Dev Diary 25 – Productivity + 5

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Hi hacknplanners!

Here we go again with a new update full of features and improvements. This time we are adding some very requested features for both free and premium users, so I’m sure there is something for you here. We are finally releasing the first batch operations over tasks on the kanban board and the first version of our time tracker, along with the possibility of using projects as a template for new ones for HacknPlan Studio customers. Remember you can still get an early access subscription to both premium tiers at a 33% discount.

We are also introducing some interesting improvements for all users, like a dialog that asks you what to do with the remaining tasks when finishing a milestone, a storage manager for having an overview of how much storage space is left in the account and being able to delete files without iterating through all the tasks.

Let’s take a deeper look!

Features and improvements


Batch processing of tasks on kanban board (Studio and Personal Plus) 

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Batch operations for the board tasks

Studio and Personal Plus users will be much more productive when organizing their boards from now on. With this update, we introduce the ability to select multiple tasks at once and perform the actions available in the context menu (you can open it by clicking on the gear icon or via right click on the task card). You can now select several tasks by keeping the Ctrl or Command key pressed on your keyboard while clicking on the task cards. When your selection is done, you can perform whatever operation from the context menu of any of the selected tasks. If you want to undo a selection, you can click on the background of the kanban board or press ESC on your keyboard.

Available operations:

  • Clone
  • Send to backlog / milestone
  • Change design element
  • Assign users
  • Delete

Current limitations (to be addressed in further iterations):

  • No mouse based way of performing a selection, only Ctrl / Command key available at the moment.
  • No drag and drop available for selections.
  • Not available for tasks in the game design model page yet.

Important: Due to compatibility issues with Mac, we have added the possibility to use Command + click for selection too.

Time tracker (Studio and Personal Plus)

Calculating the time spent working on a task can be difficult and tedious for your team. In order to make this operation easier, we provide a feature that allows you run a stopwatch that will tell you the exact time you spent working on something. You will only need to start and stop it, and the time you spent will be logged into the task. While the tracker is running, a panel will be displayed at the footer of the application, always reminding you what you’re working on and the time spent so far. The tracked time can be dismissed if necessary too.

Pending improvements (to be addressed in further iterations):

  • The ability to manually pause the tracker without having to log work and start it again.
  • The possibility of defining working days and hours, so if you forgot to stop the tracker is automatically paused during those time ranges where you’re not supposed to be at work.

 

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Creating a new project using another one as a template

Project templating (Studio):

Studio users can now use projects in their organization as templates for new ones. Which information is copied to the new project? You can configure it from the project creation dialog, going from the most basic configuration (master data like categories or design element types) to an almost full clone including the GDM, users, tasks and milestones. With this feature, teams that work with many small projects can create a base one with a predefined skeleton and use it as the template for the rest, saving a lot of time to producers.

 

Automatic task relocation:

It’s quite common that, after an iteration of your game, there are tasks in the milestone that were not finished. Up to this moment, you had to go one by one and send them to another milestone or the backlog, but that tedious task is no longer necessary. When finishing a milestone, a dialog will be displayed asking you for an action to take regarding the pending tasks: you’ll be able to send them to the backlog or a specific milestone. You can also keep them in the milestone if you like.

 

Platform customization:

We finally finished the support for customization of organizational master data. You are now able to create, update or delete the existing platforms you can assign to your tasks. This field, as you probably know, allows you to tag those tasks related to a specific platform when working on a multiplatform game. In the future, we will add metrics that give you insights about how many resources you spent on specific platforms, very valuable information for further estimations and planning.

 

Storage manager:

As you know, there are some limitations when uploading attachments to tasks depending on the type of account of the project owner. The max file size is 5MB for Personal, 50 MB for Personal Plus and 250MB for Studio users. Similarly, the available storage space is 500MB for Personal, 2GB for Personal Plus and 5GB per seat for Studio users.

With this storage manager, you are able to see how much attachment space has been used for the current project, for other projects and the available space. At the same time, it displays all the files in the project along with their size, allowing you to delete them in case you are close to the limit, without having to iterate through all the tasks to delete the attachments.

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Other improvements:

  • Design element names are not unique anymore. Many of you asked for this because it’s sometimes difficult to create meaningful structures without repeating some concepts, so we are no longer requesting names to be unique. On the other hand, this could make element names ambiguous when displayed on the task cards, so be careful.
  • We have added many little UI updates, have made some fonts slightly smaller, have expanded some panels depending on the browser size for better display in smaller resolutions and some other improvements.
  • Tasks in finished milestones can be updated by admins, so you don’t need to reopen and finish the milestone again if you need to add something.

Bug fixes


  • Design elements were not working properly right after being cloned.
  • When using the autosave feature for the design element description, many repeated activity logs were being saved. This issue is fixed, but the repeated activity logs are still there. We will remove them shortly.
  • The category icon (Studio and Personal Plus) was not being shown on the task cards in design element list.
  • The progress bar of the game design elements was not being updated automatically after adding tasks, moving them among elements or deleting them.
  • The last assigned design element type was not being remembered.

What’s next?


We are getting closer and closer to the full release of HacknPlan and there are still many features for premium tiers to implement and some other core improvements, but we are on track and working hard to bring you the best. We will start working on integrations like Slack and Google Docs, the role system for Studio users, quick filters and more reports, like Gantt and GDD export. We will also keep working on core improvements and documentation.

Happy planning!

Chris Estevez

HacknPlan Founder

This entry has 2 replies

  1. Nathan Sheppard says:

    Great job guys!
    I’m loving where Hack’n’Plan is heading, these are some welcome features!

  2. Michael says:

    Keep up the good work! Loving this platform

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