It occurred to me the other day that i don’t really have any sort of project plan for my Game. Sure I have some ideas scribbled on pieces of paper scattered around my apartment but nothing more concrete than that. What i’d really like is a tool or suite of tools for recording my ideas and planning the remaining tasks.
To that end i started to research some available options on the internet. One of the first leads i stumbled across was this article which refers to an issue tracking system called Trac. I played around with this a little but ultimately felt that it was too heavy for my project and didn’t offer me the speed or flexibility i needed for prototyping my ideas.
My next thought was to look into more traditional methods of project management such as the Gantt charts i’ve used in the past. I found a few promising pieces of software, GanttProject and Merlin. The issue i had with these was that they seemed to be too constrained by their own steep learning curves and restrictions.
I then stumbled across OmniOutliner. At first i wasn’t terribly impressed by its seemingly overly simplistic, unguided approach. After i began using it though I found it to be refreshing, offering freedom above and beyond the previous tools I had seen. It appears to be good for quickly brainstorming ideas as well as creating a list of tasks. I’m going to see how i get on with it for now as it seems to fit my needs for rapidly prototyping my project and tracking the remaining tasks.
As an aside, I also found a tool along the way called Fossil. It’s basically a lightweight, self-contained ticketing system. I’ve had a play with it and it seems perfect for recording bugs (i’m not a this stage in my project yet, but i’m planning several rounds of bug testing). I use bugzilla at work but i feel that it’s too heavy for the light-weight, speedy development afforded by the iPhone platform.
Since first writing this post just over a week ago, I have begun using an application called Process as my primary means of managing my current game development project. Process has a lot in common with OmniOutliner but it seems specifically targeted towards project management. It offers a neat little feature where you can attach resources to a task in your project plan. This is particularly useful when gathering images, websites, and notes for researching particular phases of your project.
It seems to me that both OmniOutliner and Process are excellent choices for managing iPhone development projects and which one you choose will depend entirely upon how well the application flows for you. For me, Process seems to fit my mindset and i’ll be using it over OmniOutliner for my current Game.