Friday, 12 April 2013

What’s “next” in goalunited!

Hello everyone!

Welcome to the goalunited Dev Blog. This blog is intended to give you profound insights into the project plan and the minds of the developers, designers and those responsible. On top of that, it will also give you exclusive previews and firsthand information about the future progress of goalunited.

Talking about the future of goalunited, there are amazing news and a huge evolutionary step to look forward to. Get ready for “goalunited next”!

What is “goalunited next”?

First of all, “goalunited next” is our working title. It will take some time to develop and therefore the title “goalunited 2014” would not be quite suitable. Also, “goalunited next” will be so much more than just another update as we apply it at the end of each year. Other than those updates that focus mostly on bringing big new features and improvements, “goalunited next” will be a fundamental refactoring of the goalunited interface and all of its features.

As many of you know, gaming platforms are constantly in transition. PC, consoles and browser are still important platforms, but more and more people are using their mobile devices like tablets and smartphones for surfing, communicating and playing. goalunited, as one of the most successful and longest-serving browser-based manager games, needs to adapt to be able to hold its course.
As reaction to this trend, which we believe will become more and more distinct in the future, goalunited will go cross-platform, becoming fully playable in both a regular browser and as an app for tablet devices.

A major consideration for this development is the size and complexity of goalunited. At this moment it contains 160 screens and popups, leading to a gameplay in which the managers switch between different screens quite often. This number will have to be reduced to make the game playable conveniently on a tablet device. We believe we have come up with a great concept to combine many of the current views into fewer, much more comfortable screens, without taking away the depth of the game. Our main goal here is to create a functionality that is both fun, comfortable and playable without limitations from a tablet, and at the same time improves the playing experience from a traditional browser.

Saying all this, it’s not just about making the views more structured, “goalunited next” also gives us the chance to “tidy up”. goalunited grew a lot over the last years, and we have implemented new features with high frequency. This has led to some technical and conceptual issues we will now focus on. Our goal is to develop a goalunited version with a pleasant bug status that runs smoothly on the technical side. And it also should be intuitive, comfortable and innovative on the gameplay side.

We know that many of you are also waiting for goalunited to be available as app for smartphones. Due to the huge amount of screens and features it is very hard to offer goalunited in full extent.
At the moment, we are looking into the option of developing a companion app.  This app would offer selected key features to allow access anywhere and anytime.  However, the smartphone app is a separate project and has a lower focus than the “goalunited next” rebuild.

What does this mean for goalunited 2013?

It will take quite some time to develop “goalunited next” completely and with the desired quality. During the development we are of course not neglecting goalunited 2013 in any way. Our priority will be the continuous work on bugfixes and improvements. And we will also keep adding new content, just with a somewhat reduced frequency. With all this, it is important to establish a good balance that will allow the speedy and high-quality development of “goalunited next”, while guaranteeing the uninterrupted and interesting flow of goalunited 2013. Once “goalunited next” is completed and tested, it will replace the (at that time) running goalunited version, without changes to your clubs and your progress in the game.

Over the next few weeks we will show you many details about “goalunited next”, and we hope that you will not only look forward to this great new development, but that we can show you that this change will give us the opportunity to improve all aspects of goalunited, all the way down to its core features. In the end, every change and new development gives the option to discover the game from a new perspective and it offers a fun challenge for all ambitious managers. 

Best regards,
Jules (Game Director)

Coming up next:
We will show you the first screen layouts and take a closer look into the timeline and team structure of the project.