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Interview with HT-Johan (part II)

The second part of the interview with HT-Johan.

Good readings!

8.- Something we’re noticing, at least in Portugal, is that there’s a huge competitive gap between our lowest division (VI) and the division immediately above (V). This is very demotivating and – I suspect – probably one of the reasons behind new users quitting the game in the early stages. Do you have any plans on how to address this rather complex but critical situation?

Well, it is nothing new, but I agree this is very important. We have tried all sorts of things, changing how new teams are seeded into their new divisions, changing prize money, etc, but it is a structural problem that needs more thoughts. From a game perspective, I think it would be better to force teams to fight harder to keep their established status, so that top teams that slide into inactivity would fall faster. But this is something that needs to be handled with care. I don’t have any good answers just yet.

9.- There's also some discontent with the board reserves rule. To counter that a lot of users are buying future coaches, which leads, among other things, to the hyperinflation of those players. What's your view on this?

I don’t really have an opinion about this. There is always some corner of the Hattrick economy that is booming and users asking us to regulate it. The board rules are 4-5 years in the game, so I don’t think to change them is a matter of urgency :)

10.- Another aspect of the game that sometimes is mentioned in forums, especially by newcomers, is its speed. They usually complain by saying the game is too much slow. Personally, that’s one of the things I most enjoy in Hattrick, but this new generation of users seems to be eager for a faster pace. Would you consider speeding up things or even creating a let’s call it “new world” with shorter seasons and eventually faster training speed?

I think this resembles the question of P2W: Maybe if we started the game today, we would consider P2W or a faster pace, but with 22 years in operation and a huge group of old-time, loyal (and conservative) users changing things just to be like everyone else could backfire in an ugly way. I think we have increased the pace in some ways, there are a lot more tournament and cup games now, for example, that you can fill your week with. But those are voluntary decisions, you don’t have to participate.

One thing we will try in tournaments is to let users choose to play their matches faster. We are not sure if users will have an interest in faster matches but adding it as an open option is a way to get a better idea about it.

Starting a completely new world is something we have discussed many times and I think it could be fun, but it is actually a lot more work than it sounds like. Hattrick is not built to have more than one instance running, so in many ways, we would have to build a new game. Maybe, one day, who knows? I’m tempted by the idea maybe not so much by the faster speed, but to be able to offer everyone the thrill of starting over in a fresh world, as we did in HTI – that was a lot of fun.

11.- Something curious about Hattrick is that some of the current staff, or at least those we publicly know, are former common users. How's Hattrick's recruitment process made? Do you first look inside the game for potential future collaborators or that's not important at all?

It depends. Now we haven’t recruited for quite a long time, but the best recruitments have been from within the community, I would say. So, we certainly always check there first. But it is not a requirement.

12.- Many of our readers already know you’re from Sweden but they, most likely, have no idea that you’re currently living in Portugal. Being straightforward and leaving political correctness aside: what do you most/less enjoy in our country?

Haha! I love the weather of course, and especially that I don’t have to spend 6 months a year in relative darkness and that I can wear a T-shirt most days, even in January. It is also a very friendly, and helpful, and beautiful country. I find that Portuguese small talk can take too much time. I often find myself three minutes into a conversation believing we have said all that needs to be said, but then the conversation goes on for another 30 minutes, with a lot of formal politeness being repeated over and over again, and little new information. This is confusing and frustrating for me. Also, I have to say that the Swedish bureaucracy is so much more efficient and pleasant to work with than the Portuguese. I think this is because Sweden is a county with high trust levels, so most things in business and public life can be sorted out with a simple handshake or a phone call. In Portugal, it is always a lot of paperwork involved, and often different paperwork depending on who you asked. This can be highly frustrating…

13.- What do you miss most from your home country, Sweden?

The bureaucracy, like I mentioned :) But mostly my family, and my football team, Malmö FF. I keep my season ticket there and give the tickets to friends every week, I can only see 1 or 2 home games per season. But it feels good to keep that link. I can also miss that exuberance that Swedes feel in spring when their souls awake after the winter depression. It is quite something, to share the joy of the sun returning. Down here, you become quite used to it and start hiding in the shadows by the end of May :)

*Special thanks to LuisMarques (9381045) for helping me with the questions.

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