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.
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.
- 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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).
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.