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A new visual identity for Board Game Arena

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Dears players & dear friends,

Six years ago, the first version of Board Game Arena was released. It was something I developed for fun, during my spare time, just because there were technologies available to do it. I didn't care about producing a popular service, I didn't care about the design, I didn't care about many things, because I just wanted to show that it was possible to provide a simple service to discover board games online and promote our hobby.

I personally designed the BGA logo, which took me - maybe - 15 minutes, because it's a kind of requirement to have a logo, you know ... And after that, we never really give a damn to the general appearance of this service, or the coherence of design. We focused on making things efficient, even there were sometimes ugly. And most of you don't care about this, because there are good (and beautiful) games here.

However, players do care about the appearance, and this is why the modern board games are so beautiful. Game publishers now care a lot about the appearance of their games, and this contributes a lot to expand the audience of board games. For the same reasons, we decided to evolve, to make the appearance of BGA better and - to start - modify the visual identity of Board Game Arena.

By chance, we've been contacted by an extraordinary artistic director : Ian Parovel. Ian is a "Wonder maker", who worked both for the video game industry and the board games industry (Gosu, Colt Express, Deus, ...). Ian is also a BGA player, and tells us how much he was frustrated to see such a good service with a "suboptimal" appearance. We've been very excited when Ian accepted to work on the redesign of Board Game Arena and we'd like to thank him a lot for this!

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Today, you will see very little changes on the website : the most visible changes are the colors of the navigation bar and - of course - the logo. But this is really the tip of the iceberg : the redesign of BGA will be visible step by step in the next months, and the result will be a coherent design with the new colors and the new identity.

To know more about this new identity, we asked few questions to Ian Parovel (read the interview).
06/24/20161 comment

Puerto Rico: New buildings and The Nobles expansions

We are very happy to announce today not just one, but both expansions for the excellent Puerto Rico game by Andreas Seyfarth!

Puerto Rico is one of the first games that we had the pleasure to make available online on BGA. In five years, it has been played well over half a million times, by more than 55 000 different players: those numbers look quite awesome to us :)

With the "New buildings" expansion, you'll get twice the number of buildings available in the base game (!), and a new "forest" plantation type which can be selected during the settler phase (by players owning an occupied "forest house" building) to get extra cost reductions for buildings. All those new buildings and the old ones will be used at the start of the game to draft a selection of buildings that will be available during the game, allowing for a lot of combinations to make every game one of a kind! Also, if you like a quick setup, a "random" option is available, to automatically draft the building selection at the game start.

With the "Nobles" expansion, you'll get even more buildings to draft from, and a new type of colonist, the "noble". There will be only one noble coming to the new world by the colonist boat during each "Mayor" phase, and each noble recruited during the game will be worth 1 VP at the end. But that's not all, since multiple buildings of this expansion will have a different effect depending on being occupied by a simple colonist or by a noble, so you'll have to think carefully about how to get the best value from every building!

Both of these expansions are available in the "BGA premium catalog": everyone can join a table with one of these expansions activated, but only the BGA Club members can create a table with the expansions activated. Those tables will probably fill very quickly ;)

We would like to thank Alea Spiele / Ravensburger for allowing us to create an online adaptation of Puerto Rico five years ago in the first place, and for deciding this year to go further yet by trusting us with the adaptation of the expansions. They also provided us with the beautiful art of the last boxed edition of the game, so that we could refresh the look and feel of the game and allow for zooming with better resolution graphics! (We think it's great, but please note that if you are used to the previous artwork, you can switch back to the old style by using the "Game style" in-game preference).

We hope that you'll like the extra possibilities offered by these two expansions, and enjoy lots of new games developing your ideal island in the new world!
06/12/201619 comments

Coming this week on Board Game Arena...

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06/06/201678 comments

Logger and Four Color Cards (四色牌)

Since yesterday, BGA is happy to host two new games from the public domain:

Four Color Cards (四色牌 in Chinese) is a traditional Chinese game with a very distinctive set of narrow 4 colored cards wearing symbols derived from Xiangqi, the Chinese chess game (General, Advisor, Soldier and so on). To make the game easily accessible to Western players as well as Eastern players, both the traditional Chinese ideograms and Western symbols have been included for the cards (you can switch to your favorite set through an in game preference).

It's always interesting to discover a traditional game whose mechanics have gone through the filter of the years, especially when it's coming from a different culture. In Four Color Cards, each set of one color is an army and you'll try to meld the best combinations of cards from your hand with the last drawn or discarded card. Everyone decides at the same time what he wants to do with this card, and the strategist with the best meld (and position in case of a conflict) gets it! Waiting for the right card is key, but at some point you'll have to make your move or get left behind and face harder choices down the road...

As often with traditional games, there is not a unique set of rules, but instead a lot of regional variations revolving arount the same core. The BGA implementation uses one of the most widely played rule in Taiwan; please make sure to read the gamehelp to get acquainted with the correct rules :)

Four Color Cards has been developed using BGA Studio by xNedKx. A lot of thanks to him for allowing everyone to discover this game online!

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Logger is a game created by Erik Dresner for playing with the Icehouse pieces. If you get stressed sometimes by modern life and ever dreamt of downshifting to a lumberjack job in the northern forests of Canada, this game is for you! But don't be deceived by its apparent simplicity, things can get pretty heated up between loggers competing for the largest wood batch!

In Logger, you'll plant and chop trees. Easy? Well, of course first you'll have to wait for trees to grow. And those trees must be special, since they will need your attention to grow: only the trees in the line of sight of a logger (line or column) will grow, and mature trees will disperse seeds all around. Then when a tree is mature, it can be chopped for wood... if it's not protected by some protest, as some loggers are not above suggesting some environmentally inclined people to protest the cutting of trees... when that will hinder their opponents!

Thanks a lot to Erik Dresner for creating this nice game, and to marcgenesis who did a great job developing this game on BGA Studio! Thanks to them both, we'll get more of the wood we need for our real world board game pieces :)

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We enjoy the opportunity to release some less known games from time to time, and hope that you'll have fun discovering them!
05/21/20165 comments

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