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Gone Cardboard Returns

W. Eric Martin
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From gallery of W Eric Martin
It's back! Yes, Gone Cardboard – a game release calendar showing which forthcoming games are being published when and which games have been released recently – is live once again.

Gone Cardboard used to appear on BoardgameNews.com, a site I edited for four years, but it died when BGN died. Now GC has returned, and it's been integrated into the versions system on BGG, so that each version of a game has its own release date, along with its release status: released or unreleased. Versions don't always appear in retail outlets in the same time frame, and this system will keep those separate dates straight.

That said, sometimes one multilingual version of a game has different release dates for, say, the U.S. and Europe, as with Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 2 - India & Switzerland. In these cases, one of those dates will be used for sorting purposes on GC and the other date(s) will appear in a comment line underneath the game.

Furthermore, Gone Cardboard (and BGG itself, as the release dates also appear in the version section of a game page) will not list a game as released if it has appeared only at a convention, such as Gen Con or Spiel. A game needs to be available on the retail market to qualify as released.

You can use the pull-down menus on Gone Cardboard to adjust how the data is organized (alphabetically by game title or publisher, or chronologically by release date or when a listing was last updated); whether you see unreleased games, released games or both; and what time period is being shown. When you view "all" or "unreleased games", the earliest release dates are shown first; when you view "released games", the most recently released games are shown first, with older released games on later pages.

In addition to the Gone Cardboard page itself, there is:

From gallery of W Eric Martin


–a module you can add to the BGG home page so that you can quickly see which games have been recently released or are due to be released soon.

A few comments about Gone Cardboard:

• I've been adding release dates to versions for only a few days, so GC is not as full as it will be in the months to come. For now there's a clear U.S. bias as that's the info most readily available to me. Again, this will change in the months to come.

• Sometimes a release date has a day in addition to a month and year, and sometimes it doesn't. I've included specific dates when a game has a set street date or release date from the publisher, but otherwise left the date blank. Even so, the dates are sorted chronologically, and in the module image above, you can correctly deduce that the French version of Dominion: Hinterlands was released between December 7th and 9th. Is this variance bothersome or not important?

• BGG users can use the "Corrections" link on a version to submit a release date, but no release dates prior to 2011 will be accepted at this time. Eventually we'll move toward adding historic data for games released in prior years; for now, though, we'll be busy enough with games from 2011 and those due in 2012.

• If you submit release date corrections, you must include a source that shows this release date: a press release from the publisher, a listing on the publisher's website, a statement that you are the designer or publisher, or something similar. Release date corrections without sources will likely be rejected.

• I would love to have your help with adding release dates if you know of good sources of release date information for games published outside the U.S., such as distributor postings or press release sites. If you're interested in posting this material yourself, I'm looking for a few GC minions who (like me) get a kick out of data entry and being insanely, irrationally precise. In either case, please Geekmail me or write me through email – wericmartin@gmail.com – and we'll talk.

If you are a publisher or designer and want to submit many release date corrections at once, feel free to Geekmail or email me instead of doing them one by one. At this point we're trying to tackle release dates in blocks to get things up to speed, so this communication would be helpful.

Please post comments and questions about Gone Cardboard, and I'll answer as best I can. Hope you find this useful! If so, and you're not already a BGG supporter, perhaps this one extra feature will convince you that now is the time...
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