Dev Update: Pluto Competitions

Dev Update: Pluto Competitions

Greetings, one and all! Often times, when I write these updates, I feel compelled to think out loud about just how far Pluto comes in such a short amount of time. How the team can go from ideation to full launch in a window measured in days and weeks rather than quarters, and then immediately find it in themselves to go back to the drawing board because they know they can do better. And there is, to my mind, no better example of this frenetic, head-spinning pace of learning and adapting than the outpouring of reactions to, and internal adjustments made from, our Summer Paper Trading Competition.

In the grand scheme of things, I think there's a good chance we'll look back at that moment as an inflection point for our team. It was our first site-wide community event, our first chance to get collective feedback from current Pluto users, our first stress test for the servers and underlying programming, and the chance to improve on what we already have depending on the results. Already we've made several changes on the backend to accommodate that. But now, it's time that competitions themselves get real.

After this summer, we rebuilt the whole thing, nuts to bolts, from the ground up. In its place serves a new, permanent screen that serves as your one stop shop for community raising and strategy building. First, the UI. It's new! And far more consistent with our design work across and the app. Our team leader in visual design, Emy, has re-envisioned what it means to engage in the Pluto community, starting here. After giving the page its forever home, it needed to fill itself out. What better way to do that than a fully integrated dashboard overview of all things competitive paper trading?

The Competitions Screen! ...what? Were you expecting another Shields update? And did I mention it's mobile-friendly too?

Competitions now have a very consistent flow to them that evolves each and every day. That sounds mighty fine, but what's in it for you if you already used the old competitions page and thought it was just fine? Plenty. One of our biggest pieces of feedback our community gave us during the very first paper trading competition was that leaderboards weren't incredibly useful or visible if they weren't skyrocketing towards the top. Now, leaderboards are more useful to you and everyone else, with a focus both on those on the top and where you are too. This is done via a real-time bump chart documenting your movement, and your closest competitors' movements, over time.

It's an older code, sir, but it checks out. (Beta mockup that shows off the bump chart's potential for thorough tracking. Figured you might like to peer behind the curtain...)

And to top all this competition reworking off, introducing: our newest little member of the Pluto team, Harry the Stock Block! He'll be the face of our newest Discord integrated bot meant for keeping track of the competition and giving our community members even more to play with. He's mostly just a leaderboard at the moment, but with more commands and functionality to come, it's hard not to feel a little excited for the future of our team of creatives and content creators who can give features like this that extra bump in personality. It's a microcosm of our larger approach of community building, and there's more where that came from.

Never change, Nena!

Finally, the future of competitions. The summer was just the beginning of our foray into sponsored paper trading competitions lasting as long as we do. There'll be more to talk about later (details that we can't wait to divulge at the right time), but rest assured, competitions are here to stay, and this is the map of how we're getting there.

That's all for now, folks! Take care! 👋