Dev Diary 33 – November rain

by | Nov 5, 2017 | Blog, Dev Diary | 6 comments


Hi hacknplanners!

A new release is here! The focus of this update has been on bug fixing and adding some improvements to the UX department we hope will make you more productive. After the last update, the one rebuilding the drag and drop system, you may have noticed some instability and certain performance issues (especially on big boards), due to the complexity of the changes. We have been fixing these bugs as we were finding them during the last weeks, and we can see the service is now more stable and performant, we hope you notice it too. We also made some visual improvements, including the possibility of adding a custom background.

Let’s take a look at the details!

Features and improvements

Design element creation on selectionpromo268

This may seem a small feature, but is one that can improve your productivity a lot. It’s common that you are creating a task and you realize the right design element does not exist. Before this improvement, you had to cancel the task creation, go to GDM section, create the new one, and then start the task creation again. Or just create the task without a design element and then update it later on. Now, this pain is gone. The design element selection dialog has buttons to quickly create a new element and assign it to the task automatically (either on the root of the tree or as a child of another element).

Convert subtask into task (Personal Plus and Studio)

Another productivity enhancement for our premium users! Sometimes, after starting a task, you realize one or more of the subtasks are big enough to be full tasks on their own, so you have to create a new task and delete the existing subtask. With this improvement, you can do it with just one click. The subtask is converted into a brand new task that inherits the fields and configuration of the original one, so most of the work is done. Additionally, a link to the original task is created on the description of the new one; this way you can come back to it if you need extra context.

More sorting fields

Many of you have requested this, so here it is! We have added the following fields:

  • Due Date
  • Creation Date
  • Closing Date
  • Estimated Cost
  • Logged Cost

With this improvement, you will be able to easily see things like which tasks are supposed to be completed soon or the bigger ones.

Custom backgroundspromo270

Everyone likes to work with tools that are visually pleasing, that’s why we keep adding this small visual customization options. In combination with the theme selection (light or dark), you can now upload a picture as a background of the application.

We recommend you pick a picture that doesn’t stand up so much, so it doesn’t interfere with the correct visualization of the data.  To help you with this, there are several filters available: lighter, darker, and grayscale; choose the one that provides a better integration.

You can set up your background picture from your user settings, “Application” tab.

Note: At the moment, only fullscreen pictures are supported. We will add support for patterns and solid colors in further updates.

Other improvements

  • The usability of the drag and drop on the GDM section has been improved. Moving and reordering the elements on the tree is now easier and more intuitive.
  • The all-day events are now supported when integrating Google Calendar.
  • Improved the performance of the markdown references.
  • The due date of the milestone is displayed when the mouse is over the remaining milestone time on the board.
  • When some relevant data has been introduced into the task creation dialog, clicking on the Close button or pressing ESC launches a confirmation dialog before closing. This will prevent data losses by an accidental closing of the dialog.
  • When you move a task to a closed stage and the log work dialog is launched automatically, there is a small checkbox to disable this automation. You can reactivate it from you user settings, “Application” tab.
  • Some other little visual improvements.

Bug fixes

  • Solved annoying performance issues on the boards when they had an important number of tasks. Anyway, we keep recommending small milestones for a better usability and clarity.
  • The pictures of cards were not properly resized on some versions of Firefox.
  • The time tracker didn’t work properly with day cost metric: it wasn’t using the hours per day configuration value to translate to days, using 24h instead.
  • Adding a new subcategory didn’t refresh the list.
  • There was a bug exporting the GDD with attached images.
  • The filter by Platform wasn’t working properly.
  • The board category dropdown displayed on mobile was left aligned, which caused it to go off the screen.
  • The attachment pictures weren’t updated if a new version with the same name was added.
  • The position of a task card wasn’t saved if you moved it right after sending it from another milestone or the backlog.
  • The hours per day setting didn’t allow decimals.
  • The drag and drop system wasn’t working properly on mobile on some scenarios.
  • If a subtask was open for edition and another task was selected, the subtasks of the new task were disabled.
  • The remaining time of the milestone shown on the board header was not automatically updated, so if the application was open for more than 1 day, the value was wrong.

What’s next?

We will keep working on many of the little improvements and fixes you’ve been suggesting lately. We plan to work on integrations too; more Slack options, bi-directional Google Calendar sync, BitBucket and others… Also, as we announced recently, we are preparing an affiliation program so you can reduce your bill by helping us to get more customers to our service. We will give you more details soon.

Happy planning!


  1. James

    Chris, thank you for all your hard work. I’m pretty new to this and the amount of energy and enthusiasm you put behind your product is inspiring.

    Hope you’re doing well.
    Looking forward to upgrading once my team includes more people.

  2. John

    Agreed with James – working on my first solo Indie project and HacknPlan has been amazing for keeping me on task and preventing me from forgetting design ideas, todos, etc. Great to see it keep getting better!

    • Chris Estevez

      Glad to hear that John! Thanks for using HacknPlan 🙂

  3. Morgan Schetzle

    The ability to assign multiple design elements would be incredibly useful. At my studio we use JIRA and often apply multiple component labels to the same task or bug (ex: VFX + Weapons). This makes things easier to find later on and is especially great for bug reporting when the testers might not know whether the issue is with the VFX specifically or the underlying weapon blueprints for example.

  4. Morgan Schetzle

    …forgot to include, just started using hacknplan for fleshing out an old gamejam project and I am really digging it so far!


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