Ladder Ranking Modes

Tournamatch comes out of the box with three different methods to rank players or teams on a leaderboard. Two common methods available are points and ELO rating, and a unique third method is what I call “Rung-Up”. At this time, only one method may be used at a time, but expect a future update to permit having support for a combination of each with a default sort preference.

The points rating method is the most straight forward. When you setup a ladder in the administration panel, you may enter a number of points for wins, losses, and ties. Depending on the result of a match, each player or team gets points accordingly. While you can enter 0 points for a loss, I recommend using a value greater than 0 and less than ties. Competitors will always be rewarded for their activity and quickly rank higher than inactive participants.

ELO rating uses a complicated formula similar to chess or other club play. In general, the better player you defeat, the more points you will be rewarded. Defeating a player with a lower ELO than you rewards fewer points. Similarly, losing to a high ranked (relative to your ranking) results in very minor point loss and losing to someone ranked relatively lower to you causes you to lose the most points. Using rating is advantageous because competitors are not rewarded equally for wins. With points, each win is worth the same. In reality, a win over a novice should be less difficult and should also reward fewer points. ELO great for encouraging competitors to compete against similarly rated individuals. The biggest criticism of ELO is rating inflation/deflation and inactivity of highly ranked players attempting to protect their rating.

The third rating method, which is unique to Tournamatch, is Rung-Up. Rung-Up is a system for ranking players which encourages competition by not penalizing a player for playing in a match. It doesn’t penalize players for competing because you can never lose rank by a loss. If a lower ranked opponent defeats a higher ranked opponent, he moves up. How much he advanced on the ladder depends on the matchup – we’ll share specific examples in another post. Any other outcome results in no change to either player. Even if the higher ranked opponent loses to the lower ranked opponent, the [higher ranked] loser does not lose ranking. It sounds odd at first; but, the reason we don’t want to penalize the loser is because we want to encourage activity. Using this ranking mode, there is zero penalty for a loss. Similar to ELO, the drawback to Rung-up is inactivity of players at the top attempting to protect ratings.

Version 2.14 Released

Tournamatch version 2.14 has been posted. This update adds the ability to independently control visibility and active state of ladder events. It includes minor CSS improvements to blocks on WordPress and bug fixes affecting display names on the loser’s bracket within the administration section. This release also fixes tournament check-ins which were inadvertently broke in the version 2.12 update. As of this update, PHP 7.1 is now the default distributed and developed version. A version compatible with PHP 5.6 is still included, but versions older than that will be available on request only.

Behind the scenes, we added more automated test coverage for check ins, new features, and seeding. While not directly related to this update, we moved the release notes to online. You can see the full list of changes and historical ones on that page.

Version 2.13 Released

Version 2.13 was released earlier this month on February 1st. It was a minor one overall but did add support for one major new feature. Beginning in this version, you may now launch a tournament from the current standings on a ladder. If this is chosen, tournament signups are disabled and replaced with a “Current Seeding” page. Match-ups are permanent at the start date or when manually triggered. The seeding is so that in round one, the best plays the worse, the second best plays the second worse, and so on.

You can choose any number for the bracket size. If you choose a number not a factor of 2, byes will be rewarded to the highest ranked competitors first.

Reviewing 2017

A customer from 2+ years ago reached out to me recently and inquired about his past purchase. He asked, “Is the license still good or does he need to purchase again?” I was happy to reply that his license is still valid and helped him update his information accordingly. I have never charged for upgrades or “expired a license”. I then attempted to bring him up to speed on what has changed since early 2016, and I got lost in the moment reading last year’s patch notes. I thought this was a good time to summarize Tournamatch in 2017 because the list feels staggering. The major changes include:

  • Eight total updates (more than the previous few years combined).
  • We added support for phpBB 3.2.x and WordPress.
  • Added support for PHP 5.6, 7.0, and 7.1; updated MySQL to support the latest.
  • Redesigned the entire front end to use responsive bootstrap.
  • Added support for restricting/requiring approval for ladders and tournaments.
  • Moved all previous code-configured settings to a page in the admin.
  • Replaced the back end to use a responsive bootstrap admin template.
  • Replaced all date fields with Moment which automatically display dates locally according to a users browser’s settings.
  • Added support for team invites and requests which replaces the old team password option.
  • Added support for disputing and resolving disputed tournament matches.
  • Added support for setting a max entry size in tournaments.
  • Added email notification for matches, challenging, and for confirming match results.
  • Added many new CSS class and id selectors to further tweak the UI.
  • Added support for setting additional Admins to manage your site.
  • Rewrote the entire challenging system to be more intuitive.
  • Added automated unit testing coverage to about 40% of the software.

Alright, so two of those bullets weren’t officially released until January 15th. I just missed my December 31st target for the version 2.12 release because I spent extra time on that last bullet. Adding automated unit testing coverage to Tournamatch is the accomplishment I am most excited about. You won’t see it directly; but, what you will see in new features that happen more frequently and reliability because I can get immediate test feedback. While automated testing is nothing revolutionary in software development, it’s something that will make developing Tournamatch significantly easier moving forward. Non developers can equate it to finally getting raid-tier gear in WoW or metal tools in ARK. Its a game changer for any software product expected to grow indefinitely.

If you purchased Tournamatch a long time ago, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I appreciate your support back then and your continued interest. This is a project I currently engage for leisure, and happy customers building successful gaming organization websites is my reward. Your interest motivates me, so thank you for a motivated and productive 2017!

Version 2.12 Released

Tournamatch version 2.12 is now available. This is a major update and you should back up your tournamatch directory and all “trn_” tables before performing the upgrade. This release caps off a month of development + another of automated testing coverage. The test coverage is what I’m most excited about because it really makes possible more rapid and reliable changes. I only achieved about 40% coverage, but what’s covered is probably the most important parts. A complete list of every change is below:

  • Replaced team invite and join team with Invitations and Requests. All Invitations are sent via email. All requests are linked to the user requesting membership and most be approved.
  • Added support for setting max entries for a tournament. Note: The signed up count (and restriction) does not account for competitors that are awaiting approval in private events. So special attention is required for fixed bracket size and “requires approval” tournaments because an admin could add more than the max.
  • Added support for requiring approval to join a tournament.
  • Added support for removing unresolved disputed matches.
  • Added support for changing team name.
  • Added support for changing a user’s display name.
  • Added ladder and tournament competitions data to team profile page.
  • Added CSS ids for ladder idle colors: ladder-inactive, ladder-active-last-7, ladder-active-last-14, & ladder-active-last-21
  • Added support for games images with “.jpeg” extension.
  • Updated team owner leaving a team; owner cannot leave team while ranked as owner. Instead he should promote another member to owner and then he may leave team.
  • Fixed a bug allowing inactive ladders to display to public. Those are now correctly hidden.
  • Fixed a bug causing “http://” to prepend to “https://” avatars in edit team profile.
  • Fixed a bug causing the challengee to be lost when issuing a challenge from view ladder standings.
  • Fixed a bug causing a broken link to be sent to challengee recipients.
  • Fixed a performance issue on the edit player and team profile page related to reading the flag directory each time.
  • Minor CSS tweak to ladder sign-ups.
  • Removed realname from displayed. Everything related to individual players now use display_name.
  • Removed the ability for individuals to use different names per competition. Individual competitions will always use his or her display name. This change was necessary to simplify team management, registration, and to add support for changing display names and team names.
  • Removed match history from team profile page. This will be added back in a later update.
  • Removed the ability for an admin to register players and teams for events. This will be added back in a later update.
  • Removed orphan challenges, ladder entries, ladder matches, tournament entries, tournament matches and team members for ladders, tournaments and teams that had been previously deleted.

You can download the latest update using the same link provided on purchase. Feel free to reach out if you no longer have that email. Thank you and Happy Belated 2018!

Version 2.11 Released

Tournamatch version 2.11 was released on November 1st. This version is a minor update which adds the WordPress toolbar to Tournamatch pages; consolidates settings defined in “Manage Addons”, “Manage Language” and the config.php file into one “Manage Settings” page; replaces antiquated pagination code with a newer library which supports bootstrap markup; and adds support for MySQL installs with the “STRICT_TRANS_TABLES” mode enabled. This update also addresses bugs for unranked “Rung-Up” ladders, team invites via email, player sorting, and a few others.

You can download the latest update using the same link provided on purchase. Feel free to reach out if you no longer have that email. Thank you and Happy Belated Halloween!

Version 2.10 Released

A new version of Tournamatch (version 2.10) is now available. This is another big one that includes several critical fixes for WordPress. The admin section of Tournamatch has moved into its own administration section separate of the main CMS environment. We also added support for confirming previously reported ladder matches and did some minor reorganization of links under there new categories. The other section was beginning to become a miscellaneous drop zone for stuff that didn’t have a home, and this new layout should help better organize admin pages. There will be some more house cleaning coming up to the Admin in a future version.

We also fixed some bugs for the WordPress CMS for user authentication, main admin links and search user links. An install script bug breaking team ranks and double elimination tournaments is fixed. We added links to view attachments for reported matches in confirm results, admin, and the match details page. Attachments are still disabled by default. You can enable them in the admin section titled “Manage Addons”. Finally, we added some minor CSS configurable options for ladder standings and player profile images.

A detailed list of everything is located in the CHANGES.txt file. Please use your existing download link to retrieve the latest version.

New Admin Support

The way you authorize administrative users in Tournamatch changed in the version 2.7 release. Before this version, any admin that existed in your main Content Management System (CMS) also had administrative privileges in Tournamatch. PHP-Nuke required a user be a super user and phpBB granted access to anyone with elevated privileges. Neither of these behaviors are always desirable. Leverage existing access control systems to provide granular privileges per user and action for each supported CMS is no small task; so, we decided scrap that idea in favor of a much simpler solution constrained to Tournamatch’s administrative system.

Administrative users are now assigned using the Tournamatch admin. There is currently only two roles that may be assigned: (1) Super admin and (2) Regular admin. Both may manage everythign associated with Tournamatch, but only Super Admin’s may manage other admins. Adding more granular admin control is something high on our to-do list. The user installing Tournamatch is automatically set to be the Super admin.

Version 2.8 Released

I am really excited to announce the latest update, version 2.8. It’s a major one that incorporates a lot of work over the last few months. In this update, we replaced the archaic tabled-design with a tableless-responsive design. A new custom.css file is included to modify the look and feel of your website.

In addition, we also localized date and time display on all user pages as well as in the backend database. Tournamatch now uses jQuery’s moment.js to automatically display date/times in the users preferred locale.

We refactored the brackets page so that you can further customize the look and feel. Several report results pages have been redesigned to use javascript so less page loads are required for your users to report match results.

Some bug fixes to auto-start, checkins, and delete-teams were resolved.

Oh yeah… Tournamatch is also now supported on WordPress. That’s right! Head on over to our demo page to give it a test run.

We updated all of our demos to use the latest version of Tournamatch, so please have fun and give it a spin. Please use your existing download link to retrieve the latest files. There is an update script that must be run if you wish to upgrade from previous versions of Tournamatch because the database schema has changed with this release.

Set Primary Color Scheme

When installing Tournamatch version 2.x for any version of phpBB, one of the first things you will want to do after installation is set the primary color scheme that Tournamatch uses. When using the software with PHP-Nuke, Tournamatch will automatically inherit the color scheme of the chosen template. The same behavior is not true for phpBB.

To set the main color scheme, find the Manage link under the Administration header in the top-most right block. Click this link and then navigate to the Manage Colors page under the Other section. Here you will find the three primary colors Tournamatch uses to style output. Each color is labeled and also has an option to make the color transparent.