Slack Is Not Enough: Debugging Communication in Game Dev Projects

Slack Is Not Enough: Debugging Communication in Game Dev Projects

Debugging the Pitfalls of Messenger-Based Communication in Game Dev

Back in 2013, Slack launched and quickly became a must-have tool in the modern dev team's toolkit. But did you know that Slack actually spawned from an internal messenger created by a team shipping an online game called Glitch? It's a prime example of how crucial real-time info sharing is when navigating the complex quest of game development.

When various guilds like game design, art, and programming are raiding a project together, instant messaging becomes the key to quick communication. Designers can get immediate feedback on initial concepts, and character sketches can be discussed with the team in real-time. In this way, chat apps are absolutely essential for shipping and patching games on schedule.

However, despite the convenience and usefulness provided by messengers, some persistent bugs have been increasingly spotted in recent game dev environments.

The Trap of Text: Hidden Costs Behind Quick Feedback

One of the most challenging quests in game dev is providing an epic player experience, and at the heart of this lies meticulous level design.

Level designers constantly grind through iterations to maximize player immersion, and fast, accurate feedback plays a critical role in this process. The entire team must quickly trade notes to craft the best gameplay experience.

However, in reality, text-based communication often blocks this.

Real-time communication is undoubtedly useful, but it's difficult to trade detailed feedback accurately with just text. If a designer's patch notes are lacking, team members may not fully grasp the changes. This leads to pings for more details, resulting in a nasty loop that delays project progress.

Hunting for Easter Eggs: Hidden Info and Work Logs

Game dev is a complex process with countless elements intertwined, making close communication between team members absolutely essential. That's why most game studios run topic-based chat rooms for collaboration.

Initially, this chat room system worked quite well. Rooms could be created to match each team or project's needs, allowing instant sharing of important discussions and development progress. However, as time passed, the number of concurrent projects increased, discussions piled up, and issues gradually compounded. As the volume of shared info rapidly grew, finding critical data became increasingly difficult.

Moreover, while it's important to systematically log team updates, changes, and key decisions for continuous iteration and polish, the messenger environment is insufficient for effective management. Especially if important discussions or calls about game features happen in the messenger, this info is highly volatile due to the flood of chats. Later, when team members try to look up the context or process of major decisions, they waste a ton of time digging through old convos.

Now, team members are saying that finding information has become as tough as hunting for Easter eggs. Without remembering exact keywords, it's not easy to find past discussions even by searching. This burns precious time and delays projects.

Messengers enable instant info exchange but struggle with info storage, search, and reuse. Managing crucial decisions and feedback in the game dev process becomes challenging, breaking work flow and risking blown deadlines.

ALLO Reworks the Rules of Game Dev

Game development involves various interacting elements such as character design, level composition, storyline, and UI/UX improvements. Trying to track this process with plain text can easily lead to communication gaps and bugs.

In contrast, visualized docs can intuitively convey complex information to team members. For example, visually showing a specific level design, easily flagging changes, and effectively gathering feedback. This streamlines team communication and smooths out project progress.

The value of visualization tools goes way beyond just making info look pretty. They can play a key role in more effectively managing data, optimizing team workflows, and boosting build quality within a limited dev cycle.

Visual Feedback as Easy to Spot as Wards

Quick and clear feedback is absolutely essential in game development. However, trying to convey intricate design changes with just text is often an exercise in futility. For example, when tweaking the difficulty of a game map or adjusting character animations, misunderstandings can crop up without visually showing the before and after.

These crossed wires don't happen on ALLO's canvas. Devs can directly attach and specifically flag changes to map designs, character animations, etc. This boosts feedback accuracy and massively improves the speed and efficiency of the development process.

For instance, if a game map's difficulty needs to be rebalanced to amp up player immersion, the before and after map designs can be uploaded and displayed on the ALLO canvas. This allows team members to clearly grok the changes and provide actionable feedback.

The ALLO canvas can effectively solve communication bugs that often plague the game dev process. It visually conveys complex design changes in an easy-to-parse way, enabling discussions and calls to proceed without lag or waste.

Low Cost, High Immersion: Easy Quest Log Review

The ALLO canvas is gaining attention as a key tool for effectively managing the progress of game dev projects. It's designed to make desired content as easy to find as wards or pings in-game.

The ALLO canvas organizes all key docs and communication into pages. It visually summarizes core decisions and discussions at each stage, making it easy to follow the project's quest log. Whenever changes occur, updating the page will display the edit to team members accessing the canvas, ensuring they can always view the latest intel.

The canvas structure is designed to allow members of related factions to quickly get up to speed on in-progress projects. Pages created by stage enable easy parsing of current quest logs and major decision points, facilitating rapid project onboarding and collaboration. It also allows easy review of prior choices, enabling swift and effective discussions and calls.

The ALLO canvas helps all squads involved in game dev projects share the same data and clearly understand stage-by-stage decisions. This cuts down on confusion in collaboration and effectively manages the overall project roadmap. By helping various departments and teams systematically wrangle and easily access complex project info, the ALLO canvas is trailblazing a new meta for collaboration in game dev project management.

🕹️ Introducing ALLO, the fastest way to implement work visualization starting from your next project!

ALLO's collaboration solution massively buffs the speed and efficiency of the game dev pipeline. By systematically tracking stage-by-stage progress on the ALLO canvas, all stakeholders can easily parse game dev project data, cutting unnecessary communication time. It also enables real-time sharing of changes and precise feedback exchange, allowing efficient wrap-up within a tight schedule. Ready to level up your workflow? Try ALLO for free