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Finally! A project managing tool for Game Development!

Hi guys, today I’d like to share a great project managing tool for Game Developers!

As you know, making a game is not as easy as one may initially think, it involves a lot of different tasks that are often connected and sometimes must be completed simultaneously. This can prove daunting, especially when several different people are working in the same project. Managing them can be a challenge and you can quickly lose control.

There are some wonderful online project managing tools such as Asana or Trello out there that you can currently use, but I’d like to recommend one specially tailored to game development: HacknPlan.

I heard about HacknPlan last year, while I was attending a dev talk by the developer himself: Chris Estevez. He described the platform and told us why he did it.

Chris explaining the differences between HacknPlan and other project management tools

He noticed that a lot of games were being developed in Madrid and that a lot of them were never finished because -amongst other things- they all had problems with bad project planning and managing and a lack of a proper team workflow. Most tools for that were fine, but there was none that would address all the complexity of a game. So he took it upon himself and created one.

Chris explaining the differences between HacknPlan and other project management tools

He explained how a video game project development is composed:

What

How

When

-Game design document

-Concepts

-Mechanics

-Task List

-Resources Management

 

-Phases

-Interactions

-Release Date

 

He told us that the classic project management tools only cover 2 of these 3 steps of a game project, those being the How and the When. So, Asana can organize your game project tasks and tell you how and when to do them, but you’re leaving a very big part, the What. It may seem obvious, but in games, you should always remember and keep in sight your Game Design Document and stay as close to it as you can, in order to maintain the original vision of your project and keep it functional. You should be able to directly relate the tasks given to the specific part of the GDD they serve. This is very important specially if there are multiple people involved, and you can get how all the programming, art, music, etc. blend together.

HacknPlan allows you to have a dynamic GDD

You can check out some of their features on their site.

HacknPlan gives the game designer the opportunity to make a dynamic GDD and link everything to tasks and departments. It also makes it easier to measure time, set goals, and keep a track of tasks completed. You’ll be able to see if there are any problems or roadblocks in your workflow and address them accordingly.

Other tools give you metrics of your progress too, but you cannot really get the whole thing in context, like how many tasks along in the programming or art departments, how many hours are spent in a certain milestone (like getting an alpha), and so on.

Category Metrics and Distribution

My Experience:

I’ve been using it for some time for the development of Twin Flames and it works really well. I would recommend it to any fellow game developer trying to get the best of all these online tools to organize, optimize and increase staff productivity. Of course if you’re already in the middle of a big project and are currently using another tool, it can be hard to migrate all the tasks (and team!) to a new one, so maybe you’ll want to wait until you’ve got another game or a smaller project to try it, but I highly recommend it and once you use it, you’ll never want to go back.

It’s definitely worth a shot, don’t you agree? Do you know of any other tools that help with managing tasks? Have you tried HacknPlan before? What’s your experience with it? Tell us all about it!!

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Author: Gustavo Monforte

CTO and Co-Founder of Fat Panda Games, currently i’m a passionate level designer for the most part of the games we produce. Let’s talk #GameDev !

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