Game site (Brettspielwelt)
Bernhard Seckinger (idea and programming), Tobias Lang (graphics)
The Brettspielwelt was founded in 1999 on private initiative of Alexander Zbiek, who developed the game “Settlers of Catan” for the Internet on a Java base. From that small start, an online community has formed in which you can play more than 30 different board games. Among these there are classics like Backgammon and Doppelkopf as well as newer board games like Puerto Rico and Carcassonne. Today more than 19,000 players are registered and more than 4,500 play regularly on www.brettspielwelt.de. Altogether more than 3 million (!) games have been played.
The ambition of the Brettspielwelt is to make board games more popular and to show people another alternative to “normal” computer games and other “modern” activities for their leisure-time. We also feel that it is important for players to meet each other face-to-face. Because of this the Brettspielwelt hosts some real-life meetings, during which the players can become acquainted with each other. These meetings are well attended. The Brettspielwelt has no commercial means – there is no advertisement on the site.
The standard setting is an even 9×9 game of Go with Chinese counting. Optionally, players may change the settings to a 13×13 or 19×19 board, add a time limit, or play with handicap stones. The results of all games are stored in a database. We also plan to translate the game for the English speaking community and to add a tool for analysing the game after it was played.
To increase the quality of the offerings of the Brettspielwelt we decided to make Go available as a multi-user game. The goal is not to create a Go – elite, it is to spread the game in a new way to many players. During the first 2 weeks this goal has nearly been reached: 1782 games of Go took place, in which more than 500 different players took part, over 90% of whom were playing the game for the first time! This made Go the 7th most frequently played game during that time period. This is a good result for an abstract two player game. We want to expose more people to Go.
During the next year 2000 – 3000 players are supposed to learn Go in the Brettspielwelt.
Manpower: BrettspielWelt has been developed over the course of four years by five people. The implementation of Go at BrettspielWelt is the result of the work of two people over the course of one month.
Financial resources: The implementation of Go itself took no money. However, BrettspielWelt’s server is financed by its creators. BrettspielWelt is a non-commercial site.
Possibilities to copy this project
BrettspielWelt is available via the internet to players across Europe and around the world.