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Roadmap update: Winter 2019

2019-02-11 11:51:00

New features every week has been our goal since October - it has been a lot of fun for us to work with smaller, faster projects - and we see clear signs in our users statistics that the community approve as well. Now it is time to review how we lived up to past promises and what is in store for 2019.

When our last roadmap came out in October, we had just finished a huge project - the new smartphone app. It was very well received by users, but it had also meant many months without much attention given to the web, the core of the game. For this reason, we committed to a string of smaller projects that could all be developed, tested and released within a week or two each. We did so, and since we got inspiration and many new suggestions from users, we decided to keep going for a while longer.

Now let’s look at what was promised back in October, and which is now released:

* Threaded HT-mails
* Improvements to friendly pools
* Youth academy update
* Increased probability of events during additional time
* Improved transfer hotlists and transfer search page
* Training estimation for youth players (a Supporter feature, voted for by the Platinum supporters)

In addition to this, we have also added 5 new leagues to Hattrick, released a new Player Performance history page, with more data, shipped the new Instant match mode for single matches, released more statistics and added match kits for youth academies (another Supporter feature). We also did design changes to player ratings and skills, which caused some uproar at first but which we think have settled in nicely after we gave users the chance to opt out of certain design changes.

Like we mentioned in the previous editorial, we will continue to move forward with a new design for Hattrick - but we will do it in steps and with care. We have no interest in a radical redesign for the sake of it, but we need to feel that we have the room to change things and make them fit together better. The next page that will get a treatment is the Live page - this is already being tested on Stage and should be released within a few weeks - and after that we will work on the Post Match pages as well.

The Training Camps have not been implemented as promised. We did not yet find the right specification for this addition to the game, and it simply did not feel like the best priority for us since we had many other interesting things to work on.

The new ranking system which we talked about in October is still in development, but is progressing nicely - more news on that will come when we have more things to show.

So what is waiting for Hattrick in 2019?

Since October we have aimed at one release per week, and we have mostly been able to stick to this. It is more fun for us to work like this, but what is much more important - it seems to have made a mark in our user statistics as well. For the past few months, we are seeing the lowest “churn” - the amount of users leaving Hattrick - that we have seen for many years. This is extremely encouraging news for us! Of course we always have a small flow of new users that find Hattrick - we have recently had nice publicity in countries like Israel and Portugal, which has bumped the signups in those leagues - but keeping existing users is more important than anything. If we can keep this up, it is not impossible that 2019 becomes the year when Hattrick starts growing again, which would be really cool of course! One theme for 2019 will be to take a fresh look at marketing in general and “growth hacks” in particular - small and smart ways we can keep existing users interested in the game, and make it easier for new ones to find us.

Our next big development meeting will take place in March, and then we will probably start looking at larger projects again. We have the ranking system that will need to be implemented, and we have a vision to revamp the National teams and the whole international “meta game” in Hattrick into something that will feel accessible to more users. But it is too early to get into any detail about that.

Until then, expect another month of frequent releases, as well as a slightly larger release when the new Live pages is ready - which promises to make the Live experience smoother and more interesting in various ways.

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