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Summer 2020 Roadmap

2020-06-23 11:02:00

This summer, we will begin building the new World Cup system, which we announced a few weeks ago. We're also developing a wider version of the Hattrick web site, which we will release together with upgraded versions of several key Hattrick web pages throughout the summer.

While things have been turbulent out in the real world, in Hattrick, 2019's positive trends continue unabated. More users are signing up for the game, and, on average, new managers are staying on longer, growing the overall numbers. While growth is not an end unto itself - our main focus is to keep existing users happy - it's still more fun to plan for the future when you realize there is a robust, growing demand for Hattrick in it.

The big project we are working on now - the new World Cup system - is a prime example of something we might not have prioritized if we didn’t believe in the future of the game. Building this will take much of our focus over the coming months, and we will divide it into parts so that we can release other things as well. While the main release of the new World Cup system is still a ways off in January 2021, we may be able to release some parts earlier 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. Screen resolutions are so much higher today than they were in 2008, when the current site launched, that it makes sense to adjust to current standards. While this is easy enough to do, we will first spend a few weeks this summer going through the whole site to make small improvements, as well as restructure the site to maximize the benefit of having more onscreen real estate. As a general principle, we want to make information easier to reach by bringing relevant info together on the pages we use the most and reducing the number of clicks it takes to get to it. This will also make the site more consistent. For example, making the left-side menu persistent on all pages, including on the Live page and the Match Orders page.

Widescreen HT will not be a huge redesign. It'll be more of a "Quality of Life" update, one that covers the most critical pages, such as the Club page, the Series page, the Matches page and the Transfers page. We will, of course, make sure the site still works for special interest groups, such as blind users and simple skin users. We also invited the developer of Foxtrick to test changes ahead of time in order to get a head start on adapting that popular tool.

We’d also like to give an update on the project for new player faces. Earlier this year, we decided to go back to the drawing board. Based on feedback received from users during our “Sneak Peek," we saw how the faces could be further improved. The project did not move forward much over the spring and we are still essentially in the drawing board phase today, but we have some new ideas we're working on. We're in no hurry to change the faces, and we'll only go for it if we have something we feel the majority of Hattrick users prefer over the current style.

In the current development period, there are no planned changes for the match engine. We did recently stumble upon a change that needed to be made, which we wrote about in our recent My Hattrick update regarding the Unpredictable specialty. Apart from that small tweak, we expect to return to developing new game functionality after the summer.

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