A closer look on the new faces

It is time to have a look at how the project for new faces in Hattrick is going! Our designer Beach has been drawing all autumn, and we have started implementing his work on the site. But we are not quite ready for a wide launch just yet! In this post we will show you how far we have come so you can get an idea of how the “old” faces will translate to the new design.

“Creatively, the main challenge has been how to redraw each element while making sure the avatars are still recognisably the same people”, says our friend and long term collaborator Beach from his studio in Cambridgeshire, England.

“It’s not easy to retain the players’ distinctive facial characteristics while at the same time making them look different in terms of style.”

Player faces in Hattrick is put together by a number of components, such as face shape, noses, eyes, hair, and skin colour, which are layered together to produce a face that should both look like a reasonable portrayal of a football player in a squad, but still be distinct and original enough to feel like a person. When creating this new set of player faces, we wanted a whole new feeling to the player faces, but still needed to keep the link to the old faces so that you could recognize your players even when you shifted from one set of avatars to the other. In the early states of this project we felt this link wasn’t strong enough, so we have had to put in extra time and work to make sure that the new faces look great, while still retaining the Hattrick legacy and history of all the players in the game. 

“As with the current faces, my overriding goal is to design them in such a way that they don’t look like they have been assembled by an algorithm, but instead look as if each one has been individually drawn from a character designer’s imagination”, continues Beach. 

In recent weeks, the project has moved into the first phase of implementation. This means that all key facial components have been designed, and we are able to show the players of any team either in the old style or in the new style. We are currently letting users on our Stage server, where we test new features, use the new faces. And we are using their feedback to further improve them before they are launched to the wider community.

For example, we have been redrawing some facial features such as noses and mouths, to create more variety in the faces. We have also had to adjust some skin tones, which on some screens made it hard to see the facial features. We also still need to work on details such as well the new faces fit with the custom kits that Supporters can design, as well as reviewing how the new faces work on pages of the site where they are shown as miniatures, such as the match order page.

This is an example of how two key pages look on the test server. Please remember that this is still a work in progress, new tweaks are happening every week.

The Players page

The Match Order page

We have mentioned it before, but it is worth mentioning again: Using the new faces is entirely up to you, we will keep the old style around as well. We want the new faces to be the default for new users coming into Hattrick, as we often get the reaction from them that the current faces look too comical, and are no good fit for a “serious” game such as Hattrick. We also like that the new faces have a higher image quality, and are able to scale up in designs where we can give the visual element of the game more space.

Four Legends

Finally, we have prepared a special demonstration for you: How six Hattrick legends may turn out after this makeover. One or two of them may have gotten extra tender loving care by Beach, but if so, they deserve it…

In a career that has been unluckier the most, at least Bernard is the master of one thing: getting injured. With 38 injuries, he has been sidelined more times than any other player in Hattrick.