The Technology of a Deadworld – Project Management

Managing a games company is no different to managing any other organisation, group or project.  There are some small subtle difference but in the end to make progress you need to set tasks to complete and deadlines you actually meet.  We realised relatively early on we needed a central organised way of ensuring the team knew what was required of them and how much time they had.  Welcome to the world of project management.

Drawing from our initial knowledge of tools we immediately set up two different technologies to aid us; Mediawiki and a private Simple Machines Forum.  The forum was used for idea discussions and the wiki was used for logging the refined finalised idea.  At this stage Deadworld Studios didn’t have any defined set of milestones or direction, however, these tools aided our progress albeit slowly. At the time we were developing another game which we eventually realised was too ambitious so we placed it on hold in favour of a smaller project with a faster turn around period – Root Access.

With the move to Root Access we began to analyse the way we worked and decided to make some key changes.

  • We incorporated the use of Google Docs as a form of ‘scratch/note pad’. We utilised it as a way to rapidly write out ideas in a real-time collaborative editing environment. We use it to this day to rapidly refine any news announcements or to brain storm ideas.
  • We decided to migrate the ‘idea’ content out of the forum and place it in the wiki discussion pages under the relevant topic. This was done in favour of opening up our forum to become the community forum you see at DWS today. By utilising the wiki discussion pages we reduced the number of tools we use and started to form a larger community presence outside of IRC
  • As we became more organised we needed a real project management tool which was free, easy to use, enjoyable to use and actually useful. Since we started to become deadline oriented using a wiki was of no real project management use when deadlines and dates were involved. We did some research and adopted Collabtive as our project management aid. Collabtive allows us to set projects, milestones and tasklists associated to those milestones. This way we’re able to create our sprint task lists and mark tasks off once complete. With the open source nature and the simple but pleasing feel we find it works well for us. We are currently bringing things to a close for the alpha release and starting up the Sprint #1 tasklist. It’ll be filled with important bug fixes, feature enhancements and anything feedback from the first alpha wave brings.
  • One last major change that we adopted was monthly face-to-face meetings. Previously we had run meetings using voice communication tech such as teamspeak or skype and, while this did work pretty well, it wasn’t entirely successful. Monthly face-to-face meetings renews any excitement and determination that might have waned over a busy month. After starting the face-to-face meetings our productivity sky-rocketed! It allows us to have a meal and discuss how things have been going and what we plan to do next. Each meeting has been thoroughly enjoyable and productive which leads us coming away feeling excited and ready for more!

    That about wraps up the project management aspect for now. Stay tuned for more entries for this ‘Technology of a Deadworld’ series!

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    Interfacing with UI #4 – Coherent UI

    February 5th, 2016

    This is part of a series of posts revolving around user interface design and development, the introduction and links to the other posts can be found here. Last I wrote about user interfaces I discussed the new Unity UI system and I wrote about our process of porting from Daikon Forge to it. That was a year and a half ago and a lot has changed since then. To keep things interesting we decided to move from Unity UI (yet another move?!) to Coherent UI and I’ll explain why we did it. Why Move… Again?!... (read more)

    @RogueVec: And so it begins! #RebootDevelop

    19/04/2018 @ 8:05am UTC

    @RogueVec: We'll be at @RebootDevelop this year. We can't wait! If you want to hang out just give us a shout! #RebootDevelop2018 #GameDev

    16/04/2018 @ 12:06pm UTC

    @SolitudeGame: Fullscreen terminals allow you to hook into your ship's guns for fine control! Moddable gun modules, terminals and UI! https://t.co/B5N01jrA70 #GameDev

    8/12/2017 @ 4:58pm UTC

    @CWolf: Woo! And, now we have a cross-compiled (nix --> win64) @SolitudeGame server in our build and deploy pipeline #RV #GameDev

    28/11/2017 @ 3:39pm UTC

    @CWolf: CI love #GameDev #RV

    21/11/2017 @ 4:06pm UTC