Archive to PDF: This thread can be removed from Twitter at anytime.
Archive this thread to PDF, save and print. It is a premium feature and costs $5 per month.
I'm going to write a quick thread outlining something I think many indies and AAAs alike seem to often understand:
the purpose of project management/production
here we go.
At Kitfox, we have teams of 4-5 devs per project. Yet we still make tasks, and estimate them, and assign them, and have milestones every 8-12 weeks.
There's so many different ways of working! I'm not saying this is The Only Way! It's just a way, and I can explain why I think it works, at least for us.
You might wonder: why bother with tasks & milestones? Games take how long they take. Why hire someone to tell me what I already know (we're going to be late, I have to work harder, blah blah)? Why bother with tasks and burn charts and whatever?
I agree that project management (esp if you hire senior devs) can, but doesn't *necessarily*: - save you much time/$$ - make you more efficient
That's not the point!! In fact, having production meetings and making tasks can make things take longer. so why do it?? LISTEN UP!
as Captain of Kitfox, project management lets me see: - how long the game will take from now, theoretically - and if(when) we run late, we know by how much - therefore, whether we can afford to make the game - (if not, I can start looking for more money BEFORE we run out)
Since I don't have infinite money, this is valuable. I can already hear some of you asking, "But but but those estimates are always wrong!"
What if I told you, you could make them more accurate? Or use your inaccuracy IN THE CALCULATION? With the powers of project management?
THE MORE YOU KNOW! If I know my team regularly underestimates their tasks by 10% or 30% that's fine, I can factor that in.
BUT juniors estimate with accuracy somewhere between -50% and 300%, and you can't use that much variance for timelines... so you gotta train them up.
if you have juniors on the team (and/or if you're making something innovative), project management can ALSO help devs see the pipeline better -- who is depending/waiting on them, who to communicate with, why that feature takes 3 months, etc.
PLUS for technical devs, production helps them see features with new priorities... some systems SEEM essential from design or tech but can come in late, if they don't need much art/animation/etc, while other nice-to-have features might never exist if they're not started on early
Finally, for me, I LIKE checking things off my to-do list. I LIKE having a deadline to work towards. I like knowing what I accomplished this week, this month, this year.
Without project management, it's easy for it to be a vague grey haze of "didn't do enough" and feel inadequate because you're slipping, instead of having a record of everything you accomplished. (is "yay, we are ONLY 10% behind, I'm a genius!!!" too cynical?)
So, we make tasks & estimates & milestones at @kitfoxgames because I think it makes us better devs, with more reliable/predictable output, and I know when to be confident in our estimates (and when not to be)
Plenty of great games have been made without project management. At home, I'm definitely more of an impulsive follow-my-heart whimsical type. But at work, I prefer structure to chaos, so that's how we do.
BTW I'm not saying you have to hire a project manager -- various team sizes manage without an official PM/producer, and do their tasks & milestones collectively. As long as the team has the knowledge of scheduling & dependencies it's all good.
Anyway, that's mostly what I had to say. Please don't dismiss project management as (always) a waste of time and energy, because when it's used well, it's literally a tool that makes a huge difference for my studio's survival. Thanks for reading!
There are multiple ways to embed @tanyaxshort's unrolled
1. Direct link
2. Use iframe
Sharing is caring 😍
Like this thread of @tanyaxshort?
it with your friends & followers.
Love Thread Readers? Upgrade to premium to unlock all features
A whole new way to explore your interests. Convert your Thread to PDF,
save and print. Subscribe to interesting authors and be notified when new unroll is
available. Auto publish your threads on Medium and WordPress websites.