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Old 11-18-2004, 02:06 PM   #1
Burr
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What methods and/or media have you employed to help your designers work together throughout the development process?
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Old 11-18-2004, 05:49 PM   #2
the_logos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Burr @ Nov. 18 2004,13:06)
What methods and/or media have you employed to help your designers work together throughout the development process?
Wikis! I can't oversell how useful our wikis are for development. We use them for organizing everything from organizing meets to keeping track of building projects to group design projects, etc. Highly recommended and far better than passing Word documents back and forth if there are more than 2 people working on something.
--matt
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Old 11-18-2004, 10:03 PM   #3
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We use a PHP discussion board for posting code changes and questions. It's part of our regular set of forums, which include player requests, plotline notes, scripting, and clan updates. We have a staff wiki as well, and are in the process of moving a lot of docs onto there. (Whether or not to move everything remains an ongoing debate.)

We also use the wiki for tracking the history of the world - players are welcome to mail in histories of their characters' lives and I enter them in. This has been a fun project, and I hope that at some point we'll be far enough along in world history to publish at least the early days. Right now it's not player accessible because there is some IC information on there that we'd rather have players find out in-game.
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Old 11-19-2004, 04:09 AM   #4
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We have an good old fashioned bbs on our server that we use as a forum for discussing our development. We do have a php forum system as well, but that is being worked on to be smoothly integrated with the mud characters before we start using them.
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Old 11-19-2004, 07:34 AM   #5
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Private message boards mainly, although I've been checking out a few WIKIs lately as I'm sure that's the next logical step. We also use email and most importantly I regularly call and spend an hour or so talking to my fellow coder as we bounce ideas back and forth.
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Old 11-20-2004, 11:37 AM   #6
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I've always done it that all designers must liase through a departmental head. The departmental head is responsbile for keeping track of everyones progress and informing any staff on any jobs, changes, or quirks that have occured. This is hard to pull off without someone dedicated, but it can work very very well.
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Old 11-20-2004, 01:13 PM   #7
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We have several systems in place for redundency so that people have
some flexibility while still informing the rest of the staff and playerbase.

1. Mailing Lists
2. Discussion Boards
3. In-Game Note Boards
4. Dynamic Websites
5. In-Game Meetings (attempts made for weekly)

We also cycle input in for player suggestions through an in-game
command we all probably know...idea/bug/typo.  This is then weekly
evaluated by a staff member based on merit and if agreed upon, it
is added to a list of ideas slated for implementation.  The list is updated
using SQL to a website for review by anybody willing to look.

Over the years we've found that communication is the biggest problem
in development as well as in player relations.  Designers can't simply
communicate to each other but they need to inform players via notes,
helps, emails, etc. else feel the resentment of too many surprises.
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Old 11-22-2004, 06:12 AM   #8
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Wiki.
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Old 11-22-2004, 09:53 AM   #9
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We use an open-source program we found called phpCollab. Its a web-based, php and mysql driven Collaboration application suite. Its got a main and subproject message board system, file upload capabilities, project lifecycle, etc.

Website: http://www.php-collab.com/

-- Michael
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