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Subject: "Playtesting" BGG - Observations of a newb rss

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Dan "DP" Pepin
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Hey BGGers! I'm new to BGG as of August 2012 (and slightly less recently to quality board games in general) and have spent a few weeks exploring to try to understand exactly what the site can do for me. After realizing the breadth of functionality, I quickly donated and resolved to be active on the site. I thought I'd just drop a few comments about BGG and ask all you veterans out there for tips on how to make the experience more enjoyable. So please, leave me some advice!

Likes:

1) Player profiles. Top 10, ratings, game ownership, etc. are all incredibly basic, but so useful. Location info makes it easy to find groups in your area.

2) Completeness of database. Wow - I had no idea this many games existed. And with board game geeks constantly bringing the newest games to the table, it's only going to get better. Being able to cross-reference by publisher, awards, category, mechanic (which was most impressive) etc. is a great way to find other games you'll love. Add the related forum, link, picture, file, etc. categories and you need no more. The presence of the designers and publishers only enriches the information, too.

3) Forums. In particular, the general presence of helpful BBGers and lack of non-constructive complaining and flaming. Kuddos to you all! In combination with the wiki, this is how I learned most over the past 2 weeks.

4 Bazaar. How awesome to be able to immediately buy the games you discover.

5) GeekMod. What better way to screen content than approval by the same people who will consume it?

Things I don't yet understand:

1) GeekLists. It seems to me that these are virtually the same as forum threads. Help?

2) User Interface. Granted, much of my troubles were due to being a newb, but finding what you need can sometimes be tough. Small example: rating a game. I finally found it way down in the "User Information" section of the game, but it took me a day to find. (Forums to the rescue!)

3) GeekGold. The thought of having triple-digit GeekGold blows my mind. I'm glad I found a few help articles on how to earn it, but as a newb, I feel like all the input I could give has already been given and I'm not at a point at which I can add new games or anything. What is the single best effort-driven way to earn this for a newb?

4) Enormity. Talk about board game overload. Don't get me wrong, the amount of information is great, but opening that homepage to see news, announcements, videos, blogs, sales, etc. all discussing gamer-lingo-encoded topics of which I'd never heard was daunting. What is the best way to build my exposure to everything that is out there without having to quit my day job and read through BGG for 56 years?

As I said before, please leave me some tips on how to make BGG the best experience it can be. I'd be in your debt!

DP

P.S. Are you a Dallas gamer? Let me know if you are!
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Mathue Faulkner
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A couple geeklists to get you started:
http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/34918/tricks-of-the-geek
http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/41134/new-users-want-to-kn...

Also, I'm a Dallas gamer.
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Dan "DP" Pepin
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mfaulk80 wrote:


Thanks. Those are both very useful. Do you have a regular gaming group in Dallas?
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Mathue Faulkner
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dpep13 wrote:
mfaulk80 wrote:


Thanks. Those are both very useful. Do you have a regular gaming group in Dallas?

No, I'm relatively new to the area. We just moved out here in April...

There is a group all the way out in Carrollton that we've been to, but it's quite a drive for where we're located. There are a bunch of groups though, and here is a thread with some replies about board gaming in Dallas:
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/8807121#8807121
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Loren Cadelinia
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Welcome to BGG!
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dpep13 wrote:

snip..

Things I don't yet understand:

1) GeekLists. It seems to me that these are virtually the same as forum threads. Help?

..snip


The thing with Geeklists as opposed to forum threads is that you can comment on a game without quoting a reply some user made maybe two pages ago
you just comment on the item, be it a specific game a designer a publisher or a whatever, all the comments are someway related to that item and,
so it is easier to stay up to date when the GL covers a lot of ground.

look at the SPIEL 2012 GL to see what is great about the format.
or the one about illogical inconsistencies about games.

both wouldn't work in a forum format. and GL make for great reads sometimes telling personal stories of great, or very personal, moments in specific users lives.

If BGG were just the database and the accompanying forums without Geeklists it would be a lesser place IMO

and welcome to the geek
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Dan "DP" Pepin
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HerrJork wrote:
dpep13 wrote:

snip..

Things I don't yet understand:

1) GeekLists. It seems to me that these are virtually the same as forum threads. Help?

..snip


The thing with Geeklists as opposed to forum threads is that you can comment on a game without quoting a reply some user made maybe two pages ago
you just comment on the item, be it a specific game a designer a publisher or a whatever, all the comments are someway related to that item and,
so it is easier to stay up to date when the GL covers a lot of ground.

look at the SPIEL 2012 GL to see what is great about the format.
or the one about illogical inconsistencies about games.

both wouldn't work in a forum format. and GL make for great reads sometimes telling personal stories of great, or very personal, moments in specific users lives.

If BGG were just the database and the accompanying forums without Geeklists it would be a lesser place IMO

and welcome to the geek


Gotcha! Thanks so much!
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There are things you can do to earn geekgold, but honestly, if you do them to earn triple digit geekgold, you may feel frustrated (for example, geekmod). You got a chunk of geekgold for becoming a patron, and you can buy it from other users (here's a recent thread 335 GG for $20 http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/847220/geek-gold-for-sale-33...). So if you want a lot of geekgold, look for something like that, and then contribute just to contribute, and tips and other geekgold payments will trickle in naturally.

Geekmodding gives you small amounts of geekgold (.01/.05), so if you do it regularly it can be a boost. Tips for useful/funny content, especially from a newuser, will probably happen as well. Once you get to the point of adding content, you get geekgold for session reports, reviews, images, and adding items like versions and games.

As you browse, you may find a few people that say things especially helpful or relevant to you. You can add them as geekbuddies (use the little down arrow in their avatar). Then you can go to your geekbuddies recent activity and see what cool threads and geeklists they've been participating in (http://boardgamegeek.com/geekbuddy.php3?action=view). You can also subscribe directly to people, follow them around, but I would use this sparingly as it may become overwhelming, depending on how active someone is.

I keep up with news by participating in a GameChat League (http://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/GameChat_League). New games and reprints are discussed, Kickstarter projects, and playing old favorites. You might read through a few of the lists, find one where the members seem to have similar interests, and follow along. If things are mentioned that interest you, you can investigate from there.

Welcome to BGG!
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You may also be able to get a free microbadge here:

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Dan "DP" Pepin
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indigopotter wrote:
There are things you can do to earn geekgold, but honestly, if you do them to earn triple digit geekgold, you may feel frustrated (for example, geekmod). You got a chunk of geekgold for becoming a patron, and you can buy it from other users (here's a recent thread 335 GG for $20 http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/847220/geek-gold-for-sale-33...). So if you want a lot of geekgold, look for something like that, and then contribute just to contribute, and tips and other geekgold payments will trickle in naturally.

Geekmodding gives you small amounts of geekgold (.01/.05), so if you do it regularly it can be a boost. Tips for useful/funny content, especially from a newuser, will probably happen as well. Once you get to the point of adding content, you get geekgold for session reports, reviews, images, and adding items like versions and games.

As you browse, you may find a few people that say things especially helpful or relevant to you. You can add them as geekbuddies (use the little down arrow in their avatar). Then you can go to your geekbuddies recent activity and see what cool threads and geeklists they've been participating in (http://boardgamegeek.com/geekbuddy.php3?action=view). You can also subscribe directly to people, follow them around, but I would use this sparingly as it may become overwhelming, depending on how active someone is.

I keep up with news by participating in a GameChat League (http://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/GameChat_League). New games and reprints are discussed, Kickstarter projects, and playing old favorites. You might read through a few of the lists, find one where the members seem to have similar interests, and follow along. If things are mentioned that interest you, you can investigate from there.

Welcome to BGG!


Wow, thank you so much. I'm officially hooked thanks to you! Great suggestions.
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I have a GeekList which points to sources for pictures that are needed in BGG. For now I am offering a sweetener too. I'll gift enough GG to make pictures for each game worth at least 5 GG.

So 3 pictures, I'll gift 2 for a total of 5. 6 pictures, nothing from me but 6 GG from BGG.

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/144438/earn-gg-for-loading...

Herb
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dpep13 wrote:
Are you a Dallas gamer? Let me know if you are!

I am not, BUT I have been to Dallas many times. Go to Madness Games and Comics. They appear to have an awesome open gaming area and absolutely have a great selection and friendly staff!
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Some lists might help fast-track your understanding of BGG and how it works but for me the only real way to feel comfortable is simply to spend time here.

Slowly you will feel more prepared to engage in discussions...then one day you'll start a thread and if you stick at it long enough something magical will happen...you'll finally not feel overwhelmed anymore.

Took me a good year of lurking but I haven't looked back since then.

Hope it doesn't take you that long.

All the best.
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Dan "DP" Pepin
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Neil Thomson wrote:
Some lists might help fast-track your understanding of BGG and how it works but for me the only real way to feel comfortable is simply to spend time here.

Slowly you will feel more prepared to engage in discussions...then one day you'll start a thread and if you stick at it long enough something magical will happen...you'll finally not feel overwhelmed anymore.

Took me a good year of lurking but I haven't looked back since then.

Hope it doesn't take you that long.

All the best.


Good to hear (and kuddos...a year isn't long at all)!
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dpep13 wrote:
Things I don't yet understand:

1) GeekLists. It seems to me that these are virtually the same as forum threads. Help?

GLs are kind of wildcards: they don't belong to just one thing, they belong to everything they have a geeklist item for. This is good and bad. You can find every GL that contains (for example) Glory to Rome--but some will not really be about games but about someone's vacation in Europe. OTOH, some hold some of the most useful information on BGG

dpep13 wrote:
2) User Interface. Granted, much of my troubles were due to being a newb, but finding what you need can sometimes be tough. Small example: rating a game. I finally found it way down in the "User Information" section of the game, but it took me a day to find. (Forums to the rescue!)

Keep going to the forums. As you can see, scads of users are around to help, and often asking is really the only way to find some of the more obscure information.

dpep13 wrote:
3) GeekGold. The thought of having triple-digit GeekGold blows my mind. I'm glad I found a few help articles on how to earn it, but as a newb, I feel like all the input I could give has already been given and I'm not at a point at which I can add new games or anything. What is the single best effort-driven way to earn this for a newb?

I'd say you have this problem surrounded. laugh

dpep13 wrote:
4) Enormity. Talk about board game overload. Don't get me wrong, the amount of information is great, but opening that homepage to see news, announcements, videos, blogs, sales, etc. all discussing gamer-lingo-encoded topics of which I'd never heard was daunting. What is the best way to build my exposure to everything that is out there without having to quit my day job and read through BGG for 56 years?

As good as BGG is, it can't replace a good local game group. All the reviews and videos aren't as good as sitting down with good players--and being taught the game by a good teacher instead of puzzling through the manual. Here are some suggestions on how to find a group.

For new games and reprints, subscribe to BoardGameGeek News. In general, remember that you can subscribe to almost anything on the site.

When you see a user who reflects your own tastes in games, make them a GeekBuddy. Use the pulldown (on their avatar block!) and click on Add GeekBuddy. You can then use the top menu, My Geek / GeekBuddies, to check what they've been up to recently. (If you tend to lose your place--where was that article I replied to?--then GeekBuddy yourself, so you can track your own recent activity.)
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