Published 2017-08-18

What is Game Plan Hockey Manager?

If you’re new to the game or just want to refresh your memory on what this game is all about then this is the blog post for you.

Developer notes

Game Plan Hockey Manager is a free to play online hockey manager game that is played directly in the browser. It’s designed for desktop computers as well for smart phones and tablets.

The above is a sentence I’ve been using quite often when trying to explain what type of game Game Plan Hockey Manager is.

When asked what distinguish this game from others I will refer to the game’s four core values; Love for stats, That realistic feel, Details matter and Play by play. Check the top of the home page for more details regarding these.

It might also worth mentioning that there is no big company behind this game. This a hobby project of mine that is developed and managed on spare time alone.

Looking back

2014

In december 2014 Game Plan Hockey Manager was released as an open prototype. Over a thousand people ended up trying it out and the first response was way better than I ever could have wished for. But the prototype had its problems. The site was most often horrendously slow and every week the simulator went down and the game had to be patched up to keep the game worlds alive. But the great reviews made it a pleasure to continue develop the game and that’s why I decided to make a complete rebuild of the simulator.

2015

By the summer of 2015 a beta version was released which was based on a completely new simulator. Despite a shaky start the game became both faster and much more stable. And by the end of the summer one more piece of the puzzle was added when trading was introduced to the game. But the game still crashed from time to time and most of the issues was due to an old and insufficient web server. Since the game wasn’t (still isn’t) making any money a crowd funding campaign was launched on Kickstarter. By the end of 2015 enough money was raised to buy a new web server.

2016

There was big plans for new features during 2016 once the new web server was up and running. A road map was made including features such as youth draft, affiliation/farm teams, all star accounts, staff and extended playoff experience. I thought I could finish them all during the year but I was way out. With a full time job and family the amount of time I could spend was limited down to a couple hours a week. However, by the summer I was happy to announce the release of the youth draft feature which took the game one step closer to my big vision.

2017

This became the year when the game finally included all the key features that's required of a great hockey manager game. Not saying the game is now finished. Not even close. But the foundation is beginning to take shape. At the beginning of the year a detailed game analysis added the missing insights needed for managers to really get to know their player's game performance. The fun part is that the details revealed had always been there since the prototype days, but hidden deep down the game engine. And then, by the summer of 2017, the affiliate teams feature was finally released making the game a fully featured beta.

This was also the year when an official support team was created to help users with any urgent problems and to investigate cheating accusations. This team was created by myself and my long time friend Tobias who has been helping me out for quite some time. In addition to the support team we also refined the staff roles of the community. A big thanks to Jusatin, TheWizard, Rainsilent, Scorevat53 and Steve for all their effort.

What will the future bring?

Currently there are only five active game worlds. This limits the amount of players who can play the game simultaneously. I would love to add more game worlds so more people can enjoy the game and at the same time add to an already growing community. But until I have found a way of making the game more stable and found a way of financing my hours I have chosen to keep the number of game worlds down to a manageable level.

There are also a lot of other features I want to add. My backlog of ideas, suggestions and requests will probably keep me busy for quite some time! You can check the current road map here.

I’ve also begun to look into ways on how to make ends meet financially. It’s probably a must in order to help this game reach its full potential. If you feel like supporting the game I gratefully accept monthly pledges via Patreon, this way you can upgrade your account to an All Star account. Visit our site at Patreon for more info. You can also make a single donation through PayPal, you’ll find the donate button at the bottom of this site.

Summary

I would still call the game a beta version despite all improvements made since the beta was released almost two years ago. It’s still too unstable to be called anything else and it’s also necessary for me to lower expectations regarding support and up-time since I have so limited time and budget. But the stability of the game is at the same time a high priority and is something I’m always work hard to improve.

If you want to support the game and help me drop the beta status please check out the Patreon site to learn more.

Last but not least, I must mention how grateful and overwhelmed I am with all the support and commitment shown in the Game Plan Hockey Manager community. That’s what makes it such a pleasure to invest so much of my time into the game!

Thank you!

Anders Granberg, December 2016 Updated August 2017

Further reading

To find out more on how the game works please check the help files section of the forum. It’s not yet complete but it’s covering most of the basics. Help files section

Also make sure to read the core values and key features found on the home page.

If you want to know more about why I started developing this game I can recommend this blog post from when I first started developing the game. Why another hockey manager game?