Published 2015-11-19

The official release of Game Plan Hockey Manager?

It's time to take the next step and move from the unstable beta to a solid official version of the game. In order to do so I will need your help. That's why Game Plan Hockey Manager now is available on Kickstarter.

View Game Plan Hockey Manager on Kickstarter here

The short story

I’m so grateful for how the game has been received by all of you that have tried it out over the last year. That’s why it has been a pleasure to continue the development. But as you know it hasn’t been without bumps in the road and the most recent problems have been due to a insufficient web server. So if the game’s ever going to make it from beta stage into an official release and reach its full potential I must invest in new hardware. And since game is free to play and isn’t making any money I’ll need your help.

The long story

Background

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. Then the official beta was released in the beginning of this summer 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.

Current state

Everything’s good then? Well, not really. The game still crashes from time to time and high speed worlds have been the most affected. Even to the extent where lightning speed worlds had to be removed completely. Those of you that have been following the forum discussions knows that most of the issues are due to an old and insufficient web server. Since the game isn’t making any money it has been vital to find cheap options for hosting, licensing and hardware. So what to do? Well I’m facing two options.

What will the future bring?

Currently there are six active game worlds. Two for each simulation speed (slow, normal and fast). I would love to continue adding more game worlds that would allow more people enjoying the game and at the same time add to an already growing community. I would love to bring the lightning worlds back to give the hardcore players their longed for simulation speed option. I would love to continue to strive for the ultimate game experience by adding youth draft, farm teams, staff plus extend game worlds with more teams, leagues and players.

In order to be able to do just that I need to take the final step and get out of the beta stage and create an official release of the game. That can only be done by moving the game to a sufficient web server.

The other option is to adapt the game features to the current hardware. That would most likely mean that the fast simulation option will be removed to prevent more server crashes. That would most likely mean that no more game worlds could be created and thereby limit the amount of people playing the game at the same time. That would most likely mean that even if I would continue to develop new features the game will stay in a beta stage.

I’m really hoping that I can continue with option number one. That’s why I need your help. If we together could raise $1000 it would allow an investment in new hardware (including software licenses) to host the game in a sufficient way to ensure that I can focus on developing new features instead of troubleshooting and patching corrupt data to keep game worlds alive.

By backing this kickstarter project you’re not only helping the game to reach its full potential you also get access to some limited bonus features depending on your pledge amount. If you want to read more about these bonus features you’ll find a complete list here.

I’m so grateful and overwhelmed with all the support and commitment shown in the Game Plan Hockey Manager community and that’s what makes it such a pleasure to invest so much of my time into the game.

Thank you!

Risks and challenges

So what happens when we reach our goal of $1000? I will immediately invest in new hardware and begin the migration from the old server to the new one. That might mean that the game will be taken down for a day or two to complete the move. After a couple of weeks of monitoring and optimising the new environment I will begin planning for the official release and what features it will include.

So what could go wrong? Well, there are always some configuration problems when moving to a new environment. And to be honest I’m not the biggest fan of dealing with hardware and configuration. But the biggest risk factor probably spells time. Doing this on my spare time the hours I can spend is most limited.

But be assured that every hour I’m not spending at work or with my wife and daughter will go into this game. After all hockey and developing this game is one of my true passions in life.

Game Plan Hockey Manager on Kickstarter!