HOW TO MANAGE GAMEDEV PROJECTS?

Why would you want to manage your gamedev projects? It’s simple – to organize work and help maximize delivered value. There are a ton of things to do from different areas in such complex projects as making games. Sooner rather than later you’ll need some system to organize it or you’re risking doing many unnecessary things. Or what is worse – not finishing your game at all.

How to manage gamedev projects?

Start small and find tool/s that fit your needs. Remember that it should:

  • be easy to use
  • be easy to maintain
  • allow collaboration if you work with a team
  • have features you need in your workflow
  • fit your budget

No matter the tool, you’ll always have some things to do, some things currently in progress, and others already done. The most popular way to visually organize this is to use some kind of kanban board. Basically create three columns and name them: “To do”, “In Progress” and “Done”. Create a visual representation of a task in form of a sticky note on a wall, an issue in your project management system, text in excel cell, etc. Then pick it up and transition it between those columns as you work on it. Sooner or later you’ll end up with a massive amount of things in “done” column and your game should be finished. 🙂

How to manage your gamedev project

Tools to manage your gamedev projects

Some time ago we asked our community on Twitter about tools they use to manage gamedev projects.

And this is what we’ve got in return. It turns out that there is no definite answer to that question and it highly depends on individual preferences. But there are some distinct categories those tools fall into:

And this is what we’ve got in return. It turns out that there is no definite answer to that question and it highly depends on individual preferences. But there are some distinct categories those tools fall into:

Analog
  • Notepads
  • Whiteboards
  • Sticky notes
Virtual boards
With integrated source control
Built specifically with gamedev in mind
Other
  • Google Docs
  • Various text editors
  • Zim Desktop Wiki
How to organize work

It seems that the most popular choice is Trello and we would advise starting with that. It’s free, easy and flexible. Add some kind of source control and you are good to go to tackle almost every indie project. If you find it lacking some features try another tool, there are plenty to choose from.

We used a trio from Atlassian: Jira + Bitbucket + Confluence and before that Trello and tried a few other tools. Currently, we are using Azure DevOps. It has everything we need and many more, it’s free (for what we do with it right now) and it comes with unlimited source control storage. To complement it with a more “written” medium we also use Google Docs when needed.

Of course, that is only the tip of the iceberg of the project management but it’s sufficient to start with. As your experience and team will grow you could lean towards more complex and feature rich tools and various techniques from the agile world, but that is a topic for another time.

Summing up

It’s not that scary to manage your gamedev projects. Start small with easy tools and grow with experience. And if you have your own way to manage gamedev projects share it in the comments so we all could grow with you.


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All graphics designed by stories / Freepik

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