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4 Aug 2014

Simply Powerful Tools Your Indie Studio Should Start Using This Week

Looking for simple ways to collaborate with your indie studio’s outsourced workers, but you’re not sure where to start? Never fear! Whether you want to share files with your outsourced employees or you want a super-simple tool for keeping everyone on track, the tools below are going to help you to collaborate with your employees easier and faster than ever while ensuring that you are able to stay productive and focus on what’s most important: the art of developing indie games.



You know what’s crazy? I don’t believe we’ve ever mentioned Trello once here at Game Academy. That’s a travesty, because Trello is one of the simplest-to-use tools out there to keeping track of every facet of your indie studio.

How Trello works couldn’t be simpler. Trello uses cards to display important information. For example, if you want to mention there is a team meeting at 2pm, simply fill out relevant information regarding the meeting (e.g. topic of meeting, date, etc. You can even attach files to the cards that your employees can download and view) and on the front, you will see the most important information regarding the meeting: date, time, topic of meeting, comments about the meeting, etc. On the back? Detailed information in full-length: labels regarding the meeting, which employees have been invited to the meeting, etc. To see exactly what I mean, look at the Trello tour to see how powerful this tool can be.

Trello also allows you to organize your cards via lists. Essentially, you can create a timeline every day detailing what needs to be done day-by-day or even hour-by-hour if you want to be that detailed.

It’s also a great way to keep track of bugs as well. A lot of indie developers use Trello almost exclusively for keeping track of bugs in their indie games, allowing your employees to comment on each bug in real-time with you. Simple yet powerful, Trello is a tool you need to have in your arsenal today.



The few times I’ve playtested mobile games, the indie devs have used Testflight. There’s a good reason for this: it’s super simple to send beta apps to playtesters on the fly. Moreover, it’s easy to report bugs with Testflight as well, making this tool arguably the premier tool for playtesting, bug tracking, and so on.

What I love about Testflight is, again, just how simple it is to send out new versions of your mobile games. Did you fix a bug reported by a playtester? Simply update the build in Testflight and your playtesters will be prompted to download the latest version instantly. From there, your playtesters can continue to playtest, playtest, and playtest some more until the mobile game is ready for primetime. Again, super simple yet super powerful: exactly what you want your indie studio’s tools to be.


Google’s Tools

Speaking of simplicity, has there ever been a simpler set of tools for collaborating with your indie studio than Google’s suite of apps? From Google Docs to Spreadsheet to Presentation and especially Google Drive, sharing, editing, and collaborating via the cloud is as simple as turning on a light switch. I use a Google tool at least once per day – whether I’m uploading a soundbyte to Google Drive or writing an outline to share with a client via Google Docs, these stellar tools may be old news, but they’re some of the best, simplest, and most collaborative tools you’ll ever find. They’re still worth your while, so use them the next time you need to collaborate with your outsourced workers.


Have any tools you want to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!

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