Making The BEST Board Game Search Engine (BGA feature #77)

Supporter

This is a new way I'm trying out announcing a feature that I've been working on. Let me know if you like or not. If it gets enough views/shares I'll continue to show off the major features in this way.

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55 days ago

Looks really good, the pictures are helpful for finding the right game when there are multiple with similar names!

Supporter55 days ago

Loved the video. I have a developer background so it was great to see a small insight into feature additions, thought process and all.

Supporter55 days ago

Thanks!

55 days ago

I like the highlighted text idea and the publisher and mechanic search ideas as well but I think the mechic search would benefit if the output sorted the games according to the amount or percentage they use that mechanic.  Gloomhaven should show up higher on a dungeon crawler search and lower on a deck building search.  I'm not sure there an engine that has a good algorithm for that as of yet.

Supporter55 days ago

That sounds like a very cool system. Like each mechanic is weighted in some way.

55 days ago

Wow, that would be cool, but that would be asking for more input from users, which is fine but it wouldn't be super easy to get people to do that, I'm guessing.

55 days ago

I see two places for improvement:

1). Games should have an AKA section where common alt names and abbreviations can be added and then searching those abbreviations should lead to the correct game. For a newbie (or a veteran who had to stop following the market because reasons) the first thing they're faced when reading posts is people talking about your TI4s, LOTR LCGs, PACG: RotR and CitOWs. With experience comes understanding that what is talked about is #Twilight Imperium 4th Edition, #Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, #Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords Base Set and #Chaos in the Old World. Ain't nobody got the time to type all that so it leads to a discussion that is very beginner-unfriendly. I remeber it used to be possible to search by abbreviations on BGG but not anymore. A feature like this would lower the barrier of entry for people who are not proficient in board game lingo yet.

 

2). Don't know how difficult that is but adding similar sounding results in case of misspelling would be nice. Right now if I type Twilight Imberium in search and hit enter, I get no results. Would be nice to have a "did you mean?" option.

Supporter55 days ago

#1 Is in there already actually. Try searching for LOTR LCG like your example and #Lord of the Rings: The Card Game will show up as a result! There's a "names" section that has other languages and other common ways to refer to the game that influence how it shows up in results. So if you see a game that should show up in results but doesn't you can click 'edit' on the games page and input into the names area.

#2 I would expect that there's a library I can import for that and it's a great idea. I'll have to look into it in the near future!

Supporter55 days ago

oh wow didn't know this was in either. Thats actually really useful.

55 days ago

Ok that's really cool (just tried out #1)

55 days ago

Me too, this is awesome! Thank you

55 days ago

So tell me more about what you are trying to do here.  What do you mean by a REAL engine?  How would it be different/better than other search engines?

55 days ago

...did you watch the video?

55 days ago

lol, of course not!  I didn't notice the video because I'm blind!

55 days ago

55 days ago

Done!  Lol, I had to get off work for space to watch a video...that was a dork move on my part. : /

55 days ago

lol no worries

Supporter55 days ago

That's a good point. The title was trying to express that I want to make "The Best" board game search engine. So I've updated the title to that since it's a lot more clear, haha. Thanks !

50 days ago

What a cool problem to solve. I like how you showed the thought process behind the work.

53 days ago

Hey , Andy Matthews here with Meeple Mountain. I love the transparency you're revealing in this video. I tried using the search after the video and it works really well, about as expected, but I have a suggestion which might improve your SEO. Search was one of the things I contributed to during my 6 years at Eventbrite, so I have some insights that might help.

A search for "area control" and the mechanism was the first result. Selecting that option brought me to:
https://www.boardgameatlas.com/search/?mechanics=05zCZoLvQJ

1) It should be mechanism, not mechanic
2) I'd suggest using the human readable string `area-control` instead of the hash/query param approach.
3) You actually have an "area control" mechanisms page on your site: https://www.boardgameatlas.com/mechanic/05zCZoLvQJ/area-control. Since your code is smart enough to Recognize the mechanism, I'd suggest that you redirect the user to the "real" URL and not the "search URL".

One of the things I worked on while I was at Eventbrite was a "trending searches" page which compiled and output a list of what things people were searching for on Eventbrite.com. The goal was two-fold: a) reveal those searches to users who might find something new, and b) output the trending search pages to search engines so that "new pages" are programmatically generated and links deep into your site are exposed to crawlers.

This isn't meant to criticize what you've got by any means, but you're already making great strides towards a better UI for gaming, I'd love to see you push the envelope when it comes to SEO.

Supporter51 days ago

Thanks for all the feedback Andy! Those do seem like pretty easy changes that I can get in there. I did want to know why it should be mechanism and not mechanic though.

50 days ago

It's something I've been seeing people talk about for a few years now. Here's a few links that discuss both sides.

The most common response is "a mechanic is someone who fixes cars" whereas a "mechanism is part of a machine or system (game) through which an effect or purpose is accomplished".

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/649841/mechanics-vs-mechanisms-rant

https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/2azgmt/mechanic_vs_mechanics_vs_mechanism/

https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/hc0l8v/is_it_game_mechanic_or_mechanism/

It's also worth pointing out that it's the term BGG uses, so people into hobby gaming might be most familiar with their usage. And yes I undertstand that you're trying to differentiate yourselves from them.

To be perfectly honest I suspect most people won't care. :D

Supporter50 days ago

BGG uses both. "Mechanism" on the game pages is pretty recent. If you go to the top menu, it says Browse - Mechanics, and the Mechanics list still says Mechanics https://boardgamegeek.com/browse/boardgamemechanic

Supporter50 days ago

Those are valid discussions on what it should be, for sure. I just want to make sure I show up for what people are actually search for though :p

55 days ago

Also, I wonder if it would be possible (maybe it already is) to tailor the results using the Flairs? I.e. if I want reviews or rules questions etc I can search for them. Although I guess you can kind of do some of that through the game page.

55 days ago

Also, I wonder if it would be possible (maybe it already is) to tailor the results using the Flairs? I.e. if I want reviews or rules questions etc I can search for them. Although I guess you can kind of do some of that through the game page.

55 days ago

Looks really good, the pictures are helpful for finding the right game when there are multiple with similar names!

Supporter55 days ago

I like this improvement.

I do prefer written updates, but I'm probably in the minority on that. 

55 days ago

Ok, this is looking great. I also really enjoyed the video! I would watch all of these.

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