About this project
Hi Kickstarter! We're back with a new project, an iPhone app for filling in college basketball tournament brackets and competing with friends and family. The app is nearly complete; all we need is your support in making Simple Bracket even awesomer.
March is one of the most exciting times of the year, in which 68 college basketball teams play in a single elimination tournament to decide the champion. It has become something of a national pastime for fans to fill out a bracket of their predictions for how the tournament will play out; even the president fills in a bracket. We wanted to make an iPhone app that makes it easy and fun to participate in the madness.
So, what makes Simple Bracket better than some of the other websites and services for filling in brackets? 3 reasons:
1. An elegant, mobile optimized user interface.
Our goal was to make an app that is delightful to use, and in doing so we had to completely re-think how the bracket is displayed. Most mobile apps try to fit the traditional bracket structure onto a smaller screen. This usually results in a really tiny bracket, or a lot of aimless panning. We rethought the bracket structure for a mobile device. Instead of having teams on either side advancing towards the middle, we stacked all 64 teams into one scrollable list. Then, when you swipe to advance in the tournament, the list compresses, so we are always showing you a dense and efficient amount of information. You are also able to zoom out, to get a birds eye view of how your picks are doing.
2. A better scoring system.
All other bracketing solutions we researched use simplistic scoring systems that do not properly reward upset picks. To score each bracket, we have implemented a scoring system developed by Dr. Ted Gooley, a biostatistician based out of Seattle. Dr. Gooley uses a statistical technique called logistic regression to determine the relationship between a team’s seed number and their chances of winning in each round, using data from every tournament since 1985. Unlike a flat point system, which rewards all matchups equally regardless of seed, “The Gooley Method” allows for upset picks to be rewarded properly. In his words, “I think [my method] is the fairest and most equitable way of assigning points.”
In addition to the advanced scoring system, we also added the ability to earn Awards. These are additional achievements you can earn when certain outcomes occur, like winning a game that ends with a buzzer beater.
3. Easier to play with friends.
One of the biggest frustrations with other bracketing solutions is having to create a new account that is only used once a year. With Simple Bracket, you simply log in with your Twitter credentials. We also made it really easy to create pools and invite your friends to them.
We have some fun rewards too! Any pledge will get you access to the app when it is released just before the tournament starts in March. If you pledge $10, you also get a custom Field Notes notebook (graph paper). For $15, you get an awesome set of basketball themed Tattly temporary tattoos, and for $25 you get both the notebook and the tattoos. If you pledge $35 not only do you get the app, the notebook, and the tattoos, but you'll be part of our beta test group for Simple Bracket in late February.
We hope that you'll help support this project! We are asking for $10,000 to help cover design, development, and server costs. Thanks for you support! Tell your friends!
Note to International Backers: Because of restrictions in the Apple App Store, we are only able to gift an app to someone with a US iTunes account. If you would still like to back the project, by all means, but know that we won't be able to give you a download code when the app is released.
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge is the fact that the tournament in March is tied to a specific timetable which we have no control over. With that in mind, the app is essentially complete, with only some minor refinement work to be done over the next month. As with any service that requires a backend and is tied to a live event, issues can arise, but we are confident the app is already in a state ready for use.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
This year, Simple Bracket will only be on iOS. If the project is a success we will definitely look to expand to other platforms in the future.
Simple Bracket requires at least iOS 6.0. The oldest generation hardware it will run on is the iPhone 4. Simple Bracket will run on iPads, but it is not a universal app so it would run in 2X mode.
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