May Updates and What We're Doing in June
 
Hey Fans, Friends, and Patrons -

I wanted to give some updates on what we accomplished over May, and what we look forward to in June.

May Updates

Bug Fixes

We had some issues with our Team Page behavior (NBA/NFL), where it would sometimes  not show post-season games correctly.

Sometimes the post-season wouldn't be cleared correctly when using the "back button", and post-season games would be used for breaking ties.

Sometimes the team page wouldn't allow you to select a tie.

The NFL Draft Order was not breaking division ties correctly, incorrectly giving the better team a higher draft slot.


New Features

The NFL Draft Order has officially left Beta status. 

We added Randomizers to the NBA and NFL pickers. You can randomize the entire regular season, and individual weeks. The NFL randomizers will give the odds of a tie about a 1.2% probability of occurring, which is roughly the probability of the last few NFL seasons.

NFL games will now show the actual day/time the game is played for 2018 and beyond. This is similar to how the NBA works. We still call out London and Mexico games, however.

We've updated our NFL Android app for the 2018-2019 season, and changed the team logos to be SVGs, which will reduce blurriness on UHD devices.

We've deeply integrated with Patreon, providing means to automatically grant users the Patron role on the website. We'll be expanding these integrations more throughout this year.

Misc Changes

I have renamed the "Watchlist" to "Scenarios". The purpose of the Watchlist is to save your schedule's selections to our servers so that you can easily refer back to them. This feature was severely under utilized, and we hope to see it become more popular in the coming year.

We changed our email templates to be more professional, as well as setup a lot of Patreon-related features. We integrated with SendGrid for emailing users.

We've added several NFL and NBA roles to our Discord server.

We will now write the name of a league to the page title at the server level. The impact of this is sites that follow a link to the page to generate a "card" (such as Facebook, Discord, Twitter, etc) will now have the league name in the card.

Pursuant to GDPR regulations, we have added a Privacy Policy The policy outlines our relationships with other companies and how we use your data.  

We added a "This site uses cookies" notification to comply with European cookie policy handling.

June

We're going to turn our focus back towards the MLB predictor, and we're going to make a serious attempt in late June/July to get it into a "Patron-Beta Phase", where we release it to our $5+ subscribers.

Users will be able to share and view their MLB schedules, but the ability to make selections will be locked to only our Patrons.

I wanted to release the MLB Predictor to this beta phase earlier (ideally just after the season dropped). I ran into some engineering challenges related to moving games (due to rain delays or other issues) that required me to go back to the drawing board. 

If you're curious, this is the problem: There is a relationship between the Save String (the ?L=abcd thing in the URL) and your schedule selections. That relationship is built around a very specific ordering of games such that if a game has to be moved (say from Week 1 to Week 5), all of your selections after that game will now be incorrect. 

This happened last year with the NFL Predictor on Week 1 when the Miami game was moved due to the hurricane. Since that happened pre-season, it was a temporary annoyance.

So far this year though, the MLB has moved about 30 games. This would mean if I kept pace with the MLB moving their games, your selections would be broken 30+ times already. Obviously this isn't a position I want to put my users in, so I had to go back to the engineering drawing board.

This is the major problem we look to solve in June.

After that's figured out, it'll be a matter of creating an Automated Updater to migrate games and keep the "Current Season" button in sync. Then we have to finish implementing the tiebreakers.

If things go as planned, the MLB Predictor will go live to public beta (meaning non-Patrons can make selections, not just view it) for the 2019 season. Patrons will get an early beta version of it some time this summer, again hopefully in the late June/July time frame.


Finally

I encourage fans to drop by the Discord server any time they want to chat. We have a fairly active community across several sports in there, and I always enjoy speaking with my users.

I'll try to post these updates monthly to summarize what I've been up to and where the Predictors are going. I encourage you all to drop into the Discord server if you have questions, comments, concerns, or just want to keep in touch.

I'm deeply appreciative of Patrons that have contributed to our site, especially since it's basically the off-season for both sports we support. Moving away from being ad-supported won't be a fast move for Playoff Predictors, but I'm positive it's the pragmatic choice. All of our Patrons help us with that, regardless of amount.


Thanks, and happy predicting!

Ray