Important information about Release 0.0.3

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update about Football President and that’s not because the development has ground to a complete halt!

On the contrary we’ve made some amazing progress in the last few months but it’s been a few months since the last release and I thought everyone deserved an explanation for why the latest release is taking so long to get ready!

I hope you’ll indulge me for a few mins so I can recant a bit of history about these releases… there’s screenshots if you make it to the end ;)

The first release that many of you may have got your hands on was 0.0.1 which I pushed onto the internet back in March. I’d spent a good period of time last year rebuilding the backend of the game but there was nothing to show for all that work!

Six months later I was desperate to get some feedback on my concept and see if it had any legs! I hastily released the first version of the client and put a small amount of Facebook credits (less than £5 worth) towards marketing it.

Release 0.0.1 proving that there was demand even if it did look like it had been yanked right of 1995

The response floored me! Character creation was broken in this release and I was aware as I hit the big green button that I was releasing a husk of a game. In fact we still get messages even now that complain about the character creation bug!

But the response to this limited demo was enough to convince me to keep on working on the game and I swiftly released a new version a month later that updated the UI further and added some more ground breaking changes. For the first time, you could login to the game servers, explore the game world and as the servers ticked on, new seasons got generated and processed. I felt the 0.0.2 release was enough to give people an idea of what type of game I was trying to build. The game was looking a little sharper as well.

New messaging interface in 0.0.2 to keep you updated on what’s happening in the game world

The response this time was even better. I have to admit, I’d tightened up on the marketing too. The release was planned for the end of the week and we did all kinds of promotion (even got retweeted by a footballing celebrity!) to hype the launch.

There was real momentum. The Discord channel started to fill up with people the minute it was launched. We had a few real special people namely Dylan Clarke, Daniel Mason and Jye Yi who believed in the game as much as I did and volunteered a special amount of work into the upcoming release. I decided to open up the development process to the public and made our Trello board public.

Although I was always wary of the fact that all this flash marketing might dupe some people into thinking they were downloading a full version of the game. Making people wait a few days to download the game was cheeky but it was really crucial to guaging how well Football President might do. At this stage of development, I still wasn’t sure whether to commit another year of my life to this project and how well the project was received as shallow as it might seem was going to be a good barometer for me.

I didn’t want to deceive people into thinking they were downloading a full game but I still needed to know how much more of my life I’d sink into this project.

If anything I was convinced, and the momentum of that release carried me through for a few weeks as more blocks fell into place for the game.

But one thing that I was adamant that I wouldn’t do for the next release was abuse the good will that I’ve built up from early adopter fans by releasing yet another half broken version of the game with limited game play.

You’ll notice in the screenshots that the UI has been tightened up again, it’s looking more professional now. I want you to be able to make companies, buy clubs and then do something with those clubs in the next version of the game. So I’ve held back on releasing the next version until I think it’s ready…

But the problem is, the volunteers on the game need some sort of good news from time to time. You as fans want to hear about how things are progressing and as you can imagine, I have a boss who is keen for me to crack on and work at a reasonable pace on the projects he pays me for. Suddenly I found myself changing from being excited and completely obsessed with getting Football President completed - to being slightly stressed about it. I had to keep a lot of people’s expectations in check whilst I felt myself starting to burn out a little.

Little video presentation to thank you for making it this far: http://recordit.co/e7yGUCfEOU

So with all that in mind, I decided to scale things back down again:

  • You won’t hear as much from me on social media but I’ll do a long form post like this once in a while. I know there’s a keen interest in Football President and I hope most of you will be around to download the game when it’s finished in a few month’s time. But I’m going to concentrate more on coding and less on everything else :)
  • I have all the gratitude in the world for the volunteers who have already given me so much but I think I’ll appreciate your help even more when the game is closer to completion. So I’m going to tackle some of the issues by myself from now on and maybe from time to time I’ll reach out to the community if I get stuck.
  • The next release is ticking along but I’ve already commited to a deadline that we didn’t eventually meet. I don’t want to do that again so I won’t be making any more public deadlines either. But I do plan to get a game launched before the end of the year.

The new features in the next release are pretty impressive, here is a quick list of what’s been done so far:

  • Tweaked the UI even further. It looks even more slicker now
  • Fleshed out the game database with team names, stadiums, cities etc for all 7 leagues and 300+ teams.
  • Added the ability to create your own companies and manage your bank accounts
  • Added the user interface for the Stock Market
  • Fleshed out all the team pages, squad views, fixtures etc.

so I’d say we’re almost 60–70% complete.

Anyway I think that’s enough of a progress update for now, here’s some screenshots for your patience.