This week’s Explorable Favorites (Jul 18)

Posted by Account Deletion {Family Gamer} | 18-Jul-16 | 30 comments

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This Week’s Explorable Games

This round of Explorable Favorites is from BoardGaming.com member Ayden. The games selected from their Favorites shelf were:

These games will be explorable until next Monday, July 25th

Comments (30)

Gamer Avatar
8
Mask of Agamemnon
Paladin
The Gold Heart
Cooperative Game Explorer

Adventure Time Card Wars: Finn vs. Jake, hahahah!!! Cool!!!

Gamer Avatar
7
Miniature Painter
Intermediate Reviewer
Master Grader

This list helped. I have been avoiding these two games and now they seem like fine games I have to try! Thanks!!

Gamer Avatar
9
Gamer - Level 8
Explorer - Level 5
Critic - Level 3
Junior

Good point Write By

I see no point in both games comming from the same player. The explorables should be more about the games, not necessary one user. Bi weekly probably wouldn’t be so bad either as you could get more discussions going and time for reviews if needed as well.

Gamer Avatar
7
Finland
Advanced Reviewer
Strategist

Seems that I have missed quite a bit in few weeks. Been in same situation as AccountDeletion is. Free time hobby getting reduced to more of an cringe than pleasure by work. I couldn’t find a way out of it, but I do hope you do.

I have agree with most, weekly explorables criteria should be relaxed or made biweekly. Especially since adding new moderators for content is not the preferable situation, which I can understand perfectly well.

Hope you manage to find some solution or middle ground to this problem.

Gamer Avatar
7
I'm Completely Obsessed
Book Lover
Canada
Advanced Reviewer

Sorry that this comment is a bit late to the discussion, but I had a random thought about it and figured I’d toss it out into the mix (I’m not even sure if it’s a particularly viable idea, to be honest). With regards to selecting games to be offered as explorable, offering a certain degree of “tip of the hat” credit to members who are active, encouraging discussion of the games, and also possibly addressing the issue of the number of reviews to be explored requirement, what if rather than picking one person and selecting explorable games off of their Favorites list, it was done sort of the other way around?

What I mean is, what if two games were selected as Explorable from games that have been reviewed recently (or relatively recently, at least) and then throw it out to the reviewers as a group to get the discussion going about the game? If the game has a huge pile of reviews, it might only be viable to name the most recent handful in the post, but they’d presumably be people who were recently active on the site and with regards to the game. Reviewers could review newer or older games as they see fit, in the hopes of drawing attention to games that are also favorites of theirs or that they’d like to see a discussion get going about.

This way, there are already going to be a few reviews up for exploring, active members are being acknowledged, and it sets a parameter for what “active” means (at least in regards to being selected as part of the explorable games selection process). It also spreads the “get the conversation started” role around a bit, since different people will perhaps only be on the site at certain points in the week, depending on their schedules.

Gamer Avatar
6

Talking to lhunox DRIZZT!!!! Gahaha

There are people talking about this Explodable. I didn’t read too much. Is it becaise the person said it was the best game but then he said he didn’t know how to play? I voted NO for that. How can a game be the best if you did not play the game????//

Gamer Avatar
7
Canada
Z-Man Games fan
I play red
Indie Board & Cards fan

On the subject of “active users”…I know the main reason I and some other gamers go to that other site is to view game activity of folks we follow. A feed that shows new purchases, plays, and what not would help with engagement.

As for explorables…I say try and pick one “newer” game a week. Cult Of The New is a thing, so why not take advantage of it and try and get people talking HERE about things they are likely talking about with their friends on other sites and social media?

Gamer Avatar
7
I'm a Real Person
Smash Up Fan
I play yellow
Comic Book Fan

It’s a Herculean task for (mostly) one person to manage this site! I think employing the power of a few members of the community could be a great way to handle this. It gets more people involved and gets more content added.

Also I thought maybe I had just discovered secret explorables! Kind of a fun idea to get people to search out the site more.

Gamer Avatar
7
Comic Book Fan
Book Lover
Pet Lover

@Account Deletion – Thanks. I was trying not to promote myself and keep on topic. Distractovision.TV is our site or the Channel itself : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiC-qSrQlZ-_hVZI0d19wVA

Its all very new. Games in 5 is our tutorial series, we have 10 more episodes recorded but editing and graphics are taking forever. Also we have footage from Paizocon and Denver Comicon- and hopefully GenCon coming soon – as well as 3 other series in the works. We have a game designer and writer talking about creating worlds thats coming along and should be aired this fall.

Again, thank you for your efforts and if there’s anything I can do to help I’d be willing to chip in a bit. Our website should show I’m not a complete idiot. I want this site to grow and be a continued success. Maybe we can cross promote, let me know what I can do to help.

Gamer Avatar
7
Intermediate Grader
Detective

Wassup players?

Thanks @accountdletion for naming me in your post. Dont take away those explore games with not many reviews. Even a moron like me can figure out that its a gravy train to sweet sweet review likes…

Props to all my fans! You guys are so Drizzt!

Gamer Avatar
10
Miniature Painter
Expert Advisor
Inventor
Advanced Reviewer

@AD Before you start doing individual video chats, consider producing an instructional video that could be linked from somewhere on this website. You would only have to go through the process once and interested users could watch it in advance on their own schedule. This would also help them decide whether they want to continue in this endeavor before any current website developers have spent any time with them. This should filter out the less serious applicants with no further time investment from the current team.

Gamer Avatar
9
I play black
Guardian Angel
Platinum Supporter
Marquis / Marchioness

All – thanks for the positivity and ideas.

@RevBob – I hear you on getting down from negative comments. I have certainly gone through the same thing. I followed links from your user page and ended up at the Distractovision YouTube page. Is this the page you’re referring to? If not, would you mind sharing your YouTube channel here?

@Stargazer1, @TechieMoe and anyone else interested – I’ve always wanted to give more users the ability to add games, but as @Stargazer1 mentioned, it does take time to get someone up to speed. However, now might be the appropriate time. I would guess I can teach somebody via video chat in around an hour (even if they have no WordPress experience – as long as they’re reasonably computer-savvy and have the necessary equipment for a Skype or Gchat call, which would be necessary so that I can share my screen) – maybe I can schedule time to teach a new user each week for the next month, then we’ll have 5 people (along with @Chris) getting games added. That may be enough diversification to withstand long periods where some of us don’t have time to add games.

I will have to work this out with Jim – he’s rightly very careful of turning on WordPress rights for too many users at the same time, as it enhances the risk that somebody could do something malicious (not that he or I would expect that of anybody, just that getting by with the fewest number of editors possible seems prudent). In the meantime, anybody interested can email me at steve@boardgaming.com to offer up their time.

@Hai – we still publish articles announcing game additions. The fact that there hasn’t been one in 2 months shows how few games we’ve been able to add in that time. We’ll have an update article out soon thanks to @Chris’s efforts, and it will include Millennium Blades, Food Chain Magnate and all of the other recent additions that many users have already “found”. Of course, you’re right that our update articles don’t announce when “upcoming” games are switched to released – maybe we can add those in as well.

@Stratagon – great ideas as always. I’ll probably tinker with it over the coming weeks, maybe mixing up user-featured weeks with theme weeks. I could also do 3 games instead of 2 on occasion, using that 3rd slot for a game with little-to-no content to see if anybody has anything they want to say about it. If it never fills, no big deal because everybody still got 2 in.

Thanks again for the discussion everyone. This is vital to the site.

Gamer Avatar
8
Gamer - Level 8
USA
Gold Supporter

@Account Deletion – I’m sure that a number of us regular users would be more than happy to help flesh out the database entries for you. I have a list as long as my arm of games I’d add myself. Why not consider opening up “guest editor” privileges to those above a certain level?

EDIT – I also what to say that I appreciate the work you do and hope you take all my criticisms in the constructive vein they were intended. I look forward to the weekly explorables and I actually enjoy the leveling system (even though it’s taking me forever to hit level 8….) That’s why I contribute monetarily to the site. I want the lights to stay on. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, I think maybe you should let some of the rest of us dust off the cobwebs here and there.

Gamer Avatar
9
Z-Man Games fan
Plaid Hat Games fan
Ireland
Novice Advisor

If it’s okay, I’d like to weigh in here.

I would consider myself a regular user of this site, I do a bit of what you all mention, I do fly-by-point grabs and also log in to read reviews and write them. Unfortunately, like us all, I have to balance this with my other, ‘real world’ life. I can usually only log on when I am in work for my 30 minute break. I do what I can in that time.

I look forward to the explorables because I can explore the games I might not have checked before due to whatever reason… Name of game, box looked terrible, genre etc.

I got into this hobby because i love the games and, more importantly, love the friendly communities these games create.
It is such a relief to have somewhere where I can love this hobby and whatever game within the hobby without my peers judging me for it not criticising, instead seeing the merits of what I like and just saying, ‘ yeah, but it’s not for me’ if they dislike what I am saying.

This site epitomizes everything I love about our hobby in our hobby in an online format.

But, I think there is a danger of making ourselves elitist snobs about our hobby.

Remember why we got into it, we loved it, loved discovering the new games and stepping into a world filled with friendly well wishers who spoke about our hobbies and gave us advise on alternatives or where to progress to next. Those of us who are addicts, myself included, are here for life in whatever capacity we can be here.

We cannot be giving out and complaining about people who log in every now and then or are ghost accounts. These are people that came here because they had our interest and had to put it to the side for a while, they may return or not but we should always leave a door open to them and remember why we got into this too.

I am not criticising anyone here, I admire you all and like reading the comments everyone leaves as they are insightful and interesting. Please do not take this in any other way than what it is… an observation.

Keep up the good work Boardaming.com!

Gamer Avatar
10
Miniature Painter
Expert Advisor
Inventor
Advanced Reviewer

Ok. Let me give a few more of my cents on this topic.

@AD I say make it “Weekly Explorables”. Use whatever criteria you would like. Some themed weeks would be cool. (ie. holidays, fantasy, sci-fi ,food related…etc.) This should save you some time, but it would keep one of the weekly staples flowing. I think having a mix of both games with full content and ones that are lacking a review will keep most users happy one way or the other.

If I had to guess what happened to that Mulder guy, I would probably point at the CSM. Trust no one.

Gamer Avatar
7
Comic Book Fan
Book Lover
Pet Lover

Thank you for all of your efforts. I came here as an alternative to BGG. I found the community more friendly and less judgemental, and the site user friendly and attractive. BGG’s excuse forever has been its too much information and work to overhaul their existing database, so until recently there has been little or no change and while they constantly add titles, errors are made and the search engine is wonky at best.

Not putting anyone down, just recognizing its a tremendous amount of work just to update and maintain a site like that, and you guys are starting from scratch. So the design is better upfront but the data entry and trying to engage your audience is a daunting task for a handful of people doing it in their “free time” – which is never free.

I, myself, am trying to do a video channel with tutorials and event footage with everyone involved working for free and its a constant thankless push up hill. You get a handful of subscribers and a few clicks, but all it takes is one bad comment to make you question why you bother. It is the nature of the internet right now – either you like something and put very little effort into it, or you’re annoyed or just a jerk and can spend all day trolling someone.Rarely do people go out of their way to be grateful, or nice, or give something a good review – they just click “like” and move on. But everyone takes time to write something awful.

Anyways, I came to say that I hope none of you feel that way. I appreciate your efforts, this site and this community.

Thank you!

Gamer Avatar
9
Canada
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
Plaid Hat Games fan
Platinum Supporter

On Explorables and ‘Active’ Members: So what makes an ‘active’ member? Someone who has dropped a tip or a review in the past month? Or chatted up on the ‘Weekend Update’? Or led to a ‘wild comment’ appear like a Pokemon? Clicked an up/down on a grading? I mean the mysterious Jack the Downgrader is probably the most active member of the site then.

The definition as it stands is someone who logged in to push ‘Play’ on Fallen for the 8,000th time. That might be active – but I don’t really consider it a contribution. And yes – I know the Rules of Explorable Engagement – and don’t need to be corrected on use of ‘Ghost’ or ‘Dead Member’ – because if I click on someone’s name and they haven’t said ‘Boo’ since 2014 – that’s a Ghost – albeit an ironic one. Keep on pushing that Bruges button shadowy friend.

I was happy to cheerlead/goad a response to ‘The Sacred Shelf Spotlight’ even though it was blowing smoke. Jim revealed as such to me when I got picked – ‘Don’t thank me – thank the random number generator’. At least it was interesting smoke to blow – when it happened and for awhile it happened regularly…and then – well – it didn’t. And much like ‘Your Turn’, In-House reviews, or any sort of feature – I doubt it will happen again.

A parcel of time back it was bandied about that ‘active members’ should shuffle their faves for Explorables for the option of a second choice and to help with finding a member. Without knowledge of the master checklist and a trickle of incoming Cult of the New – I’d say that’s more work than it is worth, but it is by definition pointless.

There’s no badge for it. There’s no real meaning to it. The only gain is someone might paw through your collective reviews and tips and give you some love – but that is as likely to happen if you review or comment or play the hazy definition of ‘active member’.

And the definition of ‘active member’ is a hazy, mercurial one. By my own definition I could count what I consider ‘active members’ on my fingers and toes and might not include myself in the mix on a given month.

I’m sure when it all started it was fun and an honor if only a paper badge. Now – it seems to trying to pin down a wandering vagabond. The Explorable is an important push pin in the BGdot week – the Monday between the Friday WAYPTW with a whole lot of pushing ‘PLAYED’ in between. If there is only limited time to devote – cut it loose – and slap up two whatever necessaries. It still seems to garner about 100 fly-bys for the XP grab even without a true Endgame badge.

As for repeat Explorables – who cares? There seems to be a few esoteric rules that don’t really make sense round these parts. One of them being that the actual ‘Site Info Dump Page’ is trapped in a Black Box in the by now inaccessible Secret Zone. And honestly, if you even know what ‘Secret Zone’ is you should be able to repeat explore! 😛 I know it is so people don’t ‘play’ the site – but why should the actual site be treated like a red-headed step child when people are loving Dungeon Dice and Fallen like a mouse in a Skinner box. Just because some ‘Dead Member’ said ‘Hello World’ once in ‘012 and made ‘Magic Realm’ explorable – why is it off limits? Surely there have been new reviews, tips, and outlooks since.

If a game has sat dusty on some long forgotten Sacred Shelf for a year – it certainly deserves a chance for a second look. One would hope some fresh eyes have wandered over to this site in a year’s time and old eyes might welcome a revival. And why lock out High Wax Sealers who have probably explored it before. To make it even more nigh on impossible to reach Level 10 and fight the Bishop of Battle? Fresh Eyes. Fresh Start. Honestly – if someone stuck around long enough to explore something TWICE – they should be rewarded – not penalized.

Because let’s be honest – the vast majority of people who are ‘active members’, ‘contribute to the site’, or even reading/ignoring this have been around to merit an ‘Explorable Twice.’

On Stocking the Library: I don’t really much care who stocks it, how it gets determined, and if it is just so someone can record their own personal plays. At least it gets stocked. Boardgaming is about popular ‘classics’ and Cult of the New and the BGdot is way behind on one of those – but I won’t quibble. I’m sure one of the Holy Librarians netted themselves Scythe.

However, I have said this before umpteenthily so I will say it again. Unless there is a monthly round-up of new links – and I’m also talking switching an ‘Upcoming’ over to a ‘Released’ no one knows. Unless a game is new enough in the Cardboard Timeline to pop up on the front page column – no one knows. The Kickstarter entry that paid for an ad two years ago and finally made print to be converted to a viable button push – no one knows. That game that has been standing in the spreadsheet line for 3 years and finally gets its moment in the sun – no one knows. Unless there’s formal notification – there’s a whole lot of people who have no idea what gets added to the library. Round them up – otherwise it seems like a whole lot of discussed work for nothing.

Gamer Avatar
9
I play black
Guardian Angel
Platinum Supporter
Marquis / Marchioness

@Stargazer1 – thanks for the feedback. I take (nearly) all “criticism” on the site – particularly those by regular users/commentors – constructively, and I welcome it. We all want the site to improve, and sharing thoughts on how that can happen is important. And I’ve always felt appreciated by the users for my efforts.

As for the versions of well-worn games you mentioned… well, Fluxx and Munchkin got a whole lot of activity last year because their publishers (Looney Labs and Steve Jackson Games) were working well with me. That’s also why you saw prompt coverage of releases by IDW, Privateer Press, 8th Summit, Smirk & Dagger, etc. They prioritized our site with advanced copies of upcoming releases before even Dice Tower, and promoted the heck out of the unboxing videos and reviews we did for them. In return, I prioritized getting their newest releases onto the site (and where possible, creating content for those releases). But of course, as my time for the site dwindled these relationships couldn’t be maintained.

One other response I neglected in addressing @TechieMoe’s comment – the reason many “two-bit” Kickstarters are added is that they actually paid to advertise on the site during their campaign. When people pay us for banner space we try to add the game then and there. And nearly all of our paid advertising is for Kickstarter campaigns.

Gamer Avatar
9
USA
I play blue
El Dorado
Guardian Angel

@ Account Deletion- I know I’m one of the guilty ranting parties too. I had a short rant in last week’s explorables and recently in the Viceroy discussion section. Please understand that my rants are not in any way meant to negatively criticize your work on this site. It seems to me that you are the lone content poster, I know it is difficult to find the time and I commend you on your effort. I was only trying to encourage discussion on this site.

It doesn’t matter to me how the Explorables are determined. On one hand I think games with only a few reviews and/or tips should be selected. This may encourage users to post some content. However, from past Explorables, this doesn’t seem to happen all that much. On the other hand, there is only a finite list of games with many reviews and/or tips so it will probably be difficult to keep picking these. I don’t think games should be Explorable more than once, unless it is years between them. I’m OK with mixing the selection up instead of picking people’s eligible favorites. (Of course this is self serving since I frequent the less traveled games and don’t have an eligible favorite. [wink]). I guess I really didn’t give you any direction except to be flexible. BTW, I have noticed some miscellaneous games with the Explorable tag, but I thought it was a secret sign for some kinda shadow group to take a look at reviews and/or tips on the less traveled games. Sounds like I’m watching too much TV and not gaming enough though!

I’m with TechieMoe regarding the games added to the site. I’m constantly amazed at how another Ticket to Ride, Fluxx or Munchkin expansion is added yet, there are still a few games in the top 500 from the ‘other site’ that aren’t represented. However, your explanation of how games get picked sheds some light on that. As a side note, I have many game requests in and FYI, I will fill the content in with a review and tip or two for any of my requests. I would love to volunteer some time to helping out with new game pages. Unfortunately I don’t know the first thing about websites/website publishing & etc. In the short term I would probably take even more of your time than save it.

Gamer Avatar
9
I play black
Guardian Angel
Platinum Supporter
Marquis / Marchioness

Whew… @burgerchief’s comment…

Thank you for the catch. This is completely my fault. This week’s explorables mark numbers 337 and 338. I have them all listed in a spreadsheet, along with dates and associated users. I cross-reference this sheet when doing explorables every week… usually up front, but sometimes I get the game completely ready for exploration before checking.

So I found a user with what I thought were two explorable games – Machi Koro and something else – and I got both of them ready. I was about to hit publish when I cross-checked the spreadsheet, and found that Machi Koro had been explored. I usually cross-check first, but sometimes I’m so rushed that I forget until the very end. I had to scrap everything and start over… and in my frustration, apparently left Machi Koro “on”. I actually do this frequently – I found Splendor late last week when I visited the page to log a play and turned it off. This is a product of trying to get explorables done in under 30 minutes each week – a tall order which begets sloppiness.

Fun search time – I probably forgot to turn off the other game as well. Who can find it? (I don’t recall what it was…)

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