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New lobby update (Sept 17th)

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5 days ago, we published a new lobby for Board Game Arena. Thanks to your feedback, more than 10 updates have been made since then, with many improvements compared to the initial version.

If you didn't read the first news, we recommend you to read it before this one.

We received A LOT of feedback on the new lobby. Board Game Arena is now a huge website, with a much larger audience than before, and it is REALLY hard to satisfy everyone. So we've not been surprised by the volume of the feedback. And of course as it was new, many of you have been at first disoriented by the new interface. As a consequence you played less on BGA during the 2 first days (-5% to -10%).

But the good news is: we made it! Thanks to your patience, your feedback and our updates, the number of players, tables, games played, waiting time is now back to normal. Yesterday, 21.290 games have been played on BGA, which is a very common number for a Monday. Some others statistics are encouraging:
  • The average waiting time before starting a game has dropped by 3%.
  • The % of tables that did not find enough opponents to start has dropped by 1.5 point (39,42% now, 40,96% before).
Of course, it is particularly hard to have such a big bang without disturbing you. We worked hard these latest days, to analyse your feedback, to publish updates, and to make sure that everyone of you is comfortable with the new lobby.


So if you have been disoriented by the new lobby in the past few days, here are the main things we did for you:
  • At first, NO FEATURES have been removed from BGA. Everything that was possible with the old lobby is possible with the new one.
  • In particular, we re-introduced the "available players for this game" and the associated "suggest table to player" feature. This feature was not initially planned for the new lobby, but a lot of you requested it and it is back now.
  • For those who are playing a lot of different games here, we added a "See all available tables", which provides a list of tables for all games in a single view. This view is exactly the same than in the previous lobby, so you shouldn't be disoriented.
  • If you have many games in your favourites, you can use the top-right "Display options" menu to make the game icons smaller.
  • Today, we introduced a tutorial for the lobby, to explain all its features.
  • (and many, many small things :) )

If you are really nostalgic from the old lobby, you can do the following:
  • Click on "Display options" and select "Small icons"
  • Click on "See all available tables" to display tables like in the old lobby.
Once you have done this, your preferences are saved (for this browser), and the interface is really really close to how it was in the old lobby.

Once you get used to it, you can benefit from the cool new features of this lobby:
  • Tables grouped by games: you see immediately if a table of game X is available, and you see all the available tables for game X at the same place.
  • Join from the lobby + join multiple real-time tables.
  • Your ELO rank + stats for each game is now directly visible in the lobby.
  • If you didn't already, we recommend you to test the Automatic mode, which is very powerful and very easy to access now.

This is of course not the end of the story. We still have many things to fix and to upgrade to make this lobby better, and we will continue to push updates in the next days/weeks.

To conclude, I'd like to thank the whole BGA community for your patience and your feedback. Unfortunately, we had a lot of - quite - aggressive feedbacks and comments these past few days, so I'd like to give a special thank you to those of you who took the time to really test the new lobby before giving a feedback, and who explained their situation (and frustrations) in detail instead of just posting a basic "this is awful / I prefer the old one / you are stupid" comment. The feedback from these players has been really helpful to identify what needed to be done, so thanks again.
09/17/2019 66 comments


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