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Subject: Some Notes on the Upcoming RPG Geek rss

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Scott Alden
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You may have been noticing some RPG based content popping up here and there, and I wanted to post up some facts about the upcoming release.

- RPG Geek will live at a new domain, but this site will share the same account as your BGG. You will only need a single login at Geekdō.

- The database is shared, but we are adding filters so that the sites remain segregated. We are doing at our best, but occasionally some content will "bleed" through,

- You will have a single collection that will contain both board games and RPGs. You will be able to filter on these using your collection tools.

- RPGswill have their own "main forum" with specific sub forums. Each game, system, and item will have its own forums.

- Here's an image of the current hierarchy that we are using:



- Things are malleable, everything I say is not set in stone, if you've been around here you know that I work to achieve a balance for new features and their usability.

I'm excited for the upcoming release, and I hope that if you are an RPG fan, you are too!
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Jim "git yer stinkin' themes offa my mechanic" Puccio
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I haven't been following the plans and development of the whole RPG Geek project, so forgive me if I'm asking questions that have been addressed elsewhere before.

In any case, here are some questions copied over mostly intact from the comments I left on the test list...

Does the creation of RPG Geek mean that the RPG content that is presently in BGG will be removed here and transferred there?

Or, will there be one common backend database that feeds both sites, but with differently customized UIs? (I get the impression from what was just said that the answer to this question is a "yes.")

Why create a second site anyway? Why not just enhance BGG with better support for RPGs?

Wouldn't the sorts of database enhancements that are going into supporting RPGs better also be adaptable to giving better support to, for example, collectible type games, with their myriad of separate doohickies that their devotees probably would like to keep track of?

Although I do understand the purpose behind giving certain types of games special treatment within BGG (like wargames today, and I can only hope someday in some unknown future, abstracts and word games), I question the goal of balkanizing the community into separate websites.

I'm merely asking these questions in order to better understand the thought process behind these changes.
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Scott Alden
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The Abstractionist wrote:

Does the creation of RPG Geek mean that the RPG content that is presently in BGG will be removed here and transferred there?
Depends, they can coexist on both sites if need be, without duplication of data.

The Abstractionist wrote:

Or, will there be one common backend database that feeds both sites, but with differently customized UIs? (I get the impression from what was just said that the answer to this question is a "yes.")
The UI is standardized, but they are different domain names.

The Abstractionist wrote:

Why create a second site anyway? Why not just enhance BGG with better support for RPGs?
It's all about the Dunbar number But seriously, some people are fans of both, but many aren't and couldn't care less about one or the other.

The Abstractionist wrote:

Wouldn't the sorts of database enhancements that are going into supporting RPGs better also be adaptable to giving better support to, for example, collectible type games, with their myriad of separate doohickies that their devotees probably would like to keep track of?
Could be... haven't really thought about doing a separate collectible site.

The Abstractionist wrote:

Although I do understand the purpose behind giving certain types of games special treatment within BGG (like wargames today, and I can only hope someday in some unknown future, abstracts and word games), I question the goal of balkanizing the community into separate websites.
It's all about the Dunbar number
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Garry Lloyd
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Obviously not feeling very perceptive tonight. Dunbar number?

Garry
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Jim "git yer stinkin' themes offa my mechanic" Puccio
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Aldie wrote:
The Abstractionist wrote:

Does the creation of RPG Geek mean that the RPG content that is presently in BGG will be removed here and transferred there?
Depends, they can coexist on both sites if need be, without duplication of data.
Pardon me for being thick-headed, but I don't follow.

Aldie wrote:
The Abstractionist wrote:

Why create a second site anyway? Why not just enhance BGG with better support for RPGs?
It's all about the Dunbar number
Are you talking about this? So is the point that the BGG community is too big? Or that you want to avoid internecine strife between the RPGers and boardgamers or some such thing? What's so important about the Dunbar number, anyway?

Aldie wrote:
But seriously, some people are fans of both, but many aren't and couldn't care less about one or the other.
No doubt. I've certainly never paid much attention to RPGs, myself. But on the other hand, one of the great things about BGG is the opportunity to constantly learn about different things, in part through accidental exposure. I think it would be interesting to stumble across that content without having to go out of my way to register at another site and explore it separately (which is enough of an impediment that I'm unlikely to bother).

Aldie wrote:
The Abstractionist wrote:

Wouldn't the sorts of database enhancements that are going into supporting RPGs better also be adaptable to giving better support to, for example, collectible type games, with their myriad of separate doohickies that their devotees probably would like to keep track of?
Could be... haven't really thought about doing a separate collectible site.
I wasn't suggesting making yet another site, but rather of widening the domain of discourse to include all of the above under one umbrella.
 
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Randy Gee
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I can't wait!
 
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-=[Ran Over]=-
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The Abstractionist wrote:
I think it would be interesting to stumble across that content without having to go out of my way to register at another site and explore it separately (which is enough of an impediment that I'm unlikely to bother).
*sigh*
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King of the Dead
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I'm curious what you have done or are going to do in terms of advertising this new site.

There are TONS of RPG sites out there.

How do you see RPGGeek as a competitor or do you even?

Do you see it as a supporting role in the online world of RPG web sites?

I am very excited about it!
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Jim "git yer stinkin' themes offa my mechanic" Puccio
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rgmnetid wrote:
The Abstractionist wrote:
I think it would be interesting to stumble across that content without having to go out of my way to register at another site and explore it separately (which is enough of an impediment that I'm unlikely to bother).
*sigh*
?

I'm just arguing on behalf of serendipity. It enlarges one's world, and sometimes, even, worldview.
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As a Geek of All Trades, I fully endorse and support this exciting new development.

Is it ready yet?
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A Derk appears from the mists...
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Nazhuret wrote:
I'm curious what you have done or are going to do in terms of advertising this new site.

There are TONS of RPG sites out there.

How do you see RPGGeek as a competitor or do you even?

Do you see it as a supporting role in the online world of RPG web sites?

I am very excited about it!

Let's get the product built before we determine its worth or value. But obviously we'd like to sell ad space on it...

ninja

As far as other RPG sites, well... let's just say that we've never felt that an RPG-translated site utilizing all the features that you use here at boardgamegeek.com would be lost on the RPG world. Clearly the strength of boardgamegeek has (and will continue) to be a combination of awesome community with sophisticated software for management of the data said community generates.
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James Ludlow
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The Abstractionist wrote:
Aldie wrote:
The Abstractionist wrote:

Does the creation of RPG Geek mean that the RPG content that is presently in BGG will be removed here and transferred there?
Depends, they can coexist on both sites if need be, without duplication of data.
Pardon me for being thick-headed, but I don't follow.

Think of it like custom skins. You have a thing, like a post in a forum. It resides in the database. If someone views that post on BGG, it will look like a BGG post. If someone views that data on RPGG, it will look like post from that site.

When you reply to the post, it doesn't matter which site you're currently on. It'll go into the database the same way, and someone on the other site will see it as if you had replied from there as well.

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Brian McCarty
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Just out of curiousity, how are games organized? For example is (A)D&D 1st edition a separate entry from 4th? Are all the commercial modules separate entries?

Are the World or Darkness* games separate? Or all the GURPS rules?

Brian
*Still waiting for Blob: The amorphous
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Tiwaz Tyrsfist
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N9IWP wrote:
Just out of curiousity, how are games organized? For example is (A)D&D 1st edition a separate entry from 4th? Are all the commercial modules separate entries?

Are the World or Darkness* games separate? Or all the GURPS rules?

Brian
*Still waiting for Blob: The amorphous

It appears, from the little blips I've seen so far, that each system will have an entry. Each game within a system will have a sub entry. And each Book within a system will have a Sub-Sub-entry.

Because in Aldie's test RPGGeeklist, he had an entry for D&D as a family, a separate entry for each of the main three books, and an entry marked Series: for a set of adventure supplements that interconnected.


Old World of Darkness has an entry that then links to Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, and so on.
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Charles Phillips
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derk wrote:
Nazhuret wrote:
I'm curious what you have done or are going to do in terms of advertising this new site.

There are TONS of RPG sites out there.

How do you see RPGGeek as a competitor or do you even?

Do you see it as a supporting role in the online world of RPG web sites?

I am very excited about it!

Let's get the product built before we determine its worth or value. But obviously we'd like to sell ad space on it...

ninja

As far as other RPG sites, well... let's just say that we've never felt that an RPG-translated site utilizing all the features that you use here at boardgamegeek.com would be lost on the RPG world. Clearly the strength of boardgamegeek has (and will continue) to be a combination of awesome community with sophisticated software for management of the data said community generates.

Let's put it in simple terms. I have not seen an RPG site that compares (in RPG terms) to what BGG does for board games and the rest. Most RPG sites are just extensions of stores trying to sell RPGs to visitors. That limits the quality of what they are willing to do for their "RPG site" to what makes money; i.e. they won't take the time to correctly catalog out of print RPGs and such.

I trust BGG to do it right because of what they have done already.
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A Derk appears from the mists...
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ClineCon wrote:

I trust BGG to do it right because of what they have done already.

That, dear sir, is perhaps one of the best compliments we could expect on the advent of the biggest moments since boardgamegeek went live ten years ago...
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Jim "git yer stinkin' themes offa my mechanic" Puccio
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jdludlow wrote:
Think of it like custom skins. You have a thing, like a post in a forum. It resides in the database. If someone views that post on BGG, it will look like a BGG post. If someone views that data on RPGG, it will look like post from that site.

When you reply to the post, it doesn't matter which site you're currently on. It'll go into the database the same way, and someone on the other site will see it as if you had replied from there as well.
So... all of the content of RPG Geek will be visible and available on BGG? If that's the case, I'm very happy to hear it. I'm still not especially clear on why there should be two distinct sites backed by the same database, but... whatever. On the other hand,

Aldie wrote:
The database is shared, but we are adding filters so that the sites remain segregated. We are doing at our best, but occasionally some content will "bleed" through
seems to be at variance with that statement.

In any case, if it provides a means to host a new and distinct set of advertisers, and thereby add to the bottom line keeping the entire enterprise afloat, even if that's really the only point to it, then that's a good thing.
 
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Jim Cote
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ALthough I have been playing D&D for 30 years now, I am not particularly interested in the RPG side of the site. However, this new hierarchy is a lot more rich than I expected. It also explains some of the subtle changes to the boardgame side of things. Very cool stuff. Beyond the family stuff, is there anything here that will also feed back into boardgames in a useful way? Maybe you've done it already and I just haven't noticed.
 
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Neil Carr
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I have bookcases filled with RPG material, just a vast amount... the very idea of having an rpggeek just to categorize and organize that huge amount of content online is worth all of the geekgold in the world.

I haven't bothered to sample all of the rpg sites out there, but the closest one I could find to BGG is rpg.net and it just doesn't compare in terms of usefulness. Content is scattered all over the site, the search function doesn't bring up stuff that it ought to, and you can't even thumb posts!

I remember what it was like prior to BGG, with scattered information and content spread over the net. What drove the creation of BGG was the fact that it was a pain to get information consolidated into once centralized area.

I only wish I had the time right now to dump content into the beta test for rpgeek. Even in its beginning it was obvious how awesome BGG was and it was a lot of fun running around snapping as many pics as possible of games from my collection just to seed content.

I ache to watch the manifest destiny of rpgeek be achieved!
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Eric Dodd
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Are you making a specific space for Magazines that might contain more than one family of games material in it? Would you be looking to have all scenarios / articles from magazines such as Dragon / White Dwarf etc. entered separately and referenced to each appropriate game?

A lot of work for us uploaders, but worth it, I think.
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A Derk appears from the mists...
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The Abstractionist wrote:

Aldie wrote:
The database is shared, but we are adding filters so that the sites remain segregated. We are doing at our best, but occasionally some content will "bleed" through

seems to be at variance with that statement.

Essentially, a 'game' in the bgg parlance, becomes an RPGitem. Think of an item as anything you would buy at a game store. Each item belongs to X number of Settings, Games, Categories, Mechanics, etc. Each item has X number of contributors, like artists and designers, much like the existing system for boardgames. One of the reasons that this whole project has taken so long is because we first had to build an information organizational system which we could implement on boardgames (while the current boardgame-centric system was live) which also was a rigorous enough treatment to handle all the eccentricities of role-playing games. This is a non-trivial/herculean task...

The Abstractionist wrote:
In any case, if it provides a means to host a new and distinct set of advertisers, and thereby add to the bottom line keeping the entire enterprise afloat, even if that's really the only point to it, then that's a good thing.

Only point...? I would hate to characterize it thusly, but I certainly would be lying if I said the idea of applying the 'Geek model on a new data set wasn't at least partially driven by the opportunities of a new market to expand into.
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ekted wrote:
However, this new hierarchy is a lot more rich than I expected. It also explains some of the subtle changes to the boardgame side of things. Very cool stuff. Beyond the family stuff, is there anything here that will also feed back into boardgames in a useful way? Maybe you've done it already and I just haven't noticed.

On the first point, that's kinda the 'special sauce' that makes the 'Geek what it is. Perhaps your explanation is a more thorough answer to Nazuret's question. As to your second point, yes, you have already been experiencing the benefits, without really knowing... Expanded collection utilities, families, expanded designer pages, etc. All of these were developed with RPGs in mind (and potentially other 'things').

goo
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Jim "git yer stinkin' themes offa my mechanic" Puccio
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derk wrote:
Only point...? I would hate to characterize it thusly [...]
Only point to having a separate site to access the same data set, that is. I very much appreciate the enhanced database capabilities. It's the "why have two sites" business that I'm trying to grok here.
 
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Not much to add, but I have some nice minty copies (Still wrapped from Mayfair) of some of the DC Heroes RPG modules (including the Watchmen one) and sourcebooks that might make a nice contest prize when it's up.

(Ok sue me, I'm trying to get rid of some of the 20 or so of each I brought home when a shop went out of business about 15 years ago )
 
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A Derk appears from the mists...
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The Abstractionist wrote:
derk wrote:
Only point...? I would hate to characterize it thusly [...]
Only point to having a separate site to access the same data set, that is. I very much appreciate the enhanced database capabilities. It's the "why have two sites" business that I'm trying to grok here.

No worries. I would just hate to be accused of being exclusively money driven, that's all.

Why have two sites..? Because the 'Geek is a labor of love. Because we, the creators, are primarily boardgamers. We would hate to compromise the awesomeness that is boardgamegeek, by inflicting too many changes. Speaking very personally, I don't Role-play at all. A few months ago, I had my first D&D campaign in about 20 years. Many of the boardgamers I know would likely fit into that category. Therefore, why would we implement software which would compromise ten years worth of love...?

Certainly there's a significant crossover in the audience, but why compromise a viable community and product just to expand into a new market? Especially if you can do so without compromising said product..?

I think however, you're referring to the opportunities that having a common point of entry to both worlds would offer to.. well... both worlds. Certainly there's a number of Descent fans that should play D&D Fourth edition, and certainly there's a number of RPGers that should consider trying something other than an annual game of Settlers. Making sure that the user experience can be separated doesn't mean that the final Geekdō won't have a cross-over marketing appeal... You need only to flip the switch in the current version, and we've certainly left the way open for a merged/blended approach should we deem it desirable in the future...
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