Dev Diary 16 – The legend of the Shortcuts

by | Aug 7, 2016 | Dev Diary | 11 comments

Hi hacknplanners,
We haven’t added any major feature during this release; instead, we have focused on several small improvements you requested many times, so I hope you are happy with the changes. Finally, we have added some keyboard shortcuts that will enhance your productivity. We still have many others to implement, but this first batch already makes both the board and the game model more usable. We also added due dates to tasks, which probably is your top requested feature. Although I don’t personally like adding deadlines to specific tasks inside a milestone (the iterations are delivered as a whole, where the order or internal deadlines are not really important), I understand other people find it very useful and I have to admit there are scenarios when I would like to have it too.

There are some other improvements and bug fixes, let’s take a deeper look!

Features and improvementspromo157

  • Task due date field: We added a due date field to the tasks. You can set it up both at creation time or from the task editor afterward. The due date will be shown on the task card, and it will be green when there is plenty of time left, orange when the deadline is close (1 day before) and will get red once it is overdue.
  • Milestone due date improvements: We also updated the milestone due dates to show the same color scheme than the task due dates, and added a little reminder to the boards that shows how much remaining time you have. If you don’t like to have it there all the time, please let us know and we’ll make it configurable.
  • Keyboard shortcuts: We added several keyboard shortcuts for most common actions. You can open the shortcuts help by pressing “h” and it will show you the available shortcuts for the page where you currently are. This is the list of shortcuts we are adding this release:
    • General:
      • H: Open/close the shortcuts help.
      • T: Create a new task.
      • P: Create a new project.
      • M: Create a new milestone.
      • F: Open/close the search panel.
      • N: Open/close the notification panel.
    • Board:
      • S: Add a sub-task to the selected task.
      • C: Add a comment to the selected task.
      • A: Add an attachment to the selected task.
      • D: Add a dependency to the selected task.
      • Ctrl+C: Clone the selected task.
      • Del: Delete the selected task.
      • Esc: Close the task editor / unselect task.
    • Game model:
      • C: Create a game model element.
      • E: Edit the selected game model element.
      • Ctrl+C: Clone the selected game model element.
      • Del: Delete the selected game model element.
      • Esc: Close the game model element editor / unselect element.
  • Notifications for dependencies: We have added two new notifications, when a task gets blocked and when all its dependencies are resolved. The last one is especially useful, as you’ll know immediately when you can start working on a task that was blocked. As all the other notifications, you’ll be able to configure them to be received as an email, a UI notification, both or none.
  • Hiding completed tasks at the game model: We added a switch to hide the completed tasks from the game model element task list. This will help you get clarity when you are planning for the future, so completed tasks don’t add noise to your panels.
  • Visual and UX improvements: We have added some visual improvements, focused on trying to maximize the free space and gain readability for the boards, as always.

Bug fixes

  • We had a small issue of real-time desynchronization among users that is now fixed.
  • There was a scenario where the game model element position was not being saved but is was visually shown in the right place until page reloading.
  • Sometimes, tasks were shown as blocked even though all the dependencies were solved, due to a cache problem.
  • Our beloved drag and drop component allowed dropping subtasks in the board task list, which caused the page to break. We fixed it by preventing any drag and drop activity between different lists.
  • The title field of the task creation panel was not getting focus automatically.
  • The task count shown on the board was not being correctly updated after certain actions.
  • The selected milestone was not being kept when moving between the board and the metrics page, which was a bit annoying.

What’s next?

If you read the last entry of this devlog, probably heard about the game jam feature we were planning. We initially planned it to be released at the end of the summer but, unfortunately, it will be delayed. We decided to focus first on some other features that are more urgent and useful for your daily job, like the brand new Markdown-based text editor, GitHub integration, and others. We are also preparing a complete user guide that will help new users get started.

Along with our user guide, we would like to create a section with videos, tutorials, and articles about using HacknPlan in different scenarios. If you are interested in collaborating with us creating such content, drop us a message, we’ll be very grateful and you’ll contribute to the great community of game developers we are creating around our tool.

Happy planning!


  1. Jess

    Shortcuts yay!

  2. Sean

    Keep up the great work! 😀

  3. Tim

    Ctrl-C causes issues when trying to copy and paste text in a board or task, maybe use Alt-C instead?

    • Chris Estevez

      Thanks for reporting this issue, we didn’t realize it. We’ll fix it asap.

  4. Leonardo

    I’m Leonardo from Italy,
    this help us for game dev! Simply Wonderful! 🙂

    • Chris Estevez

      Thanks Leonardo, glad to hear that 🙂

  5. Tyrone

    Wow. Amazing project guys. This can definitely be used for other stuff too, not just game dev.

    Keep it up!

    • Chris Estevez

      Thanks Tyrone! Yes, it can be used for other kinds of project, but game development is our main focus and every design and feature decisions we make will be with that in mind.

  6. Luca

    This looks interesting, Chris! Any new updates?

  7. Ali El Ali

    Has a shortcut for child elements been implemented as yet?

    • Ali El Ali

      I’d love to be able to highlight more than one element too!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *