Community Blog

Discussing progress and concepts related to Opie Games and the game playing, design, and publishing community.

Community Focus: BGG Community Information

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The BGG games pages include tons of community contributed content. Obviously, I am an avid user of the site, but have traditionally participated to a limited degree and have been remiss in tangibly thanking others for their contributions. Let’s take a quick look at the various ways you can contribute to the site information and recognize the efforts of others, using Pandemic as our example..

Community Focus: The Real BGG Accessibility Question: Careful What You Wish For

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The BGG website (boardgamegeek.com) is the most comprehensive source of information and collection of commentary about board games anywhere ever… and it feels like it. Asking a simple question about a game on BGG is a bit like asking for the most common use of a word and having someone cart in the all of the unbound pages of the OED in a stack and saying, “Here, find it.” OK. So maybe not that bad, but it can be almost as intimidating to a new user.

Tabletop media has complained, criticized, and suggested improvements continuously for years now, so I don’t need to pile on any more than I already have. This article is not that. We will touch on the general sentiments and suggestions a bit for context, but this is not intended to be piling on.

Instead, let’s consider what a perfect BGG world might look like. Will there be a rush on rainbows and unicorns in that perfect world?

Community Focus: BGG Ratings Part 5: Rating and Tracking Data and Methods

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If you are coming to this article first, you may want to start at Part 1 of this series to be sure you have the full context.

A review of the data collected of those who rated Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 as a “1” provides some insight into some rating and tracking practices. This is a short article to review some of the methods that I saw in the data and some of the difficulty experienced in analyzing the data.

Community Focus: BGG Ratings Part 4: Disposable Games

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If you are coming to this article first, you may want to start at Part 1 of this series to be sure you have the full context.

As we saw in Part 3 of this article, some of the “hate” in rating Pandemic Legacy was directed toward ‘legacy” or “disposable” games in general. In this part we will look at some of the justification for that hate and the tracking data provided by users that either supports or undermines that sentiment. Based on the comments provided by raters and the data available we have two basic foundations for argument:

  • Legacy games have limited playability.
  • Legacy games have compromised value.

Community Focus: BGG Ratings Part 3: Hate Rating – That’s Just Stupid

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If you are coming to this article first, you may want to start at Part 1 of this series to be sure you have the full context.

As mentioned in Part 2 of this series, not all ratings of “1” for Pandemic Legacy are examples of “hate rating” and not all “hate rating” of Pandemic Legacy was related to preserving Twilight Struggle as #1 on the BGG rankings (or the positions of other top rated games). Another significant rationale as expressed in comments and implied by the data is a dislike of “Legacy” or “disposable” games – or, more precisely, how stupid and wasteful they are. Let’s take a look at a few more stats related to this form of “hate rating” and some other characteristics of those who rated this way.

Community Focus: BGG Ratings Part 2: Hate Rating – Don’t Mess with #1

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If you are coming to this article first, you may want to start at Part 1 of this series to be sure you have the full context.

The impetus for this article (which became this series) was the rise of “hate rating” (my term) reported to be occurring on BoardGameGeek as Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 rocketed up the rankings and in particular, as it approached the coveted #1 position long held by Twilight Struggle. As Pandemic Legacy approached the top spot on the BGG rankings, some users rated Pandemic Legacy a “1”, apparently attempting to keep it from rising higher in the ranking. Some raters flat out stated in their comments that this was their intent, so we know this was happening. Some stated other reasons (which we will discuss in Part 3) and some remained silent, so we don’t know their intent.

In this part of the article we discuss the practice of “hate rating,” review some of the stats on the ratings and discuss the information gleaned from those ratings and potential impact on the BGG rankings. Although this event was well-covered in the tabletop media, what remains lacking are specifics about the ratings – everything I heard or read was anecdotal.

Community Focus: BGG Ratings Part 1: Know Thyself

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The debate about BGG rankings comes up frequently in the BGG forums, on tabletop gaming podcasts, and around the gaming table. In this 6-part series of articles we will look at the BGG ranking system from the perspective of the BGG user ratings: the BGG recommended rating criteria, user rating methods, and some user practices. Given its high visibility in the BGG community, we will pay particular attention to the pandemonium that occurred a year ago (January 2016) as Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 (or simply Pandemic Legacy) raced to the top of the charts and made a hot zone of the forums. (I actually started this series then, but am only now getting back to it). Here are the six parts:

Community Focus: Introduction

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The Community Focus tag is used to identify blog posts that either highlight the board gaming and design community or Opie Games interaction in that community. Some posts will appear in the Game Design blog, some in the Game Industry blog, and some in the Gaming blog depending on the community discussed, but all will appear under the Community tag. Here is an example of the content you will find under this heading.

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