What is a version?
A version is a publicly available release of the final game. Print & play files on a website are a web-published version. Something available from a print-on-demand service is a version. Something available for purchase is a version. Something given away at a con or as a backer bonus is a version.
Prototypes and playtest copies do not get a version entry on BoardGameGeek. When you are submitting an entry for a new game, do not include a prototype or playtest version. Instead, make a version for the (upcoming) first edition.
A version entry is a representation of the characteristics of a certain publication of a game. Included in these characteristics are the title printed on the box, an identifying name for the version (a "nickname"), any alternate names also published on or in the package, the publisher, the artist, the year of publication, the publisher's product code, the dimensions of the package, the weight of the package, and the language of the rules or instructions to the game.
What defines a different version?
If there are two games that are of the same name that are side by side but are not completely identical, those are different versions. Some are easy -- different box, different title, different publisher, different language. Some are more subtle -- e.g. a standard printing v. one with a Spiel des Jahres mark on the box. The goal of the whole version system is so that users can have knowledge and specificity about exactly which version they have in their collection. This is applicable for greater clarity in collection data, facility in trading, and identification of what versions of a game exist for collectors and buyers.
The name in the primary box should be the name on the actual box or booklet of the game. Select the appropriate one in the drop-down menu.
If you are adding a version and the box-name is not in the drop-down menu, then it is not yet listed as an alternate name for the game. Select (Create New Name) to submit a new alternate name along with your version, which will be added to the base-game when your version is approved. Creating a new name will cause the name to be added to the header of the main game entry page, so it is most efficient to add a name in the version submission process. n.b.: This is also true of artists and publishers of new versions.
This is the shorthand identifier for the version, and it must be in English. A default for this one could be First edition, though games with more than one version should have version names that make the edition readily identifiable. This, along with the cover image, will be the primary means of identifying a version in a game entry.
In a general sense, the nickname should be able to fit into this sentence.
"This is the [nickname] of [game title]."
"This is the [Ravensburger German edition] of [Tic Tac Toe]."
- Nicknames should contain, and usually end with, the word "edition". A year or printing sometimes follows "edition" ("Ravensburger German edition 1949" or "First edition, third printing")
- The name of the game should not be re-iterated in the version nickname.
- Nicknames should begin with primary identifying information of Publisher, Language, or Number. Following primary identifying information, other descriptive information can be used to further clarify an edition.
- When naming an edition by number, use words instead of numbers (e.g. First edition, not 1st edition).
- If the nickname includes the name of a publisher, spell out the publisher's name instead of using initials (e.g. Rio Grande instead of RGG, Fantasy Flight instead of FFG). If the publisher's name includes "Game", "LLC", "Inc.", et c., these may generally be omitted from the nickname.
- Use discretion when using publisher, language, or year in creating a nickname as these elements are already present as part of the version information.
- The names of the languages can be included when there are one-to-three of them in the game package, but with four or more use "multilingual". Many games with multiple languages are nicknamed as "international", but that term is disfavored. Please note that multilingual is not a language, so it should not be considered primary identifying information and should accompany publisher or number.
- Words to avoid: Avoid using words like "Original", "Standard", "Revised", "Special", "Reprint", "Limited", and other comparative descriptors; it is preferable use a number ("First", "Second") or a different descriptor.
- Also avoid temporal descriptors like "New", "Old", "Antique", "Vintage", et c. unless they are specifically relevant to identify the version. Also, the use of "bilingual" is unnecessary; if languages used are the nickname, it does not need to additionally contain "bilingual"
- Attempt to avoid terms about how the version was obtained, such as "Promotional" or "Freebie" -- focus instead on describing the version.
- Avoid identifying a version merely by year; year can be an element to a descriptive nickname, but it cannot stand alone as the sole identifier.
- A country of origin or distribution is not primary identifying information and should be prefixed with primary identifying information.
- Additional identifying information in nicknames should refer positively to version aspects instead of negatively. E.g., a nickname would refer to "Second edition with SdJ" instead of "First edition without SdJ". Referring to what is not present is a confusing way to identify a specific version.
Suggested Hierarchy of Nicknames
- One publisher, one edition -- First edition
- One publisher, multiple editions -- First edition, Second edition, et c.
- One publisher, multiple editions, each in a different language -- (Language A) edition, (Language B) edition, et c.
- Multiple publishers, multiple editions, only one edition by each publisher -- (Publisher A) edition, (Publisher B) edition, et c.
- Multiple publishers, multiple editions, each publisher publishing in a different language -- (Publisher) (Language A) edition, (Publisher) (Language B) edition, et c.
- Multiple publishers, multiple editions, some publishers publishing the game in multiple years -- (Publisher A) edition (year), (Publisher A) edition (year), et c.
- Multiple publishers, multiple editions, complete number of versions unknown or a commonly known name is used for a particular edition -- descriptive name or unique identifier in addition to publisher information, e.g. [publisher] long box edition, [publisher] fat box edition, [publisher] butter dish edition, et c.
- If it is necessary to include publisher, numbering, language, and/or year in a nickname entry, order them: Publisher, Language, Numbering, Other identifying information, "edition", Year
Generally, versions will not have alternate names, because only one title is printed on the game box or on the rules. Notable exceptions include the HABA games that are called 3-6 names within one package (e.g. Tier auf Tier, Animal upon Animal, Pyramide d'animaux, Dier op dier). Alternate names are not part of the version submission form, but can be added to the entry through the Corrections link.
Include all the entities that are listed on the box. We are working on creating and understanding the distinction between publishers and mere distributors, but the current standard on this field is that companies with a logo on the box will be listed without hashing out who is a publisher and who is a distribution label. Publishers added to version submissions that were not already present in the main game entry are aggregated to the main game entry.
This field is to specify which artist(s) is/are responsible for the graphic design of the listed version. Artists added to version submissions that were not already present in the main game entry are aggregated to the main game entry.
This should be the actual year that edition came out, if known. Generally, this should be ascertainable from the copyright date, but that's not always definitive. The purpose for the year of publication is to further identify the particular printing, and to build a time-line for the game's production. In the versions section of a game's page, the default view lists versions from newest-to-oldest with undated versions appearing at the end of the list.
This is a catalog number, or what designation the publisher has for the product, or issue number of periodical publication, or other identifying product information.
To be clear, product code should be a publisher's designation for the game, not the UPC, EAN, or ISBN. If there is no product code for a game, this field should be blank.
Actual measurements of the outside of the box. Where something is almost-but-not quite the same size, make a judgment call on what to do and whether to use the existing measurements. N.B. the Power Grid size box is standard for a lot of games, but some like Rio Grande's El Grande and Hand im Gluck's Euphrat & Tigris are deeper than the standard box (2" v 2.75"). The system allows you to add measurements in centimeters or inches, please choose the appropriate drop-down.
The dimensions are stored in the system as Imperial measure, though the version submission form does allow for measurements to be input in metric. The system will convert metric measure to Imperial if the drop-down box is selected as metric. At present, there is no method to submit corrections in metric, so metric measure must be converted to Imperial before correction submission.
These dimensions presume a cuboid package, or at least a rectangular shape. There are no set conventions on how to record information from non-cuboid packages.
This is the weight of the punched game with only the included components in it, i.e. no additional components or organizers outside of plastic baggies. The actual difference between punched and un-punched weight shouldn't be that great, but to try to keep consistency we should shoot for punched weight where we can.
The weight is stored in the system as Imperial pounds, though the version submission form does allow for the weight to be input in kilograms. The system will convert kilograms to pounds if the drop-down box is selected as metric. At present, there is no method to submit corrections in metric, so kilograms must be converted to pounds before correction submission.
Include all of the languages included as rules in the box. Generally there will be only one, but some publishers include a variety of rule-sets. If a game exists in two editions that have different titles but the same rule sets included within, they are two different editions though all of the components are near identical.
Please note that in order to have a good and organized system of versions, the languages for a particular version should be accurately listed. If a game has a version that contains only German rules, and another version that contains German, French, and Italian rules, these are two different versions for the purposes of the versions section.
An image can be linked to a version in the creation process, and more images can be linked to a particular version after approval. The image is an identifying characteristic for the version, so do not link images to a version that are not specifically of that version, as this will create confusion over the appearance and contents of a particular version.
Not much needs to go into the description unless there is a lot of information about how a particular version is different. As with game descriptions, the version description should at least contain an English description when possible.
The release data in a version entry is the date the game is / was released to the public. The function of this are is primarily for prospective releases, as the projected release dates integrate with the Gone Cardboard section of BGG.
This is the actual or projected date of release. Each date can be set with the trio of dropdown boxes for Month, Day, and Year, or override information can be entered into the box, e.g., Q4 2013.
- Note: This is not the launch date for a crowdfunding campaign.
This is commentary about the release. Commentary should be kept to minimum and should not include URLs, exhortations to purchase product, or other information not pertinent to the release.
This is the demarcation between unreleased and released.
This can be used to specify the type of pre-order that is being used for the version.
This is the URL where the version is being offered for pre-order, and this URL will appear alongside the entry on Gone Cardboard.
Pre-Order Start and End Dates
This will show the times for which the pre-order information is relevant.