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thegiantbrain
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Union Station Board Game Review

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Undaunted: Normandy Review

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IMPORTANT SITE NOTICE - The END TIMES are here!

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29 Apr 2018 16:00 #272198 by Count Orlok
I'm on board with all these changes. Will there be a site redesign, or is it just a change of name and attitude?

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29 Apr 2018 16:26 - 29 Apr 2018 19:08 #272200 by ubarose

Count Orlok wrote: I'm on board with all these changes. Will there be a site redesign, or is it just a change of name and attitude?


Just a change of name and approach. The changes to the site will be small. Fixing some broken stuff, tweaking the taxonomy, minor changes to the top banner. For people who arrive here via a bookmark directly to Trash Talk, you probably won't notice a thing.
Last edit: 29 Apr 2018 19:08 by ubarose.
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29 Apr 2018 16:34 #272201 by southernman

ubarose wrote: ... For people who have arrive here via a book mark directly to Trash Talk, you probably won't notice a thing.


So I'm not the only one then ... :-}
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29 Apr 2018 18:05 #272207 by Black Barney
I haven’t seen the front page in years :(
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29 Apr 2018 19:04 - 29 Apr 2018 19:10 #272212 by ubarose

Southernman wrote:

ubarose wrote: ... For people who have arrive here via a book mark directly to Trash Talk, you probably won't notice a thing.


So I'm not the only one then ... :-}


Nope. Google analytics tells me there are about 100 - 200 of you. Usually around 130 on any given weekday. There are 400 - 500 who come in directly (bookmark or type in the URL) to the front page. I figure both those segments are regulars and know their way around. I'm most interested in the largest group who land in the middle of the site, on a specific article page. These readers are typically coming in via a search or a link and don't know their way around. They probably don't even know or care what website they are coming to. They just want to read the article or review that caught their eye. That article page is their defacto front page. Therefore, those are the pages I want to have impact - make the search and user registration more accessible. Have other articles displayed for them to browse. Let them see the discussion that is happening around those articles. Therefore, one of the changes I am considering is possibly changing the discussion module to show more of our article discussions, even if they are older and inactive, rather than all our trash talk.
Last edit: 29 Apr 2018 19:10 by ubarose.
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29 Apr 2018 21:57 #272224 by Nagajur
What the actual fuck, Miniature Market.
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30 Apr 2018 11:04 #272255 by xthexlo
There is a methodology in decision analysis called multi-criteria decision modeling (MCDM). It basically utilizes weighting and scaling to rank alternatives based on a well-defined set of characteristics (attributes) and preferences. Characteristics may be physical, operational, etc. and scores may be qualitative or quantitative, natural or constructed. An application to games would be a well-defined set of attributes (e.g., replayability, strength of theme, level of deck building, role of area control, number of players, etc.) with corresponding measurement scales (e.g., yes/no; high/med/low; 1 through 5; etc.). Once the measures are normalized to a common scale and relative trade-off weights are assessed and assigned (preferences), one would obtain a relative ranking of the games under consideration.

The difficulty lies in obtaining a common set of normalizations and weights. Because people have different preferences, two people’s valuation functions and weighting schemes rarely align. However, one thing this community could offer is a comprehensive set of well-defined and categorized attributes and suggestions for measurement systems. For example, “number of players required” or “optimal number of players” are pretty obvious and could be measured in integers. (Note here that some players would see a value increase with more players and some people would see a value decrease with more players.) An example of an attribute different than those typically considered (and one that would be beneficial for the games I design) would be a yes or no for “Require the right group to fully enjoy.”

I believe that a well-define and categorized set of attributes coupled with an attendant set of measures could prove quite useful in two ways. First, it would provide for a common lexicon for our ongoing discussions. Second, it could help us (and our readers) think more clearly about what interests them in a game so they can better research before they purchase. The F:AT contributors are, in my opinion, exquisitely suited to develop and curate such a set.

Generating a set of attributes and measures also paves the way for quantitative evaluations of games later on, should we find that desirable. For example, Barnes might offer a certain ranking of dungeon crawlers given his own set of valuations and weights (e.g., increasing the number of die rolls per turn offers diminishing value; theme is weighted twice as highly as play time, etc.). Nate could offer another view based on his preferences. Charlie a third. Readers would be able to think about their own preferences and then see how they align with the reviewer’s.

I’m not saying we do this right out of the gate — maybe not at all. But as long as we are thinking about TWBG differentiation, I wanted to throw these concepts into the ring.
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30 Apr 2018 11:05 #272256 by SuperflyPete
All I know is that my status as an industry insider just vanished.

And Pete wept

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30 Apr 2018 11:27 #272261 by Jexik
I love this idea! Looking forward to the new site. Maybe I'll write a monthly article once I get out from under the massive amount of things that are crushing me. One article a month should be doable, right?
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30 Apr 2018 11:33 #272263 by SuperflyPete
With regard to differentiation, that’s what concerns me the most. How this endeavor can create a niche in what is the arguably most saturated information space in retail? What makes this anything beyond Opinionated Gamers: FORTRESS EDITION?

This is something I don’t think is answerable by “famous reviewers doing independent reviews” becuase it’s been done and is being done.

I shit you not. I do exactly this for a living, and I have studied “gaming marketing” more than any other industry, including my own.

Here’s my ideas:

1. Monthly contests/Targeted Advertising
The site needs to attract patron publishers, Kickstarters, etc and give shit away. I’d like to see something with game trivia but not like BGG does. Something unrelated to the game. Something that masquerades as “questionnaire-pro-quo” but that creates a vertical database of people whose email addresses can be used to develop targeted marketing. The writers tag the articles with key identifiers and people who responded that they like those identifiers get emailed automatically when an article that hits those interest points is published. This can also be used to help increase ad rates by showing evidence of better targeting.

2. Webshows.
There is nothing I find more boring than Tabletop or “battle reports” but I’m from a different era, I guess. If we hosted branded web shows that were ACTUALLY entertaining, on their own merits, that would be a big draw. There’s massive intetsectionalities between gaming and popular culture and becoming something “new” that hits lots of markets would be a good way to draw new people.

- Patrick’s live video Five Minute Reviews
—> With a Richard Simmons wig
- Barnestorming Live
—> A show featuring Barnes talking shit about the industry’s failings
- Booze, Boardgames, and Babes
—> Me, wife, and her hot friends showing games you can play drunk, plus a drink recipe or review every week
- Sag’s Moments in History
--> John talking about moments of historical importance, history.
- Jackersiths Game-a-tics
—> Jack talking about politics in a neutral, unbiased setting from the perspective of one who has been involved.
- From The Sanctum of the True Believers
—> Tabletop: Shellie/Al/Jeff/Josh/Mike edition. Bonus points if Loter appears.

This site is and has always been a sea of untapped talent. I could definitely see this becoming something that could not only thrive, but get Shellie in a position to stop working her day job and make enough to run a multi-disciplinary media site.

3. Partnerships
We should have links to game stores who advertise as part of the advert package. If a review has a game sold in stores, then push a link to the store that sponsors that review. Once it’s running a while you can push ad rates up by using analytics to be able to show view-to-click correlation. As part of the agreement with the vendor, they have to notify you when a sale is directly caused by the review. This could be wrapped up in point 1 - targeted advertising.

4. Kickstarter/ Game design
- There should be an area of the site dedicated to game design. We always bitch about how easily fools and their treasure are parted but we don’t do much to help people make better games. We have at least six successful game designers who post regularly here...why not try to get Avery (the king of self promotion, and I mean that as a compliment) to help capture the sea of aspiring designers as members and advocates for the site?

To me, the failure of F:AT has always been the inability to attract new members. We don’t advertise. We don’t proselytize much. We don’t make any more than a modicum of effort to capitalize on the fact that the site has helped a lot of people get “gamerfamous”. We should start recognizing this and use it to attract people.

I have more but I haven’t received my retainer as a marketing consultant yet. ;)
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30 Apr 2018 13:51 - 30 Apr 2018 14:05 #272286 by Black Barney
i'm so sad that movie reviews aren't even accessible anymore via the front page. But I get it, it's a transformation and refocus on what's important and what this site is supposed to be about. So it's ok. I'm just sad :O(

also this is Pete's best idea i've ever seen:

- Booze, Boardgames, and Babes
—> Me, wife, and her hot friends showing games you can play drunk, plus a drink recipe or review every week

Last edit: 30 Apr 2018 14:05 by Black Barney.

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30 Apr 2018 13:58 #272289 by Not Sure

Black Barney wrote: i'm so sad that movie reviews aren't even accessible anymore via the front page. But I get it, it's a transformation and refocus on what's important and what this site is supposed to be about. So it's ok. I'm just sad :O(


If you'd learn to take a hint...




But really, scroll down. According to the front page, you're the entire "Culture" section. I'm not sure what that says about us in general, but there it is.
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30 Apr 2018 14:04 #272290 by xthexlo
Is that culture as in “manifestations of human achievement” or as in “bacteria grown in a dish”?
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30 Apr 2018 14:08 #272291 by Black Barney
lol, i can't believe I didn't scroll down. I wonder if I'm the average guest when it comes to that, i don't think i ever scroll down anymore on webpages other than forums. I assume everything I'm supposed to see is right there in front of me. I'm super happy being the bottom of the front page, totally fits. And that section will fill up as we get more reviews of books and awesome podcasts. That culture section will be a fun off-shoot of the main gaming section(s).

thanks Not Sure :)

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30 Apr 2018 14:40 #272297 by southernman

Black Barney wrote: lol, i can't believe I didn't scroll down. I wonder if I'm the average guest when it comes to that, i don't think i ever scroll down anymore on webpages other than forums. I assume everything I'm supposed to see is right there in front of me.


I'm not a massive website traveler these days but it does seem a 'long' front page and, without looking at the scroll bar on the side, I actually thought it ended after all the games news frames.
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