Modern board games can sometimes be played alone, but only with the right players can an entertaining board game become a social event. Numerous search platforms can be found on the Internet, attracting thousands of registered users. A small representative of these search platforms is Gesellschaftsspieler-gesucht.de.

Constantly growing database

Players find players.

Gesellschaftsspieler-gesucht.de is first and foremost, considered very soberly, a database in which parlor players can enter themselves or their playgroup in order to search for players themselves or to be found by interested players. The two site operators Sonja and Matthias use a simple concept: The complete renunciation of superfluous details.

In practice, using the website feels smooth and fast. After the necessary registration you are a member of Gesellschaftsspieler-gesucht.de and can immediately plunge into the fun or wait to be written to. And this usually happens faster than expected. In order to contact the two board game enthusiasts Sonja and Matthias, I registered myself on the website and only two days later I received a game request from the Düsseldorf area. Outrageously, I haven't replied so far, showing how not to do it. Party players wanted So builds on the direct interaction between the registered members and gives the searcher practical tools. In addition to a vicinity search, game events can be entered and everyone can see it. The fact that the site remains clear can also be owed to the relatively familiar number of members. At the beginning of June, the site operators welcomed the 500th member and today, around two months later, some board game fans should have joined them again. The database is growing slowly but steadily and I am sure that many more members will follow.

If you look at the current logins, it is nice to see that not a day goes by without at least a handful of users logging into their accounts to become active in their community. Nice, because the small pages benefit enormously from this.

Felt on the tooth

If the question arises, why am I? Gesellschaftsspieler-gesucht.de introduce and not one of the well-known representatives on the Internet market: Gesellschaftsspieler-gesucht.de is close! Close to the user, close to the member, close to where I live. My little bit of local patriotism should give the two guys behind the search page an extra voice (ok, given the young board game blog http://spielpunkt.jimdo.com it's maybe more of a whisper) and make the worthwhile platform a little better known. The player card on the search platform shows a clear focus on the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Nevertheless, the members are distributed all over Germany, so that it is definitely worth registering. If you are looking for nice board gamers, you will get your chance away from the anonymity of big internet sites. 

To make it clear how close Sonja and Matthias are to their users, I would like to publish a short interview with the two of them, which they promised me spontaneously and without complicated conditions. 

Sonja Vlaar: Difficult to say, it changes every now and then. At the moment it would be the princes of Catan. 
Matthias: Spontaneously, I can't commit to a single game. The card games “Wizard” and “Without fear and nobility” are definitely among the favorites. I've been unpacking Scotland Yard a few times lately.

I see that you love board games. But if you had to name a game that you get up to play at night, which one would it be?

Sonya: Since the site is just a hobby, it probably won't happen as much as we'd like, but there will definitely be a few new features and even more game-loving members!
Matthew: I think we will have cracked the 600 membership mark. In the next year I will probably have more time for programming. So I see some extensions that are being used diligently.

Congratulations on reaching a milestone of 500 members. Where do you see yourselves in a year?

Sonya: I moved to Düsseldorf after studying and knew almost nobody here, so I missed the people for game evenings and then I looked for a suitable site on the Internet. Since I couldn't find anything and Matthias has experience in programming websites, we immediately started to design our own website.
The beginning was quite difficult because nobody registers when there are only 5 members who were possibly hundreds of kilometers away from their own place of residence. Things went better after a few people linked us. However, things didn't really get going until Spiel 2013, and the stand was really worth it for us.
Matthew: During Sonja's search for teammates, she noticed several websites that made it possible to search for teammates, but were awkward to use and technically outdated. Since I was working in the field of web programming at the time and programming is much easier from today's point of view, the idea of ​​creating my own, modern site that avoids the disadvantages of all other sites quickly came up.
As with so many websites, there is the problem of reaching a "critical mass" of people: How can I get people to sign up and look for players in their area if there are no players in the area?
Fortunately, we had a large increase in membership thanks to our presence at the 2013 trade fair. In addition, we have built in e-mail notifications when there is news (e.g. a new member) within our own “notification radius”. It is therefore worth registering even if you live in a sparsely populated area, as you can easily be reminded of us by e-mail.

How exactly did the idea for this site come about and how difficult were the beginnings?

Sonya: We have heard of a few game rounds that have found each other. But often we don't even notice because a few people are simply sending each other private messages and arranging meetings.
Matthew: During the trade fair, we had a few stand visitors who thanked us because they met new people to play with through our portal. Otherwise we get feedback from our members every now and then.

Have you already had successes? How is the feedback from your members?

Sonya: I don't, because unfortunately I'm so busy with my studies that I hardly get around to playing and when I do, I often try out existing games with friends first.
Matthew: Unfortunately, no. It went under while studying, but since I still like to play Scotland Yard (Game of the Year 1983) today, I will certainly play Camel Up in the future 😉

Camel Up was named Game of the Year 2014. Well played?

Sonya: Unfortunately not. The booth fee is pretty high and since the site doesn't make any money and we are students, we can't afford it every year.
Matthew: Unfortunately we are not represented this year. Without commercial income, the stand fees (especially with electricity and internet) are unfortunately steep to pay out of pocket. There was also the aspect that we are both limited in time due to our studies.
Maybe next year it will look different.

The 2014 game in Essen is approaching. Will we meet you there again this year?

Despite university stress, there are future plans for board games and the revision of Gesellschaftsspieler-gesucht.de is on the to-do list. I'm excited to see how the platform will develop and keep my fingers crossed for the goals set. Sometimes it is the small hobby projects that can make a difference and the effort is worthwhile, especially in the area of ​​board games, because board game rounds are simply epic! Even if a trade fair appearance does not work out this year, I would like you to have financially strong sponsors who will secure the stand for the coming year.

Author