In the immortal words of my secondary school contemporaries (and some of my less agriculturally-orientated peers at Oxford who liked to appropriate aspects of working class culture):
Here we, here we, here we fucking go.
We’re diving into the most important part now, the game page.
So buckle up and get a good grasp on your meeples.
It’s gonna be a soul destroying odyssey.
STEP 1: MAKE THE GAME PAGE
Firs toff you’ll need to navigate back to that Misc tab at the top of the page, and select the ‘Board Game’ link under the ‘Add to Database’ section.
You’ll now get this absolute clusterfuck of a form to fill in. Fear not, though, for I shall be your guide.
I’ll go through each entry in order top to bottom and explain what all this means.
Ok let’s get stuck in:
Primary Name – this is the name that will appear as a link on pretty much everything, everywhere across the site, don’t make it weird. If you’ve got a subtitle to your game, it’s probably not necessary unless it could be confused with others (do a search before you make any commitments to names PLEAAAASE). You can actually add alternate names later on.
Description – as it says on the help text below this whalloping great text box, you’ll need to explain what the theme of the game is, how the game works, and what you’re doing in that game and why. DO NOT PUT LINKS HERE. Make sure this is actually an overview of the game and not a back of the box blurb, the admins will refuse.
Year Published – this is effectively meaningless these days but probably when you funded (or you reckon you will) your Kickstarter, or alternatively when you got your hands on a copy.
Min/Max Players – what it says on the tin. Don’t stretch this, people will gut you on the forums. None of this *technically you could play it with 27 players* if it’s not intended to be, don’t put it down.
Minimum Age – this is a weird one, but essentially a combination of age appropriateness (if you want to be a moralising bastard) and intellectual capacity required to engage with the game. Honestly I don’t think this is particularly useful, as I’ve seen 12 year olds thrash their parents at heavy euros in spite of the 14+ age rating. FYI, most games are 14+ because you don’t have to have factory testing in the EU at that point (13+ in the US), which is a great money saver.
Min-Max Playing Time – if you’ve bothered to run statistical analysis on your playtest data (which realistically, you should if it’s heavier than a lightweight strategy), then you should be looking for something like (mean-standarddeviation > mean+standarddeviation) – in regular speak, ‘most of the time it takes between this and this’.
Category – you’ll get this whacking great thing when you click ‘add category’. Click on the ones that you think apply (again, don’t stretch it) then click add category again to add another. Use the little red stop icon on each entry to remove it if you change your mind or you click wrong.
|Abstract Strategy||Action / Dexterity||Adventure|
|Age of Reason||American Civil War||American Indian Wars|
|American Revolutionary War||American West||Ancient|
|Animals||Arabian||Aviation / Flight|
|Children’s Game||City Building||Civil War|
|Civilization||Collectible Components||Comic Book / Strip|
|Expansion for Base-game||Exploration||Fan Expansion|
|Industry / Manufacturing||Korean War||Mafia|
|Math||Mature / Adult||Maze|
|Miniatures||Modern Warfare||Movies / TV / Radio theme|
|Pike and Shot||Pirates||Political|
|Post-Napoleonic||Prehistoric||Print & Play|
|Space Exploration||Spies/Secret Agents||Sports|
|Travel||Trivia||Video Game Theme|
|Vietnam War||Wargame||Word Game|
|World War I||World War II||Zombies|
Mechanism – these are the abstract functional aspects of your game. Things like how do you deal with conflict, resources, movement of items etc. If you don’t know what ALL of these are you should. It’s game design 101. Your first ‘port of call’ is the BGG mechanics page: https://boardgamegeek.com/browse/boardgamemechanic where you’ll find links to entries for each mechanic/mechanism it recognises, with the description section on each giving you an idea of what it is. When I get round to it I’ll probably do a single article with all of them in one place.
Make sure that you really understand what the mechanics in your game are, and under what banner in the list below the fit in. If they don’t quite – chances are you don’t really understand the whole list, but on the off chance you’ve come up with something novel, explain that in the game’s description section so people don’t get confused.
Players often use the ‘headline’ mechanics of a game to make quick judgements about whether they want that game in their collection, much in the same way games will use theme, price, size of box etc as signals to indicate the likelihood that the game will provide them enjoyment for their money.
As an aside, people making economic choices rarely have all the information they need, so resort to ‘rules of thumb’, or heuristics, which they fall back on as reliable but not perfect ways of reasoning when you’ve not got much time, or you’ve got better things to do. This is key to understanding how to engage your audience, and work out who they are
I’m pretty sure there’s a…mechanism for adding a new entry to the list, but I would imagine it involves sacrificing your first born and finding a particular shrub in the wilderness.
Family – This is for product families (so associated but not mechanically connected games/expansions, i.e. Ticket to Ride and Ticket to Ride: The Card Game)
Expands – wot it sez on tin. Add in an entry here to say that this new baord game is an expansion of the one you’re linking here.
Integrates with – this is for standalones, think Smallword Underground, Evolution: Climate, etc
Contains – used for collections/collector’s editions etc, where this new item has a bunch of distinct existing items within it
Reimplements – if this is basically a rehash of an existing game, add the existing game here. (this is a way of avoiding duplication of pages)
People – For this section it’s worth noting that you have to first add people to the database to log them as a designer/artist etc, which we’ll cover in the article on credits. Once that’s done you can just type their name in as if they were a board game/publisher etc, works the same way
Designer – this is the person that ‘designed’ the game, i.e. not the person who did the graphic design, but the person who put together the mechanical aspects of the game (and probably also the thematic bits too)
Artist – the graphic designer, the illustrator, whatever. Whoever had a paintbrush.
Publisher – now you’ve got your publisher page up and running, you should be able to just type the publisher label name in and select it to affiliate this game with the publishing label! Success!
Version Nickname – no idea why this exists, but something like ‘First Edition’ ‘Kickstarter Edition’ ‘Special Fancy Edition’ etc.
Version Publisher – because games’ licenses can be bought and sold in the wider market between publishers, you need to ensure that the system knows you published this version of the game, as well as credit your label as the ‘original’ publisher in the section above. This could also be due to the fact that multiple publishers publish this game, maybe in different regions.
Version Artist – similarly to above, different editions sometimes have new artists (i.e. Brazilian Coup)
Year Published – for this particular version, rather than the ‘original’, obviously if you’re about to be doing a KS, it’s the same one.
Product Code – in case you have grand ambitions, really not necessary or smaller publishers, unless you want to go pro on your spreadsheet game
Dimensions – because geeks on the Geek are mad on data, you’ve got to put in the dimensions of the version of the game you’re entering. You can choose presets based on popular titles, or enter the details manually in metric or imperial (if you still live in the 18th century), or if this is a print and play/bag game/you can’t be arsed, you can select N/A
Weight – if you can be arsed, enter the weight here.
Languages – this is super important, particularly if you’re marketing your game as language independent (at which point you’ll enter all the languages where rulebooks are available either printed or downloadables), or is available in different language editions on the same ‘parent’ edition. DO NOT underestimate the power of non-English-speaking geeks. There are many of them!
Release Date – if you have a specific release date (hint: you probably don’t) , then this section is for info regarding that. Either put in a specific date, or more easily, just specify a ‘quarter’ of the year – i.e. Q1 2017 for the first 3 months of 2017.
Release Comment – no idea what this is for
Release Status/Preorder Type – there are two drop downs here, one that says either unreleased or released, then one that determines the method of launch (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Publisher direct preorder or other)
Preorder URL – whack in your Kickstarter ‘preview’ link here, and define the preorder dates below as the campaign dates (once you know them), so that your KS link will automagically appear all over the Geek. Fun fact: the preview link on your Kickstarter page directs to your live KS campaign page once you’ve launched! Handy right?
Notes to Admin – for extra points
Now click the save button and whack on netflix for a few days and wait.
STEP 2: POPULATE THE PAGE
Ok, so now you’ve got a teeny notification on your envelope icon, which when you open says something like ‘your submission has been approved’. Click on the message, then there should be a link to your new game. If not, they’ll probably have a go about something you did wrong and tell you what to fix. If the link ain’t there – just search for it in the search bar as normal.
Now the laborious, yet satisfying, process of populating your page with cool stuff begins.
First thing you’ll probably want to do is add a bunch of pictures to brighten up and brand your game’s page. Bear in mind that ANYONE can add a pic subject to admin approval, but this is a good thing! You want to encourage people to add pics of their set ups, fun game moments, etc.
You’ll notice that the game pages look pretty different from the rest of the site. Everything is still there, it’s just in a different place. Magically though, it’s easier to find!
The top of each game page looks like this:
All that data you put in when you submitted will now be here, along with a bunch of other faff. We’ll come to some of the ratings and stuff in a sec. For now you’ll see that there’s a row menu under the first strip of stuff with Overview (the default), ratings, forums, images etc.
These tabs change the content of the main section of the page while keeping the top strip there.
Go ahead and click on Images and get uploading as normal by clicking the blue ‘upload’ button on the right hand side.
When you do, you’ll be prompted to describe each image as one of: ‘Game’, ‘Creative’, or ‘People’
Game is for closeup of components, pictures of the box irl, etc
Creative is for graphics of game art, box art etc
People is for pictures of people playing your game, or maybe a pic of the game designer, etc
Once you’ve finished up – navigate back to the images tab and after a day or so you should see your images appear. Each of them will have a little thumb and message icon, for number of likes and comments respectively. They’ll also have a little triple dot icon, which when you press says ‘propose representative’ – selecting this option tells the admins you want it to be the main image for the game!
This works vaguely similarly, with you filling in some info, submitting it, then it magically appears when a BGG admin gets to it and approves it.
When you access the videos tab, there’s an ‘add’ blue button on the right hand side. CLICK IT.
The input page for this one looks a little different.
First off you get asked to select where your video is hosted – either YouTube or Vimeo (note: you can’t actually upload a video to BGG, only embed from elsewhere – for uploading to Youtube, see elsewhere on the interwebz). Then you’ll add the ID number of that video – that’s the number in the URL of that video, here’s a screenshot with the ID part of the URL of this video highlighted (it’s the bit after the = ):
Next type in a title and select a category, language, and whack in a description of what the video is. Note that you can ‘insert a Geeklink’ – this is where you add in a link to another part of the Geek to a specific ‘item’, whether that’s a game, designer, publisher, mechanic, video, image etc.
Make sure you check the ‘subscribe’ button at the bottom of the page to ensure that you get notifications from comments. It’s worth noting that the system won’t let you know about things you upload or edit by default (because anyone can do that, so it doesn’t give you any special status as a publisher, BGG doesn’t really distinguish between you and a random user).
Now it’s time to spam your page with your opinions!
STEP 3: FANRAGE YOUR PAGE
BGG game pages have a LOT of data on them, which discerning gamers like to use to get a sense of how the game plays, what other gamers think of it, how much they can buy it for, whether it’s a long’n or a quick filler, pretty much everything you’d want to know.
BGG has a lot of specific ratings systems (as well as just a general rating for each game) and you will get mercilessly trolled by some BGG users before you’ve even had a chance to rate it yourself, so you gotta make sure you give it a good general rating and honest, reasonable other ratings to start the page off.
There is a certain Swedish user who notoriously gives games a 1, if they troll you, wear it as a badge of honour. Only the best get trolled by this guy. Wear it with pride. You made it.
So the ratings that most people will interact with are displayed on the top banner section of the game page. The first one, in the big hex just to the left of the title and to the right of the ‘representative image’, is the game’s general rating, which is an average of user ratings given by BGG users. Your personal rating is given in the stars below (they will be grey if you’ve not rated it). To rate, just click on the rightmost star to give your game a 10.
Under the bit where it says the number of ratings/comments, there are 4 sections:
- Number of Players – you’ve set this already but the community can say what they think on this (which is why I said don’t stretch it beyond what it genuinely is – you want the community to confirm you not argue with you), plus what the best number of players is to play the game. You can access this and rate it yourself by clicking the little link that says Community: blah blah blah
- Playing Time – This is fixed by you!
- Age Rating – Similarly to number of players, there’s what you’ve said, and what users think. Click the little link again to rate.
- Weight – This is a weird variable that kind of means how complicated it is to understand, and how complex the game is, and because one is a *kind of* bad quality and the other is a *kind of* good quality and they’re both covered by the same variable, it’s pretty unhelpful in general, though it does give a general sense of how ‘chunky’ the game is. Worth researching games whose audience you’re targeting at and rate accordingly.
Under the ratings stars bar, there are a couple of tabs:
- Add to Collection – click this to add it to your collection (you can also use this to add a game to your wishlist or other collection sub-lists)
- Log Play – register that you’ve played a game with play time, number of players, tag in other BGG users who’ve played with you and more. I would absolutely recommend doing this EVERY time you play your game, even if you do it retrospectively.
- <3 – This is the ‘fan’ button. Click it to become a ‘fan’ of your own game.
Subscribe – subscribe yourself to the game page, if stuff changes as a result of other users’ edits, you’ll know right away through the notifications envelope at the top left of the BGG page. You can block or edit your subscription to a game page by clicking the little arrow by the Subscribe button and selecting the appropriate option from the drop down menu that appears.
STEP 4: UPLOAD STUFF
At this point, you’ve got a game page, with some images, some videos, some ratings, a description etc. But honestly it’s not that useful to many ‘proper’ BGG users, the kinds of people you’ll get on Kickstarter backing your project or spamming Reddit with excited threads about the game.
What you’ll need is some files!
BGG users absolutely love it when publishers/designers upload free things for them, I mean, why wouldn’t they?
What kind of files would be uploaded?
- Print and Play versions of your game
- Additional Score Sheets/Consumables
- Instructions for Campaign/Tournament Play
- How-to Guides for Educators
- Translated Rule Sets
- Translated Player Boards/Crib Sheets/Reminder Cards
- Explainer Sheets for Board Game Cafes/Game Stores
- Alternate Maps/Boards
- Other fun things
So, to upload a file, navigate to the ‘files’ tab on the game page (underlined in orange above on the game page tab row), then click the blue ‘upload’ button on the far right hand side (much like the images/videos page etc).
Filename – just click the choose file button and navigate to your file, then select it. The filename will appear where there is currently ‘no file chosen’ written to the right of the button.
Title – obvious…
Language – if your file is written in a particular language (like a translated rulebook for example), you’ll need to add that here. You can select blank if that’s not relevant.
Description – add one that actually describes what the thing is. This is not a caption. It’s a description. DESCRIBE it. (I’m saving you time and admin pain, honest)
Click the subscribe to this file button to get updates, select the ‘My file is consistent etc’ button, then scroll down and select either of:
I own all necessary rights for this file and authorize Geekdo to use this file under the Terms of
I have received all necessary licenses, consents, and permissions to use and authorize Geekdo to use this file under the Terms of Service.
Add a note to the admin if you fancy, then click submit!
That’s it, you’re done! You now have (provided you don’t receive the hatred of admins) a fully fledged Game Page for your game on BGG!