Friday, February 20, 2015

There's an app for that - Board Game Stats by Eerko Vissering

And now it's time for something completely different...

I've been trying to stay off of BGG lately.  No, I'm not tired of games.  I'm tired of wanting to buy everything.  Keeping myself away eases some of that burden.  Plus, I find myself poring over the endless content looking at all the fun things I'll never play and pining for an opportunity to do so.  It's a bit like being on a diet.  You just don't go to the all-you-can-eat buffet and eat a salad, right? There's one big problem in keeping me from BGG.

I'm a die-hard play logger. I log every game I play. I don't know exactly why I started doing this, but somewhere along the way it became incredibly important to me. BGG provides a really good interface for this which is awesome when you're in front of a computer or tablet. Unfortunately, neither my tablet nor my laptop fit in my pocket. My iPhone does, however. In the past, I've used the Notes app to jot down what I played. That's great, except I eventually have to go on BGG and log it. It's just more of a pain than I wanted. What I wanted was something easy. Some way to do that in one step. What I wanted was Board game Stats.

Eerko Vissering created an app that's almost perfect. For starters, you can link your BGG account to the app. This will allow you to log your plays directly into BGG with just one click of the BGG button. This means that even if you lose your app due to a phone issue, your plays are recorded on there permanently. You can add an unlimited amount of other players and also add their BGG usernames. The app will record stats for every player and provides excellent data such as win percentage and scores. I never used to record who I played with or what the scores were on BGG, but I certainly do on here. You can also record roles for each game so I can keep track of which wrestler is doing best in my plays of Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice.  It takes my statistical OCD to new levels.

The app also stores games. The first time you a record a game you need to set it up. You can link it to BGG and pull down the representative image and even go directly to the game's page directly. This makes it incredibly easy to add repeated plays.

Syncing your plays to BGG is incredibly easy. Once you've saved your play, you just tap the small BGG button and it uploads right away. I have BGG set to post to Twitter for me which doesn't get triggered by this. That's one knock against it for those of us that like to brag about what we play.

If you are worried about losing your history, there are two pieces of good news. The first is that the app syncs your plays to BGG as mentioned previously.  Even better, it has an export feature so you can get all your data back should you need to switch phones for any reason.  You can even open the data in Excel (or whatever spreadsheet program you use) and play with the data there.

The designer, Eerko Vissering (username Caesar! on BGG) created a press release post to announce the game. It's sort of turned into the thread for information about the app or to post questions and suggestions. Eerko regularly responds and is quick to offer suggestions or helpful hints. He's also compiling a wishlist of features via this thread so make sure you tell him what you want.

If you are an avid play logger then you need this app.  It makes it incredibly easy to log your plays on the go.  Since most of us have our phones at the table with us, you can now log your play faster than ever.  You can get this awesome app for a scant 99 cents in the iTunes store.  It's one heck of a deal at that price and is bound to keep getting better thanks to the developer's awesome efforts.

The bad news is that it's iOS only so you Droid users are out of luck for now.

1 comment :

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