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Show HN: Guilded – build and organize online gaming teams (guilded.gg)
70 points by iEchoic 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 63 comments

We just launched a redesign and ground-up rewrite of Guilded, which makes it easier for gamers to build and organize teams. There are also a bunch of of new features, like fully-featured forums, customizable team dashboards, team streams, and team rosters.

On the tech side, the frontend was all written in React 16 + MobX. Besides the redesign and new features, there were a lot of technical goals related to the frontend infra that we were trying to achieve, which are allowing us to move a lot faster now.

Anyways, hope you all think it's cool, would love to hear any questions/feedback.

This looks really cool! This is not super related to your business, but do you have any recommendations for how to get started with frontend dev as a beginner? I usually do backend/infra stuff, and the frontend world is overwhelming - particularly CSS.

Do you have any tips on the best way to learn CSS? And do you think using React + MobX allows faster dev compared to vanilla javascript?

Thanks! I think the best way to get started right now is to grab the official Facebook create-react-app package, pick something you think would be fun to build, and just start trying to build it and googling/asking questions along the way. The first project might suck, but that's okay. You'll pick it up fast, and the next will be better.

React + MobX is my favorite way to build frontend apps now, and MobX does help a lot in terms of development speed, maintainability, and performance, in my experience. If you're brand new to frontend development, I wouldn't worry too much about it, though - it can be best to start with the basics initially.

To add to this. For beginners it can be a pain to learn how to set your environment up to even begin developing.

https://codepen.io/ is a great place for front-end developers to hone their skills without having to worry about any of the setup.

You can use Pug (formerly Jade), Haml, Markdown, Slim, SCSS, Sass, LESS, PostCSS, Stylus, Coffeescript, Typescript, Livescript, Babel, or just plain HTML, CSS and JS without having to set up a thing.

Edit: I'm not affiliated with Codepen. I am however a user.

iEchoic congrats on the new design! Very slick and smooth.

Just a quick question. Are you using CRA with SSR (ie with nextjs or other solution?) for the new site? Or is it just a large SPA served from static html,js,css bundled?

Thanks Matt

Thanks! No SSR here, just an SPA (static html/js/css) served up via CDN. We do use code splitting to load bundles progressively to keep the bundle size down.

I just want to say that I've always thought you had/have the most beautiful site. One of the boys from your batch at Sixty introduced me to Guilded ~6 months ago and I've been smitten since.

Thanks :)

I've seen it before and I think it looks slick. I have one suggestion or maybe observation. Finding a team currently requires to manually apply by browsing through the list. Whenever I see a team with one member inside (and that's how many teams look loke), I don't feel like applying, because there's got to be something off about it, right? So I don't apply. And then, there's this thing where I would have to apply to several teams at once, which makes me kind of uncomfortable.

Do you have any plans for automating this process? Tinder for team finding, maybe? (:

Yes! This launch was focused on the foundational team tools, but making it easier for players to find teams is already in the works. I think we can have an experience where all the teams you see are active high-quality teams, are tailored to you, and the process is more automated and less manual. This is something that no gaming product has gotten right yet, in my opinion.

A lot of clans will use sites like this for recruiting but only their recruiting officer will sign up so that might explain why you'd only see 1 member.

Looks slick as hell and I love the dark color scheme. It's always surprising how many gamers just hate light color schemes. Good work!

Definitely - our first version had a lot of white, and also a lot of feedback asking us to make it not-white.

Sounds like a decent opportunity to provide a user option for light or dark themes in their user settings? Maybe even a middle ground grey theme as well?

Yeah, agreed. I'd like to have more customization options in the future, including themes like that. To keep the scope small enough to make this launchable, it didn't make the cut, but we'll definitely be revisiting that.

I wrote about this Guilded update for the Initialized blog, because I'm so enamored with this product that probably would have saved me from needing to learn a lot of HTML two decades ago. It did serve me well, though... but I'd have rather been playing Q2CTF


This post is especially awesome to me because Guilded was launched on reddit, and a majority of our continued feedback comes either directly from reddit or from users that found us initially through reddit.

The most fun thing about this project so far has been how all the things I spent tons of time on just for fun (reddit, gaming) ended up showing their worth later, like the superhero movies where the useless power ends up being useful in a really contrived way at the end.

Yet another gaming community; it's very interesting how these continue to crop up but never end up sticking around. Off the top of my head: Justgamed (oldschool), GotFrag (oldschool), Raptr, Gamurs, Gosu, etc. etc. etc. You probably won't tell me, but how did you get funding? I've done a few esports projects and I even played CS professionally so I have a lot of background in the industry (although I'm doing engineering/product nowadays). It seems that whenever investors hear esports, they slowly back away.

As far as guilded.gg is concerned, I think the social aspects just bog the idea down. It's cool to have a discord bot that sets up scrims, you really don't need a whole "social platform" behind it. But slick design and good luck!

Thanks for the feedback. We're still exploring all of these thoughts as we iterate and learn, so I don't have absolute answers here. Some thoughts, though:

> Yet another gaming community; it's very interesting how these continue to crop up but never end up sticking around.

We'll continue to see a lot of them crop up and die. I think we'll also see a lot of them crop up and succeed. Gaming is too big now for that not to be the case. The fundamental belief that drives this is that gaming teams will continue to be core to online gaming well into the future, and the question of if there will be a ubiquitous platform for their identity and team organization is more of a "when" than an "if" question, for me. Someone will crack that eventually, even if it's not us.

> You probably won't tell me, but how did you get funding?

Happy to share, there wasn't really any magic to it. We just explained the vision I described above and worked really hard to make something that a lot of people loved, and had some data to show that. I think a lot of investors know esports are big now, will be even bigger in the future, and they see the gap that we're trying to fill.

Thanks for the reply & good luck, I'm rooting for you guys! :D

You forgot xfire! The people who brought us Steam Overlay

Oh yeah, totally forgot xfire was huge!

This is super awesome! Cheers from the Discord team here! :)

EDIT: One bug, it lets you try to DM invites to other bots on the server. We don't let bots DM bots on an API level :O

Thank you! Our users (and our team, for that matter) love Discord as well.

About the bot DMing, that could explain some of the errors we've been seeing - thanks for the tip. Taking a look now.

Cheers, also check out our rich embeds stuff, which could make the bot's messages it posts into Discord look a lot more awesome: https://discordapp.com/developers/docs/resources/channel#emb...

Agreed - we've actually just started on these recently. Forum posts and events now have the rich embeds; we're planning on bringing them to the rest of the content soon.

This kind of positive attitude on social media is probably a very cost-effective form of PR (That doesn't make it a bad thing, just an observation)

This looks absolutely beautiful, and I'm a huge React + MobX fan as well. If I were still in my gaming prime, I'd be all over this. Great job!

Thank you! That's great to hear :)

Love the landing page. Just a heads up, navigating to the page breaks my browser's back button. Otherwise, looks fantastic!

Oops, that was a last-minute change that didn't work out right - fixing that right now, thanks.

Edit: should be fixed now

Looks like it redirects you to /v2/ which in turn redirects you back so you have to click back twice really fast :(

Jacked my back button as well..

Nitpick: Your LandingCTAShowcase-container is overflowing and allows the user to scroll right.

Working on fixing this now, thank you.

I would recommend you also support iRacing. It's probably the game where the largest percentage of players are in a team on some level, and actively race under that team.

Interesting, I haven't looked into iRacing yet. I'll definitely check this out, thank you for the suggestion.

Sounds great on paper, but I am in 25+ discord servers, of which many used by official game communities on reddit, overwatch teams and league of legends - and none are using guilded or integrate with - why is that? They seem to fit the agenda pretty well, because of their members' needs:

- They need organizing

- They share a lot of media

- They have community nights/events

- They have tons of bots to do this or that (in a microservice fashion) that could be phased out by one "rule'em all" bot

Official game communities are an interesting category that we haven't explored or reached out to much yet. That's a great idea though, and I think it makes a lot of sense to think about doing that more.

Our bot is in ~26k servers right now, and the vast majority are mid-sized teams, in the 6-250 person range. I think our tools would be great for larger communities, and I think the needs would be pretty similar - but we haven't explored that too much yet.

I see - so you're basically focusing on smaller "organizations" and "amateur teams" I guess? Kind of like, I find 5 friends to play Overwatch, I invite them to a new server and your bot handles all our stuff, like an assistant/office manager in a small office? Then I think some kind of integration with ESL/FaceIT/toornament and all these other online leagues/tourney platforms would be dope to have...I guess.

Yeah, exactly. An example of something the bot does that teams really like is that if you're an Overwatch team (for instance) it will post a daily SR news update, showing the SR leaderboard and who gained the most SR in the last 24 hours. A lot of our features would work for both, but I think that's an example of one that works better for actual teams.

And yeah - competitive integrations would be way cool, and are something we're working on doing more of.

So, I went in and tested it out, and it seems like certain games can't be added. Do you manually choose which games to support? If so, what do you do when a group/user wants to add a game that isn't in there? It seems like if someone sees one of their games isn't supported, if it's their primary game, they might just not use the service.

Are you looking into a way to let users add "Custom" games, or request support for a game?

Yeah, we manually choose games to support right now. It was a goal from the beginning to make it feel like you're immersed into your game's environment as soon as you create a team, which requires us to have metadata and assets for the given games. We do get feedback from users requesting games, and we have analytics on what people type into the game suggestions box, so we tend to pick up games that we're missing pretty quickly. I can see adding "custom" games in the future (similar to how Twitch eventually opened up to IRL-style streams), but probably not soon.

It's a bit of a tradeoff: like you mentioned, this does cause some users to leave when they see that their game isn't available. On the other hand, it does allow us to focus on building a really good experience for the games we support.

This makes sense! How will you evaluate whether a game is worth adding? Example: I went to add King Arthur's Gold, which is a mostly dead game (usually about 4-6 servers with population at a time). However, for my use case all I truly would look for it is in the scheduling thing. Can you add custom events/items to the "Home" Calendar regardless of the game? Like one not associated with one of the team's games on the sidebar?

Could you allow users to submit a game? If a user is interesting enough in using your system and having your game in the system, perhaps they would be willing to do the work to gather all the required information.

Obviously it would need review by your team, for various reasons, but it might be a viable way to get new games in the system faster, without being too much of a burden to the team.

I do think there will be a lot of interesting cases where we can crowdsource information (particularly around information like popular team comps, hero names, list-type things like that), and will be exploring those more for sure. The toughest part of that work is the image assets since they need to be done in a particular way, but it might be interesting to see how possible it is with some human-based Scale-like API.

I wonder if there would be incentive for game development studios to use Guilded?

I can imagine studios like Riot, Blizzard, or Epic signing up for a 'Studio' account. Part of what comes with that role is the ability to add their own games. So now you have a trusted source that could reliably do the game addition work for you.

The incentive for them is a great opportunity to interact with their user base and help foster a tight-knit community. I haven't thought about the details too much but seems like an interesting idea.

Im interesting in what your thoughts would be around that idea?

Very cool, seems like a nicer version of enjin.

Something I noticed, I use the middle mouse to scroll and the page let me scroll to the right into a giant empty space.

Grrrr, I've had 1-2 other people mention this so far, but we can't seem to repro it. Mind posting or emailing me (in profile) the device/browser you're on or anything else that might help us track it down? That'd be really helpful. Thank you :)

Im using chrome 65 on windows 7 in a window of 1090x878

Will try to repro there now, thanks a lot.

If I delete the LandingCTAShowcase-container LandingCTAShowcase-container-desktop element the problem is fixed. Looks like its the carousel of images that are very wide and dont seem to be clipped.

This is the kind of feedback we only get on HN :) thanks a lot, will fix this.

looks fantastic! I would love a version of this but for board game groups, but right now, I will organize my Civilization group with it

We've been getting quite a few requests for board game groups lately. I hadn't considered that initially, but I think that's a pretty natural extension that I could see us adding soon. Thanks :)

This strikes me as one of those ideas that seems so obvious in retrospect but I hadn't thought of. Looks gorgeous, nice work!

I appreciate it, thank you :)

I don't really want to look at this at work. Is it only strictly for video games? Teams are big in Magic: the Gathering (yes, Magic Online is technically a video game but for most it's a testing and preparation tool for paper Magic tournaments).

I've played on a MtG team before, good times. It's only for video games now, but I think Magic is something we can/should definitely add.

This looks awesome! I'm looking forward to using Guilded to find teammates for AoE!

Thank you! AoE was my first online game ever, and still my favorite RTS of all time (sorry Starcraft, I love you too), so it was especially fun to add that one.

Only a tiny number of games represented. The idea is cool but to really shine it should not require official support of specific games, and the officially supported list should be a lot longer. Where's Day of Infamy? Rainbow Six? RTS games? I'm assuming this list will grow with time. If you add new games every day I think that would reflect positively on your product.

To be honest, a guild which is serious about itself would be much better served by their own custom website in my opinion. I'm just trying to gently say is there really a practical use for (yet another) of these websites?

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