Bridgestars Dot Net: The platform you’ve always wanted

Bridgestars Dot Net: The platform you’ve always wanted

by Alex J Coyne © 2022 Great Bridge Links

Where to play bridge online is a common question on sites like Reddit, and it’s not always an easy one to answer. While options were sparse twenty years ago, the are many many online platforms to choose from today. You can see a good listing on our Play Online pages.

Great Bridge Links & Alex caught up with Castor Mann, founder of the newest online platform, Bridgestars which bills itself as “The platform you’ve always wanted.”

Swedish bridge champion Castor Mann first had the idea for Bridgestars long before he knew what its name was going to be. Work began in early-2020, though he says the core ideas for the site came as early as 2019.

“I wanted to create something that could be an alternative to BBO [Bridge Base Online] with more modern aspects to it. I saw a lot of flaws, and I wanted to make sure those flaws were fixed somehow.”

Mann met the co-founder, Theodor Lundqvist, in 2021. “While he’s not a bridge player, he’s an excellent programmer and problem-solver.” 

A great match from the very beginning says Mann, Mann and Lundqvist launched their company in February 2022. “We want to have a centralized platform for international bridge players to be able to play bridge online. It’s something that others [like BBO] have done very well, but we also want to incorporate more modern aspects.” 

Mann says that bridge has not always kept up well with other games when it comes to technological advancement. “We want to change that.”

One of the important goals is to keep Bridgestars a free service – for everyone, forever. “We have plans on how to monetize the platform without interfering with user experience. Unlimited play for free, and with no annoying ads.”

Community is a huge part of Bridgestars, says Mann. “We want Bridgestars to not only be a platform on which to play bridge but also serve as a community.”

Discord will be used for advertising its events and tournaments, posting results, and more. Discord is a popular gaming community, which many bridge players have already plugged into.

“We are also working on our own bridge forum hosted on our own website, as well as a voting section where people can submit (and vote on) ideas.”

The team, Mann says, have worked on improvements on everything from chat features to a modern friend system that allows traditional friend requests, like people have gotten used to on social media. 

Future features include the introduction of a computer player and money bridge, though Mann does not reveal a release date for these new features just yet.

“We focus on user experience. We work a lot on making sure our user-interface is clean, looks good, and remains easy and intuitive to use.” For programmers, he reveals the platform is being developed and improved with Unity.

Unity isn’t just for bridge, but it’s known as a versatile, fast-growing programming language that’s been especially popular for the indie video game creation scene.

Scoring will incorporate an ELO-ranking system, which Mann notes bridge doesn’t often incoporate (though chess does).

All of this, Mann says, is part of their plan to provide only the best when it comes to online bridge.