So you’re a game publisher, and you want to know how to best utilise the most powerful (but also most frustrating) platform in the tabletop gaming world.
The first step is creating and adding to your personal profile.
The Geek really discourages ‘corporate’ identities, so it’s not really a thing to have a publisher ‘account’ so to speak (we’ll cover publisher pages later on). It’s also an incredibly powerful tool (more than people realise) to present yourself as an actual human being; people are more likely to be forgiving for your mistakes or missteps, as well as being more likely to help you out if you need advice or ideas.
People don’t interact with robotic corporate language, it’s shitty.
So to start you off – here’s the sign up link to create your account: https://boardgamegeek.com/register
It’s fairly straightforward, just remember your username needs to something that you won’t hate later down the line…
Once you’re set up and logged in, you’ll need to roll a natural 20 initiative check to find your username link on the top left of the page, at which point you’ll be able to see your profile!
Below is a screenshot of my personal BGG profile as it was 20/12/2016
I’ve annotated all the main features of what you’ll see on the page.
The Profile Page
If you’re thinking it’s a hot mess, well it is…but it’s still an incredibly powerful tool – so solider on!
When you’ve set up your profile you’re going to want to start populating it with information, otherwise people on the forums won’t take you seriously. The tabletop community is sharp when it comes to outsiders trying to make a quick buck. You’re a member of the community, so show it! This is a great opportunity to show people what your personal likes are within the world of tabletop gaming!
- Roughly in the middle left of the image is what I like to call the ‘Personal Thingy’ which is a bunch of little bades and things that appear with your user name wherever you post, comment, like etc – it’s the equivalent of your Facebook profile pic. It’s essentially your BGG identity. There are a lot of components to it, which we’ll cover in a later article (it’s a further obstacle to hurdle), but it’s a nice way to show people what your fave things are, even if that’s your game! #SubTerra. FYI, when you start off, it’ll be your name, username and a little flag of your country, plus a little envelope icon (for mailing you)
- Just above that is a section called ‘Preferences’ which is things like whether you want to be included in the game database (a postal code based directory of gamers so people can find groups more easily), adblocking and creating a custom web widget from your profile (we’ll come to that later)
- Recently Opened pages (board games, publishers etc) will appear as a short history bar at the top left of the screen under the BGG logo, which is a handy way of navigating everything (this appears on every page, not just your profile)
- On the far right of your profile screen, there’s a big chunk of data about your collection (we’ll show you how to add to that in a bit), and a bunch of breakdowns on your ratings of things if you scroll further down
- Right at the top of the screen is a little chunk of links to the right of the BGG logo
- Your user name is in blue – that’ll take you back to your profile page
- The little envelope will take you to your BGG mailbox, which is where you’ll find messages from other users, admins, and updates letting you know that uploads have been approved or not by the site admins
- The little rolled up newspaper gives you notifications of things you’ve ‘subscribed’ to, similar to turning on notifications on a Facebook post – so that you don’t lose track of certain threads on the site (or you want notifications if someone comments on a particular post or something
- The little ‘next’ button takes you to the next thing you’ve subscribed to
- The quickbar at the top right is a bunch of saved links, which makes navigating the site easier, just click one of the little pluses to add a link (you’ll get a dropdown menu to select a game, publisher, etc, then you just type in and select the one you want)
- Profile tabs are in a row across the top of your profile page which give you access to a bunch of user-specific information and data – we’ll run through those in a sec.
- Microbadges – we’ll cover these in another article…
- Metadata, under microbadges, basically a bunch of boring info
- The Hotness – a ‘trending’ list of the pages being most accessed on the site (you want to be on here)
Ok, so you’ve got your bearings now I hope, it’ll take a while to get used to the platform (as it’s not always immediately obvious how to do things or where to find info), but it’ll be worth it I promise!
Now delving deeper into your personal profile
The thing you’ve been wanting to do since you opened your account is to categorise and rate and list all your games right? You should. Who’s going to take a publisher seriously who doesn’t have any games?
Because BGG is a bit odd, you can’t access this (as far as I’m aware) directly from your profile.
You’ll have to hover over ‘My Geek’ on the top row menu to the right of your username/BGG logo and select ‘Collection’
Once you get there it’ll look like this!
- These three buttons set the view mode of the collection to list (what you can see currently), large gallery (which looks pretty and just shows the box art/’representative image’), and small gallery, which is what it says on the tin
- To add a new game to your collection, click the green plus at box number 2, and start typing in the game – options will appear, just click the one you want to add.
- There’s a bunch of filter options and similar manipulation tools in box number 3, in case you want to see a particular subset (wishlist, expansions, currently owned, rated above a certain number etc)
- There’s a search bar in number 4, which you can change using the dropdown box to search by different criteria
- Here’s the version of the game in your collection, in case that matters
- This is your rating – it will show N/A if you haven’t rated it yet. To rate, click the number/N/A and type in the number (out of 10) you want to give it.
- Geek rating is the ‘average’ value given by users calculated by BGG
- This is the current status of this title (whether it’s in your wishlist, or owned or previously so etc)
- This is the number of times you’ve played this game (if you log your plays)
- Any comments you’ve given to this game
- These buttons let you subscribe to this game’s updates (so if someone adds new content or changes something, it’ll appear as a subscription notification on the top left), or delete the game’s entry in your collection. You can also block notifications from this game by using the little downwards arrow
Let’s navigate back to your profile (click on your username at the top left of the page), and then select the ‘GeekStuff’ tab.
The exact same stuff will appear on the left (your preferences, personal thingy, microbadge collection and userdetails/metadada). On the right, instead of summary statistics for your games collection, a new thing will appear:
GeekGold – The first chunk on the right hand side is a section called ‘GeekGold’ this is a closed internal currency within the Geek (i.e. you can’t buy it, nor sell it for real monies), which is awarded for engaging with the community, and can be used for all sortsa stuff (we’ll explain more in an article called badges)
You can transfer a user GG directly, it shows you how much you’ve collected, how much you’ve spent, and your current balance.
You’ll quickly find that when you want to professionalise your geek presence, you’ll need GG.
GeekBuddies – it’s like a friends list, I think?
GeekQuestions – I didn’t even know this existed until I started writing this, but it’s actually pretty fun! You just answer a bunch of questions that users have. No idea why but it killed 20 minutes of my time.
As I mentioned before, it’s really important for people on the Geek to know you as a person, not just a corporate identity, so the Interests tab is another way to do that.
Click the little pencil icon and add a bunch of things you’re interested in, from hobbies to favourite TV. Maybe someone will reach out to you because of a shared interest and you’ll make a game together. WHO KNOWS.
This tab summarises your contributions to the Geek community, through file submissions, likes, comments, games, everything really. It’s a good way to track what engagement you’re getting from other users on blog posts, board game pages and other bits and bobs.
There’s a bunch of stats here on your ratings n stuff, nothing that exciting
All of your blog post entries will appear here in order of newest first. To actually access the admin section of the blogs section you’ll need to navigate to My Geek on the top row, and select blogs.
A list of blogs you’ve created will appear along with a Create a Blog link. We’ll cover creating blogs in a later article
On the gallery tab you’ll see all of the images you’ve submitted to you personal account (pictures of you, images you’ve uploaded to your blogs, anything really). Click the upload image link to….upload an image
Once you’ve done that, you’ll get a screen like below. Click select files to open up your file explorer, select all the files you want to upload and then press ok/enter whatever. You’ll then see a list of the filenames as below, at which point you MUST add a caption.
Once you’ve got that sorted, click upload files. Wait for all the blue bars to get to the right hand side of the loading bar which will pop up, then exit out of it. Return to the gallery and they should be there.
The guilds tab lists all the BGG guilds you are a member of. These are kind of like Facebook Groups/affiliations, and don’t seem to serve a huge purpose on the site these days. It seems to be more of a signalling thing that something practically useful
- Intro – this is the one you’re reading…
- Your Personal Profile
- Your Publisher Page
- Your Game Page
- Images & User Submissions
- File Uploads
- Badges & Avatars
- Rich Content
- Game Families & Expansions
- Reviews & Previews
- Competitions & Awards
- The Hotness
- Selling Your Stuff
- Advertising on the Geek