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Open: A new way to play Hattrick

2011-05-09 15:30:00

Today we reveal in more detail what was hiding behind the cracks of Hattrick last week, and the answer is: Nothing short of a whole new way of playing Hattrick. Hattrick Open is an independent tournament system which lets you create cups and leagues for your friends, inside and outside Hattrick. You decide everything yourself, down to match times and what rules to use. At the same time, Open is a completely new platform that will give us much better flexibility in the development of the core game as well.

Writing an editorial for Hattrick doesn't get much more exciting than this! For many years, one of the most wished for features in the game have been better support for friendly cups, to make it easier to play Hattrick with your friends. And we have agreed that this would be a great addition to the game! But as we have also said many times on the forums, it has been a tough project to solve: the league and match schedules are very rigid and fundamental parts of Hattrick that often cause problems even when we try to make minor changes to them.

Hattrick Open changes all that. Open is many things, but first of all it is a new way to play and have fun with Hattrick. It allows you to play as often as you like, with whatever teams you like, and in lots of different tournament formats. You can play with your existing Hattrick team, or with new teams that ensure a level playing field with the other managers in your tournament. You can play quick games to settle a grudge with another manager, or you can set up leagues that play over weeks.

We have completely re-envisioned what Hattrick looks and feels like, and paid a lot of attention to the live experience itself - In Hattrick Open you have live match ratings, a chat system, prediction competitions, a fantastic new match order system, and many other cool things. It is different for sure, but we think it looks different in a very wonderful way.

At the same time, it is important to point out that it really is an independent platform that does not affect your classic Hattrick game in any way at all. Like in the case of Las vegas: "What happens in Open stays in Open". We think this will be an exciting complement to Hattrick, but also a great game in it's own right.

The flexibility of Open is also extended to how it is paid for. A tournament is either paid for by the person who creates it, who can then invite everyone to play for free - or each participant pays a small fee to take part. Everything is paid for with Hattrick Open's own currency, called Hattrick Open Points. You can get points in two ways: Either pay for them with Hattrick Credits, or buy them through the Hattrick Open site. As part of this launch, we will also accept micropayments through SMS for the first time. This payment method is available in 12 countries to start with.

There will be other ways to play Open, too. We will have a free beta for everyone, and offer free tournaments for Hattrick users in different ways after that. But as Open is a game that can really be used without limits, pay-to-play at a reasonable price is appropriate to make sure the service is sustainable.

OK, back to the game then. Hattrick Open is really Hattrick in a different package. The match engine is the same, as are the player skills and everything else the engine relies on in the match simulation. It is super easy to import your Hattrick team to play in Open - just log in with your regular Hattrick credentials and set up a tournament with it. Or respond to an invite for a tournament someone else has set up, of course.

But it's far from a simple copy of Hattrick. We have reimaged Hattrick for a new, often faster, way of playing - and strived to make it all more accessible to non-Hattrick users as well. To achieve this, we have both simplified some aspects of the interface as well as added a few new tactical elements in the game.

Some of the new things you will soon notice:

* We have added something called Action Cards, which is a way to boost skills and form, or to heal injuries, within a tournament. You get some cards at the start, and some during the tournament, and spending them at the right time is an important tactical element.
* Part of the game is the Prediction league, where you try to predict the results in other games in your tournament. Being the best can earn you extra Action Cards.
* We have a new element in the game called Fatigue, which basically forces you to rest players during the tournament.
* We have a chat system within tournaments
* The match order form is a lot more powerful and adaptive to the context

Some things that have changed a bit:

* Open does not have any training, staff members, transfers or economy
* Instead of the text denominations, we list skills as a value between 1 and 20.
* The regular Hattrick faces are not used in Open at all - we are establishing a new look for players that will be unique to Open. The full range of these faces will however not be available in the game just yet.
* There is more interactive help in the game, the match order form will for example show you what players will contribute most in a certain position - taking into account all relevant skills.
* To summarize: The focus is on match coaching and tournament play!

We chose the name Hattrick Open for two reasons. One is that we really see this as a universal tournament system which will have great possibilities to be a level playing field for all users, where you can play and have fun no matter where you happen to be stuck in the league system. In every tournament, the choice is between using existing Hattrick teams or "fair squads", where all managers get teams of a comparable strength. In the future, we will see a lot more statistics, dynamic rankings, and new competition modes that will really put this aspect of Open into high gear.

Secondly, it is also very much a technological platform that carries with it great promise for the future development of Hattrick itself. It liberates us to work differently with the core game. Some examples could be new Cup formats inside the core game, that could use the more flexible Open engine even though users never have to leave Hattrick to play them. Other examples could be new ways to train newbie users through actual match play, rather than never-ending text manuals. And besides all this, Open is and will continue to be a place where we can try new interface concepts in a live environment, without disturbing Hattrick at all. The best and most suitable of these will be integrated back into Hattrick.

That's enough talking. Please go ahead and give Hattrick Open a try. Everyone can sign up to the beta, and vouchers to start a free tournament will be distributed to all testers in order of registration. It will also be possible to join other people's tournaments, so keep an eye on the Hattrick Open forum for such invitations.

The beta will run for a limited time, so make sure to use your beta vouchers before then. We will post news about the beta test on the Hattrick Open site.

Come and try Hattrick Open!

/Your most proud Hattrick team

More beta test information in the Hattrick Open Forum!

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