vrijdag 4 november 2011

The things that you (need to) do

Today I want to tell you something about task management. Maybe it's not the most exciting subject, but it's something (game) projects simply can't do without.
And in the end... you're glad you're using it!

But first I like to start with an update about the good stuff of the Xform life this week:
- Watching Gremlins during our lunch breaks.
- Eating some very delicious cake.
- Our intern Sander passed his drivers test.
- We found a dead rat in our office.
- We're working on 6 new awesome browsergames!

And with this last point we're back on topic: task management. Because Xform is a small company, most of the time the people here are working on more than one game project.
When working on a project, for you it can be quit simple to remember what you have to do and in what order. But when you're part of a team not only your tasks that need to be done. Everyone has his own list of activities. This means you'll need someone that can keep the overview. And for our game projects it's my job to do that. Sounds easy. It's not. 'Cause when there's too much to do (and believe me, there always is) it can get quite a mess.
For example: at this moment we're working on one of our new car games. Although there are just a few days before we reach the Beta milestone, there are still 36 tasks to do. Try to memorize 36 things that need to be done, in the right order. You simply can't. That's why we use Intervals, project management software that helps me to control all tasks and milestones.

To manage tasks you need to know exactly:
1. What needs to be done.
2. Who has to do it.
3. When it must be completed.
Tasks always take time. Even the small ones. And it's those little activities that are easy to forget. When you start with task management it feels weird to schedule tasks that only take less than half an hour. But they're part of the project, so they need to be managed as well.
That's why we at Xform don't only schedule our milestones. We schedule every (!) single, little task. This gives me a complete overview of the entire project and I can easily see what's finished and what still needs to to be done.

In between all the management stuff, I still find some time to create the game trailers.
Here's the one of Area Zero:

Play the game here and have a nice weekend!

- Shirley

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