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HTnini: The game inside the game

The green community was shocked last week when a CHPP developer announced the launch of HTnini, an in-game game, a plugin for Google Chrome browser that emulates the collection of the famous Panini cards. One week after the 'premier', HTnini has more than 400 subscribers, threads in the most consulted HT forums and users who confess to spend more time on HTnini than on the pages of their own HT teams!

The mind behind this product is the French user CHPP-teles (653581). Telesphore is 38 years old, was born in Marseille and currently lives near Strasbourg. He is not a big fan of soccer, but he is a tennis fan, and inevitably of Roger Federer, with whom his birth date unites him (we suspect that his tennis skills do not match). He was a developer for 20 years and currently manages a team of developers and system administrators.

In the spanish-written blog HT-Central (https://htcentral.home.blog/), co-founded with Sp0kie (492884), we echoed the success of this launch and chatted with the creator. In collaboration with HT Press, we are publishing an English version here. The Spanish version is available in the blog.

What is your relationship with Hattrick and what is it about being a CHPP?

I've been playing Hattrick for 17 years (I can't believe it). After a time in the game I became a GM in France, occupying that role for 3 years, until I took the job of CHPP Admin, in which I started more than 8 years ago. Let's say my main task is to answer questions from CHPP developers and manage the products that are generated. I am also the link between HTs and CHPP developers.

Since I started at Hattrick, I think the CHPP program is the best part of the game, and that is why I am still in this role after so many years. I have developed many applications, most did not see the light because they were never finished. Maybe you know my great old app which was HTLoto? It was a gambling game on Hattrick matches. You could bet on different categories, in any match, get points and compete with other users. It was nice but very complex to maintain. Fun while it lasted.

How did HTnini come about?

HTnini is an old idea. I started a similar project years ago, back in 2014. The objective was the same, but it was more complex: more types of bonus, many cross-validations, updates, and it involved designing a website. I have never finished or published it. In the current global quarantine situation, I had some free time… and during rare times like these I always think of new CHPP products.

This is how I decided to resume this project but with a different objective: to publish it in a few weeks! This time, to reach this goal, I set myself the challenge differently. The first thing I had to do was eliminate everything that requires excessive time. I had to avoid learning a new programming language and any new development techniques. Also, it was clear that I wanted to avoid a website (this takes a long time), so I decided to create a browser extension and integrate the entire game on the Hattrick website (website problem solved!). Then I had to code it quickly, so the code is strange, but it works and is enough for a first version. I limited the functions to a minimum: albums, cards, market and see other collections. The result? The game was in production at the expected time! Approximately two weeks of development, and around a week of testing (thanks to my beta testers!).

Within a week after the launch, I'm very satisfied with the stability of the game, it works quite well, I can manage updates smoothly, and people seem to like it a lot, that's great! I hope it continues like this.

What was your relationship with Panini albums when you were a kid?

I had Panini albums when I was young, but since football never was my favorite sport, I have no special memories about it. I see Panini more as an addictive system, where you try to get what you don't have, whatever the topic of the album may be.

How is HTnini doing? What's next for those who already love the game?

Next steps for HTnini ... well ... there are many! The problem is not the ideas, it is the time necessary to develop them. I need to focus on those most requested features and avoid messing with overly complex modifications (I know this is subjective and everyone will have a different idea about what is necessary and what is simple or not to do).

The next great feature I want to launch is the Store. It can already be seen that there is a disabled link in HTnini, so it should not surprise anyone.

What will be available in this HTnini store?

Hey, I keep the secret for now, but the idea is that you will be able to buy some decks of cards, and there will be different types of decks ... the possibilities are endless, so try to save some coins!

I know this will be a huge challenge for the game economy. Since I am not a consultant to the International Monetary Fund, I am taking my time to analyze all the variables involved.

Voices of the forum:
Max_Schreck (1693272): "Panini cards never interested me in real life… however having it inside HT is great. A game within the game is very nice, and it is simple, you do not need to be a mathematics teacher or a statesman to enjoy and play the game. I think this is a very good way to make the game even more addictive".

Any other new features or improvements that we can expect?

Users send me their ideas and suggestions, some of them are very interesting and I will study how to implement them. I certainly won't be able to do everything, but I can tell you that I'm listening to everything. Surely I will implement a section with records and classifications, again here the possibilities are endless. Regarding the application itself, several users ask me for a version of Firefox, and I have tried. But Firefox and Mozilla are more complicated than Chrome ... when you want to do something fast, you understand why Google is successful! This is why I can't promise something in Firefox anytime soon, but what I can promise is that I will try again!

Let's see what Telesphore is like as a HTnini collector ... Have you completed any album yet?

I have completed albums during my in-game testing as I needed to test everything :) In the actual game, at the time of writing this post, I don't have any finished albums, but in some I'm very close.

Voices of the forum:
HT-Tasos (10800601): "I started playing HTnini the first day it came to the Global forum and since then, it's the first thing I do every morning in Hattrick. I believe it is a brilliant idea and fits perfectly to the Hattrick community. I can only congratulate CHPP-teles for both the idea and the implementation. As a heavy Panini collector when I was a kid (I still have the completed album of Greek League of '97), I am really happy with HTnini".

Do you already have a favorite card, or one for which you would pay a lot of coins?

My favorite card is the player card that appears on the product page in the CHPP section of Hattrick, he is the oldest and most famous player on my team. He was here when I received my team in the game, 17 years ago! So I had to use it for this project.

I don't know if there is a card that I would pay more for. In fact, I'm more excited to develop the game than to play it ... just like what happens to me in Hattrick: I'm not very good at the game, even after so long I am at the lowest level of my country.

Voices of the forum:
Uncle-Mish (11419808): "HTnini is really exciting and in the first days I couldn't stop exchanging cards and looking to get coins through the market. I think the game needs to polish a few things: the economy and the value of cards for example, but it is only a few days old and Teles is doing a great job in responding and listening to all the ideas and suggestions. 420 managers (alright!) are already playing, so this could be an interesting game if it continues at that growth rate. I personally was able to buy 2 players from my HoF, I am excited. Maybe each manager could have a personalized album / page to put their favorite cards in, or maybe some pages where you have to put players by positions to line up a whole team ... think of having Pedro "Apache" Zurita as their striker!"

We are going to close this chat with the 'classic' question of HT-Central… Let's say you are in a bar drinking beer, when suddenly you realize that HT-Johan is sitting next to you, also with his beer. The two begin to talk, have a few more beers and in a moment you realize that a kind of friendship has been generated between the two. Johan looks at you and says: "Ok, Teles, I like you ... tell me something you want to change in HT, whatever, and I will do it without problems" ... What would be your answer?

Before being completely drunk, I would ask to add all of the developer-made CHPP requests that have been waiting so long! Then I would ask him to do something with the Hall of Fame players, something different, something like a new type of game with those players and their characteristics.

Maybe after that night I would do it myself: Who knows what happens after many beers?

If you like the article, feel free to click "Like" and/or leave a comment. You can discuss the article on the forum: (17329797.626).

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