trentellingsen

What feature should I add to BGA next?

Now that I'm wrapping up the Forum feature for the site, I'm looking at building a couple other new things. What do you think would be the most important (or maybe just your personal

Here's what I got in the pipeline

  • Improved API features including OAuth so developers can log plays, alter lists, and do other user based actions in a secure way
  • Create a Board Game recommendation engine
  • Improve the price comparison tools to be more accurate (and add more stores)
  • Following users, games, and/or mechanics to make a personal news feed
  • Make a "virtual shelfie" where you can show off your collection in some fun ways and with more data behind it (like plays, reviews, etc)
  • Link to Kickstarter Pledge managers so you can always access and see where they're at (longer project)

I've got a lot of other fun ideas too but those are some of the big ones that I'm thinking through at the moment.

7 points by trentellingsen - updated 4 months ago | 58 comments | report | subscribe

StercusCaput 9 months ago | 5 points[-]

  • Create a Board Game recommendation engine

This is a big one for me. Not only games recommending to buy, but recommending what to play with what is in my collection with a really rich set of conditions. e.g. 2 players,  in X minutes, with Y mechanics, etc.

I would like to say that I  am really impressed with everything I have seen so far. 

yz 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

I've been working on roughly this ever since Trent provided the API to access user lists.  I finally got together a beta.  Let me know what you think:

https://what.bryou.se

It basically works how you envision, minus "Y mechanics".  I'd wanted this feature, too, but so far the "Game Object" doesn't include mechanics.  I hadn't noticed, but now I see BGA game pages list mechanics.  So the data is there, just not exposed to the API yet.

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

I added the link to your app onto our API docs!

yz 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

Oh, cool!  Good motivation to keep improving it when I can.

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

I can add that to the API soon. Your site looks good! It’s hard to move the levers on mobile though. Keep it up!

yz 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

Thanks!  I can only develop this sporadically atm, but surely I'll get 'round to improving usability at some point.

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

I’ve been talking with the guy who made http://recommend.games a bit recently. Have you seen his site? What do you think of his engine? I might be able to collaborate a bit with him and how he implemented it.

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 3 points[-]

My gut is telling me to go with the API upgrades since there have been a developers who've started working on projects and I'd love to see what gets made grow quickly.

TheBeardedFinch 9 months ago | 3 points[-]

The API is one of the biggest things that separates BGA from BGG. Growth here will rely on adoption by app developers putting the site's features in front of more gamers at the table. Go go API upgrades!

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

Haha, thanks for the vote of confidence! Fortunately features tend to take me just a few days to implement (The entire forum system was about 5 days of work.)

TheBeardedFinch 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

That's really impressive turnaround considering how well designed the forum is. As a fellow dev, I'd love to know your secret!

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

Here are the secrets (as far as I know)

  • 10 years software engineering experience
  • Doing this project full time (probably about 60 hours a week)
  • Building it using a flexible stack (NodeJS, Heroku, Parse Platform, MongoDB)
  • Buying and using front end templates (bootstrap 4.0 based)

Other than that, I've had the blessing to work with engineers much smarter than me to show me how to build a system that can be forward thinking/reusable without being over-engineered. I'd be happy to recommend a couple books that were impactful in my design if you're interested.

TheBeardedFinch 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

Definitely interested. I've been really impressed with everything you've created here. I'm sure it helps to be working full time on something you have a passion for; that definitely shows in the final product.

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

The main two books that have helped me most in my Software Engineering career have been Clean Code & Clean Coder by Robert Martin. Both are easy reads with lots of great lessons in coding itself as well as how to be a professional person.

TheBeardedFinch 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

Awesome, thanks for the recommendation.

Pizza_Addict 9 months ago | 3 points[-]

My vote would be for improved price comparison tools. I would like the ability to filter by retailer. For example, show me all games that are currently discounted at Amazon.

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

Filtering by retailer would be cool. Especially with how common the free shipping for $100+ deal is. I'll put that on the list of price features I'll add.

menthabrw 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

It would be nice to have a list of supported retailers and a filter with store ids in the price section.Users might add favourite stores and disliked stores.Stores could have a section for shipping rules with free shipping limit and customer hold option.

menthabrw 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

OAuth and altering lists sounds very promising. Modifying my list from a mobile app would be awsome to have. I like the idea of the boardgame recommendation engine too.

I am very excited that I found BGA API. It looks great and is just I was looking for. Keep up the good work.

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

Thanks for the encouragement!

menthabrw 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

I think also it would be great to be able to make filtered search by mechanics or by category through the API.I just checked the Game object and it does not have info about mechanics or categories :(Please include it with the game object in the future, that's a lot of useful info for the user :)

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

Yes, I’ll add that in soon!

thFOOL 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

An embed code that displays game info and links back to BGA (basically the same thing that happens with the Slack app). I'd love to drop that in to a news piece or a review on my site and get some reciprocal linking happening!

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

If you click share on the game page there’s some embed code already 😉

thFOOL 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

I am blind! This is awesome!

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

Usually it actually means it was designed with poor UX so it's helpful feedback for me!

Infernotez 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

I would almost say shoring up submission/bounty info just because the site needs information growth and having them working well will help it gain parity with BGG and then surpass it eventually.

Otherwise this sounds most interesting. Would it involve following lines of games to see spinoff news?

  • Following users, games, and/or mechanics to make a personal news feed

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

Continually striving for excellent game data is going to always be a priority. So I'm always looking for ways to make that process better and more fun.

In terms of following. The foggy picture of it in my head is that you choose to follow different types of items and things related to them show up in your feed. If it has to strictly include the username of the person you follow or be about Dominion the base game but not the expansions is something I'm going to figure out when it comes to implementing it.

epage 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

A couple of ideas where I have no idea how to not overload people with the presentation, information gathering (if manual), etc.

First, a lot of games iterate and refine past ideas.  Examples:

  • A friend comes over, plays, and loves Machi Koro.  I know there are games out there that refine on the idea but it just isn't worth it to me to keep replacing my copy.  It'd be nice if I could go look up Machi Koro and see games in a similar vein (e.g. Space Base) and compare them (ratings, etc).  At the moment, I'm keeping them in my notes on the game in BGG.
  • I'm researching what Chudyk games (e.g. Glory to Rome, Red7) to get but others have done similar mechanics (e.g. Inhabit the Earth, Import/Export).  It'd be helpful to make these more discoverable.

There are mechanics listed but the use of a mechanic can vary widely, giving different feels to a game.

Similarly, I wonder about finding additional axes to rank games.  For example, I liked the ratings on the back of Quest for El Dorado.  There is a review I read once that rated games on a lot of the different axes I care about; I wish I had it to share.  I remember one is replayability.  Similarly, setup and teardown time for games is about as important as the play time.

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

Thats some good info. It'd be great to have all that detail for games. I'll have to see if there's a way to gather all that data well in addition to presenting it.

epage 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

> Improve the price comparison tools to be more accurate (and add more stores)

Similar to the existing talks to collaborate with recommend.games, is there potential to integrate with https://www.boardgameprices.com/about/  rather than reimplementing it?

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

I've chatted with the owner Ben and although there could be a possibility, they tend to rely heavily on web scrapers which aren't the best for accuracy. It's also just a side project for him and his team members which would make it take a few months to get it integrated instead of a week or two once I begin working on it myself.

epage 9 months ago | 3 points[-]

Understandable.

Another thought is to have a camelcamelcamel link next to an Amazon link, listing the CCC low if possible.

menthabrw 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

I was thinking about this too. The question is which low to show? All time low (can be misleading), or lowest in last year, or lowest in the past 6 months?After BGA has enough data (a couple of years) this will be deprecated :)Are we going to have access to the price history graph and data later?

epage 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

Id say a year so you know the low with respect to all the anual sales.

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

Each game does have price graphs that are gathering data since January

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

That makes a lot of sense. It might be cool to see the date of the all time low too

Woodyx 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

I would like a better way to record game plays.  Who won. Who lost.  What roles everyone played as, etc.  

I had some issues with your current game logging where it looked like it hadn't posted and then posted twice, but I was unable to delete the extra record.  

Overall I am liking what you're doing with the site.  Keep up the good work!

fiddly_bits 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

Another part of plays that can't be recorded on BGG but would be nice to record and search on is the variant you're actually playing, especially for games that are all about variable setup (e.g. 504, Sprawlopolis).

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

What do you think about using the notes section for that? It’s a searchable area in our table

fiddly_bits 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

When the variant is called something like 259 or 3-17-18, trying to search for it as text doesn't work well.

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

I can see that. I probably need a copy of the game to learn how to best build this kind of feature then 😉

fiddly_bits 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

You can get a good idea of what people are attempting to log from the BGG list of plays of 504. It's a little less clear what's going on with Sprawlopolis.  BGA links:   504   Sprawlopolis

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

That is pretty helpful. When you imagine searching through it, what way do you envision doing it?

fiddly_bits 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

In a perfect world, I could search 504 plays by specific world (e.g., 245) or by some classes of worlds (e.g., 2xx, 24x, 2x5).  In Sprawlopolis order doesn't matter, so I'd want to search for 17, or 16+17, or 2+16+17.  Sprawlopolis is a pretty light game, so chances are I'd just want to sort my plays by the cards I used, while a world of 504 can be a whole different game from another world, and I'd want to be able to search for reviews of a particular world.

You might want an easy-to-check-off card list for the cards you used in a particular game of Dominion 2nd Edition, or to log which player played which faction/clan in a game of Terra Mystica or Clans of Caledonia.  It only seems fiddly because it's a hard thing to log now, but some people do care about stats for Terra Mystica factions, for example, and for other variables of setup in variable-setup games.

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

That's pretty helpful. It seems like a difficult problem to solve well so I'll need to take some time to try some things out and see what the best way to implement it would be.

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

We do need a way to edit/delete. That was a clear oversight. Can you describe how you’d want to change who won/lost we have a way to put in 1st, 2nd, 3rd... and player scores already.

We don’t have roles yet though.

sahmreviews 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

Looks like review submission is currently broken. Submissions are being sent to the forum, not the reviews.

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

It's not broken. It's the new system. It automatically links to the game and marks it as a review if you go from the game page and click the add review button.

Bringing it into the forum system allows for it to have voting, be searchable, and all sorts of nice goodies. It still links to the review site directly though on the game page.

sahmreviews 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

Fair enough. However, when adding two URLs this morning, they only show on the forum page and not on the review page at all (notice how there are zero URL's from 2/1 on the review tab).

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

Alright. I found the issues and it's all fixed and working again :)

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

I'll see what's going on.

TheBeardedFinch 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

Nice feature. I'm loving the site!

verysmallbeta 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

Will the forum section of BGA have the ability to search forums (similar to reddit posts)? Also, Do you plan on keeping the forum section at the front page of the website, or is it just there for now to let everyone know there is a forum section? 

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

I imagine that there would be interesting posts so I'm likely going to keep it on the front page in some capacity. And yes, I'm actually working on search right now for forums and for users. Hopefully it'll be in a cool style where its the same search bar for everything.

verysmallbeta 9 months ago | 2 points[-]

An answer to our prayers

epage 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

Links to digital copies (with prices if relevant

Some I know of

  • iOS / Android / Steam
  • boardgamearena
  • isotropic
  • Table Top Simulator
  • Board Game Core
  • Tabletopia

Or I guess there is harvesting from the geeklist

If you can convince the sites to have s sane API, some ideas include

  • Game activity (games per day, month or year)
  • How many games are actively looking for players to join

trentellingsen 9 months ago | 1 point[-]

These are a lot of great suggestions. I definitely want to link to digital copies of the game