Now testing

It’s time for an update… what has happened with our anniversary feature so far this week?

Well, right now, in a parallel universe, the Hattrick Golden Goal has been abolished. And as we speak the first games are being played with the new ruleset. The only way to test changes in the match engine is to run actual games, and that has always been one of the key problems for us in Hattrick. Because how do you simulate the actions of tens of thousands of simultaneous users that are all making individual decisions? It’s really hard to do in a smart way.

In this case we are not worried about performance, just about the code simulating the games in the correct way. So we run the new modified code on a smaller batch of matches that is still big enough to have it’s share of extra time in them. We can then analyse how these games went and that the matches were executed correctly. We used our Tournaments system to run these tests, one of the many advantages we have with the flexible Tournament system. In the past we’ve had quite a bit of fun with hidden test leagues, there’s been both a league on the Moon and one based in Middle Earth (complete with a Middle-Earth name database, who hasn’t dreamt of an Orcish central defense after all?). But enough about that…

Daniel, Marcus and Gusy have all helped out with this work, but the most appreciated contribution this week may have been the one from HT-Aartspam, aka Peter Aarts, our volunteer coordinator. His job is to support our volunteers and to bring their point of view to the dev team. And there is never any shortage of ideas coming this way, much because our volunteers in turn get much of their input from the user community. This particular day, I imagine Peter assumed his most innocent looking face as he asked us the question:

“Now that we are fixing stuff about extra time in the engine, couldn’t we also fix… this other thing, that lots of users find really annoying?”

And the answer was yes! So right now a bonus fix is making the testing rounds, too, and it all looks quite promising.

Thanks Peter and all the users that, over the years, have probably asked us to change this thing. Even if all your requests rarely get done, and those that do never fast enough, we must enjoy your suggestions very much, and are happy to squeeze a few of them through once in a while.