Horizon (september 2011)
It has been a long time since we, the developers, wrote a "Horizon post". For those of you who don't know, we use Horizon posts to tell you about what we're working on and what we would like to work on in the future.
As most people probably have figured out by reading the last news post we are currently working on a stadium editor.
The stadium editor idea is actually several years old. It is something we have been wanting to realize for a long time. Looking at the user surveys we have sent out during the last couple of years, it has been one of the most requested features.
The stadium editor will enable you to see, control, and upgrade your stadium and its surroundings. You start of with an old worn-out pitch with small fences around it. From this point, you must construct tribunes, and upgrade these in order to increase the capacity and size of your stadium. You'll need to upgrade each section of your tribunes and pitch individually.
Bigger tribunes gives you a larger spectator capacity, and better pitches reduces the risk of player injury. And as a bonus, a level 5 stadium looks absolutely gorgeous. You will also be able to show off your stadium from your club profile page.
Besides constructing things you must make sure you stadium elements is in good shape by repairing them whenever it is needed.
In the first version of this stadium editor, you will only be able to construct and upgrade tribunes and the pitch itself.
The second version will allow you to do make creative stuff, like adding trees, roads, restaurants, hot dog stands, parks, etc. This will make it possible to personalize your stadium ground. You can design it as you please :)
The more you can offer your fans around your stadium, the more spectators you'll get. And the more you'll earn each match.
We hope to be able to release version 1 sometime before October but we cannot promise this. Its released when its done. After this, we'll start working on the before mentioned version 2.
Here you can see a preview:
Long term plans
As I've said several times, it is no secret that we have spent a lot of time improving layout, navigation, and usability on Virtual Manager. We have done this, because we felt it was important to improve the game in this area.
That being said, these things are not the most important when it comes to creating great gameplay experiences; that is the features and the gameplay. Therefore we happy to say, that we're now pretty satisfied with the looks of the game; we're now ready to focus on actual functionality.
As I said, the stadium editor will be the next big thing to hit Virtual Manager. After this, we have a long list of exciting improvements we have been wanting to make for a long time. Some of these are:
- New improved match engine: more realistic, better simulation of "real tactics", improved "3d feeling" (the ball will be able to 'fly' from the ground) New match viewer: this will be updated alongside the new match engine Better tactics editor: We'd like to make it possible to set penalty and set piece takers. Also, we want to make possible to define dynamic changes to a tactic depending on how a match evolves. This should enable you to set more "intelligent" tactics. For example, you will be able to change formation if a midfielder is sent off, but only if there is less than 20 minutes and you are leading with to goals. Or maybe, you'd just like change to a defensive formation if you are leading by 1 with 10 minutes left of a game. These "rules" should be freely mixable so you can set up your tactics just the way you want.
- National teams: National matches, national tournaments and democratic election of national coach. Youth academy: We're not yet sure how to make this feature, but we think it would be cool to make this part of the game more interesting. Stats reduction for older players: Today the oldest players are the best player. This needs to change to better reflect the real world in which the best players are around 23-29 years old.
- Faster scout: The scout should be more effective and faster. We're also considering making it possible to search the entire player database by using him.
- Mobile app: You should be able to play Virtual Manager from your smartphone.
The list is actually much longer - but the above mentioned is the most important.
The problem with this list is that each feature will take a long time to develop. Therefore, it is important for me to stress, that we do not intend to be done with these things in a near future. We'd rather build fewer features of higher quality, than more features at lower quality.
Because each features takes a lot of time, it is very important to start off with the most important feature. But what feature is that? Well, that question is best answered by you, the users. We have been sending out several user surveys in the past. Unfortunately we do not like them very much: the results get outdated pretty fast, and they can be a pain set up and send out. The result is that they are not send out as often as they should be.
There must be a better way. And we believe we have come up with one. We're planning on adding a "proposal section" to the site. On this page you will be able to vote for whatever feature you'd like to see added the game the most. Users with Premium will be given 10 proposal points each months, and you can then spend these on whatever proposal you like the most. You can spend all on one proposal, or spread them across several proposals. It's up to you.
Each month each of the proposals will lose 10% of their points. This will make the list more "live" and give a more current view of your wishes.
This way it will be a lot easer for us to choose the right features to work on. If a certain feature is popular among you, it will be a matter of time before it reaches the top of the proposals list. In this way it will be easy to point out the most requested feature.
I hope you like our plans. As always, we'd love to hear what you think :)