Addictive games development in 5th Planet

5th Planet Games brings together more than 50 talents from all over the world, in an effort to produce fun and addictive, immersive, engaging social games (MMO, RPG, CCGs and more) for both casual gamers and hardcore enthusiasts alike. All of us have grown up playing videogames, and love having the opportunity to present our own titles to other gamers.

Forbes

5pgShirt Addictive games development in 5th Planet

We were excited when we've found out that a part of 5th Planet Games team is using Rizzoma for collaboration. We got in touch with Devin Becker and he told us about the team and game development workflow.

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  • Our main office in Sacramento
  • A smaller office in New York
  • A writer in London
  • A community manager in Greece
  • Artists in San Francisco, China and more.
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  • Game development workflow

    We have some designers on staff as well as support for employees to have time to work on and present independent projects. We have a knowledge of a variety of industries we leverage when deciding game ideas to pursue as well. We use a lot of design documents to propose and discuss potential features and improvements for our existing games. These documents are created, reviewed, revised and if approved, scheduled for implementation. These ideas are often run past our, tech staff, QA dept and council of players to help vet them.

    Player council is a group of active players that help represent the needs of the community We put out an open call to our players on our forums to submit applications to join in. We fly them out to our office as a group and spend the weekend talking

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    to them to better understand our players and community. After the meeting we maintain a skype room to communicate with them regularly. Quite a few of our employees started as council members.

    Why Rizzoma

    Originally it was just myself coming in as a heavy Google Wave user, but it has since spread to at least 5 others. Mainly its used between Project Managers, Developers and Designers to keep our weekly updates in sync.

    Rizzoma's fluidity and structuring makes it useful for our weekly build information. Docs are more useful for the kind of thing you would print out, whereas some of the wiki-like nature and easy in-line embedding of images, files and comments makes for a better Basecamp/Backpack-like living document. We have used it for some more wiki type pages such as technical documentation that changes often, especially due to easy linking, but this has been more experimental. We would like to eventually use it for managing projects at a higher level than just weekly builds.

    5thplanetgames picture1 Addictive games development in 5th Planet

    Other tools

    We've somewhat recently moved to using many Google serivces (e-mail, calendar, drive/docs). We use JIRA for task tracking and QA. We also have a custom

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    built scheduling tool mostly for tracking what is going into our weekly builds. We use SVN for code, tools, xml and documents (changing in favor of Google Docs).

    Integrations

    We could definitely benefit a lot from integration of Tasks with Google Calendar and perhaps even more emphasis on how e-mail replies can work as replies to mentions. Integration with Google Drive would also be a huge help for both storing files added to a wave and also a way to easily add files from Drive that could utilize the built-in google doc viewer and still link to the original file as well. An API to communicate (create topics, reply, etc) with would make it potentially possible for integration of JIRA or other tools to feed and work with Rizzoma topics. The iFrame gadget can help a little to give us windows into our other tools.

    We thank Devin for the interview and Peter Hansell for help with this post.

    You may also like:

Collaborative Recruitment with Rizzoma

What you can learn after lookingthrough 1000 CVs? Nothing. And HRs know it. This is what annoys them so often.

You need a genius for an important part of the business. You make a jobpost. Get tons of emails. First you filter them and get hundreds impressive CVs. You spend a week on this and don't

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have even one interesting candidate yet. You can reply to all this hundred emails and spend the next two weeks doing the monotonous job with replying and forwarding an infinite flow of messages.

The worst thing about this that after all this hard work you don't know very much about candidates. Important skills like teamwork, sociability, critical thinking, learning ability are still unproven.

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Knowledge Management in Politics. Usecase by HCSS

Stephan de Spiegeleireis senior scientist at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS). He has Master's degrees from the Graduate Institute in Geneva and Columbia University in New York, as well as a C.Phil. degree in Political Science from UCLA. He worked for the RAND Corporation for nearly ten years. The following text is by Stephan and his collegues.

HCSS is a small European think tank dealing with strategic policy issues with a special focus on (inter)national security. We work primarily for public customers. Our team—also known as Metafore Team—were spun off from the larger Dutch research and technology organization TNO, with about 4000 scientists working in various policy domains, in 2007 and became a separate private legal entity that retains close ties with TNO.

HCSS metafore Knowledge Management in Politics. Usecase by HCSS

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Minto pyramid principles

Wouldn't it be great if you could be more productive? One way to do more in a day would save on the time you spend sleeping. According to a study by J. Christian Gillin a 17-year old boy once stayed awake for 264 hours straight (about 11 days) and set the world-record with that. But staying awake that long is probably not a very smart thing to do. Nor it is very good for your attention span. A better idea would be to use smart tools that enable you to communicate and collaborate more efficient. In this article we take a closer look at how Rizzoma helps you with time management and what the Minto Pyramid (MPP) has to do with that.

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Crazy toolset from Luciano Santa Brigida

Luciano Crazy toolset from Luciano Santa Brigida

Sometimes

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everyday routine can be not boring at all and bring a nice result. Recently, while performing daily search on the web what's new about Rizzoma we found a short but great review of online tools that ease everyday online work. Different tools for different things but they are useful and they bring harmony in daily work.

But now it's time to enjoy the 'Crazy toolset from Luciano Santa Brígida

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Have flag will travel

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About us

Our brand-building studio "Flag v ruki" ("Have flag will travel") deals with brand development. In other words we do not simply sell logos, corporate identity

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or brandbooks, we reason out a strategic brand concept. It helps our clients to understand their business much better, differentiate from competitors and — what's the most important — to get profit from added value of their services and products. Using essentially new communication aproach we greatly reduce costs on our service for our customers.

We are not the only one who go in for development on such a level. There are lots of giant branding companies like Landor, Fitch, Wolff Olins,

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Mildberry and BBDO Branding. They all have a great international experience and are famous for their cases. But the thing is that only big companies can use the service of these giants. We have been working in advertising business for long time and we really got tired of such a situation in which the company is implementing the budget and trying to please bosses. It is just the waste of money and annoyance of consumers with boresome and odd advertisments.

Managing partners

8eUNvKS Have flag will travel

No office no cry

If you are on the side of company-customer or agency-executor it's very difficult to change the situation. That's why in 2010 we all togther told everything to stuff it, left previous jobs to create our own funfair with blackjack and customers. Our team consists of three founders (they are in Moscow) and several professionals (designers, programmers, art-directors, animators etc) from all over the world (New Zealand, Sibiria, Ukrain, Chech respublic).

Mostly the work of design studios and branding agencies consists of: —meetings with client/breefings —incompany breefings with designers, copywriters and others —brainstorming and discussion of the project —the work on the project itself (design, page layout, copywriting, coding etc) —preparing a presentation —presentation to client.

Virtual office

In spite of most of these processes are virtual, it is common in advertising industry to spend lots of money to tie up employees to a definite office and make them work there. We work with small and medium business so we can't afford to waste our

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customer's money.

The only way out is to build the work with communication according to new principles. —Skype. Meetings with clients, breefings, incompany breefings, brainstorming. —Dropbox. Keep up the project documentation, presentations, work materials. —Rizzoma. Reports for all the team (the description of negotiation with clients), breefings description, brainstorming results and other ideas on the projects, detailed information about the development of the project, gathering and discissing of all ideas (promotion, creative for clients, new project ideas).

Overloaded email

When I worked in the advertisng agency office I had to waste a lot of time checking working email and correspondence (it was always accompanied with telephone calls and rectification because it is impossible to understand something clearly in a long email chain), the designer was always aware and somewhere around, of course, it was also difficult for him to concentrate on work. Long way through traffic jam to work or to the meetings with client — all of it was annoying.

Now my working day begins and ends in Rizzoma (it doesn't matter what time exactly and in what time zone the day begins). There is no need for extra calls and emails clarifying the state of work, giving feedback, you just open Rizzoma and everything is clear. You should just answer the questions set by other team members (it is often like this — you sleep, they work and on the contrary) and get down to work — nobody distracts your attention, nothing is lost.

Structure

Rizzoma lets you work with quite big documents containg many logical interrelations and what's the most important — it's much easier to discuss and make correction. Our main product is concept of the brand (after reading it all staff of the company from a sales manager to company's president know company they work at and how to make its brand the strong one). The template of the concept takes 2-3 pages in Word, a complete document occupies 6-8 pages. It contains many categories and subcotegories so to discuss such a big document is very inconvenient in Word.

In Rizzoma one can easily assign each other questions and tasks on each item of the document without constant waste of time on exchanging different versions of the document (we used to have at least 10) and searching new changes in it.

flag shot Have flag will travel

Rizzoma new Google Wave alternative in 2013?

D11WaveAlternative Rizzoma new Google Wave alternative in 2013?

Only at Google 3 million active users is not enough to keep a service alive. Google wants growth, enormous growth. So, when the number of users was less than they expected they pulled the plug. Google decided to stop with the wave service. In 2012 the service was read-only and since august all Google Waves were not accesible any longer. The technology behind Google Wave was superb. Developers all over the world were in awe of what the team built. In this article we

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zoom in on the various resurrections that stood up after Google Wave collapsed and we look into the real reasons Google wave failed.

 

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UI not made for human beings and to many complex functions

The User Interface was not as user friendly as it should be. Sure, geeks loved it but what about other types of users? Google wave had an incredible potential but the user-interface was just to complicated to grasp for common people. They should have tested the UI on other groups of people and make adaptations.

 

Secondly many first time users did not quite see the added value in comparison to traditional e-mail or simpler collaboration tools. The majority of people said that

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Google Wave was not made for human beings. The users were confused. They did not know what to do with Google Wave. It was too sophisticated.

 

Anil Dash even said that Google Wave was extremely impressive. The components of Google Wave included:

  • Built around robust XMPP protocol – (formerly known as Jabber)

  • (JSONRPC) – Robot protocol

  • (OpenSocial) – Gadget API
  • (Javascript) – Wave embed API
  • Client-server protocol (GWT)

Here is a full list of Google Wave protocols. Each of these were very impressive. But developers replied not only with enthusiasm but they also wanted to add features for their own existing applications. And that is one of the reasons adaptation was not widespread.

The good news and what we’ve learned

But there is good news. Rizzoma learned from all the amazing things Google Wave developers did and we also learned from things that did not go so well. With a brand new team of developers we are setting up a new team collaboration tool. Easy to use for everyone. 2013 Is going to be our year and we are excited to invite you to use Rizzoma’s free colloboration software!

 

List of Google Wave alternatives and resources for 2013:

Apache Google wave protocol

Novell Vide (formerly known as Pulse)

Kune

Co-meeting

WIAB, wave-in-a-box

Rizzoma

 

Online Collaboration Tool for Education

By Felipe Beltran Mejia a physics teacher from  Unicamp University (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
 
 
I teach General Mechanics, that is, a Classical Mechanics course in a US university. This year I'm lecturing for students of the Chemical Engineering program and we are studying subjects such as Newtonian Mechanics, Projectiles, Oscillators, Orbits and Rigid Bodies Mechanics among others.
 
1 Online Collaboration Tool for Education
 
Encourage Problem
 
Nowadays it is hard to encourage students to participate in class actively. Students have lots of questions but most of them are shy to ask. I believe they come from an educating tradition that does not encourage them to discuss openly in class. Curiously, that problem is more common with girls while boys are more active inside the class.
 

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Rizzoma for CrowdSourcing

 
Screen%20Shot%202012 12 09%20at%205.20.56%20AM Rizzoma for CrowdSourcing
Crowdsourcing is a process that involves outsourcing tasks to a distributed group of people.
 
The term "crowdsourcing" is a combination of "crowd" and "outsourcing," coined by Jeff Howe in a June 2006 Wired magazine article "The Rise of Crowdsourcing". It wasn't the invention. History has enough cases when
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people unite for common purpose.
For 6 years old existence of the term Crowdsourcing has become a huge industry reporting new achievements. With development of post-industrial economy and the spread of decentralization the crowdsourcing automatically has become an actual Network Business Tool.
Surprisingly many crowdsourcing projects are giving you the opportunity to take part in government decisions. Maybe we can say this is a Goverment 2.0 prototype.

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Source Overview

Seeing the topics, mentions and tasks on Rizzoma, logging in and out with Facebook or Google, seeing how you can edit together in realtime, you might wonder — How does Rizzoma work behind the scenes?

 

Here we will try to describe a bit how it does: What kind of technologies and frameworks we use and how we use them. We hope this high-level-overview will be useful to those interested in getting to know a general web application architecture written in Node.js/Coffeescript as well as how to implement collaborative editing online.

 

Rizzoma architecture Source Overview

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Two-person Idea Incubator

A couple months ago the IdeaMensch community posted an interview with an awesome TV copywriter Colleen Wainwright. 
 
Answering the question about her three favorite online places and what she loves about them Colleen mentioned Facebook, for keeping up with people and blowing off steam, Wikipedia as "the world's largest repository of things that may or may not be true" and Rizzoma as a brainstorming online software ("a kind of two-person, idea incubator"). 
 
That is why I invited her for an interview and here is how she introduces herself:2 11 Two person Idea Incubator

Colleen 'Communicatrix' Wainwright. Photo by Josh Ross

Creative

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#HackFun12 Trip (UPD)

We say Hackfun, which means Hacker's Fantasy, when we talk about our trip to the Black sea.
On August 20-th, people from Tomsk, St. Peterburg, Moscow, Phuket, London, New York, Yekaterinburg, Kishinev and Amsterdam will gather in the amazing city of Evpatoria. Our destination is a countryside favored by tourists of this ancient city.
Our scouts are already there, checking residence details, quality of the Internet, and a direct path to the beach.

HackFun12 collage 600 info #HackFun12 Trip (UPD)
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Education Process with Rizzoma

Here is a story about how Rizzoma can be used for scientific research and education. The example comes from the group Integrative Systems Biology (isbgroup.eu), which is situated in Linköping, Sweden. The group includes approximately 15 people, but many more people are involved in the usage of Rizzoma, since they are using it for collaborations with other groups, both in Sweden and abroad.

An interesting comment related to biology and the theory of evolution is that ‘Rizzoma’ is just the botanic term ‘rhizome’ spelled a bit differently.
Here is what they have to say about Rizzoma.com

Hela gruppen Education Process with Rizzoma

Work and Travel in UKraine

Last summer we got wind that Google Wave would be shut down in eight months, which took us aback as we had been using it extensively and had developed a few robots for it. No wonder, it was hard to put up with the fact that there might no longer be such a thing as Google Wave. So, we decided to take the plunge and develop our

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own platform for online collaboration. Here is the story on how we started.


Rizzoma team @Odessa (Black Sea)

We came to mind that for such a big task it would be better if all our team worked together for a while in a beautiful place. It all started with a choice of location. It was hard to decide, but a wonderful Ukrainian city of Odessa appealed to most

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of us. We spent 2 months there, from July to mid-September.

komanda500r Work and Travel in UKraine

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Hackers' collaboration tool

We asked a hacker team to tell how they use Rizzoma and here is their story. 

Our team called 'More Smoked Leet Chicken' take part in information security competitions 'Capture The Flag' (CTF) every year. The last competition 'CodeGate' was in Korea in March and the next one HITB is scheduled for May 2012 in Amsterdam. In our opinion, due to its strict deadlines, clear goals and teamwork, this competition is an example of an ideal project.

ctf 41 Hackers' collaboration tool

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Twitter capoeira with SilverBird

I use Twitter for work—to find news on interesting topics and people who are currently interested in them. Many contemptuously refer to Twitter, so it's value should be explained. The advantage of Twitter is in a good search, lots of open to communication users and simple communication scheme. The more I understand the logic of Twitter's work, the more it reminds me of how associative thinking works. But that's a philosophical if not romantic subject and it shall be covered in a postscript.

300 Twitter capoeira with SilverBird

 

Let's move on to practice. Continue reading

Gamers' Usercase

So essentially we're a community of gamers from Australia. We met mainly in World of Warcraft, but now we play all sorts of games and we use Rizzoma (and GWave

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before it) to stay in touch, discuss games and other daily topics. There's probably about 15 of us, with another 5-10 that just lurk and read. We loved GWave due to threaded, real time replies, so that we can actually have a fluid conversation. We create a new topic each day, and usually average around 100-150 replies each day.

Gamers usecase2 1 Gamers' Usercase
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Paranoia test: unexpected results (Updated)

Two of our users has expressed discomfort from having to allow access to contacts. One of them refuses to use the service while access to Google contacts is mandatory.

UPD: Before we made request to contacts because users asked us about adding people directly from contact list. After we made this there were complaints. So we made a survey and found out that it was a problem.

1 copy Paranoia test: unexpected results (Updated)
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How we use Rizzoma for documentation analysis

Story by Vadim Musteata, analyst working on system implementation

I started to work for a new company and was assigned a task, which was new for me. The task consisted in developing about 200 reports for a CIS of a large international company. The project was underway before I came, and the documentation consisted of a massive SRS and lots of diverse files: schemes, text descriptions of BP's, meeting munutes, screenshots, report temlpates, etc.

Mess in docs How we use Rizzoma for documentation analysis

Mess in documentation files Continue reading