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Subject: Game Details At-a-Glance Stickers rss

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S. Mitchel

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Hi guys, I'm new to the forums, and this subject might have been posted elsewhere, but it's new to me. Right now, I have about 100 games and my ability to play them is still limited. When I do get the chance to play, it's usually with a friend or three that like games but aren't gamers, making them less knowledgeable than myself.

Often, when I look at the games in my collection, I don't know exactly how hard each one is or the optimal number of players for them, requiring me to look it up someplace. To avoid the "middle-man" of a phone app or coming here to BGG on the fly, I want to implement a coded sticker displayed on the each game box that gives all the information I (or a less knowledgeable interested party) might need to know if a game is worth considering at that time. The system needs to make the search as quick as possible to find the right kind of games for play.

What I want to do is create a system of colored stickers (one per game) of different shapes with a number on it that will convey the following information:

A. The ideal number of players (so the game can shine)
B. The difficulty of the game (so the new player isn't overwhelmed)
C. The length of average play time (so we'll have enough time and they won't become bored)
D. The level of player teamwork (competitive, semi-co-op, or cooperative)
________________________________________

This is a rough draft of what I came up with (including some help from some peeps on Facebook's THE BOARDGAME GROUP):



Green = Simple games with a 1.0 - 1.99 Weight rating.
Blue = Average games with 2.0 - 2.99 Weight rating.
Red = Complex games with 3.0+ Weight rating.

Circle = Short / Filler games with an average Play Time of 5-30 minutes.
Square = Medium games with an average Play Time of 30-120 minutes.
Diamond = Long games with an average Play Time of 2-4 hours.
Hexagon = Epic games with an average Play Time of 4+ hours.

# = The number inside the shape is the recommended player count.

Open Boundary = Cooperative
Broken Boundary = Semi Cooperative
Dark Boundary = Competitive
________________________________________

At first, I'm going to use BGG for things like Ideal Player Count, but I assume in time, I will modify some of the stickers to suit my own tastes. Obviously, anyone else who wanted to this system would be personalizing it too.

Something of note: If another factor wanted to be included, there is still a range of sizes that could be used for another range of values.

Besides BGG's crazy suggested player count for Twilight Imperium III in the above example, what do you guy's think? Is there another factor that I forgot about? Does anyone else already have some kind of system that works more quickly and comprehensively?
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Michael Boggs
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I would say you've got a good plan there. While not really something I think would necessitate any sticker identification... Being aware if a game happens to be abstract, tile laying, auction, worker placement, etc. May also steer your gaming choice given the group you are with at the time as well.
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Steve
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RedKnight808 wrote:

This is a rough draft of what I came up with (including some help from some peeps...

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S. Mitchel

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This is actually how I imagine the faceless Internet multitudes.
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Michael Debije
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I know my own games so stickers would be useless.
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James H├ębert
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A consistent system would be welcome. I have run into a similar need on occasion, and it would be nice to have something for it. I like the circle to square to polygon progression, where as increasing number of sides = increasing duration. That's clear and easily figured out.

Some other aspects may not convey sufficient meaning to be considered universal, so only someone who "knows the code" may be able to benefit from it. Color is a tough one, as not everyone assigns the same meaning to them. But if you get it, don't change a thing! You're the audience and it's designed for you.

Thinking about this further, it strikes me some of these attributes are binary, as in "co-op" for example. It is, or it isn't (or it's messy, if it's a co-op with a traitor option!). It seems binary stats could be just a label with a checkbox that's filled or unfilled (or a circle that's hollow or filled in).

Other attributes exist in a continuum as in "optimum number of players" which might be 4, or 4-5. I take it this is based on BGG ratings? (These numbers may differ if there is an expansion involved to muddy the waters!) Say a series of numbers from 1-8 where the 4 and 6 are circled, and the 5 has a star around it to indicate both ranged of players and optimum number at a glance.

It's a tossup between "including more information" versus "just what you need" to make a decision.

I am a "give me a label" guy, so I tend to like one-word labels where needed, as in my checkbox example above. If I were attempting this for myself, selfish person that I am, I would try to make a small chart with the main attributes large and clear, and the lesser things a small list of checkboxable things. This could lead to other design conundrums, such as a too-long list of items to check, and too little box space to attach along label!

It's a cool idea and I appreciate your approach at solving it. Plus you've made me think! Thank you for sharing it.
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Jay Nabedian
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I really like what you've come up with and may use it for my own collection. One thing I would definitely want in my implementation is min/max player counts. I'm not as worried about "optimizing" my play as I am in just getting some of my collection to the table.
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Mack C
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Ooh...great idea. I personally have different shelves in the Kallax for categories (and subcategories) I find the most useful.

-2 player games
--Strictly 2 player (Lost Cities, Onitama)
--For more players, but work well with 2 (Kingdom Builder, Lanterns)
-Co-op games
-Party games
--Regular party [Very light on rules, often doesn't require a table] (Joking Hazard, Snake Oil, Wits and Wagers)
--Nerd party (Codenames, Dixit) Also included any game that plays 8+
-Games I've played 0 or 1 time (Closest to eye level as a reminder)
-Misc

I think I could definitely use stickers for recommended player max and one for gateway games.

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S. Mitchel

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The min/max player count would be easy to implement. However, with only the 99 games I have right now, I actually have a fairly wide range of ideal player counts. (And I wasn't buying with that in mind.)

Player Count_/_Poss_/_Ideal
Solitaire________6_____0
2-Player_______67____20
3-Player_______82____13
4-Player_______84____45
5-Player_______66____26
6-Player_______38____10
7-Player_______18_____8
8-Player_______16_____5
9+ Players______6_____2

A lot of times I'm bringing out a game as a first-time experience for a new player. I try to trick my games out for optimal visual appeal and I try to play to ideal player counts for an optimal experience. So, the ideal player count is a priority for me. If your priorities are different--and you don't mind more numbers listed in a smaller font--go for it! I hope something like this works for you.
 
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S. Mitchel

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I'm still not sure how I'm going to ultimately arrange my games. Probably by theme. Mine seem to mostly fall into the Abstract/Party, Futuristic, Fantasy, Horror/Apocalypse, Historic, and Criminal categories.

I did consider adding a Gateway symbol. Ultimately, I left it off because there's a lot of overlap with that and the green-colored stickers (particularly the circle and square, indicating shorter games).
 
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