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.
(Updated May 2020)
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 a game: mechanics, concepts, plot, characters… This was a long paper document in the early days, 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 status and progress too, 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 the perception of progress, they can also create milestones with deadlines to divide the project into iterations or phases, in order to reduce the scope of the job to do and handle it better.
One of the big advantages of iterative development is learning from the process and readjusting the 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, effort dedicated to each discipline, Gantt charts…
- Based in Madrid (Spain).
- Founded by Chris Estevez.
- Open beta launched in September 2015.
- HacknPlan 1.0 released on April 3rd, 2017.
- Freemium web application with subscriptions.
HacknPlan Studio is a premium tier for professional game development companies. 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.
Per seat / month paid annually
Per seat / month paid monthly
HacknPlan Personal Plus
HacknPlan Personal Plus is a premium tier for individual users that want access to the best features while working with other free users. It provides extra features and enhancements for productivity, 3rd party integration (Google, Slack, GitHub…) and customization.