What feature should I add to BGA next?

Supporter

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.

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22 months ago

  • 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. 

22 months ago

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.

Supporter22 months ago

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

22 months ago

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

Supporter22 months ago

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!

22 months ago

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

Supporter22 months ago

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.

22 months ago

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.

Supporter22 months ago

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.

Supporter21 months ago

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.

Supporter22 months ago

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.

22 months ago

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!

Supporter22 months ago

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.)

21 months ago

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

Supporter21 months ago

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.

21 months ago

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.

Supporter21 months ago

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.

21 months ago

Awesome, thanks for the recommendation.

Supporter21 months ago

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 :)

Supporter21 months ago

Yes, I’ll add that in soon!

Supporter22 months ago

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.

Supporter22 months ago

Thanks for the encouragement!

22 months ago

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!

Supporter22 months ago

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

22 months ago

I am blind! This is awesome!

Supporter22 months ago

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

22 months ago

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

Supporter22 months ago

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.

22 months ago

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.

Supporter22 months ago

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.