The Thinking Label

Trello General

I’m using Trello for my project management (at least when it comes to gamedev) as it strikes just the right balance between complexity and simplicity for my needs. I usually have a List titled Todo filled with lots of cards containing stuff that…well, needs to be done. In order to structure this pile of work a little better I’ve been using labels to separate the tasks into Code, Art and Bug so I can see at a glance what skills a particular task will require. So far so good.

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But now I’ve added another label to further categorize my tasks: The Think label. I use this to mark tasks that will require some amount of thought and creativity. Many coding or art tasks are simple in their execution and are easily done; things like rounding the Speer’s position is a few lines of generic code at worst, fixing a bug like changing the velocity of a block requires no more than changing a value. However, things become more complicated with tasks like this:

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Not only does this one need coding and art, it also requires me to think about how I want things to look in the first place. What font should I use, what type of animation? Should I come up with a Sonic-like title card or just fade from black? How long should animations last? Questions like that need to be answered before you can really do the task. And that’s what the purple Think label signifies: This one will take some time.

The main reason I’m using it is so I can better pick tasks fitting the current situation. If I’m super tired on a given day, I should stay away from Think-tasks as nothing good would probably come of it. On the flipside, if I have the day free for gamedev and am feeling motivated, tackling a big Think-task can feel hugely rewarding, especially since those are usually ones that have a big impact on the project.

On some days you want to achieve something big, on others you just want to do some mindless coding. The Think-label helps me stay away from tasks that I most likely wouldn’t be able to properly do and as a result, has made me quite a bit more productive.

Do you use anything like a Think-label in your project management? Do you have any other tricks? Let me know!

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