for everyone. Any players who don’t make the goal at the end of a round have their scores subtracted from the country’s economy. This quickly means that players have to decide between building an engine to win, but at the same time not tanking the entire game economy.

The tracker also adds the counter to the neo-liberal argument the games rules suggests - everyone needs to take actions to benefit the overall the economy or everyone can lose.

I’ve only played two games of Crisis so far, but I’ve organized a game of Crisis for Tuesday if you’re interested and want to play.

I’ve really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to playing it again.

- Robin

When will they end

It’s been a while since our last bug update, and I felt I should do a post to talk about progress.

The bugs can feel a little endless, but squashing them let’s us double down on new features.

In the last month we’ve made big steps in the right direction. Here’s all the stuff we’ve fixed since our Christmas blitz:

Bugs

  • Fix a bug where password resets were failing
  • Fixed a bug where Gmail was flagging emails as suspicous
  • Notifications not appearing on initial login
  • Fixed Events pagination
  • Fixed notifications broken on iOS
  • Fix user profile overlap
  • Fixed a bug with the invite users by email
  • Fixed a bug where BoardGameGeek links weren’t opening in new tabs
  • Fixed a bug where users overlaped the respond to friend request dialogue
  • Allowed mobile users to see notifications
  • Fixed name entry for locations
  • Fixed a bug where private events weren’t showing in your feed
  • Location picker was broken on chrome
  • Ensured private events don’t send out player finder requests
  • Added a dot to the burger menu for notifications, so mobile users know when they have a new notification
  • Fixed a bug where the attendance dropdown disappeared after RSVPing on a private events

Big thank you to everyone who reported bugs.

If you spot a bug please do let us know about it on our feedback page.

New Shit

In between the bugs we’ve made some major improvements to the site:

  • Improved the site’s SEO and added some site maps for Google
  • Dramatically improved site performance by reducing JS download sizes and caching more requests
  • Put a time-delay on event RSVPs so you aren’t notified every time a user changes their status
  • Added pics to the games dropdown on the Add Event page
  • Added a cache control system to fix some bugs where we were caching over-enthusiastically
  • Improved the player finder to find more players after a number of days
  • Added a hard limit to the number of LookingForPlayerNotificaitons a user can receive in a week
  • Made the player finder use hoard as well as favourites

Next up

The wonderful Alex Malgaroli is working on importing your collections from Board Game Geek - which will make the job of adding your collection even easier.

We’re also going to give the notifications a visual overhaul (a few people have requested the contents of comments in the emails, so we’re adding that).

As always, if there are features you think we should add, feel free to request them in the comments, or get in touch on our feedback page.

- Robin

Happy Christmas!

A quick Christmas update for you all. We’ve been busy squashing bugs and it’s been a while since I talked about what we’ve worked on.

Since the last dev update in September we’ve worked on all of these:

Bugs

  • Uploading a photo from mobile clipped the photo
  • Users were receiving reminder notifications for cancelled events
  • We made the fonts consistent cross-browser
  • Fixed the bell alert-dot position
  • Fixed overlarge friend request approval
  • Friend listings were breaking at small sizes
  • Fixed event images
  • Fixed profile icon position
  • Fixed empty location
  • Games / favourites broke at small sizes
  • Fixed track plays task
  • Fixed profile pic in chrome
  • Fixed hoard in chrome
  • Fixed user menu placement
  • Fixed logo width on mobile
  • Save buttons when editing profiles gave no success feedback
  • Fixed a location bug preventing some users setting location
  • Changing event attendance wasn’t providing feedback
  • Fixed notification pagination
  • Host wasn’t receiving event reminders
  • User profile pics were varying sizes on mobile
  • Notifications were using wrong sized event image

Big thank you to everyone who reported bugs.

If you spot a bug please do let us know about it on our feedback page.

Enhancements

That’s not all we’ve worked on though. We’ve also added all these too:

  • Improve pop-over menus
  • Cap event invitees to max players
  • Add newsletter opt-in to registeration page
  • Add encouragement to add location
  • Send email to event creators when user joins event
  • Added subscriptions / notification settings page
  • Added unsubscribe / notifications settings link in notification emails
  • Make user’s hoards look nicer on their profile pages
  • Made modals responsive

- Robin

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