Your help is absolutely needed to make this service running, and because of that we think that it is important to be as transparent as possible about how BGA is working.
Here's are the answer of the Q&A:
I want game X on BGA / I want expansion X on BGA / When will game X be available on BGA?
Despite our warning, many of you asked us this question that we cannot answer for many reasons. The complete answer is already in this section of the FAQ.
However, we'd like to add 2 important things:
_ The best way to get your prefered board game on BGA is not to ask BGA, but to ask the original publisher of this board game. If you really want to help us, just contact game publishers to tell them that you like BGA and that you'd really like to have their games here. You may also send them a link to this page that we created to introduce BGA to game publishers.
_ We cannot only work on adding new games. Currently, the number of games on BGA is growing faster than the audience of this service. This is why our priority is more about working on having a larger audience than working on new games. Since the beginning of the year, 80% of our work concerned the service itself, 20% concerned new games.
Why is feature X designed like this? / I want you to change this / I want feature X / I would like to suggest you feature X
This question&answer is intended to answer your questions about BGA, not really for suggestions. But as many (many!) of you asked for evolutions or suggested some evolutions, so we'd like to tell you this:
_ We are reading ALL your suggestions. There are so many suggestions that we cannot answer to all of them - sorry about that - but we read them all.
_ If your suggestion is in fact a bug, you should post it in this section instead.
_ The vast majority of your suggestions make sense. BUT, implenting all of them would obviouly make this service totaly unusable. In order to make this service usable by anyone, we need to make choices. Sometimes we are making good choices, sometimes we are making bad choices, like any other digital services, and this work is really, really difficult. The only thing we know is that the audience of BGA is growing over the years, so we know that we are taking more good decisions than bad ones. To conclude, if you find a suggestion really great and wonder why we did not implemented it yet, please keep in mind all of this.
To give you an idea, our 3 priorities for the end of 2017 are:
_ 1: make BGA more simple and accessible for beginners, so we can have a larger audience.
_ 2: build a better metagame (competition/trophy/ranking system), so the players who play a lot here can always get more challenges.
_ 3: introduce more Premium games/features as we do not have enough paying members now.
Why is there no mobile/tablet app for BGA?
2 main reasons for that:
_ currently we only have ONE software for BGA. When we are introducing a new game or a new feature, or fixing a bug, we have to modify ONE software. If one day in the future BGA has an app, each BGA update will need additional work, which means more development time, which means less games, less features, less bugfixes.
_ almost all the most popular BGA board games already have an app. We are doubtful that those game publishers would be happy to have a BGA app beside their own app. So it means that a BGA app would not be able to propose all BGA games. Not so great, isn't it?
It does not mean that there is no solution to have a BGA app. But this is not as easy as it sounds, and to be clear this is not our top priority.
In the meantime, we worked a lot on making BGA accessible with a mobile/tablet browser, and it's working quite well since practically 1/3 of our audience is now coming from mobiles/tablets.
There are more and more board game apps in the app stores. May this cause difficulties to have these games on BGA?
Most of the time, this is not a problem.
It can happen that a game publisher refuses to have a game on BGA because they already have a (not free) app. However, since game publishers may also earn money with BGA (with Premium games), this is not really an issue.
Is there a risk for some games to disappear from BGA?
BGA has a strong reputation among board game publishers because we make sure that each publisher is happy to have its games on BGA. If a game publisher is unhappy with BGA, we prefer to remove its games.
That being said: we only removed 1 game (Dominion) in the last few years.
Why don't you provide voice chat?
We do. You can activate "Audio/Video" option for each game.
We are also thinking on making this option more easy to use.
Why is BGA unreliable?
In fact, statistically, the BGA service is more reliable than most services on the web (with equivalent size/audience).
However, each incident on BGA is VERY annoying because it may ruin the realtime games in progress.
For example, when your bank website / plane booking website / newspaper website has an issue, you just get back 10 minutes later and most of the time you don't care. When BGA has an issue, 10 minutes later your game has gone down the drain, and that's a real issue.
This is why we invest a very important part of our time in making this service reliable and stable.
We are willing to be more transparent on this subject, and we will introduce a new feature soon so you can check by yourself the status of this service.
How international is your audience?
Very. You can see this with the various flags from our players
The first country in term of audience is USA, but almost 50% of audience is from Europe, 25% from America, 23% from Asia, and 2% from the rest of the world (and the rest of the world is really welcome, please increase this number!).
Why aren't we allowed to play for money?
Because it is not allowed by the laws of many countries.
What is the current status of the BGA Sandbox project?
Well... We found out that many of you do not really care about Sandbox games. The sandbox games we introduced on BGA (ex: Tablut, and the former "sandbox go") are practically not played.
You love rules enforcement, which is great because all "standard" BGA games have rules enforcement.
Currently, we are using the Sandbox tool to build some new and simple games faster and to do some experiments, but most of the time we are writing scripts on top of these games to add rules enforcement so they are just like any other BGA games (see "Hack Trick" or "Tiki" for example).
This is a useful tool, we are developing it when needed, but we still don't know if or when it will be made available to everyone.
What are your plans to make us play the games that are not played today?
We love each of our games, and we'd really like to make them all played more.
We are working in 3 different directions:
_ we want to provide you more tools to discover which game you'd like to try, and provide you a tutorial so you can learn this game.
_ we allow you to wait for several games in the lobby. This is already possible using the "Simple mode". This way, you can wait for a "rarely played" game while still waiting for a popular one.
_ we want to build a better "metagame" (competitions/trophies/rakings) to encourage you to play all games, including the "rarely played".
Are you going to include more ways for us to earn gift points?
Probably not. In fact, there is currently a lot of different "points" in BGA (ELO, score, prestige, gift, karma...) and it certainly does not help to make the "BGA metagame" understandable. So we are thinking about redesigning this in another way.
Will you remove the wooden background?
We don't know yet.
This background looks "amateur", we know that. But BGA was an amateur website during a long period of time, and even since we have gone "professional" we are trying to keep in touch with te original "spirit" of the service
Why can I not play some board games turn-based?
This can be a publisher+BGA decision. For example, Celestia would be a nightmare in turn based, with a lot of interruptions, and anyway the game makes no sense to be played this way.
This may also be a technical problem. For example, Time Masters would have to be completely rewritten to be available for turn based.
Are you willing to organize real world play sessions?
Short answer: probably not.
Longer answer: this is a completely distinct new feature and it would need a lot of effort (some services are 100% focused on this).
Can you add accessibility features?
Since BGA is a 100% web based service, we are compatible with all accessibility features provided by devices/browsers (zoom, speech support, ...).
Concerning the games themselves, we have to respect the game art. So if the board game art provides some accessibility (ex: for color blind people), we do.
Please fix bug XXX
To help us to identify the most important bugs and to fix them, please use the following page to vote for this bug and/or add more information so we can reproduce it:
I'm a developer and I want to create a module for a game
Please go to BGA Studio
We recently did a complete update of the Studio to improve it and make it more efficient: you should have a look at it!
Why didn't you answer my question?
Probably because it's already in the FAQ, because it was out of this Q&A scope (ex: personal related question / suggestion / bug / very game specific) or because it was really close of one of the questions above