Project Management and Me

As I've said before, I am badly disorganised and when it comes to large projects, struggle with getting a plan together and following it unless I wing it which brings a whole lot of problems I'd rather not have to solve. As a result, I've been researching and putting time into putting together a set of things that will help deal with the planning process.

First, I needed somewhere to put my game design document. This is the living document that details everything about my game I need to know and will be used to get people added to the team up to speed. As it is a living document, I need to be able to edit it and modify it as and when it become necessary which means the easiest option would be a wiki of some variety.

Luckily, I already have a personal wiki I can use for this purpose and the particular wiki software I have chosen is up to the job. For many years, I've used Dokuwiki as my wiki software of choice but more recently was looking to replace it with something that would make organising the many different uses of my wiki easier. After much searching I found out about Bookstack.

All content on Bookstack is stored like a set of book shelves. You can set up multiple shelves each of which can contain any number of books and those books have chapters and then the chapters contain the pages that have all the actual written content. So, Shelf -> Book -> Chapter -> Page is the hierarchy. This means I can have a shelf for my written stories and one for my game designs and another for whatever else I want to do. There's a book set up for each of my game designs on the game design shelf and in there I use the chapters as pieces of the game design document or to house other bits of information I might want.

The other major part of my project management is going to be a task tracker of some type. The GDD is very helpful for guiding the development and for reference on what to do but I need something where I can break down each goal into various tasks and keep track of how they are coming along. Something like this will be very handy if I add people to the team too. So far, after looking at many different platforms I'm going to give hacknplan a go and see if it meets my needs.

I like that hacknplan is specifically built for games and the free option is good enough for me as a solo developer. I also really like how you can build a GDD-lite into it and attach tasks to it to help keep track of what is being done without having to refer to the main GDD constantly. Ideally, the GDD-lite will be enough to get an idea of what is to be done but if more detail is needed, it won't be hard to find the main GDD.

It looks like with some planning ahead and time spent before doing any work getting things set up I should be in a good position to start making the game in such a way I don't have too many problem with having to recode sections or throw too much away. It'll be a novel experience for me and when people get added to the team it will be far easier to get them read in and working with all the documentation sitting around for them.