Do you know what time it is? Ranking Engine update time, that’s what time it is! Version 2.0 has felt like a long time coming (for me, anyway) so I won’t burden you (me) with (writing) a long introduction and get to the point.

For those that have never used it, briefly put, the Ranking Engine is a tool that allows you to input a list of items you want to rank, then choose between two items at a time until it outputs your ranked list. Want to know your favorite board game, movie, band, book, restaurant, or anything else? Want to know your 15th favorite? Let them go head-to-head and find out. We’ve even had people use it to prioritize things like house projects and business or personal goals. If you have a list you want to rank or prioritize, this is the tool for you.

The process is largely the same as before – Start, List, Rank, Results. Click through the images to see each step.

THE PROCESS:

If you have used it before, the features you are familiar with are still there but they’ve been refined and tweaked with a look toward future updates. And I’ve added a few things. Here are the highlights briefly but you can get more details below.

  • Data persistence – You won’t lose your data if you forget to save or if your computer crashes. You’ll be able to pick up right where you left off.
  • Flexible Navigation – You can now use the step tabs to navigate the process.
  • Robust List Creation – It is now much easier to create and edit your list in the Ranking Engine. And the Board Game Geek list filtering is much improved.
  • List Templates – That list creation mentioned above will help you create list templates to load back up later so you aren’t creating from scratch every time.
  • Quick Help – Clicking the ? icon in the menu will bring up context specific help if you have any questions.
  • New Design – The design is completely new but should be familiar to any who have used the Ranking Engine in the past.
  • Rerank Top X Items – Allows you to refine the top X items from your results
  • Aimed at the Future – All of the changes and additions were made with the future in mind.

Before I go into further detail I want to speak briefly about saved lists. One other (unseen) feature of v2.0 is a completely rewritten code base. The underlying data structures of saved lists (especially saved in-progress lists) changed. This meant that I had to migrate the data from the old structures to the new. I was able to convert almost all of the lists but there were a few that didn’t come over well. Please check your lists and if you see one missing that you need please send an email to pubmeeple@gmail.com or use the contact form and I will work with you to recover it.

Now let me go into a bit more depth on a few of these features.

Flexible Navigation
Some of the functionality that was hidden in menus in the previous version is now a part of the tab navigation. Want to go back to Start? Click Start. Want to edit the list you just finished ranking? Click List. Want to restart ranking or rerank your list? Click the Rank tab. There are tool tips that should help you know what will happen when you click a tab.

Rerank Top X Items
Did you just rank a large list and want to give the top 20 another go just to make sure? When you are on the Results step, click the Rank tab and you will be presented with options – either rerank the whole list or the top X items. If you select Top X it will give you the option to tell it how many off the top of your list you’d like to rank again.

List Creation
The List step is now a true list creator. Add some items via text, others via Board Game Geek, then delete a few that shouldn’t be there. It is important to note that the Ranking Engine will not allow duplicates in your list so don’t worry editing your lists for duplicates before importing.

The Board Game Geek integration is much more robust as well. The only decision you have to make before you submit your request is whether to include expansion or not. All of your collection filters will come into play after it comes back from BGG. Select the lists you want included and your minimum personal rating to filter it down, then add the filtered games in bulk or one at a time.

You can see this in the gallery above that shows the process.

List Templates
For those of us who don’t want to recreate a list every time we rank it we bring you List Templates. Create your list, then save it as a template. You can then load that template, make a few tweaks to it and then load it into the ranking process. For me, this will make my yearly collection ranking easier. I can just load last years template, edit it as I want, then start ranking.

New Design
For the most part, the new design is just set dressing but there are a few notable changes.

My Lists – any lists you have saved are still in your My Lists section but it’s location has changed. Click on the account icon in the navigation menu to pull up any lists you’ve saved. You can do this from anywhere in the process.

Start Tab – This is the new jumping off point for the rest of the process. The category you select here will dictate your options on the List creation step. Start will also be the home for some new features coming down the pipe. You can also find the current year’s top 10 games as voted by users of the Ranking Engine with a link to see all the top games.

The Future
As mentioned before, many of these updates are aimed at the future. Eventually you will see some features like Shared Templates (make a template and share it with your friends to rank), Fan Favorites (a polling of the internet to see how a large group of people rank a specific list of things), new ways to share your ranking and results, and board game recommendations based on your rankings. I’d like to add more integrations with other internet databases to pull in data for different categories.

As always, the Ranking Engine is not my job so building new features and maintaining it is always dependent on my free time. If you find the tool useful please consider leaving something in the tip jar. It is encouraging to me and it helps with the cost of hosting the tool.

What are you waiting for?