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   Author  Topic: Where's the Boardgamegeek buzz?  (Read 3151 times)
akensond
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Where's the Boardgamegeek buzz?
« on: May 22nd, 2014, 11:45pm »
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Every now and then I go onto boardgamegeek to see how Arimaa is rating against the other abstracts and it is still stuck at 31 as of today.
 
Does anyone have any idea why flawed games like Hive, games of chance like The Duke, lightweights like Blokus and Hey, That's My Fish, out-rank Arimaa? I can understand Go, and maybe Tzaar and YinshHuh, but Kamisado?
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Fritzlein
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Re: Where's the Boardgamegeek buzz?
« Reply #1 on: May 23rd, 2014, 12:38am »
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I believe the fundamental problem is that people on BGG like to play many, many different games.  The more different games you play, the fewer times you can play each one.  Therefore ratings are based on, "How fun is this for about a dozen plays?"  On that metric, Quarto and Abalone are fantastic abstract strategy games, even though they are both completely unsuitable for championship play.  
 
In a related point, most BGG denizens aren't primarily abstract game players, so they don't rate an abstract game based on what makes an abstract game good.
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mistre
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Re: Where's the Boardgamegeek buzz?
« Reply #2 on: May 23rd, 2014, 9:45am »
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I agree with Fritzlein to some extent.  But then why is Go rated #1 and so popular on BGG then?
 
It is completely possible with greater exposure and more marketing, that Arimaa could move up the list and eventually hit the Top 5 where it deserves to be.
 
For what it is worth, of the current top 5 I have played Go and found it overly taxing and boring, Hive I felt lacked variety because there is only one way to win, and Ingenious has way too much luck for an abstract.
 
A good light abstract strategy game I have played recently is Qin.  Check it out if you haven't already.
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Arimabuff
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Re: Where's the Boardgamegeek buzz?
« Reply #3 on: May 23rd, 2014, 12:23pm »
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on May 23rd, 2014, 9:45am, mistre wrote:
...
It is completely possible with greater exposure and more marketing, that Arimaa could move up the list and eventually hit the Top 5 where it deserves to be...

I agree. If only we could get some Chess master interested in Arimaa, that could very well do the trick.
 
The problem is: How do you do that?
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Fritzlein
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Re: Where's the Boardgamegeek buzz?
« Reply #4 on: May 23rd, 2014, 5:39pm »
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on May 23rd, 2014, 12:23pm, Arimabuff wrote:
I agree. If only we could get some Chess master interested in Arimaa, that could very well do the trick.
 
The problem is: How do you do that?

Don't look now, but an IM has been hanging out in the chat room.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Zierk
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Arimabuff
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Re: Where's the Boardgamegeek buzz?
« Reply #5 on: May 24th, 2014, 9:50am »
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on May 23rd, 2014, 5:39pm, Fritzlein wrote:

Don't look now, but an IM has been hanging out in the chat room.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Zierk

Are we sure it's him and not someone pretending to be him?
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seveer
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Re: Where's the Boardgamegeek buzz?
« Reply #6 on: Nov 26th, 2014, 3:22pm »
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A bit off-topic, but could you briefly explain, or link me to, an explanation of why Hive is "flawed" as you say?  I haven't been able to find any analysis to this effect and I haven't noticed any major flaw in my admittedly limited experience with the game.
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Fritzlein
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Re: Where's the Boardgamegeek buzz?
« Reply #7 on: Nov 28th, 2014, 6:58pm »
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I haven't kept up with Hive developments, but I am aware of three potential problems:
 
1) The original rules were very susceptible to ties, i.e. both queens being simultaneously surrounded.  It looked like it was heading towards every game being tied if the players were good enough.  So they changed the rules.
 
2) With certain piece sets, there was a tendency towards infinite-move draws.
 
3) With certain piece sets, there was a tendency towards the first player having a large advantage.
 
If tendencies like (2) and (3) emerge early in a game's development, one suspects that the defect will become worse and worse as the players become more proficient.  For chess, the drawishness is not problematic at a low level, but it is a scourge at the highest levels.  Interestingly, though, the first-player advantage in chess doesn't appear to get worse as the players get better, so one can't really extrapolate that any present flaw in Hive will get worse over time.
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Nobodo
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Re: Where's the Boardgamegeek buzz?
« Reply #8 on: Dec 30th, 2014, 8:16am »
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on May 23rd, 2014, 12:23pm, Arimabuff wrote:

I agree. If only we could get some Chess master interested in Arimaa, that could very well do the trick.
 
The problem is: How do you do that?

 
The average rating for Arimaa is quite high (7.4 currently), which is around the top 10 or so for abstract games.  What drags it down to the 32 it currently holds is that the games are ordered by their 'geek rating'.   Geek rating lowers the average rating more severely for games with less reviews, but also other mysterious factors.  I think also the recency of ratings is a factor in the geek rating, as recent ratings of the gimpf games seem to have put them on top for now.  If there were more reviews and more frequent reviews for Arimaa, it would be higher in geek rating than it is.
 
If you look at chess,  it's average rating and geek rating are lower than Arimaa.  It seems that  the average BGG user is not any big fan of games that have the possibility of getting bogged down in thinking time.
 
If you look at comments on the lower scoring Arimaa reviews, they talk about things like...

    * Can't find people to play
    * I don't like chess so why would I like this?
    * game could look nicer
    * makes me think too much
    * not a fan of 2 player games

 
A category like 'Abstract games' covers a pretty huge territory, and seems to be ambiguously defined.
 
I have to wonder why games like chess and Arimaa are categorized as abstract games, but they are not also categorized as strategy games?  
 
You can even go to a listing of categories and see 'Abstract Strategy', but you certainly don't see any games there that I would think of as abstract strategy.
 
I read reviews, etc. on BGG fairly often, but I do have to say a lot of things about it don't make a lot of sense to me.
 
« Last Edit: Dec 30th, 2014, 8:19am by Nobodo » IP Logged
musketeerchess
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Re: Where's the Boardgamegeek buzz?
« Reply #9 on: Dec 6th, 2015, 9:09am »
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Hi
Arima is a very nice game.
The problem is having a standard to make the board game commercial.
 
In chess, there is the Staunton standard which is used from nearly 2 centuries. This standard still can permit having many many different chess sets. But the standard helps in recognizing the pieces easily and it also gave the basics for large diffusion and industrial production of chess pieces, whereas chess used to be really the game of kings because the chess sets where much expensive to produce (mostly they where unique sets). Thanks to Mr Staunton, chess became a widespread game.
 
I invented a chess variant called Musketeer Chess, it's a modern chess variant that makes the game more fascinating and thrilling. I also invented many new pieces that always respect the Staunton Standards. There are plenty of commercially available pieces among them: Elephant, Leopard, Hawk, Cannon, Archbishop, Chancellor.
 
More to come (mid 2016) Fortress, Spider, Dragon and Unicorn.
 
All these new pieces could serve as a basis for you to customize and design your own and unique Arima set.
 
see www.musketeerchess.com/2.html to take a look at the piece design and don't hesitate to profit from christmas to buy your best chess gift or offer a unique chess set to your beloved ones.
 
Best regards  
Zied
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hazmat
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Re: Where's the Boardgamegeek buzz?
« Reply #10 on: Dec 12th, 2015, 10:09am »
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I agree, the buzz has died down a lot. In fact I commented the other day on the chat as a person who just learned of this game, the website feels like wild party..10 minutes after it's over. The guests have mostly left and the host is cleaning up.
 
How would I move forward? Well let me start by saying I have zero game design experience, nor to I know Arimaa much above the beginner level. However I've got plenty of experience in marketing and building a brand, with that in mind here's what I would do if I were in charge.
 
I believe the game is great. I believe it stands on its own merits. More so now that the best bot has won it's time to embrace that. Chess has Fritz and Stockfish and it hasn't killed them. Why can't we have a solid pgn replay software and bot engine? I see no reason for the "bot challenge" victory to slow down the forward progression.
 
Next, getting forward momentum that is sustainable without infusions of capital is hard, but not impossible. My plan would be a website refresh. We don't have to make the site like "Chess.com" or Chessbase, but it does need a fresh look. While there is a capital outlay there it could be kept minimal. The up side to this is that new people visiting the site will be intrigued and prior casual visitors might take a second look as "what are they up to?" would creep into their heads.
 
The new website would be destination, however the next important step is to drive people to that destination. If it were up to me I would have a certain number of either very nice (or very portable) Arimaa sets produced. Each set would then be mailed, along with a hand written invitation to the most gregarious and approachable Chess players in the world. People that would both feel appreciation at receiving them, but also might take the time to play, learn the rules, remark at the game. I'd solicit feedback from them, with the full understanding it may not all be "positive" but will hopefully be constructive. I'd use this feedback with permission on the site to create more momentum. For example:
 
IM XYZ says "This is a remarkable game, when I'm not playing Chess I'm playing Arimaa."
 
Now I've hopefully sparked some initial interest, we'd have to keep the fire burning. It would be time to open up the object files and designs for he pieces to hopefully inspire some additional manufacturers. I'd look at setting up an annual "game review" board to determine if rules need to change or evolve over time (something Chess should be doing I believe).  
 
Then it would be time to continually engage the community. Games of the week, Tweets, Tips, Shirts, SWAG, etc. Heck, I'd try to get the game sold in zoo gift shops..  
 
I could go on and on. To be frank this might work, it might also make no change. That's the risk with any venture.  
 
Lastly, in thinking about it further, in order for it to thrive the endeavor needs to make money. It could be non-profit, but it does need to be self sustaining. I'd have to think further on all the potential sources of revenue, but you'd need enough to keep the long term effort viable.
 
Regardless it makes for interesting discussion.
 
Thanks!
 
hz
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deep_blue
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Re: Where's the Boardgamegeek buzz?
« Reply #11 on: Dec 13th, 2015, 1:47am »
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My thoughts on that:
1. New website: People are working on that (as can be seen here: http://arimaa.com/arimaa/forum/cgi/YaBB.cgi?board=siteIssues;action=disp lay;num=1430867420;start=
I also really hope in gets nice. Smiley
2. Bot analysis. I also suggested that already. Bots my not be strong enough to analyze strategic features accurately but for tactics it might help. I have hope that this might get implemented at some point in new website (kinda lichess-like).
3. Game of week etc. Interesting idea. IIRC there were "challenges" some years ago, like beat a bot with sacrificing all pieces except cat and rabbit (yes, that was done!). But I don't think there were any prizes for that. Fritzlein offered me 1000 Arimaa Points if I were to beat new Sharp on score thrice...
But something like best game or most spectacular game might surely be nice too so I like that idea, if we can somehow get the money for that... I wonder if more advertising might work. But I am not sure if we want that.
 
Maybe more to follow...
« Last Edit: Dec 13th, 2015, 1:48am by deep_blue » IP Logged
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