Another vision of boring GTD planners through the prism of RPG games

    10 words about the idea.

    GTD scheduler as a multi-player RPG for development teams, here.


    You all know what GTD is . Projects, tasks, milestones and deadlines. Many offices and development teams use one or another system based on (or not based on) GTD to control tasks in projects in their daily work. I suggest replacing the basic concepts of this methodology with the terms of multiplayer RPGs, adding buns, statistics, achievements, beauty and fun. We get the same planner, but not so boring and with additional motivation.

    Lol, is this a joke? Yes, it is, this is a joke. But in every joke, as they say, there is a fraction of a joke.

    ... Speaking of laziness and IMO, now I’m wondering if I’m so broke in the morning to get to work, if I was so lazy to go into pairs, if I need to spend a lot of effort to force myself to finally open Flex Builder and finish this silly project, why didn’t I get salaries for this for 4 months, I got up at 6 a.m. and worked all day in the game? ...

    For those who are interested or those who are just curious - Wellcome for habrakat. But while the picture is on the seed.


    Instead of entry.

    I am by nature very lazy. I will not make excuses, they say half the people here are also those idlers, I just say that I am an extremely lazy creature. In my life I managed to score many times for everything that is possible and impossible, get lectures an hour before the exam, simultaneously finding out who our lecturer is here, to break a lot of deadlines, get on money and do a lot of stupid things. But at the same time, I must say, this laziness sometimes saves me, we can say that they keep me for this. Laziness helps me not to be a monkey. For example, you need to do a task, it would take 40 hours. But it’s broken for me to do it for 40 hours, and in 2 hours I figure out how to get about the same result in 10 hours. Laziness is the engine of progress, friends!

    MMO, tsiferki and work.

    Once in my youth, I played World of Warcraft. He played a lot and, one might say, professionally. The game was essentially work, only they didn’t pay for it, but on the contrary, it ate my small earnings. I was the one, sorry for the purely gaming term, nerd. Among my dubious achievements is the title of Grand Marshal, for those who are not in the know, it means "one who has no life who played 4 consecutive months for 12-24 hours a day." Speaking of laziness and IMO, now I’m thinking if I’m so broke in the morning to get to work, if I was so lazy to go into pairs, if I need to spend a lot of effort to force myself to finally open Flex Builder and finish this stupid project, why 4 months without receiving salaries for this, I got up at 6 a.m. and worked all day in the game?

    After all, sometimes the game, that work, require mainly mechanical actions with minimal brain involvement. Often, on the contrary, you need to quickly think and give birth to some ideas. Why is it more interesting to work in a game that has already turned into work?

    The answer is simple - digits, gentlemen! To interest the player, cunning game designers pushed various stats everywhere for writing and feeling of progress. I did not just clean the meadow from the wolves, I killed 37 pieces of wolves and got 1000 reputation with hares for this. I did not just waste the day today, no, I pumped 2,000,000 experience and got 3 levels. I did not just complete all the tasks for today, I went through 12 quests and killed the 131st mob. The player feels progress and can measure it with other players.

    And in our work with you, how? What did you do last Wednesday? Yeah, a little task. And how did you get cooler from this? Is the boss more satisfied with you? How do you know? That is, "well, probably ..." huh?

    This is where the gentlemen’s motivation is, every day during these 4 months I saw my progress. And even 90% of the absolute monotony of what was happening did not knock me down. I knew that if I do not get up at 6 in the morning today, then I won’t get absolutely specific 50,000 points and I won’t be able to take an absolutely specific first place in a week and I will have to spend another 2 weeks on this business. I foresee comments about salary as a motivation. Where is your salary? One or two a month? It is somewhere far away, I don’t really feel the difference if they tell me that they will increase it and in a month I’ll get 10% more (I will feel it at the time of receipt, yes). Now, if the salary was issued once a day in the evening.

    Bottom line: the player in the MMO is motivated by nonsense meaningful repetitive actions with numbers, statistics and visible progress.


    So, first we’ll try to build a one-to-one correspondence between the terms and practice of GTD and RPG for our GTDRPG ... MMOGTDRPG. I see how the television announcer with a straight face tries to say it.

    So, the customer with us will be a Faction (or something like that), a fraction in terms of WoW is a certain group of  human beings with whom you can build a reputation. For example, some elves, mountain pigs or cave bears. The higher the reputation, the more trust they have in you, and you can take buns from them in the game. Performing tasks for the client, you increase his reputation with him. Accordingly, breaking the deadlines - reduce.

    The project will be a dungeon (dungeon) or some separate zone with resources, quests and mobs. To complete the project you need to go through the milestones in terms of GTD. The project relates to the customer, that is, fractions.

    Task is a quest. To write a component, draw animation, integrate animation - these are all atomic quests. Do this and complete the quest.

    Milestone is essentially a set of quests (tasks), some kind of quest line. Complete 50 quests before the first of December, and you will have a completed milestone. That is, milestone is an epic quest or quest chain in different terms.

    Project resources, such as pictures, sounds, videos, text, will be the dungeon / zone resources that need to be collected. Here's the quest for you - collect me 10 animations of the pink pig by 12 noon on Monday!

    What a project without bugs, right. Bugs are mobs that need to be killed, and loot drops from them, or objects in simple language. Here's another quest - finally kill the boss, because of which my pancake IllegalOperationError crashes when building a BSP tree from this stupid model in the tupaya_model.3ds file.

    It seems to have worked out, but that's not all. Otherwise, we would have the same simple side view planner.

    We, as in MMO, need numbers and motivation.

    For completing quests, killing mobs, passing quest chains on time, the  playerthe employee receives a very specific amount of reputation with the customer, with the boss, with the chief programmer, finally. For failure to meet deadlines, reputation is reduced. For a reputation, a person’s working avatar is overgrown with beauties, and I myself will be pleased to see that the client is 936 out of 1000 satisfied. What have I done today? Today I have raised my reputation with the client by 50.

    There is (voluntary!) Statistics of everything around. How many projects I completed, how many lines of code I wrote, how many classes I created, how many quests I did, etc.

    According to statistics, achievements are made. ABOUT! You wrote a 1000th grade! Congratulations! You have a green badge on your chest. A variety of achievements can make kuevu huchu. Nothing material, but nice. How many of you will be late at work to finally add the number of lines to 10,000, get an achievement, and be content to go home to sleep?

    Each of you has a certain set of skills related to work. Programming, it features ActionScript 3, PHP, Ruby, they have Papervision3d and Box2d and other libraries. Let's say I'm working on a quest that requires knowledge of ActonScript 3 and Papervision3d. Therefore, I improve my skills in these skills. Accordingly, in the quests I indicate that I work with these skills, and they grow in numbers. Other long-unused skills are reduced (forgotten) to some minimum level, is it logical? I can open the socket and see, yeah, here I know everything perfectly, but here I’m kind of starting to forget things. We urgently need to do something in Ruby.

    Things have a purely decorative value, but nevertheless, rewarding the developer with the Super Blade of Fuck for some merits has some inspirational meaning.

    Bottom line: I identified the concepts and possible development parameters, and also briefly mentioned additional motivation.

    Lecture hall.

    I do not presume to say that everyone like me. No, but I know for sure that there are a lot of similar people. And they don’t necessarily play MMOs now, although they are very predisposed to MMO addiction, and if you know such people, it’s better not to show them these games.

    The potential audience includes lone developers and small development teams that are already using GTD or want to start, especially in the gamedev industry. The transition from boring task management software to fun software is justified. If the team does not use GTD, then the introduction of such a system seems inappropriate. I foresee questions, they say, and so there is not enough time, there are still some kind of quests to fill out, to follow all this. Surely you do not use GTD, because there you need to do exactly the same thing.

    The larger the team, the greater the likelihood that this idea will not work because of too serious people who do not like this thing.

    Bottom line : indie developers and small teams.


    This scheduler offers all the same functions as a regular GTD scheduler and adds elements of multiplayer RPG games to them. This will make the workflow less tedious, add some kind of meta elements over task control tasks. Virtual rewards, statistics, a person will immediately see the result of his work in some numbers. After a hard day's work, I will be able to sit and admire the 5-skill that has grown, for example, OOP and Ruby. A trifle, but nice.

    From now on, this picture can be interpreted in a new way! I'm friends, Level 80 Flash Developer, and that sounds proud!

    Project management, creating / editing tasks. Everything is done in a convenient visual interface without silly clicks on a heap of pages with strange input fields.

    Easy access to the state of various parameters, again more numbers and graphics. Turn the boring task management process into an interesting one.

    View current tasks for projects, statistics on them.

    Flow chart for projects.

    You can create groups for the so-called group quests. For example, I have a group quest with a designer - finally insert a pink pig with a flower in a flash drive. This is a task for both of us. Visualize task chains as quest chains with a convenient display of the tree, status and progress.

    I would also like to mention the hearts of automatic statistics collection, which can be integrated into development as an Eclipse plug-in or Ant task.

    Bottom line : showed my vision of the interface, functions and process.


    The main problem of this approach is subjectivity. Everyone has different projects and tasks. Therefore, it makes no sense to compare my progress and the progress of Vasya, who works in New Zealand. That is, a global writing service will not work. I want to - I’ll wrap myself up with easy quests and go up to level 100500, and honest Petya will do his difficult quests at level 7.

    Therefore, I chose as an audience of loners and small groups of developers. Then if anyone starts cheating, people will come up and hit on the head. In a small team, such a system can be very interesting and help to increase productivity. On the other hand, in the beginning I mentioned the comparison of achievements, which without mass character is not possible. And again, based on honesty and subjectivity, you can still make some top and some comparisons. At least according to statistics that are collected automatically.

    Another question is the “seriousness” of such a decision. It is clear that all developers should use the management system, but if it seems too childish to some (what? Elves? Quests? Why are you there ...), then the whole process goes down the drain.

    Anticipating the issues, as I said, I will not endure the problems of the GTD methodology on which this idea is based.

    Bottom line : everything is subjective.

    How to earn.

    From all of the above, one can draw a sad conclusion and change the name of this part to “How not to make money.”, Because the system turns out to be very narrowly targeted. You can’t do a great service for everyone, micropayments for game things are for juvenile idiots on VKontakte, but we are here to work with you.

    You can take a little money for hosting the system on your servers, as conventional GTD solutions do. You can think of something on the issue of customization for individual orders, for example, to remake everything under the StarCraft universe.

    Bottom line : apparently you can’t do millions here.

    A couple of words.

    Comrade ooprizrakoo expressed an interesting idea - to try to make a skin for the existing project management system. Whoever wants, let him use it, the rest will work the old days. Additional data should be stored somewhere separately.


    As I said, every joke has a fraction of a joke. Who liked it - plus, who did not like it - plus.

    And remember, if something like “Vasya, let's go do a quest for this IllegalOperationError boss?” Sounds unbelievably strange to you in the workflow, then after “Wait a minute, my pepper has dried up ...” I’m not surprised at anything.

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