This week please discover more graphics and work in progress screenshots from our current main challenge - new match viewer. We are working simultaneously with few elements, like stadium visualization, player animations, or field textures. As we are getting closer to the final results, we will, from time to time, reduce the length of our Developer Diaries, and instead of text, present more screens or graphics.
New 3D / 2D viewer:
Old viewer conversion:
We are also working on translation of old viewer (2D) from Flash to HTML. Here we are also moving forward, and this week we can share a set of animations with you, prepared in HTML - as you see, we have all player animations almost ready, and we can move into final part - configuration between graphics/animations and match engine data.
Today we would like to share with you a work update on the new 2D/3D visualization. As we have described in previous episodes of Dev. Diaries, the new visualization is meant to be the main way of watching matches and it has been designed to support both 2D and 3D view modes simultaneously. You will be able to clearly see it in the preview graphics presented today.
Currently, work is underway to optimize the way the match is displaying in the new visualization (to make it efficient even on weaker computers), as well as work related to the animation quality of players and their play.
At the same time, we are developing the entire graphic design of the visualization and we can present these elements to you today.
Check out the link below and use the arrows to see all 7 views we have prepared:
The views are displayed in the following order:
1. Match loading screen - the view that is displayed at the very beginning of the match loading. You can see the video advertising option here - this element will only apply to players without a PLUS subscription - but it can be omitted using tokens - i.e. additional in-game purchase.
2. Then there is a series of views of the match intro that are displayed as the players run onto the pitch (that is, before the match starts). Here we have one by one - a presentation of the kits of both teams, a potential advertiser, the line-up of both teams and the tactics.
3. In the fifth view you can see how the match is displayed - at the bottom you can additionally see a time bar, which allows you to scroll to selected situations. These situations are also marked on the bar with the colours of the teams and icons.
4. The last two screens are the menu view with view options and camera modes. These are two propositions for this view, the content is exactly the same, the only difference is the shape of the drop-down menu.
We hope you like the new proposals.
This week we would like to share only a short note about our current work progress with you. We are extremely involved in the most important part of Flash replacement, and it's our main focus now. The most difficult part of this job is to implement tactic editor and match viewer. Our Flash replacement deadline with end of the year is still safe, but because of the news that Flash starts to be blocked on some browsers or devices even before the end of the year, we feel responsible to give this task priority. So we ask for some patience – we believe that in the next Developers Diary we will share some good news about this part of our job.
Some time ago, we presented you with the overview tab. It's a completely new tab that is supposed to collect all the key information related to running your club and to be a kind of team control panel. You will find it immediately after logging in to your account. Ultimately, the page will probably be configurable for your own preferences (you will be able to choose which elements you want to have at hand, and which ones to hide or move down the list). However, in the first approach, it will have the same appearance that it had in one of the previous Dev. Diaries:
This week we would like to ask for your help in developing this page. We are especially interested in the first section that you can see on the website - notifications. Its goal is to create a place that will remind you of the key actions that you should take. The game will remind you of them, along with a link pointing to the right place.
Below are some examples of notifications:
1. The need to choose the line-up for the next match;
2. Training setting;
3. Hire of a coach;
4. Planning a friendly match;
5. Signing the contract with the selected coach;
6. Contracting a player from an auction.
These are only preliminary suggestions, and this is where our request for help comes in. We would like you to propose us some other possible notifications to make the game easier for you. Please comment on the Sokker Development forum.
This week we are asking you check out our approach to mobile access. New SK interface will be adjusted for mobile much better than current one. We will use PWA technology to extend mobile functionalities, like possibility to pin the app icon to your mobile screen, or access to the app store.
We just started first conversions of desktop views to mobile ones, and today we can share with you our proposal for the new training. Following the link below you can find views that were already presented (desktop ones), but please use arrows (right/left) to move to other views – some of them are vertical, and they are dedicated for mobile.
You can scroll pages down, to see all information in each particular view (just make sure that the cursor is on the mock up when scrolling).
You can also check out mobile main page proposal, here:
Few more updates about current work:
1. Test server is almost ready to start. Currently, most of admins registered their teams, unfortunately we still face some issues that need to be fixed – but probably from this weekend we will be able to start first tests.
2. In the coming weekend we plan to start flash replacement for the tactic editor. If everything works out fine, flash will be removed from that part of the game next week.
Today we are pleased to present the final version of the new layout which we have accepted for implementation. Currently we are presenting it in the club view but in the coming weeks it will be developed in other, already designed views. The final version does not differ much from the one we presented a few weeks ago but we have refined a few elements (e.g. shading, vertical inscriptions, colors). What's more, we are presenting two basic views - light and dark layout, as these two directions were best welcomed in the surveys.
It will also be possible to combine different menu items and general view - this means that as a part of personalization the user will be able to use the light menu in the dark game view and vice versa.
A very important step in the development of Sokker is ahead of us - we are starting tests of the rewritten back-end code which has been updated from an archaic version from years ago to a newer one. Due to this change, it will be possible to start implementing new features in the game mechanics. The largest part of the code concerns daily updates that update the game in the morning. The new code has already been implemented on the test server and after initial tests in a narrow developer group we will begin to expand the tester base.
Starting from next week, all admins will be invited to the tests. We assume that there will still be numerous errors due to new code not being fully compatible with the user interface, so we do not want to overload the server with too many testers at the start.
However, after fixing the first errors discovered within this group, we plan to open the test server for more users. The exact rules for setting up test teams will be announced along with the rules for using the test server, reporting bugs, etc.
The changes that have been introduced for now are primarily a refresh of the game code. There are still no new elements in there that are not included in the current version of the game (in other words, it is the same game, only the code behind it is a newer technology). But after the update is properly tested, we will implement the announced solutions to it.
New 2D and 3D match visualization
Works on the new visualization are also moving forward. It combines two view modes, 2D and 3D. New version will only have one link to launch the match (not two, as it is now - separate for 2D and 3D). The whole visualization will be three-dimensional, but the default camera position will reflect the 2D one, which is the greatest advantage of the current 2D - a static shot of the entire pitch. To use the potential of 3D the user will have the option to change cameras during the match. It will also be possible, for example, to set replay preferences and watch instant replays on cameras other than the main view of the match.
Currently, we have managed to fully translate the match visualization engine into Unity. The next step is to apply the right animations, textures, refine all elements, adjust the scale (e.g. the size of the players).
Here we are sharing with you a few screenshots of the ongoing works:
Problems with payments for Plus
In recent weeks, we have received a large number of complaints regarding the dates of Plus activations - we are very sorry for the numerous delays, they resulted from the fact that we changed our legal status (new company), changed bank accounts and granted access to payment processing. We have now completed this process. Plus should already be accepted on a regular basis. On this occasion, we want to briefly recall our recommendations for purchasing subscriptions in the game:
1. We encourage you to use automatic transfers by external suppliers (DotPay, Skrill, PayPal) - for these purchases Plus is activated automatically, it does not require manual confirmations from Developers.
2. In case of traditional transfers from the local bank - Plus will be activated within 48 hours from the moment the funds are credited to the game account. Please remember that transfers can arrive after some time (e.g. due to the weekend).
3. If after 3-4 days from sending the transfer Plus is not activated, please report such complications in the thread "Plus problem" in Sokker International forum - or directly to Developers - Mekene and Raul. From the beginning of this month, they will be responsible for allocating Pluses paid in the traditional way.
We hope that payment problems will no longer arise and at the same time we thank you for all the donations which will largely finance the further development of the game.
In addition to working on the next elements of the game, we are currently busy with work organization. Currently, a number of subcontractors are working on the development of Sokker, so we would like to share with you a list with the scope of tasks they carry out:
1. 2x front-end programmers - a team of two has started working on the new interface that you had the opportunity to see in mock-ups and preliminary graphic proposals.
2. 1x back-end developer - one person is currently working on the code for the game itself, which is being gradually rewritten to a newer version. This person also completes the test server setup.
3. UX developer - a dedicated person works on mock-ups that we publish regularly. Currently, after working out a few different views from the desktop level, he starts working harder on the mobile view.
4. 2x graphic designer - a two-person team of graphic designers is working on the finalization of the graphic design - you have already seen the initial proposals in previous journals.
5. 1x programmer specializing in Flash - finishes fine-tuning Flash elements that require replacement before the end of the year. Currently, the most of the work is to convert the current match visualization to a newer technology.
6. Development studio - a separate subcontractor is working on a completely new match visualization which will cover the demand for 2D and 3D views in the next year.
7. Draftsman - at the same time, work on the illustrative elements is underway - the initial direction of the players' faces has already been presented, now more versions are being drawn to power the character generator.
Apart from the above team, of course, all 4 developers (Damian, Greg, Raul and Mekene) also actively participate in the development of the game. As you can see, the scope of the work is very wide and multi-threaded, at the same time, in recent months, we have managed to complete all the necessary composition required to implement both assumed stages of development - 1. Flash replacement, 2. Game release after a general refresh.
You often ask us about deadlines, we also see signs of impatience in terms of the number of changes and the pace of the work. Please be patient and remember the original assumptions. Our goal for 2020 is a successful replacement of Flash - and here the deadline will certainly be met. At the same time, work on a general update of the game is already underway - there are still 2-3 seasons to implement this change, but taking into account the complexity of the entire project and the number of elements that require work - in our opinion, this deadline should be accepted positively. We do our best to implement the changes as soon as possible, but we also want them to be of quality and properly prepared.
This week we are asking you to read some information about few areas of the work that are currently in our focus.
We almost have all the elements prepared for Flash replacement. Match visualization is still in progress, but even that part is 60-70% completed (as it’s the most complex and difficult part). Hopefully, in upcoming few weeks we will introduce them online, after some tests. We hope to successfully replace Flash until the end of November, so it’s even faster than our first deadline, set to the end of the year.
New interface – UX mock ups of the starting page
We are still working on the new interface, so another few views are prepared. Below you can find the link to the Sokker main page, use arrows to also find registration / login pages. Main page is an important point for the experience of new users, and that’s also the reason why we decided to make it a bit more modern and clean. We also decided to split registration process into two stages, verification (using email or social media) & team creator.
We also almost completed test server preparation. Currently we are tracking down few technical issues and bugs to make it playable (match engine is still not working), and after that, probably in upcoming few weeks, we will ask users for help during the tests. First main task for test server is to check new game update mechanism, before it is implemented in original game.
We are also happy to announce, that after long months of legal preparation, Sokker is changing legal status for new company. Investment agreement is finally confirmed (maybe it seems like a bit late, but all formalities according to local law where quite complicated and time consuming). From users perspective there is only one important change – new data for PLUS purchases, in line with new company.
Sokker Manager sp. z o.o.
ul. Barbórki 26, 04-511 Warszawa, Poland
02 1140 2004 0000 3802 8036 1751
This week we are asking you to follow the link below to the newest graphic design proposal. In the last weeks we tried to upgrade projects we presented before, and also adjust them for new illustration guidelines, based on new portraits and overall style. We are happy with the final result, new approach combines quality with clearness and easy data presentation, we would like to follow that direction. It's still probably not the final version - in the next step we will apply it to few other page views and also mobile version to make sure that the design works well in different configurations.
As it was mentioned before - we have focused on one view for now, but with new graphic design we will also introduce dark skin & retro one.