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Subject: Board Game Geek Android App - BGG Mobile rss

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Tomasz Luch
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We are creating BGG application for android OS (g1, htc magic and future phones) (me and user named edrache). This is our first application for this OS so be patient and help us finding bugs (if you can find any ). We will try to publish first version of this application during this week. Application is free.

Functionality implemented in first version:
- search games
- search user games (shows list of user games). You can switch between own, wishlist, trade, want
- game details: thumbnail, user rating, rank, nr of players, playing time, manufacturer suggested age, description, year published
- additional details (second tab): designers, artist, category, mechanic
- game expansions (third tab)
- polls: user suggested no. of players, language dependency, user suggested age (fourth tab)

I know this is really small portion of functionality but...

Next version will implement:
- search history (games, users)
- preferences
- comments tab

Future plans:
- user login, adding games played, adding game to collection or wishlist
- user games library
- barcode search (!)
- groups of users

Our website: www.skylupus.com


Sample screenshots:









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Tomasz Luch
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Ok. I have published application on market.
Application name: BGG Mobile
Category: Entertainment

There are some bugs that I am aware of but I am going to remove them as soon as possible. And about screen isn't finished yet

Have fun!
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Eric Franklin
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I just downloaded this.

Excellent! When is the next update coming?
 
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Tomasz Luch
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We are working on comments tab (users comments about game), search history (users and games) and user library (there will be settings field for your username and after that you will have an access to your library).

When... That's a good question. Comments tab and history should be there in days. About user library - it's underterminate.

Of course our main goal is adding gameplay, adding game to your library or wishlist and so on. But this functionality requires login and we have to implement it and it takes time. Be patient.

And If you've got a feeling that we are doing a good work feel free to comment our application and give us stars (of course 5 minimum ). Thanks.
 
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Tomasz Luch
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New version.
History of searched games and users games. This is new option in main view.
Minor bugs fixed (layout of language dependence poll).


Unfortunately I didn't manage to code user comments for game view. There is a lot of comments in most of the games and application becomes slow. I have to handle it in packages (but there is no way to ask server for small portions of comments - you get all of them at once). I'll try to find the solution for it.

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Abraham Drucker
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This looks really cool. Too bad I'm android-less. Does anyone want to create a blackberry app?
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Tomasz Luch
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New version.
We have added comments tab in game view. Right now it shows portion of comments (randomly) because of amount of comments for a game (sometimes its thousands of them). When we will implement favourite users functionality there will be option in settings for showing your favourite users comments in each game view (if there are any).

To activate comments tab go to settings on main screen.

User library, favourite users and their games are on their way so be patient...
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Tomasz Luch
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In a week or two there will be big update with some new functionalities.
Most important thing - recording gameplay. Right now I am working on storing cookies with username and password. Password will be stored encrypted.

In new functionality you will see:
- user library
- favourite users and their libraries
- recording play (from every place where you have game lists)
- recording play fast - with today's date and quantity set to 1 application will record play without opening "record play" view.

There won't be location in record play view. I'm planning to make it as good as it can be (with locations history and google maps use)

So wish us good luck, there is a lot of polishing stuff to do right now.


Spoiler below

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Pelle Nilsson
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Looks great! I'll try it as soon as I find a few minutes to spare. Got my first Android phone only a few days ago.

Regarding comments I guess the problem is at least less than showing the comments in the Market application, and somehow they manage to display all comments in that.

Is this application free as in free beer, or free as in there is source code to download somewhere?
 
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Pelle Nilsson
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OK, some comments and bug reports after ~5 minutes of testing:

- Most importantly, you need to do something about the icon and the images on the first screen menu. Too strong primary colors. Yuck.

- A bit unstable. Crashed at random times when searching or bringing up game info or just clicking on the designer of a game.

- Slow. Is it loading all info there is about a game immediately? It would seem so because of the setting available to toggle comments. Why not just load a minimum amount of info to quickly display a page, and then when the user clicks something (or opens the comments tab) load that data? (There is another bgg application I found, called BoardGameGeek, that is much much faster at loading game info.)

- Info on expansions is listed in the game info, but not clickable. Instead this is in a separate tab.

- The tab interface will not get you far if you are adding more features (ie an image tab, a forum tab, ...), especially not when using up two slots for expansions and polls. Maybe it would be better to put things in a menu, freeing up a bit more of screenspace for game info as well?

- Main menu, in addition the the important comment above on colors, is not very obvious. I had no idea what to expect from each option. Maybe just a plain Android list thing would be easier to use and integrate better with the overall ui. (The rest of the application looks very nice though, like any other Android app.)

- There seemed to be some minor glitch with the enter key when searching. Sometimes I had to click the "Search" button to search, rather than the enter key on the (virtual) keyboard.

- Speaking of that, maybe there is a way to automatically show the virtual keyboard immediately when bringing up the search field? I believe I've seen other applications do that.

But this looks very promising. Can be a very useful thing to have. Very useful already in its current state.

Hm. I noticed the release notes described some feature to add plays. I didn't notice that in the app. Maybe I got an older version?
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Tomasz Luch
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pelni wrote:
OK, some comments and bug reports after ~5 minutes of testing:

- Most importantly, you need to do something about the icon and the images on the first screen menu. Too strong primary colors. Yuck.

"De gustibulus non disputantum est" I think this is minor issue. Changing to list and making icons smaller will balance main screen.

- A bit unstable. Crashed at random times when searching or bringing up game info or just clicking on the designer of a game.

What do you mean by crashed? Can you describe what happened? Was it "application is not responding" crash or just "force close" crash?


- Slow. Is it loading all info there is about a game immediately? It would seem so because of the setting available to toggle comments. Why not just load a minimum amount of info to quickly display a page, and then when the user clicks something (or opens the comments tab) load that data? (There is another bgg application I found, called BoardGameGeek, that is much much faster at loading game info.)

It is going to be changed in future releases. You are right - this is because of comments. But another bgg application you are talking about shows a little amount of data and is really simple right now.

- Info on expansions is listed in the game info, but not clickable. Instead this is in a separate tab.

This info in game info tab comes from BGG XML API and we cannot use it (there is no link or game id there). What comes in tab is more useful.

- The tab interface will not get you far if you are adding more features (ie an image tab, a forum tab, ...), especially not when using up two slots for expansions and polls. Maybe it would be better to put things in a menu, freeing up a bit more of screenspace for game info as well?

This is what we found out lately too. We are planning to redesign game view.

- Main menu, in addition the the important comment above on colors, is not very obvious. I had no idea what to expect from each option. Maybe just a plain Android list thing would be easier to use and integrate better with the overall ui. (The rest of the application looks very nice though, like any other Android app.)

We wanted to make main screen to look a little bit original. But obviously this is not functional as we thought. Main screen will be redesigned to list with icons on the left.


- There seemed to be some minor glitch with the enter key when searching. Sometimes I had to click the "Search" button to search, rather than the enter key on the (virtual) keyboard.

What do you mean? I'm not sure if I understand you.

- Speaking of that, maybe there is a way to automatically show the virtual keyboard immediately when bringing up the search field? I believe I've seen other applications do that.

But this looks very promising. Can be a very useful thing to have. Very useful already in its current state.

Hm. I noticed the release notes described some feature to add plays. I didn't notice that in the app. Maybe I got an older version?

As you can read we are stating it will be on market in a week or two. We have one week left to do that. Add play works good - it needs more work with login dialog and more polishing to fix bugs.



I hope we helped with this answer.
Cheers
 
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Pelle Nilsson
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Sounds good!

Crashes were dialogs asking me to Force Quit. First one was after doing my first search, for Ambush!, and then clicking that game in the list, it got stuck for over a minute loading data, before I got bored and pressed the home key. When I got back to the bgg app after that I got a dialog about Force Quit, but I don't remember if it was the usual one or a time out.

The search thing is really minor. I've noticed that in general in Android when you search you can use the enter key on the virtual keyboard to start searching, but sometimes in the bgg app I had to instead use the on-screen search button. Pressing enter after inputting the string to search for didn't do anything. But sometimes it worked. I didn't investigate further.
 
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Tomasz Luch
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pelni wrote:
Sounds good!

Crashes were dialogs asking me to Force Quit. First one was after doing my first search, for Ambush!, and then clicking that game in the list, it got stuck for over a minute loading data, before I got bored and pressed the home key. When I got back to the bgg app after that I got a dialog about Force Quit, but I don't remember if it was the usual one or a time out.

We are investigating this issue. I you care to send us logs (using log collector app) we will be gratefull.


The search thing is really minor. I've noticed that in general in Android when you search you can use the enter key on the virtual keyboard to start searching, but sometimes in the bgg app I had to instead use the on-screen search button. Pressing enter after inputting the string to search for didn't do anything. But sometimes it worked. I didn't investigate further.

We have replaced enter on virtual keyboard with search button there. We cannot recreate this issue on our devices.

 
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Pelle Nilsson
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OK, the search thing was probably just me being confused then.

The Ambush! load problem only happend once. After that it worked just fine to load that and other games. Not a very fun bug report, no.
 
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Daniel Wilcox
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This is the thing I've been waiting for! Yes!!!
 
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Tomasz Luch
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Hi,

2-4 hours and the new version will be on market.

Recording play as promised is included. Additionally there is "record current gameplay" option.

You can record games from almost every list (except Search user games, I forgot to program that). To record gameplay just long press on game you choose and you will see context menu.

You can also record gameplay from game view. Just click menu hardware button.

More to come...
Adding game to collection, notifications about new or deleted favourite user games, synchronization report (when synchronizing your games or favourite user games manually), barcode search...

Cheers

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Tomasz Luch
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Taaadaaa!
It's there. Have fun!

Cheers
 
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Tomasz Luch
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I had some issues with adding gameplay. And now its working good. So... if you find any problems with it please send me logs and conditions how it happened. You can use Log Collector application from market.
 
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Marvin
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I got my HTC Hero on thursday and I love this app. I can view the geek in my browser, but this is just a tad faster which is especially handy when browsing shops.

I was thinking, instead of comments, maybe you could add one review? Just show the review for that game with the most thumbs? Other users deem this the best review so it could be very useful.

It's a really cool app!
 
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Tomasz Luch
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I am aware that our app is far from fully functional.
Lately we were short on time so we couldn't add new functionality. Remodelling game view is first thing to do in new version and making the app more responsive and faster of course.

So... be patient...
 
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Gabe Covert
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Drool...

Gah... Hurry up Verizon Wireless and get an Android phone before my contract with AT&T is up in February...

ninja
 
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Marvin
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tomaszluch wrote:
I am aware that our app is far from fully functional.
Lately we were short on time so we couldn't add new functionality. Remodelling game view is first thing to do in new version and making the app more responsive and faster of course.

So... be patient...


I am more than patient, just trying to help out It's a very nice app!

Small request: I've recently updated my HTC Hero to the new firmware and it turns out that there are some problems with some apps. And the only one that I have problems with is your app I can't download it from the market anymore. It has nothing to do with you, it's a problem with google.

Is there any way that I could download the apk file? Could you PM me a link so I can install it from my SD card?
 
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Andy Bultitude
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Outstanding. I've only had a quick play with it, but very slick. I shall post some more in depth views once I've looked more closely.
 
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Steven Dennis
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I can't find this app in the marketplace on my Verizon HTC ERIS? Where can I get it?
 
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Marvin
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You can download the APK here:

http://handheld.softpedia.com/get/Games/Utilities/BGG-Mobile...

And install in manually.

But if the phone is really new it could be that the marketplace has to be approved by google, it'll probably show up in a few days on the marketplace.
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