The project management tool for game developers
HacknPlan simplifies the organization of a game development project and makes the team productive. It brings a dynamic game design document builder and an agile project management system together to provide a streamlined and efficient tool that covers the full planning workflow of a game development team.
How it started
HacknPlan was founded in 2015 by Chris Estevez, a Spanish software developer and scrum master with a huge passion for game development. After many years working on unsuccessful indie projects, both alone and with remote teams, Chris finds out the main reasons why those projects fail are unrealistic scope definition, bad project planning and a lack of a proper team workflow. He starts to develop a better workflow for his personal projects, influenced by his experience in agile development teams, and then realizes he can’t find the tool to organize the projects the way he envisioned, so he decides to create it by himself.
How it works
The Game Design Document is the standard way in the industry to define all the details and specifications necessary to build your game: mechanics, concepts, plot, characters… This was traditionally implemented as a long paper document, which later turned into more collaborative tools like wikis or shared docs. However, these tools are still difficult to maintain and keep updated, as the design definition is not fixed but evolve as the project does. HacknPlan provides the definitive way of building a GDD: defining a tree structure of sections and features, collaborative, lightweight, and integrated with the project task planning. It does not only show static content and definitions, but also status and progress, making it more useful and easier to update.
HacknPlan is heavily inspired by agile methodologies such as Kanban and Scrum. It provides a kanban board as the central tool of the application, where tasks are tracked being moved among status columns from definition to completion. This board is also divided by disciplines, so programmers, artists, designers… can focus on their own work. In order to focus on what is important and improve your perception of progress, you can also create milestones with deadlines to divide your project into iterations or phases, in order to reduce the scope of your work and handle it better.
One of the big advantages of iterative development is learning from the process and readjusting your plans and expectations accordingly. This allows game developers to discard what doesn’t work, reinforce what does, find possible issues or bottlenecks, and adjust the methodology and workflow to be as efficient as possible. HacknPlan provides metrics about projects, milestones and users, like open vs completed tasks, time/points spent vs estimate, percentage of effort dedicated to each discipline, etc.
- Based in Madrid (Spain).
- Founded by Chris Estevez.
- Open beta launched in September 2015.
- Full release in March 2017.
- Freemium web application with subscriptions.
- Premium tier for professional game companies, HacknPlan Studio, available for pre-order including early access to the features.
HacknPlan Studio is a premium tier for professional game development companies that get the most out of the tool. It provides extra features and enhancements for productivity, multi-team and multi-project management, 3rd party integration (Google, Slack, GitHub…), advanced metrics and reports and customization. It’s currently in private beta phase.
Professional studios can now pre-order an annual subscription to HacknPlan Studio, including access to the private beta, at a special discount.