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Selamat Datang!

We have the pleasure to announce that Board Game Arena is now available in Malaysian: https://ms.boardgamearena.com

Congratulation to the translators who made this possible, and a big welcome to new Malaysian players :)

Thanks again to all contributors making BGA one of the few services available in so many languages! (now 33 languages available :o )
09/29/2016 Comment on this

Server capacity upgrade

Yesterday, we performed an important server capacity upgrade on Board Game Arena.

The service was okay up to ~1100 online playing players, but above this number it was getting slower and slower, with too many of "BGA mainsite does not respond" or "Server update in progress" or "Error with notification system".

For those who are interested by a little "behind the scene", here is the explanation about why it took so long before we react, what we've done and why it was difficult.

More servers = more capacity?

BGA is quite different from many other websites, because it's mostly based on "realtime" : you don't have to refresh your browser to see that someone created a table, or that your opponent has played.

The architecture needed to do this is way more complex than for a standard website. Basically, for a standard website, when you want to upgrade your service capacity, you just need to add more servers. More servers = more capacity. Seems pretty straightforward.

The realtime server

This is also partially true for BGA, and regularly we are adding more servers. But this is not the case for the "realtime" server, the one which allows you to receive changes in realtime from BGA. This is this famous "notification service" that sometimes gives you horrible red error messages.

So why can't we add more "realtime servers"?

Because everyone of you has to be connected to the same realtime server. Otherwise, when you are doing a move, your opponent won't be notified about it. So we are using a specific technology (NodeJs) that is allowing many many players to be connected at the same time to the same realtime server. And this is the situation from the beginning of BGA.

Weeks ago, as BGA was getting more are more audience, and the realtime server wasn't able to handle this at peak hours. This server was already the most powerful available server, so it become obvious that we reached the limit of the "classic" approach.

Grow and multiply

So here is what we've done : we splitted the realtime server in 4 realtime servers - which (theoretically) multiply the server realtime capacity by four.

To do this, we had to make sure that these 4 servers are synchronized, so if you and your opponent are connected to different servers, you can still play together. We had to rewrite 40-50% of the realtime server logic, which is not a "big" work but this is very sensitive one. Basically if something goes wrong here, it can break the whole service in seconds.

The day after

Today, the service seems stable, and most of the issues we found yesterday has been solved. However, we changed a lot of things in a small amount of time, so there may be some remaining issues.

If you found one of these issue, please report it in the bug system or as a comment on this post.

Note : if your issue has been reported months ago, this is probably not an issue related to the yesterday's operations.

Thank you everyone for making this service popular, and sorry about the impact of these - needed - changes on the service.

... and by the way, to immediately use our increased realtime capacity, we added a "X is writing something ..." feature on the chat :)
09/23/201612 comments

♥ Love Letter ♥

We are really happy to announce that Love Letter, a game by Seiji Kanai published by Alderac Entertainment Group, is now available on Board Game Arena!

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Yes, we love that game! It's easy to learn, fast to play, and addictively fun. It's also easy to pack, and great to introduce people to board games. Actually, a game of Love Letter has taken up residence in the suitcase of one of BGA admins, travelled to a lot of places and met a lot of people ;)

In Love Letter, you'll play a member of the royal court trying to seduce the most beautiful heart in the realm, the Princess! But you can't really meet her, you know, because of everything. So all you've got is ink, feather, paper, your literary talent and some ingenuity to get her your letters full of flame and passion through intermediaries of various ranks at court. But of course, anything can happen and get your letter lost in a duel, discarded by negligence, or blocked by a guard, if you do not benefit from the benevolent help of a handmaid. So you will have to choose carefully who to trust, and hope for the best that your letter may find its way to the closest person to the Princess, so that she reads your letter first - if you haven't been able to intrigue to block all the letters of other lovestruck noblemen!

Love Letter comes from Japan and was quite a novelty at the time of its release, coming to define a new class of minimalistic games. At the start of the game, you get one card, then on your turn, you draw another from the deck, and you chose which one to play. Simple, right? Yes, but... speculation comes into play. Each step of the way, you'll try to guess - by probability and intuition - in the hands of which of 8 possible characters the letters of your opponents are currently held, in order to disturb their plans and protect yours. And sometimes you'll be awesomely right... or mightily wrong ;) Then in any case, as the rounds are really quick, you'll be eager for the next one!

For those who do not know how to play, we recommend the fun & excellent Tabletop episode with Will Wheaton, or the (quickest) video from The Dice Tower.

We'd like to thank Alderac Entertainment Group for trusting us to adapt Love Letter online. Love Letter is joining BGA as our 5th "premium catalog" game (counting expansions). This means that only BGA club members can create new tables, but as always, anyone can join! So, if you want to spread some love... ♥ join BGA ♥

We hope that you'll love that game as much as we do! Now if you'll excuse me, I have a letter to write...
09/14/20167 comments

Soon on Board Game Arena

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09/06/201643 comments

Madeira

This week-end we have the pleasure to announce that Madeira, a game from Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade, is now available on Board Game Arena!

True to its name, Madeira is all about the warm island southwest of Portugal that would be quite a dream destination for the summer holidays. The game focuses on its rich history as a territorial discovery that was key to the development of the Portuguese Empire, and will allow you to live through the 3 main economic periods of the island, leading from the culture of wheat to sugar and finally to the famous Madeira wine that still makes the renown of the island today.

Madeira is a complex game of workers and ships placement, in which you'll try to juggle constraints and to find the right timing to develop in each of the 3 regions of the island, the 3 main cities, but also colonies and markets, while using the powers of the characters administering the island and courting the favours of the guilds. But of course, true prestige doesn't lie in those simple administrative tasks, and to really show your greatness you'll need to fulfill the requests from the Crown to the best of your ability. Using pirates to get to your goals is a useful possibility since they were not scarce at the time, but beware, getting too far in that direction can severely compromise your reputation!

As you can see from this short description, there is a wealth of possibilities to explore in the game, that makes every move an exciting "allright, what shall I do now?" We advise you to use well the quiet of an August month, be it at home while everyone is away, or away at some leisurely location, to discover the rules at your own pace, and read twice the "rules you may forget" section ;)

We would like to give a lot of thanks to the publisher What's your game? for giving us the authorization to create an online adaptation of Madeira, to the authors Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade for creating this great game, and to Elena Laskavaia (Victoria_La on BGA) who did all the hard developer work: a game of this complexity is always a challenge and she did an amazing work (especially considering that it was her first project on BGA studio). Kudos!

We hope that you'll have a great time and a lot of fun playing Madeira!
08/07/201619 comments

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