This post is in response to all the queries we have been having about when the site is going to go live. As some of you may know, we were going to do an in-house full-site review yesterday. Well, we did and after about 5 hours or so we have a mixed bag of news:
The bad:We won't be going live this weekend as the wild optimist in me had hoped
The good:The core features needed to get a working version of the site up and running live are mostly in good shape. I am fairly confident that we should have a beta version up and running towards the end of next week.
Overall:This has been a monumental task so far, and we are well aware that this is just the start of the journey. Looking back and seeing how far we have come and the challenges faced, I am quite happy, all things considered:
As fantasy players ourselves, we understand the need to get things kicked off prior to the season starting (all the more important in a draft style game such as ours). In addition to the draft, there is also the matter of organizing league participants, prize money (if you choose to go this way), tactical mind games etc. etc. The good news is that the drafting system we have implemented should significantly speed up the drafting process when compared to the spreadsheet method* - more complete information on the drafting process to follow in the coming days.
Anyway, that's all for now. Feel free to share your comments/suggestions below (or on twitter if you prefer - follow button on the right)
*For those that want to play draft style fantasy football but do not want to risk missing the first gameweek (although I genuinely believe it will still be fun if not ideal) waiting for our site to go live, I am happy to share the spreadsheet template and rules my mates and I have been using (just ask in the comments below).
If you could share your template, that's be fantastic mate!
Linked in the following article with full details:
Okay, so as asked by a couple of people, how were we playing this using spreadsheets before? Well, I'll outline the process here, while trying to find a balance between keeping it short and sweet and still providing enough detail.
1. Use Google Docs!
It's free, and it allows everyone to connect at the same time. Also, as it's in the cloud, it is always up to date. You can look back at past revisions if necessary and is the ideal tool (short of a fully dedicated site) to play fantasy football in this way. Sample: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AiNH-JHpkhe8dFVVX2RiaDNyNUdZTFdieHliaUtUemc&usp=sharing
2. Decide between doing the entire game manually vs using an existing salary cap based fantasy game
Personally, none of our group could be bothered going through the hassle of creating a point scoring system, updating each player's scores manually, keeping track of transfers/team sheets and scoring the entire game manually which is why we went with the second option.
My job at Bungie these days is about one core piece of technology we use to make our games. It's a system that all the artists, designers and sound designers use to get their work into the game. So, like any technology job where you're building a product other people use, there are two kinds of work: the work of building the technology and the work of supporting the people using it.
Things have been busy enough lately that I was trying to focus just on the coding and not do much support work. It wasn't really working out. All around me the artists, designers, and sound designers were struggling with issues while I was trying just to plow ahead on the coding work we need to get done. When the support work boiled over and I had to stop and attend to it, it took a ton of time and effort. Because I'd been burying my head in the sand trying to get code written, I didn't have any context for what was happening with the users. If I had to help someone, first it took me a good half-hour of asking random people questions just to have enough context to even understand what the problem was and what needed to happen.
I couldn't ignore the support work, though. Eventually I had to turn my attention towards it, and so I did, one week, and it consumed basically my entire week. I got just about nothing else done. It was frustrating seeing the coding work pile up, so my response was to keep trying to minimize my involvement in the support work. I'd do as little as I could get away with, try to hand off problems to someone else. Bu it didn't seem to actually help. It still took a ton of time just to figure out enough about a problem to know how to hand it off to someone else, and if anything that ramp-up time was getting longer.
* * *If you've ever watched the Tour de France, or the road biking events in the Olympics, or ever seen any group of people riding road bikes together, you've probably noticed they tend to cluster together in a compact formation. They're not just riding close together because they like the company (and the increased risk of crashes and injuries.) No, they're riding close together because of drafting.