Back to business
It is pretty cool being able to make games. There is something about seeing your creativity come together and produce something physical you can hold in your hands. All that hard work over the years adds up to something special. Two19 and Kingless, though, needed more than just creativity. We needed to find the tools and methods to pull it all together.
The concept for Kingless was conceived by a text message. That's how this all began. A single text. You can't really run a project by text though, so we started by documenting and noting down information in Apple Notes. It didn't take us long to realize that we needed a more robust solution. All of us were working on this remotely, so we needed something we could access and use no matter where we each were.
Before we could really get started, then, we needed to set up Two19 as a remote business and find the right tools. We started out by using our personal Google Drives and sharing files. The most obvious thing to use with this was GSuite, so we set up a GSuite account, using the Two19 company name, and moved everything onto that. Problem solved.
Well, not really. GSuite is great, but it's missing some tools that were key to keeping us on track. The things is, working with a remote team, you need something that gets you organized, helps the workflow, and all those other buzzwords. We needed something to help us work together better. We started to explore options like Trello, Monday.com, and Asana. We even toyed around with using Apple Reminders. We ended up with Trello. It seemed the best fit for us, and for what we were trying to achieve with Two19.
Then we needed something to use as a chat tool, for quick communications. Like anyone, we already used various chat apps to communicate with each other; iMessage, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp. What we really needed was something a little more powerful, and something that would be focused on work – without the distractions. The obvious solution seemed to be Slack.
We tried with Slack, we really did. We persevered for weeks. We were building channels, hooking into Google Drive, setting up automation, but at the end of the day, it was just too much of a hassle. Moving in and out of Slack just to send messages took us away from what we were doing. It never really fitted. Communication is so important with a remote team, and Slack never really felt like the cornerstone we were looking for.
All this lead to Discord. We were already using Discord quite frequently for voice chat so we decided to see what else it could do. In many ways Discord has a resemblance to Slack. I tried to see if I could replicate what we had already done in Slack, or at least as best I could. It actually worked quite well. There were a few things that were a bit hit and miss. Wikis are a bit harder to make and don't get me started on integrations via webhooks. Thinking about it though, we didn't really need all that. What we needed was clear communication. In that respect, Discord is great.
We still use Discord today as our main quick communication tool. We meet daily via Discord voice chat and it works flawlessly. Now with the added benefit of screen-sharing and video chat in servers, it’s going great. It’s doing exactly what we wanted.
Six months later, I finally discovered Basecamp. This is what we had really been looking for. It's given us a totally new way of working. Basecamp has tied together a lot of the platforms we've been using. Now we have a more coherent place for communication, announcements, and file management. I'm really happy with it because Basecamp feels like a single home for all the work we are doing on Kingless. We have this one platform where we can all check and get updates from all the areas of work we are busy with. It’s helped tie everything, and everyone, together.
So, it’s taken a while, but we seem to have the right tools, and the right set-up, to make Two19 and Kingless really work. Like any new project, there’s been a learning curve, but it’s all worthwhile when I get to see, and hold, the results.