Recommend
7 
 Thumb up
 Hide
30 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Press Releases

Subject: BoardGameFinder: Personalized Recommendations with Machine Learning rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Francisco Rodríguez
Spain
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi all,

I'm happy to announce BoardGameFinder, a website for personalized board game recommendations. Tell us which games you like and our algorithm will provide recommendations for other games you might like. We use the ratings from BGG to train our Machine Learning model

It's a non-profit project (no registration, no ads).
Check it out at https://www.boardgamefinder.net

Comments and feedback are welcome.

Thanks,
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Cormac wrote:
Hi all,

I'm happy to announce BoardGameFinder, a website for personalized board game recommendations. Tell us which games you like and our algorithm will provide recommendations for other games you might like. We use the ratings from BGG to train our Machine Learning model

It's a non-profit project (no registration, no ads).
Check it out at https://www.boardgamefinder.net

Comments and feedback are welcome.

Thanks,


Hi, I left comments on your last thread that got mysteriously deleted.
So I'm not sure if you saw my comments before the thread disappeared.
Here they are:

1. Nice work! Great interface and I will be using the site.

2. For the game search results: what about including the year and a front box thumbnail for the games? Currently it's just the game name. So for example for Trajan, see 2 results, and don't know which one is the Feld one (there is also an older 1991 one in the BGG database). It is impossible to tell which one is which in the current interface.

3. When removing games from the search, it feels weird to use "thumbs down". Because it's not that I don't like the game, it's that I'm just removing it from the search. I'm used to programs that track my preferences, like Pandora, where I would never thumb-down a track I like.
What about an "X" instead of a "thumbs down" to signify simply removing it from the game list?

4. What about a "clear all" or "start over" button?

Again, nice work, and I hope this thread stays around long enough for you to read my comments!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian Naesseth
Sweden
flag msg tools
JohnnyDollar wrote:
Cormac wrote:
...


Hi, I left comments on your last thread that got mysteriously deleted.
So I'm not sure if you saw my comments before the thread disappeared.
Here they are:

1. Nice work! Great interface and I will be using the site.

2. For the game search results: what about including the year and a front box thumbnail for the games? Currently it's just the game name. So for example for Trajan, see 2 results, and don't know which one is the Feld one (there is also an older 1991 one in the BGG database). It is impossible to tell which one is which in the current interface.

3. When removing games from the search, it feels weird to use "thumbs down". Because it's not that I don't like the game, it's that I'm just removing it from the search. I'm used to programs that track my preferences, like Pandora, where I would never thumb-down a track I like.
What about an "X" instead of a "thumbs down" to signify simply removing it from the game list?

4. What about a "clear all" or "start over" button?

Again, nice work, and I hope this thread stays around long enough for you to read my comments!

Thanks for your feedback, great suggestions! Apparently the previous post got deleted by mistake. This one should hopefully be around for a while
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Also, I'm curious if you addressed "popularity bias" and if so how. It's an interesting challenge to try to overcome.
E.g. as described by a BGG user in this other post about a different game recommendation website:

Quote:
...implicit popularity bias...an easy mistake to make with CF systems...they reproduce the real world's popularity bias-- being well-known increases the breadth of people who know about you. So no matter what obscure band you like, a lot of their fans also like the Beatles, and as a result early music recommenders were like "Hey, you'd probably enjoy the Beatles".

Re: New board game recommender
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Francisco Rodríguez
Spain
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
JohnnyDollar wrote:
Also, I'm curious if you addressed "popularity bias" and if so how. It's an interesting challenge to try to overcome.
E.g. as described by a BGG user in this other post about a different game recommendation website:
Re: New board game recommender


Hi JohnnyDollar,

First of all, thank you for your feedback! We appreciate it

As Christian mentioned above, our original post was deleted by mistake.

To respond to your question: It's a challenging problem; indeed our first attempts kept recommending the most popular games only. Then we did our best to avoid that issue. In particular (and this is going to turn a bit technical now), we do these things:
1. We incorporate a per-game intercept term into the model to capture general popularity.
2. We ignore the intercepts when providing recommendations (to hopefully remove the popularity effect).
3. We provide the recommendations based on cosine distance. Cosine distance involves a normalization by the norm of the latent feature vectors, which means that what really matters is the direction of the latent feature vectors, and not its norm.

Hope that was useful!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
After playing around a little more, I have another suggestion.

I noticed that if a "Liked" game has expansions, these are frequently listed at the top of the results. For example, if I search Rattus, 6 of the top 7 results are Rattus expansions or promos.
(The 7th result, Offerings is a very nice recommendation that impressed me - it is a relatively obscure game, but I have played it and I could see someone who likes Rattus would like Offerings.)

What about a checkbox in the search panel: "exclude expansions"?

Because I don't think someone needs a board game recommender engine to figure out, if they like a game, there's a good chance they'll like the expansions

But, it'd be nice to still include expansions in results as an option, in case someone wanted to see what was recommended as the BEST expansion (based on their tastes), assuming they're in the market for one.

But, if you put 3 or 4 Liked games in, and those happen to have a lot of expansions, I could see someone wanting the option to filter them out and not be swamped with those at the top of their results list.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Francisco Rodríguez
Spain
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi JohnnyDollar,

Thanks again for your feedback. I fully agree: that's another option that we would like to incorporate at some point.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Laudermilk
United States
Orange County
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'll take a look at this, sounds interesting (and potentially expensive...)

I'll second the oddity of thumbs down to remove from the filter. It would be nice to have an actual thumbs down for games you specifically don't like so similar ones can get filtered out.

I noticed the same effect with expansions. I threw Advanced Squad Leader at the filter, and sure enough the page is filled with the multitude of ASL modules.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jake Blomquist
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
First of all, this is pretty impressive (remember that when I give some criticism). I typed in my number one game and then just by adding games that came up in the recommended area I was able to put in what I'm pretty sure is my top 25 (it's possible 23 didn't make it and so 26 did or whatever, but it got close, and certainly all of my top 10).

But yeah, I feel like you really need the ability to list games you don't like and/or games you're more neutral on. As impressed as I am that a lot of games I already know I like quite a lot are high on the list, so are a number of games that I either don't care for or actively dislike. When I see a game I've never played sandwiched between an 8 and a 4 I don't know what to expect from it, where I feel like the goal is having the recommendations be as reliable as possible.

Though maybe I'm just weird. I know my taste is fairly particular. Depending on the target audience this might be exactly right already. If you just want something to give newer gamers a bit of direction then it will probably be perfect. But I do entirely too much research and so it took until game 129 to find one I'd never heard of. And like I said above, games in the 90%+ range that I find mediocre to bad and then games as low as 62% that I'd call great.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Francisco Rodríguez
Spain
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you Chris and Jake for your constructive feedback! This is all very helpful. We acknowledge this is still far away from perfect. We are also aware of the heterogeneity of users (users may differ in their preferences even for the same input). If possible, we would like to keep working on future versions and improve both the interface and the algorithm. Let's see how it goes
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad DeShon
United States
Olathe
Kansas
flag msg tools
designer
Quality Affordable Gaming Tables - BoardGameTables.com
badge
Quality Affordable Gaming Tables - BoardGameTables.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
That was fun. I think it works best if you only put in games that you really love. It would have been nice if there was a way to just import all my "10s" from BGG.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Kiriazis
United States
Canton
Michigan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
JohnnyDollar wrote:
Cormac wrote:
Hi all,

I'm happy to announce BoardGameFinder, a website for personalized board game recommendations. Tell us which games you like and our algorithm will provide recommendations for other games you might like. We use the ratings from BGG to train our Machine Learning model

It's a non-profit project (no registration, no ads).
Check it out at https://www.boardgamefinder.net

Comments and feedback are welcome.

Thanks,



2. For the game search results: what about including the year and a front box thumbnail for the games? Currently it's just the game name. So for example for Trajan, see 2 results, and don't know which one is the Feld one (there is also an older 1991 one in the BGG database). It is impossible to tell which one is which in the current interface.

Again, nice work, and I hope this thread stays around long enough for you to read my comments!


JohnnyDollar,

FWIW, The 1991 game Trajan is a war game published in Strategy & Tactics magazine. The newer game of Trajan is the one you want. I have both of these in my collection.

I have to give this tool a try.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
T. Dauphin
Canada
Belleville
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar

Hi Francisco,

Nice work.

A few observartions;

I was looking for directions the first time I used it, and I think you could make that a little more clear. Coming to it directly from this thread, you would have a pretty good idea how to work with it, but if it were recommended by a friend say, without much information, it may not be so clear. The How it Works section, IMO, should tell me step by step how to get the results I'm after. What is currently there is more specific and technical--not what a new user needs to "make it work". The Help file is more along the lines of what I mean, but it's much too brief. And I may be an odd one out here, but a Help file to me is where I go when there is a specific issue I have, not for general directions.

It's not clear that giving a thumbs down is useful.

I wish I didn't have to first give a thumbs up then give a thumbs down to indicate a dislike--and not very intuitive. It would save a step--and be more obvious--if I could give the thumbs down directly from the 'general population'.

I've noticed that some games that I've disliked remain among the recommendations.

If users are entering something other than a game title, I can see a couple of issues;
1 - they may not use the correct term or spell it correctly
2 - they may not even be aware of the mechanisms or categories that they could use to help them
Would it be possible to list these options in a drop down menu or as a list for reference?

Thanks for doing this.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Francisco Rodríguez
Spain
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
JohnnyDollar wrote:

2. For the game search results: what about including the year and a front box thumbnail for the games? Currently it's just the game name. So for example for Trajan, see 2 results, and don't know which one is the Feld one (there is also an older 1991 one in the BGG database). It is impossible to tell which one is which in the current interface.


Sorry I didn't reply to this. We definitely need to do that. In the meanwhile, keep in mind that the results of the search are ordered by total number of ratings. That may give you a hint. I know that's not ideal, but it might be helpful for now.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Francisco Rodríguez
Spain
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
T. Dauphin,

Thank you for feedback. I agree about the "help" section; maybe it should be renamed and extended.

Regarding dislikes: Currently there's no dislike button (it might be a feature in future versions, though, but it's not there yet). So when you "dislike" a game, what you effectively do is to remove it from the set of liked items. That is, results will be the same as if you hadn't clicked on the removed game at all.

Also agreed on the drop down menus
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Julien K
Japan
Kyoto
flag msg tools
Cormac wrote:
In the meanwhile, keep in mind that the results of the search are ordered by total number of ratings.


So this is what it is about. This is why I get only very well known games in my recommendations. That goes a bit against your saying that "indeed our first attempts kept recommending the most popular games only. Then we did our best to avoid that issue."
Part of the post scrapped because of something I mis-understood. (Unfortunately, it remains that my recommendations are still flooded by popular games. Too bad. Maybe because my top games are very eclectic.)

Also, have you though about adapting your engine to videogamegeek and rpggeek ?

Anyway, good work !
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jake Blomquist
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
jujulautre wrote:
Cormac wrote:
In the meanwhile, keep in mind that the results of the search are ordered by total number of ratings.


So this is what it is about. This is why I get only very well known games in my recommendations. That goes a bit against your saying that "indeed our first attempts kept recommending the most popular games only. Then we did our best to avoid that issue."

Also, have you though about adapting your engine to videogamegeek and rpggeek ?

Anyway, good work !


I think there's been a misunderstanding. Either mine or yours, I'm not sure. I read that sentence to mean that when you search for a game using the search bar and there are multiple games of that same name, that list that gets output is ordered by number of ratings, which would for example clear up the confusion about two games both called Trajan, as someone above mentioned. For what it's worth, I definitely don't get only very well known games in mine. Even just putting in six of my top ten games, it already had another game I really like that's ranked outside the top 2000 as an 86% match. But to your point, once I've submitted all of my 8.5 and higher games, the eight of the ten most highly recommended games are very well known, and about half of those I played and didn't much care for. So like I said before, there's something pretty impressive about this tool, and it's not just giving out the most popular titles, but there is still more work to be done (which the creator acknowledges).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Julien K
Japan
Kyoto
flag msg tools
jblomquist wrote:
I think there's been a misunderstanding. Either mine or yours, I'm not sure. I read that sentence to mean that when you search for a game using the search bar and there are multiple games of that same name, that list that gets output is ordered by number of ratings, which would for example clear up the confusion about two games both called Trajan, as someone above mentioned.


I believe you are correct. I will amend my post.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes, they are just talking about the search results from "input" games, not "output" games, when they said "sorted by ranking".

For example, if I put Rattus as an "input" game, Offerings is #6 in the recommendations, and Mr. Jack Pocket is #11. Whereas Offerings is ranked 3,938 (but is a very nice recommendation for someone who likes Rattus), but Mr. Jack Pocket is ranked #573. So, the "output" is definitely not sorted by rankings, much more sophisticated by that.

I actually was able to differentiate the two Trajans (as "input" games) by isolating them and seeing which one triggered Wargames and which one triggered other Feld games - but it shouldn't be that awkward
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jujulautre wrote:
(Unfortunately, it remains that my recommendations are still flooded by popular games. Too bad. Maybe because my top games are very eclectic.)



Have you tried entering subgroups of your games, splitting them into group of games that are all similar in some way?

One of the things I like about this recommender vs others I've seen: most of the others just take your BGG account and based on all your ratings, suggest games. But that's a one-off. It will be pretty static. Because it uses your entire body of ratings.

What's cool about this is that you can enter a few different games that you like and that are connected in some way, and get recs off that. Then enter a whole different grouping of games that you also like, and get different recs off that.

Like you could put some of the mid-heavy Euro-wargame hybrids you like, for example, and see what it recommends.

Then you could put in some of the lighter family games that are a big hit with family over the holidays, and see what it recommends.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Julien K
Japan
Kyoto
flag msg tools
JohnnyDollar wrote:
Have you tried entering subgroups of your games, splitting them into group of games that are all similar in some way?


I guess I could. But I don't think I will. Unlike people who for example get many worker placement games because they like worker placement games, I tend to not have too many games that scratch the same itch. So I don't have much to group games with; and though I'm sure I could find some ways, I'm not searching for recommendations of games that are too similar to what I already have. I'm more in search of hidden gems.

Too bad, but not a deal breaker really. Even if this system is not of much use to me, I'm sure it will be to other people. So keep up the good work, OP.

As a constructive comment, I guess that to fit it more to my needs, I would like to have some slider or something similar where I can give more or less importance to the popularity of games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Francisco Rodríguez
Spain
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you Johnny, Jake, and Julien for your feedback. You are amazing; this is indeed a very useful thread for us.

jblomquist wrote:
I read that sentence to mean that when you search for a game using the search bar and there are multiple games of that same name, that list that gets output is ordered by number of ratings, which would for example clear up the confusion about two games both called Trajan, as someone above mentioned.


That's correct. Sorry if I wasn't clear in my first post.


JohnnyDollar wrote:

What's cool about this is that you can enter a few different games that you like and that are connected in some way, and get recs off that. Then enter a whole different grouping of games that you also like, and get different recs off that.


jblomquist wrote:
For what it's worth, I definitely don't get only very well known games in mine. Even just putting in six of my top ten games, it already had another game I really like that's ranked outside the top 2000 as an 86% match. But to your point, once I've submitted all of my 8.5 and higher games, the eight of the ten most highly recommended games are very well known, and about half of those I played and didn't much care for. So like I said before, there's something pretty impressive about this tool, and it's not just giving out the most popular titles, but there is still more work to be done (which the creator acknowledges).


jujulautre wrote:

As a constructive comment, I guess that to fit it more to my needs, I would like to have some slider or something similar where I can give more or less importance to the popularity of games.


You basically found the main criteria that we had in mind when designing the model and algorithm. In recommendation systems, there is a trade-off between providing "good" recommendations vs providing "relevant" recommendations (I know it sounds counter-intuitive). If you were to recommend a game to a user chosen at random, probably the best you can do is recommend Catan, in the sense that it will reduce the error on average. So that would be a "good" recommendation, because it minimizes the error. But it's probably not a "relevant" one.

We definitely need to keep exploring these issues. Based on the feedback we are getting, there are two types of BoardGameFinder users: those who search with a few games in mind (say, 1-6), and those who enter their 30+ ratings from BGG. For the latter group, it's more challenging to downweight well-known recommended games; and it's even unclear that we should. I guess the idea of a slider (as Julien mentioned) could help.


jujulautre wrote:

Also, have you though about adapting your engine to videogamegeek and rpggeek ?


This is an excellent point; thank you!


jujulautre wrote:

Too bad, but not a deal breaker really. Even if this system is not of much use to me, I'm sure it will be to other people. So keep up the good work, OP.


Thank you for your honest and constructive feedback. And sorry we didn't meet your expectations. It's really hard to make something that everyone likes, but we'll keep thinking

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Laudermilk
United States
Orange County
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
JohnnyDollar wrote:
jujulautre wrote:
(Unfortunately, it remains that my recommendations are still flooded by popular games. Too bad. Maybe because my top games are very eclectic.)



Have you tried entering subgroups of your games, splitting them into group of games that are all similar in some way?

One of the things I like about this recommender vs others I've seen: most of the others just take your BGG account and based on all your ratings, suggest games. But that's a one-off. It will be pretty static. Because it uses your entire body of ratings.

What's cool about this is that you can enter a few different games that you like and that are connected in some way, and get recs off that. Then enter a whole different grouping of games that you also like, and get different recs off that.

Like you could put some of the mid-heavy Euro-wargame hybrids you like, for example, and see what it recommends.

Then you could put in some of the lighter family games that are a big hit with family over the holidays, and see what it recommends.


I was actually thinking about asking why there was not the option to enter your BGG profile then use the ratings entered as a seed. Then you post this and got me to approach my thinking about the site a different way. It's a very good point, and now I think I agree that it's a good thing to not pull in your BGG account ratings.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Julien K
Japan
Kyoto
flag msg tools
Cormac wrote:
jujulautre wrote:

Also, have you though about adapting your engine to videogamegeek and rpggeek ?


This is an excellent point; thank you!


Since there are users who rate games on multiple of these sites, you could get interesting results. Like "What are the video games liked the most by people who like Talisman and Eldritch Horror", or stuffs like that.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jake Blomquist
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
jujulautre wrote:
Cormac wrote:
jujulautre wrote:

Also, have you though about adapting your engine to videogamegeek and rpggeek ?


This is an excellent point; thank you!


Since there are users who rate games on multiple of these sites, you could get interesting results. Like "What are the video games liked the most by people who like Talisman and Eldritch Horror", or stuffs like that.


I wonder if that has any hope of giving anything reasonable. I know for myself I play video games and board games (and tabletop roleplaying games) for three different sets of reasons and so I wouldn't expect any correspondence there at all. Though maybe I'm an aberration in this regard.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.