Free Project Management Sites

After doing some extensive research into free project management systems in the cloud, I though I’d share my findings here for those interested.

Background:

  • 5 month Game Development Project
  • 5 person team, all part of development

 

Trello

http://trello.com

++ Very visual
++ Checklists within cards to show smaller steps and completeness
++ Google Docs Synchronisation
++ Search and Filter function is lovely
++ Fast and responsive
+ Quite useable
+ Labels for Tasks (with colour!) 🙂
+ “Who’s Online” (the little box next to the face)
– No Calendar
– The comments / activity and general card layout is a little bit messy

Do

http://do.com

++ Google Docs Synchronisation
++ Extremely well laid out
++ Own “home screen” with assigned tasks
+ “Wall” style posting (under “Activity”)
+ “Notebook” area also seems useful
= Central “attachments” area : Everyone can see them in GDocs anyway
= Completed tasks are automatically hidden
– Only one person per task
– No Task Copying
– No sorting of tasks except for the Sections
— No ability to prioritise / tag
– No calendar
– Less due date visibility
— No Breakdown / Checklist within tasks
— Slower and seems buggier

Freedcamp

http://freedcamp.com

++ Due date, number of comments, priority, and state are highly visible
+ Group Wall as Project front page
+ Discussions Page
+ “Who’s Online”
= Personal calendar for due tasks
– Non-shareable
= Three states: Not started, in progress, finished
– No GoogleDocs integration, no hyperlinking
– Commenting, attachments, and activity are more hidden
– Only one person per task (or “everyone”)
– No task copying
– Weird to go into description and further details (Must click on “comments”)
— No editing To-Do Description after creation

Basecamp Classic

++ Nice project calendar intergration
+ Calendar on the home screen
— Everything else

 

Result:

We’ve all decided on Trello, and probably add to that a Google Calendar or GDocs Spreadsheet for the longer-term time management.
Thoughts?  Disagreements?

Short Outage

Sorry about that.  I went offline for a little bit, but thanks to the help of a friend, I’m back online again and ready to get back to work tomorrow.

See you all then!

The Wonders of FlashPunk

After an unfortunately short day of work, I’ve blasted way ahead of the development schedule and got something for you all – The end of scope Prototype for Elemental Weaving!

~ Icon Legend ~

Icon for the Cloud Element
Cloud
Icon for the Fire Element
Fire
Icon for the Flora Element
Flora
Icon for the Heat Element
Heat
Icon for the Moisture Element
Moisture
Icon for the Soil Element
Soil
Icon for the Static Element
Static
Icon for the Water Element
Water

 

Description:

The 8 icons at the bottom of the screen represent the environmental elements.  Each spell changes the balance of the elements in the environment, and the idea for this prototype was to see if it was a fun idea or not.

Post-Mortem:

Very satisfied with the way it turned out, and I’m super impressed by the speed with which I could develop it using FlashPunk.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be developing this idea further, as what really interests me is the way in which both players share the same resources.  It was originally an idea for a Collectible Card Game, but with inspiration from a GameCareerGuide Game Design Challenge, I though about pushing it into the RPG realm.

Dues to Pay

The icons were created by Henrique ‘Ails’ Lazarini, a fantastic pixel artist, and can be found on his DeviantArt Page, along with other amazing work by him.

The characters were ripped by ‘Freki’ from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2: Grimoire of the Rift, and posted for use at The Spriter’s Resource.

Grinding Away

After a the first 8 hour day I’ve managed in a while I’m feeling pretty good about how today went.  Not a whole lot to show for it, but it was really productive and educational.

I spent way too long messing around with Website security stuff, (to the point that “CHMOD” is now officially in my vocabulary,) broke it once or twice, fixed it again, changed themes to something that actually works, (even though it’s broken a few of my plugins,) and gotten onto posting again.  Gives me a good feeling, and a brightened outlook.

Things are working with the Elemental Weaving prototype, and I hit the first milestone 3.5 hours ahead of schedule which is… disappointing.  While it means I picked up FlashPunk a lot faster than I expected, and developed a quick-n-dirty turn-based combat framework in a shorter time than I’d planned, it’s proof that my time estimation abilities are still terrible.

 

As the day draws to a close though, I can’t help but think about where I’ll be this time next week.  Lookout GDC Europe, I’m coming for you!

The Weave

I had a wonderfully revelatory moment in the shower this morning, involving why I do what I do, and what drives me.

It was a moment that has answered questions I’ve had about myself for quite a while, because I feel like I’m sometimes all over the place – lacking a focus, a binding element, a theme to the work that I do.

I’ve had goals, ideas, topics, everything floating around in my head for aeons, since I was a wee lad.  What I have now that I didn’t have before is a way forward, a source to draw from, a sense of purpose.

 

Welcome to the next chapter.

 

 

What’s with the post title?

Wilkommen ins Internet

And it’s done – I’ve finally taken the first steps to building up an online portfolio!

Now, to fill it up with wonderous little goodies…

There be changes afoot…

Of course, you all know I like surprises, but something I enjoy even more, is being a tease!

The only breadcrumb you may need is:
Google Search is a wonderful thing when you know what to look for.

What should I ignore?

As I’ve been using SVN rather often recently, I figured I would try and make a little bit of a collection of files I ignore when using Mercurial so that I’m not running all over the place trying for the info on re-writing the files everytime I start a new project.  Hopefully it’s useful for you as well!

For the time being these lists are written in the ‘glob’ syntax.  Seeing as regex is much more powerful and generic, I’ll get around to changing it… One day 🙂

WPF [VS2010]:

*.opensdf
*.user
*.suo
*.sdf
*/bin/
*/obj/

Setting up Mercurial with BitBucket (and FlashDevelop)

Atlassian have already written up a great tutorial for the basics, but here’s my trimmed down, TIGJamAU specific version.

~INGREDIENTS~
TortoiseHG
Bitbucket Account
PuttyGEN
FlashDevelop

~METHOD~
1) Install TortoiseHG, FlashDevelop and create yourself a Bitbucket Account.

2a) Open up PuttyGEN and click the “Generate” button to create an SSH key.  Add in a Passphrase as well if you want.
2b)Click “Save private key”.  It’s an important file, so keep it somewhere safe.  Eg. TortoiseHG install directory or otherwise.  Don’t close PuttyGEN yet!

3a) From the Bitbucket Home Page, pop down the user menu under your username, and open your account settings.
3b) From the nav bar on the left select “SSH Keys” and paste the entire contents of the “Public Key for pasting…” in PuttyGEN into the box under “SSH Key” on the BitBucket page.
3c) Finally, using the button at the bottom of the page, add the public key to BitBucket.  You can now close PuttyGEN.

4a) Open up FlashDevelop and create yourself a new project.
4b) Under Tools > Project Settings, scroll down to SourceControl.  Under HG; check EnableHG, point “HG Path” to hg.exe in the Tortoise folder, and the “Proc Path” to thgw.exe.
4c) Close FlashDevelop again.

4.5) From the TortoiseHG folder, open up “Pageant.exe”, and open up the SSH key you created with PuttyGEN earlier.

5a) With TortoiseHG installed, you should be able to navigate to the FlashDevelop Project folder with Windows Explorer, right-click it, and select TortoiseHG > Create Repository Here.
5b) Check “Show in Workbench after init” and create.
5c) With TortoiseHG now open, we’re almost there. Right-click on the newly created repository on the right, and open up the Settings.
5d) Switch to the Global Settings tab, select “Edit File” at the top right, and enter the following:

[ui]
username = JOEBLOGGER <USERNAME@email.com>
ssh = “C:\Program Files\TortoiseHg\TortoisePlink.exe” -ssh -2 -batch -C

It is of course recommended that you change JOEBLOGGER to your name used for Mercurial commits, and alter the TortoiseHG path if appropriate.
5e) Save and close that, switch to the Repository specific tab, and once again, “Edit File”.  Input the following:
[paths]
default = ssh://hg@bitbucket.org/BITBUCKET_USERNAME/BITBUCKET_REPO
[tortoisehg]
cipushafter = default
defaultpush = all
closeci = True
The path for “default” can be found on the BitBucket project overview page.  The other settings make it easier to sync stuff from FlashDev.



And done!  Try commiting and pushing the project at this point, and if there’s any problems, write me in the comments.  (I might even get around to adding pretty pictures after the Jam is over.)

TIGJamAU 2012 – Getting Started

So I’m just about to get underway with my very first GameJam.  Looking forward to the next 48 hours is all I  can say.  Also, as a means of communicating with the guys on the other side of the world, I figured I can use the opportunity to write up some tutorial like things here.  Double bonus 🙂  So here comes the first…