golf joust

Golf Joust Beta Test Version 4

SUMMARY: I tested a new development shop and worked on integrating two different APIs for golfer and tournament data. The API integration worked well, and testers gave high marks to the improvements in game play speed, however, they still want to see near-real-time updates. The price difference for real-time API calls versus the one per day we utilized is in the thousands – not a viable option at this point. Other highlights of this test:

  • Multiple formats was a hit! Single tournament, The Majors, and Season Pass options will be in the next build.
  • The “lobby” feature – used by several other fantasy formats – still doesn’t work for Golf Joust. The most common complaint is the players want to see the leaderboard right away and then click into more details.
  • League Managers want to be able to add and drop players (NOT PGA Tour golfers) throughout a season-long event. Unless there is an option to collect payment from players for single events, this could be problematic and abused by some LMs.
  • Everyone has a “friend who doesn’t get it” the same as everyone has a “friend who wants into the next test.” From the outset, I knew this was not for everyone. League Managers have to enjoy the setup and controlling the league play – this means it is a different audience than the players themselves. However, the good part of this is we’ve narrowed the audience we need to recruit from to be successful.

In closing, this may be the last test for Golf Joust. I simply don’t have the cash or time (running Verge Pipe Media as a day job is a tall order) to continue in small formats without reliable data sources or larger development teams (both of which require money up front, and ongoing).

golf joust beta test updates

Golf Joust Beta Version 2 and 3

SUMMARY: This was a frustrating several months, including making no progress towards meaningful tests because of development delays to the inability to convey the “premium” vision to the designer for the logo and brand update.

  • Interns don’t work. I need at least a senior developer with experience either playing fantasy sports (concepts) or developing fantasy sports (tactics) for online play.
  • Testers aren’t as concerned with the lack of a mobile app as I’d imagined. In fact, most of them prefer a desktop web application and the ability to check scores on their phone during the weekend. For example, set up the league and make selections during the week while at work, and check their leaderboard on their phone on the weekends. This could lead to cost savings at launch by focusing on the desktop application first and then building a mobile app once we have more user data to build from.
  • As much as I understand the product I’m building towards, I’m not the guy to write the technical software development docs, or even wire-frames. I’m pretty sure I cost us at least a month or more trying to do just that last December.
  • No one, and I mean no one likes buying Golf Joust coins / gems / etc., to then use for side prize or other purchases once the league is set up. I guess none of these folks play Clash of Clans. :-\
  • There is some life in the social media platforms! I’ll have to devote more time to this next year though.

In closing, we really didn’t put a good product out to test. I went with a low cost (<$500/month) data provider who turned out to be a Russian that no one in the world of fantasy sports trusts or recommends doing business with. We couldn’t even tell where he gets his data from and to make matters worse, he installed tracking code (which we removed) from our website after we ended our relationship with him.

2016, in terms of real progress for Golf Joust – was purely a learning experience.