Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Project timeline and team structure

Hi everyone!

During the last weeks we have already told you a lot about goalunited next. The main goal in the new version is the extension to more platforms that can be used to play goalunited. With that we will react to the ongoing movement away from the PC, towards tablets. The special challenge for us here is to create a UI that can be controlled with a mouse, and with a finger as needed for tablets.
We also want to use the chance to eliminate conceptual weaknesses that have found their way into goalunited during the last years and technical improvements that will lead to a better overall performance.

This extensive task will take quite some time due to its size and complexity. It is not possible yet to give the exact release date. It will depend on the achieved quality of the development. And it is of course essential that we reach a feature state that allows the complete management of your club as before and that those features are fully functional, both from a conceptual and technical standpoint.

With everything the project duration for gu next is estimated at 1200 developer days. This means, that ONE developer would need this amount of days to complete the project. Currently there are three developers working on gu next full-time. We are planning on doubling that number in the next few weeks. This means that we will have to hire a few additional developers. We hope that we will be successful in doing so rather quickly, even in this highly competitive area.
With six developers working on gu next full-time, we should be able to complete the development in April 2014 (Feature-complete: Alpha-status). At that point we will test and improve the quality in a fully playable Closed-Beta version. For this we will pick a few managers to help us run extensive tests on the Closed-Beta. Once the version is stable and we are happy with the quality, we will offer all managers the chance to check out the new version in an Open-Beta.

We hope to get a few tens of thousands of managers to help us run some load tests on the Open-Beta. With those we want to make sure that the performance enhancements are adequate.
After all this, we will integrate this well-tested “goalunited next” version into the running goalunited 2014 version. This should happen in the summer of 2014. You will then see the changes in the look & feel, navigation and gameplay, but your players and clubs will stay untouched.
Once the new browser version is running stable and smoothly, and after we have completed all final adjustments, we will concentrate on the release of the tablet app. We will offer an app both for Android and IOS, but at this point we do not know yet which one will be published first.

To clean up as big a project as goalunited, to improve it and to move it to cross-platform is an extremely complex and big planning and developing task. To be able to complete it within the year we are planning with, it takes a strong team that puts every effort and a lot of heart into it.
In the following we want to show you our team structure, and give you some insights into who is currently working on goalunited and what their individual responsibilities are.

Development Team

goalunited next

Felix (Lead Software Developer „Development“):  Frontend/Backend development, Scrum-Process
Daniel (Software Developer): Frontend/Backend development
Konrad (Software Developer): Frontend development

goalunited 2013

Sharam (Lead Software Developer „Maintenance “): Backend development, 
Simon (Software Developer): Frontend/Backend development


Ali (Art Director): responsible for the assets design; Art team coordination
Sebastian (2D-Artist): new employees; new mentor and further assets
Jan (2D-Artist): new player faces and further assets 
Supported by:  Martin and Tjark (3D-Artists)


Gregor (Lead System Administrator): Setting up the goalunited server cluster and keeping it running smoothly!
Stefan (System Administrator): Having Gregor's back!

Concept Team

Game Design

Renke (Game Designer): balancing; match engine and other game mechanics; basic and detailed concepts

User Interface (UI)/User Experience (UX)

Eva (UX-Designer): conception of the user experience and the screen composition
Valentin (UI-Designer): designing the Look & Feel of the new interface
Starting today: Eric (UI-Designer): also designing the Look & Feel of the new interface

Product Team

Robert (Product Manager): in charge of news & user communication; GU 2013 producing; bug management; live-game related issues

Yvonne (Costumer Service Team Manager): in charge of the international support teams; localisation; news & user Communication; facebook

Tobias (QA Admin): GU 2013 beta quality insurance; bug management

Jules (Game Director): Vision-Keeper goalunited (Product owner); monetisation; GU next producing; product budgeting

And of course, last but not least, our international Admins for each country and their devoted volunteer teams of supporters, moderators and translators.

Now, to sum it up:
6 developers, feature-complete in April 2014, beta (closed & open) in the summer, browser version release as soon as desired quality is established. Apps for tablets follow next.

And in the end we want to pick up a topic that has been discussed a lot in our forums in the last weeks. In the home/profile screens we have used a trophy picture that shows a non-existent standard trophy. This trophy is just a placeholder and is used to create realistic screens without spending too much time on details. The earned trophies will stay untouched and will be presentable in an impressive slide-show.  

Jules (Game Director)

Coming up next: Community questions and poll!