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Old 02-01-2013, 07:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Announcement: Franchise Hockey Manager Release Date, Preordering, and Beta

First, I'd like to thank everyone for their continuing interest in FHM, and particularly those of you who've made an effort to spread the word about our game. Naturally, there's been a lot of discussion and speculation lately about the release date.

After careful consideration of the current state of the game, the resources we have available, and the demands of OOTP's release schedule, we've decided that the first version of Franchise Hockey Manager will not be released until September 3. While we're happy with the way the game is shaping up, it's clear that pushing a 1.0 version out the door now, before it's ready, would be a disservice to our customers and could do a lot of long-term harm to what we think is going to be a great game. So we're going to take the time to do it right. And yes, that is a firm date this time - not "sometime in September," not "during the third quarter." Tuesday, September 3, 2013.

However, if you're really anxious to play, you won't have to wait that long to get your hands on the game. Since we realize that many people have been patiently waiting for a long time and were expecting a release this winter, we're going to begin accepting pre-orders much earlier than we normally would - March 4, to be precise. And anyone pre-ordering will get access to the Beta version of the game at that time. The pre-order price will be $29.99, $10 off the full price of $39.99. For that, you'll get the release version of the game in September, as well as all the Beta versions between March and the release.

Now, just to be very clear about what kind of a game you'll be getting in March if you choose to pre-order, I emphasize the word Beta. There will be bugs. There will be missing features. The database will not be as polished as it will be in September, and may be missing some playable leagues at the start. Your saved games will become obsolete as newer versions of the Beta are released. In short, all the annoying things you'd normally expect to see in a pre-release game.

Over the next month, we'll be announcing a detailed list of exactly what will and won't be in the Beta. We don't want anyone spending their money without having a good understanding of what to expect.

But the Beta version will be as playable and feature-heavy as we can make it, and we're going to spend the next month making sure of that. To that end, I've recently accepted a full-time position with Out of the Park Developments, and will be working as FHM's Producer, That brings our full-time FHM staff to three and allows Sebastian and Malte to spend more time coding and less dealing with all the other demands of a getting a game ready for release. We'll also be adding a few more researchers to our database team.

So, on behalf of the FHM team, I thank you for your continued patience, and ask for just a little more of it. We want this game to be one you'll play for many years to come.

Jeff Riddolls
Producer, Franchise Hockey Manager
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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And, finally, a few new screenshots:

Lineup Screen (positions and icetime distribution):


In-game Player Editing Screen (only usable while playing in commissioner mode):


The Skater Register (here displaying a selection of retired players):
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Take my money now!

Thanks for the updates and screen shots. Simply can't wait for this game.

Will definitely be pre-ordering March 4th!

Keep up the good work, guys!
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Have to admit, I'm disappointed but excited at the same time.

If taking your time and delaying the game will make the final product that much better, then I'm certainly down with that. Definitely disappointed though as I was pumped to play the final product soon, but I understand.

With that being said, count me in for the March 4th beta release.

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Old 02-01-2013, 07:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the update!

Since it will be available first as a beta, I assume there will be multiple releases as bugs are fixed and features are added? Also, will the beta be time limited (aka forced to upgrade when the next release or the production build is out)?

Just trying to figure out if it will be possible to use the beta for the role-playing league mentioned by fireholder in another thread. If the database structure is expected to change as development progresses I doubt it makes sense, but I thought I'd ask. Regardless I'm still very excited about this and am glad to see another member join the FHM team!
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Not a total surprise given their track record. Would love to see some "in game" screens.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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A little disappointed that the full game won't be out until September but I understand the reasoning I appreciate that you guys don't want to release the game until it's up to your standards.

Hopefully the Beta along with playing EHM 07 for the millionth time will be enough to get me through the next few months. I've waited this many years for a new hockey management game, what's a few more months?

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Old 02-01-2013, 07:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sounds like a win-win. I am glad the product isn't being rushed and look forward to ordering the Beta version in March. Thanks for the info.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Finally a release date! =)

September was a bit unexpected but, hey, we'll get a great game. And a beta for pre-orders is a reasonable compromise. Anyways, keep up the good work! I marked the pre-order on my calendar already!
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Will it be considered a bug if the Maple Leafs make the playoffs?
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It's awesome to finally have a concrete release date! I will definitely struggle to stay sane waiting for March 4 to come.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Regarding this quote from Sebastian:

Quote:
3. Even if features are not as deep as in OOTP version 13 we always make sure to make them possible in future versions/updates. One example is Fictional Play: the initial release version will not have a fully featured "New Fictional Game Wizard" like OOTP but it will not be a problem to add one later (and with our new timeline for the game you don't even have to wait for vversion 2 ). Another example are international tournaments, even if not in the initial release version they are already designed and just need to be added.
Am I correct in the assumption that this means there's a possibility fictional options and international play won't be included in the beta but WILL be included in the final product come September?
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sports1131 View Post
Thanks for the update!

Since it will be available first as a beta, I assume there will be multiple releases as bugs are fixed and features are added? Also, will the beta be time limited (aka forced to upgrade when the next release or the production build is out)?
There'll definitely be multiple releases as things are fixed and added. Sebastian will have the definitive answer on the forced upgrades, but I suspect not, as that's not the way we're doing it in the pre-beta testing.

Quote:
Just trying to figure out if it will be possible to use the beta for the role-playing league mentioned by fireholder in another thread. If the database structure is expected to change as development progresses I doubt it makes sense, but I thought I'd ask. Regardless I'm still very excited about this and am glad to see another member join the FHM team!
Hmm, I see what you mean. It's pretty likely the database structure will continue to change throughout the process; I've asked Malte for quite a few additions to it lately, and the contract/financial model in particular will require more. So I wouldn't expect stability in that area until very close to release.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks Jeff for the info. Glad to hear open beta and glad you emphasized what people should expect with the beta.

Now that i'll be on the beta team, i expect some share in the profits. Jeff, i'll have my people call your people.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habsfan18 View Post
Am I correct in the assumption that this means there's a possibility fictional options and international play won't be included in the beta but WILL be included in the final product come September?
Definitely can't commit to anything like that right now, but if, a few months down the road, we found ourselves ahead of schedule for September, it would make sense to use the free time to look at adding back things that got cut in the push for an early-2013 release. No promises, though.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:09 PM   #16 (permalink)
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JeffR - Glad to have you on the team.

What kind of ratings scales will there be?

Such as 2-8, 1-10, 1-20, 20-80, 1-100?

Tks
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:11 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm just wondering how the game will handle doubleheaders(2 games,4 different teams,same arena,same day). Been having problems with OOTP13 doubleheaders but thats 2 teams playing 2 games on the same day. Some doubleheaders are getting pushed back time wise. Just wondering if this will be a problem with FHM.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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First, Congratulation on being the FHM's Producer ...

Second, thank you for your directness and honesty of the FHM's released date and in between betas ... the screen shots are really nice, simple and easy to the eyes ...

I know this is too early to ask, but will there be options to turn off finances and other options if elect to do so ...

Again, thanks for the heads-up, mate ... this is GREAT news ...

Looking forward of being on the Beta team ...
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:12 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Wow, that hurt a little, but four weeks until the first beta sounds great. I am looking forward to it.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:13 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Win - Win - Win

1. A firm release date that is a fully featured game that we have come to love from OOTP

2. A beta that may have some bugs but we will get to play and edit and can feedback to help

3. Edit after reading.... I am starting to think beta comes out March 4th?

Last edited by drewst18; 02-01-2013 at 08:16 PM.
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