Project Management Tools for Game Development

The current set of projects I'm working on as Gritfish is intense:

Super Mallow Drop - A physics based puzzle game for iOS, Android, PC and OUYA
Towerface - A multiplayer fighting game for PC and OUYA
Polybia - An stealth roguelike for iOS, Android and PC
The Public Domain Jam
PLUS a few secret things, and trying to teach myself new tools like unity and lua.

No one can keep ALL that stuff in their head all the time, so I've tried a bunch of tools to help with organising myself, in order to spread the workload out into more reasonable chunks. I figured a lot of devs are like me and struggling to keep everything organised, so I should share some of the better ones:

Wunderlist

  • VERY quick to get started with
  • good for making lists, not so good for making long term plans
  • very quickly became cluttered as it didn't give great control for deadlines
  • great mobile app

This is the best option if:

  • You're working solo
  • You're working on one thing at a time
  • You're not working to a deadline
  • You want to get moving quickly

Trello

  • great feeling moving the cards from "to do" to "doing" to "done"
  • great mobile app
  • not able to view a single calendar of multiple projects

This is the best option if:

  • You want a clear picture of where your project is at any given time
  • You use a phone/tablet to stay organised more than a desktop
  • You're working publicly, or with a small group of people
  • You only work on one thing at a time
  • You want to get started now, and be able to add tasks quickly

Asana

  • total calendar control, which is great for deadlines
  • mobile app doesn't have the same functionality as the web version :(
  • good for managing teams
  • to see everything on a single calendar, you have to assign everything to yourself, but it's possible to do it in bulk
  • unassigned tasks can get lost

This is the best option if:

  • You have multiple projects with deadlines you want to hit
  • You work with multiple people
  • You don't mind putting in a bit of work setting up projects ahead of time

For me, Asana works best because I can say ahead of time "On Wednesday the 12th, I'm working on task X". and later on, look at a calendar, and realise I can't add start working on "side project Y", or I'll miss a deadline I've set myself.

Wunderlist was fantastic for dumping links into to read later, but it slowly became a dumping ground for every thought I wanted to remember for later. If what you need is a sharable dumping ground for links/notes, or a central buglist? Go with Wunderlist

Trello would be perfect for most solo developers and small teams, but one feature I wanted (seeing the timelines of multiple projects at once) wasn't covered, and I hit a weird bug which lost several cards.

Read full post »