TT reader clem emailed me about NearbyGamers, a new player-finding site based on Google Maps (thanks, clem!).
It’s a great concept: You join, add yourself to the map, flag your profile with tags based on the games you like, and you’re off. The map shows little pins for everyone who’s part of the site.
And I love the creator’s approach: “I built the site because I, as a gamer, want to use it.” That’s one of the best reasons out there to assemble a resource like this. I’ve joined up, and I hope you’ll do the same — simple, useful player-finding sites like this are few and far between. I’d love to see this one succeed.
(And if you’re in the market for players, check out our free PDF, Ten Ways to Find Players & What to Do Next.)
Thanks for the kind words, I’m glad you like the site. If you (or anybody!) have any suggestions I’d love to hear them, I’m working pretty hard on the site. And before you suggest it, yes, it’s getting a facelift from a proper graphic designer (e.g. not me).
Thanks for stopping by, Peter. NearbyGamers has a lot of potential, and it’s already off to a good start.
In terms of suggestions, I’d prioritize your efforts like this:
1. Publicity. The infrastructure is there and everything appears to work — but the key ingredient is people. The more people you can tell about it, the better.
2. Interface. I like the minimalism of the current setup, and I definitely don’t think it needs to be bloated with extra “features” (not that that’s what you have in mind). I do think the tag interface could use a bit of work — the big block of tags on the front page isn’t all that browsing-friendly.
3. Appearance. As much polish as you can afford/have time for is always a good thing.
If you’re so inclined, I encourage you to join our forums and post an announcement there (in Open RPG Discussion) about NearbyGamers. Ditto with any other forums you can find that allow that kind of post.
Thank you for creating this site, and keep up the good work!
This is a supergreat idea!
Can’t seem to add myself, is that because I’m in the UK???
Tried typing in Edinburgh as the location but no luck…
It’s an interesting idea, and a great implementation. However, I note that it has already started to fill up with people who list all sorts of computer games rather than RPGs and/or boardgames. *sigh*
Signed up. ‘Nuff said!
Dave: For no discernable reason, the Google Maps API doesn’t do nearly as well with non-US addresses as the Google Maps website. I’ve posted a message to their support board asking for help, and I’ll work up an alternate solution if they don’t come up with anything.
jkusters: Yeah, I’ve noticed folks who’ve listed computer games. They don’t hurt anything, and they’re now well-outnumbered by tabletop gamers. I’m focusing on and catering to tabletop gamers, but I’m not going to try to ban computer gaming.
If memory serves, there were about 100 users on NearbyGamers when I wrote this post. I just popped back in, and now there are 218 — very cool!
I don’t know how much of that is due to the TT community, but it’s awesome to see those numbers going up. There are a lot more tags, too, which is excellent.