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      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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jusa

Describe your personal system for managing ideas & things to do

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I'm fishing for ideas for an easy, quick and manageable personal "system" (software, non-software or a combination) for storing my ideas or "todos" and tracking their progress. What everybody here is using for something like that? What have you found works best for you? smile.png

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Excel is great for tracking.  While many pieces of custom software will do bits and pieces better, raw tables of data are my preferred format.  The raw tables can be just a simple todo list, or it can be per-week tracking of the elapsed hours, estimated hours remaining, and other numbers.  It has many ways to filter and sort, and tools like pivot tables are incredibly powerful.  

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I use excel spreadsheets a lot (and I do mean a lot).

For everything where you aren't sure what the 'flow/pipeline' is (if you want to be able to quickly adapt to change), its helpful.

 

For simple TODO//DONE, I suggest Trello, but only if you managed < 100 or so items. After that, it grows out of bounds.

 

Assembla has a nice ticket system, much akin to Mantis.

 

However, I prefer to work with JIRA, Collab or Basecamp's todo lists.

 

Of the above, the one with the best user tracking is probably Jira, although I've heard great stuff about Hansoft too.

 

However, Excel thrumps it all as you've probably have it installed already, therefore its 'free'.

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I use Excel, Trello, an unorganized heap of notes in notepad, and sketches on paper scanned in and stored with the notepad notes.

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I've discovered over the years that most management software doesn't really work that well for me.

I have current to-do's (today, tomorrow...) on a scrap of paper in front of me, and longer-term goals (this week, this month) on a whiteboard, marked with dates. Planning the details of larger tasks happens in a ring-bound notebook.

 

My project manager also has everything in SmartSheet (and can export to Excel reports), but as I said, I'm not great at updating the digital plans.

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Microsoft's OneNote is pretty nice. You can buy it standalone, or it comes with every version of office (even the student pack), or with their Surface products (Pro and RT).

 

Its kind of a digital notebook. You can add pages, sections, and new books. You can search text, even text in images. You can paste in word docs, excel spreadsheets, etc. Its not free, but its nice. Its great for managing a loosely-collected pile of information, and for keeping notes about on-going projects.

 

For todos, I mostly do what hodgman does -- post-its, white-board, calendars, I'll sometimes set reminders in outlook for work stuff. I also use google calendar to organize my social life a bit -- Everyone in my circle of friends has a calendar of their own, and we have shared ones for different things, say concerts, which make it easy for everyone to know what's coming up and who's going. You can create templates for different kinds of events, send email reminders, etc. I don't use it for professional things, but it could be quite useful if you're not concerned about giving google that kind of data (you can make private calendars, but anything in the cloud is only as private as the service provider really makes them).

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