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News & Opinion

Feature Creep
Feature Creep
  • By: Maelish
  • 09/01/2016 11:35 am

Even More Postal Codes

A new update has gone live this morning (Sept 1, 2016) that should add support for our members almost anywhere in most of the english speaking world.  If you are a member in a location that we've not supported thus far, give it a try.  

However if your postal code is not unique, you might get the wrong results.  For instance, Germany uses the same postal code numbers as the United States.  In all cases, if you search for a german postal code, only an american one will be found.


Update (9/15/2016)

Country detection has been added to the postal code look-up.  This should allow more members from European countries to get the right information in their membership profiles.  As we have more members join from these countries I'll keep testing to make certain your player, group and local event searches are correct.

If you already have an account, re-save your postal code in your Gamer Profile to activate it.  https://www.findgamers.us/my-gamer-profile#personal 

I'd appreciate Feedback if you run into a problem.  Please include any errors, postal code and your country.

 
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Gamer Hell
Gamer Hell
  • By: Maelish
  • 08/16/2016 08:59 am

How would you like to be served?

Tabletop aficionados join sites like Find Gamers so they can find new opportunities to game.  However a large number of you don't like to use email as your primary method of communication.  So I'd like to start a discussion to find better ways to get notifications into the hands of our site's members.  Currently we use email to contact members if another member has tried to approach them.


So I'll ask you, is there a better way?  How would you prefer to get your notices?

 
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Feature Creep
Feature Creep
  • By: Maelish
  • 06/23/2016 01:33 pm

Canada & GB postal code updates

Just a few minutes ago Find Gamers postal codes for Canada and Great Britain were updated.  Our members in these countries can now use their full postal codes in their profiles.  If you live in those countries, you should update your postal code asap.  The older, shorter postal codes no longer work.  Members with those older postal codes aren't searchable any longer.

Some examples: AL1 1AG or A0E 2Z0.  These are from Great Britain and Canada respectively, btw don't forget the space.

Within the next few days the instructions on your profile page and during sign-up will be updated.  Members in these countries should get an email notification within the week about these updates.  If you have an a Group, Convention or other Event, please update it as well.

This update comes because our members asked for it.  Hopefully it'll help our members in CA & GB find new gaming buddies.  If these updates are causing you problems, make certain to send Feedback to Maelish.

Update:

Wow, I ran into a whole series of unexpected bugs when the data went live.  Funny how it works on my home test server and blows up on the live site.  Many of them have been fixed but I've had to put some limits on the number of postal codes that show up in a search.  The problem with UK postal codes is that they are small, so there are ton of them.  That creates interesting new problems.  In the USA you'll see 300-500 postal codes show up in a search.  But with the UK searches I've seen 3000.  So I had to add some some limits until I work out those bugs.  But it does seem to work.

Update 2:

Searches using postal codes have now been better optimized.  They now only take fractions of second for a page load.  These changes only impact our members in Canada & Great Britain.

If anyone has any problems with this update, let me know through feedback.


 
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Feature Creep
Feature Creep
  • By: Maelish
  • 05/13/2016 11:36 am

A new Npc Generator

We have a new npc generator for Shadow of the Demon Lord.  You can find it in Tools on the main menu.  The Demon Lord's NPCs can generate up to 100 murder hobos in a snap.  If you are a fan of SOTDL or maybe just curious, give it a try.


Special thanks to Robert Schwalb for giving me permission to create the tool and to Dan Heinrich for working with me on all of the details.

 
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Feature Creep
Feature Creep
  • By: Maelish
  • 04/18/2016 09:54 am

Public Group Pages

Trying to find a new player or two for my own tabletop gaming group has made me realize that Find Gamers needed a new option for gaming groups.  People post information about their groups on forums or sites like Reddit's /r/LFG or in Facebook's Adventurers For Hire when they are searching for new players.  But re-typing that information can get tiring after a bit.  But did you know that Find Gamers has publicly shareable links for all of our Local and Online Groups.  Anyone can share the url for groups that you own or have found in a search.  

Like our Public Gamer Biographies, you don't need to log-in to read the page.  Plus there are social buttons for Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Reddit.  So be sure to use this as an option to share information about your game group.

If you have a great idea that would be useful to our members, be sure to pass that along to me in Feedback.  We're always looking for ways to help out gamers, that's why we're here.

 
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Opinions
Opinions & Ramblings
  • By: Maelish
  • 03/15/2016 11:22 am

Making Convention Websites Useful

I spend several hours every month adding and updating our Convention & Local Event pages.  It truly amazes me how many convention websites don't have useful information.  I see this all the time when adding conventions to Find Gamers.  It's a recipe for failure that doesn't help you get more folks to your convention.  Taking a little more time to add the useful data to your website will encourage more folks to visit your website and convention.

Let's look at a few things below that sadly, have stopped surprising me.  I'm sure you many of you have seen these problems too.  All of these examples come from today's update to the Conventions Page.

Conventions website's that: 

  • Don't have an address for their location anywhere on their website.  I see this more than anything else.
  • Give the address as the corner of two roads but don't give the city or state.
  • Don't actually explain what happens at the convention.
  • Have great pages for individual convention activities but don't describe the convention at all.
  • Don't have a method of contacting the convention to ask questions.  No web form, email address or forum.
  • Mix up the previous year's convention pages with the upcoming convention's activities.


Just so you don't think I am picking on small conventions, take a look at the 2016 Origins Game Fair website.  It is a great example of failure.  While some information is there, the text is fairly illegible.  Somebody made a lot of assumptions, they think everyone knows what Origins is all about.  There isn't a description of the convention to be found or much useful information that might explain to a new gamer what Origins is all about.

It's very important to get the word out about your event.  That's why we support conventions and other local events here at Find Gamers.  Just try to keep in mind that there are always new folks interested in your convention but it is up to you to sell it to them.  Make sure you have all of the useful information and they'll come.

Speaking of conventions, I'll be headed over to MidSouthCon 34 in Memphis TN this weekend.  I'm looking forward to some D&D, Paranoia, Cthulhu and maybe a little Shadow of the Demon Lord.  Hopefully I'll see a few of you there.


Update:

This blog entry was referenced by the thread Con in a Box on BoardGameGeek's website.  He has a lot of good suggestions besides my little rant, so I'd suggest convention organizers read them carefully.  It's good stuff!

 
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