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Summer 2020 roadmap

2020-06-23 11:02:00

This summer, we will start building the new World Cup system, which was announced a few weeks ago. We are also working towards a wider version of the Hattrick web site, which will be released together with upgraded versions of several key pages on Hattrick throughout the summer.

While things have been turbulent out in the real world, in Hattrick the positive trends from 2019 have continued unabated. We see more users signing up for the game, new users staying on longer on average, and, as a result, growing user numbers. While it is not an end to itself for us to grow much larger - our main focus is to keep existing users happy - it is still more fun to plan for the future when you realise there is a robust and even growing demand for Hattrick in it.

The big project we are working on now, the new World Cup system, is a good example of something we might not have prioritised if we didn’t believe in the future of the game. Building this will take much of our focus over the coming months, but we will divide it into parts so that we have time to release other things as well. The main release of the new World Cup system is only in January 2021, but we may be able to release some parts already during the autumn, for example the new free NT federations.

The other larger project we are working on this summer is making the Hattrick site wider. The resolution of screens are so much higher today than they were in 2008, when the current site launched, that it makes sense to adjust this. While this is easy enough to do, we will spend a few weeks this summer to go through the whole site before the release to make sure everything works, and also to make small improvements and restructure the site in ways that make sense now that there is more space available on screen. As a general principle, we want to reduce some of the unnecessary clicking on the site, bringing relevant info together on the pages we use the most. This will also be a chance to make the site more consistent, for example making sure the left site menu is present on all pages, even the Live page and the Match order page.

This will not be a huge redesign of the site, more of a “Quality of Life”-update that covers our most important pages such as the Club page, the Series page, the Matches page and the Transfer. Of course, we will make sure the site still works for special interest groups, such as blind users and Simple skin users. The developer of Foxtrick has been invited to test changes ahead of time to have a head start on adapting the tool.

We’d also like to give an update on the project for new player faces. Early this year, we said we had decided to go back to the drawing board and, based on the feedback received from users during our “Sneak-Peek”, see how they could be further improved. We are still basically in that phase today. The project did not move further very much over spring, but we have some new ideas we are working on now. We are not in a hurry to change the faces, we will only go for it if we have something that we feel the majority of Hattrick users prefer over the current style.

In the current development period, until after the summer, there is no match engine changes planned. But we did stumble upon a change that needed to be made, as you could read about in our recent My Hattrick regarding the Unpredictable speciality. Apart from that small tweak, we expect to return to new game functionality after the summer.

Finally, we want to give out advance warning that the support for Flash will end at the end of 2020. We use Flash in our Kit Designer and Arena Designer, two Supporter features. We are working on finding good working alternatives for those tools, but it is too early to say whether we will be able to replicate the same functionality or not. In any case, more information will come in good time before anything stops working.

That’s all for now - have a great virus-free summer, everyone!

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