Official release - Almost there - Game Plan Hockey Manager

Published 2016-02-05

Official release - Almost there

The move is now finally finished and we’re one big step closer to the official release. So what’s new and what’s left?

We have left the old server. Finally. Thanks to the Kickstarter campaign it was possible to invest in a new server. Even though it may not be state of the art it’s still way better than the previous one. And most important, it’s dedicated to just this game. More details about the Kickstarter campaign can be found here.

Rework behind the scenes?

Most of the work I’ve been doing lately has been about a big rework and database refactoring. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time but at the same time feared (the amount of work). This will improve performance on simulations and will most important give me the possibility to backup and restore game worlds individually.

Still a beta?

The game version is now set to v1.0.0.0 without beta suffix. But before I’m removing the beta status completely from the game I need to see that everything works as intended. To be honest there have been very little testing of the new features since the UAT went down on the old server. And because the first weeks may be a little shaky I think it’s better to wait before announcing the official release until the first hotfixes are in place.

What about new features?

On top of the big rework there are a few new features and improvements in this release. The most significant new feature is the introduction of non playable leagues in Europe and North America. I will elaborate a little more below but a complete list of new features and improvements can be found here.

Non playable leagues

In order to take another step towards a more realistic game I’ve introduced non playable leagues and teams. The current league structure is based in north america and player nationalities have been a similar variety that we see in the NHL today. But I’ve always felt that it has felt quite isolated and disconnected from a realistic world.

Another reason is that this feature will serve as a foundation for a lot of upcoming features. Currently new youngsters are added to the free agent market each new season. Not so realistic. So when developing the youth draft feature youngsters will instead belong to junior teams or european teams and may continue to play for that team until signing with the team that picked them.

A third reason is that to often players remains as a free agent for multiple seasons since no team within the current league structure had a need for them. Not so realistic. Now the non playable teams will sign players from the free agent market which will benefit their development since they will now both train and play games.

The non playable teams will also contain non signable players to ensure that all teams has a full roster when playing games. These players can’t be signed. But note that “real” players that sign for a European team may actually be approached, but only during Silly season. Only at this time can the contract be waived.

Canadian cities - and re-customise your team

As an addition to these leagues there are now Canadian cities available for teams in the current league structure. That means that when you sign up for a new team you can choose if your team should be based in the US or Canada. Since this wasn’t an option when all current managers joined you now have a one time possibility to edit your franchise. You may choose a new city, change mascot and so on. You’ll find this option at the action menu on your team page.

The tactical mind game

Another big missing peace of the puzzle has been the lack of tactical mind games between managers. The possibility has actually always been there but you haven’t had a chance to get a hint of what tactic the opponent are using. I intended to add this when adding staff and mainly scouts to the game. But for numerous reasons this feature has been put on hold and are now scheduled to this summer.

But I felt I couldn’t wait that long so I through together a small feature where the assistant will give his report on the opponent tactics. This is available on both the game preview and after the game is played. The preview report is not 100% accurate since it’s based on how the opponent has played over a period of time while the post game report is based on only the current game.

The report will not reveal the opponents tactics in every detail but will instead be a text based report. The report will give you the opportunity to figure out what tactic the opponent are using and then adjust your tactic. A tip is to use the tactic explanations found on the action menu tactics option on team page. Now you have to ask yourself if it’s better to adjust your tactic or stay with your well rehearsed tactic?

That’s it for now. Hopefully I can now focus on developing new features instead of all the trouble shooting. I really appreciate all cheers and support shown in the forum. Thanks a lot.