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Editorial

Roadmap: Autumn 2019


2019-11-14 15:38:00

The new season has gotten off to a good start with our new two leagues Ethiopia and DR Congo joining Hattrick, and the new competition mode Division Battles being announced and receiving very good feedback from the community. We are very happy to have more than 75,000 teams signed up for this free contest, which for the first time lets you play on the same side as the other managers in your series. Later this season, Hattrick will get a face-lift, as we welcome new design for our player avatars. Finally, the best news of all: Hattrick is growing again.

Division Battles was one of the things we decided to work on at our last Developer meeting in September. We’ve long wanted to try something that can bring the managers in a series together around a common goal, so they have an excuse to discuss and plan things together in their chats and forums. We hope the Battles will be a great addition to the community, and have already received many ideas for how to improve the format in future seasons, if to turns out a success. Let’s see when the Battles kick off on Friday!

During our Dev meet we also reviewed our work so far during the year. This spring we devoted a lot of work to SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, which basically means improving our visibility on Google. This involves a lot of things, from improving the speed of the site, to adding new content to the site or making existing pages public or easier to find for Google. While we realise much of this doesn’t make Hattrick more fun for you, it was good to finally be able to tackle this head on and spend some serious time on it.

We didn’t see much immediate results, but as the summer went on things started to change. Together with some other changes we did, such as releasing new app versions and asking users to rate us again in the app stores, we were starting to see signup numbers that we haven’t seen in many years. This trend has been consistent for several months now, and we can actually say that Hattrick is again a game that is growing organically - growing before any marketing we do, such as banners or reinvitation campaigns to old users. We are not talking about huge numbers, but it is a clear reversal of the negative trend we have seen in the last few years and we are really happy and motivated by it! Thank you for sticking with us, and thanks to all of you that have helped make this change by talking about Hattrick and inviting your friends.

As for the coming plan, the increasing user numbers have led to a new “background project”, which is all about improving the game experience for new users. We are working on that now, and hope this will help improve the amount of new users that stay in the game.

This autumn, we will also launch the second set of new features for our National Teams. This time around it will be the official scout roles, and the ability for NT coaches to create large shortlists of players. The shortlists will make it easier for the NT coach teams to monitor the progress of the players, and to communicate with managers who own NT prospects, but they will also make the whole selection process around the NTs more transparent, as any player heading to the main NT squad will first have to be shortlisted. We also think that the shortlists will bring more regular managers in touch with the NTs, making it easier for them to engage in the NTs and in training the right players for them.

What more can you expect from us in coming months?

As we have already teased on Facebook and the Hattrick Developer blog, we are working on a big project to add new player avatars to the game. The new faces will be more realistic-looking, and be a complement to the current more comic style. You will be able to choose yourself what style you prefer. We are adding the new faces for various reasons! It was clear from the start when we changed to these faces back in 2009 that the community were divided on them. For some, they didn’t fit the feeling some users had to their teams, and to Hattrick as a “serious” game. In the last 2 years we have tried to really work through the site and the design to make everything fit together better, which caused similar feelings among some users who preferred to stick with certain styles for the match order form, skill bars and so on. Since we now have going user numbers again, we are really curious to see what completely new users in the game would actually prefer. If it is the new faces, bringing in this option could end up being quite an important decision in the long run.

You can also expect to see the ranking system we have worked on for the past year introduced in Hattrick. We will start by adding ranking information to some existing pages before we build new features that takes this data into account.

Beyond this, our aim is to keep a good development pace with some nice surprises along the way up until the New Year.

Happy Hattricking!

The HT-team

HT-Johan
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