I have some exciting news for you today 😊. But before I tell you, a bit of a back story (or skip to the end if you don't care about that).
I don't know if you know this already, but I'm a huge fan of board games. I love the playfulness of it, the social aspect and (with certain groups) the competitiveness/challenge of the games. And during the lockdown one of the things I miss the most is meeting my friends and playing board games.
And one of the things that is inherently related to the hobby of board gaming is inviting and hosting guests, or how people often like to put it: organizing board game nights. Sure, you could already have people over and just bring out some games, but in my experience that's not the same thing. I prefer inviting people specifically to play board games. It turns out that's usually the first step of playing board games: inviting people over. So how do I go about that?
The common options are:
- Create a Facebook event
- Group chats (Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, etc.)
And what I realized is that I don't particularly like any of those. There's a lot I could say about that, but to keep it short:
- Facebook: a lot of people either don't have it or don't want to use it. Neither do I.
- Group chats: can work great, especially for existing gaming groups, but there's a lot of back and forth and a lot of noise which makes it easy to miss important information. It can also be tricky finding an app that all the invitees already have installed.
- Text: works great if you're inviting 1-2 people. If it's more than that it can be really annoying.
- Email: this is a great option, but people can be really slow to respond. Probably because they want to write a thoughtful reply and that takes them time.
- Call: who even calls their friends these days?? 😅 Joking aside, this is probably one of my favorite options, except it becomes a lot of work if you're inviting more than 2 people.
After realizing this, I searched the internet for a solution I would like. There are so many cool features that an app for organizing board game nights could have, and I couldn't find a single app that I would even remotely enjoy. There were 1 or 2 that looked really promising, but they either didn't work, or the design/UX was too awful.
So I started thinking about creating something myself. Which brings me to my announcement 😊
I'm building a web app for better and easier organizing of board game nights called Let's Play Board Games.
The app is still under active development. I'm almost done with the prototype which I'll then be testing to make sure the UX is on point. I hope to share some screenshots with you soon!
What I can share for now are my priorities for this project:
- Create a product that I would personally love using
- Really good user experience (both for host and guests)
- Doesn't require guests to sign up in order to use it (and their experience isn't diminished if they aren't signed up)
- Beautiful design
- Privacy and security. Not yet another software to track and collect data.
Some of the features of the app that I'm excited about:
- BoardGameGeek integration
- Guests can vote on the date/time of the event
- Guests can vote on the games that will be played
- Host can limit the number of people they can comfortably host
- Host can provide a checklist of things that people can bring
- Create board gaming groups
- and many more...
There's a lot more, but all I'll say for now is that I'm genuinely excited about this and after doing a bunch of user research and interviews, I think you will be too.
If you want to follow my progress and be updated the moment this is released, visit the page and sign up to the mailing list and/or follow Let's Play Board Games on Twitter.