Suggestions for software for a game designer

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by darshie76, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. darshie76 macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hi, I am trying to assemble a good software collection, to basically manage my small game company; but i have issues to find software that is easy to use (if i gotta loose days to understand how to use a software i continue to use textpad or VI lol) and at the same time, can cover my needs.

    Basically what i am looking here is some sort of software that can help me to keep track of my game projects; and the issues starts here since there is not a single software aimed to game designers :(

    What i would like to cover:

    1) Game design document (any text editor should do it)

    2) Story plot (i've heard of software aimed to writers or screenwriters; but i need something very easy and with basic functionalities, like an area where to write the story, an area for the characters and an area where to put storyboards/sketches, etc)

    3) project management (i've tried few project management software, and they are too generic to fit my needs)

    4) Assets management (sound, graphic, etc)

    5) Code repository: the only thing that would work is SVN, but any other suggestion is more than welcome.

    6) diagrams and workflow (basically i need to have something similar to UML, where i can manage the various elements and the relation between them; levels, enemies, AI and similar)

    I have tried various software on PC, but i do not know exactly what to use on a mac....if possible freeware or cheap software is welcome, but i don't mind to spend some money if i gain in exchange more time to actually code and work on the various areas of the game :)

    Anyone here is a game designer? or has any suggestions about what could fit my needs?

    the funniest thing would be that i would write a tool by myself ;) but unless i have no other options, i would gladly avoid it (why re-invent the wheel if someone else already did it?)

    Thanks and sorry for the broad topic...i am very frustrated about the lack of info on the net (probably i am not looking in the right place)
  2. darshie76 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2008
  3. quisguous macrumors newbie


    Jun 9, 2009
    I recommend Textmate.

    How about MS Word or OpenOffice? Paste in your storyboard pics, add text underneath them.

    Excel or another spreadsheet is good for listing out tasks, grouping them into milestones, updating progress, and reviewing your schedule trend.

    Organize them in folders on your file system.

    SVN is good. I like Cornerstone as a SVN UI.

    Good question. I haven't found a tool I like. Omnigraffle is ok.

    I'm a game industry vet of 5 years on projects huge (over 200 people not including QA) and small (1-5 people) and I can tell you that generally speaking, its better to err on the side of simpler design tools, sparingly applied. You don't want to spend time maintaining and/or fiddling with the tools when you could be designing, coding, or user testing your game.
  4. darshie76 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2008
    Thanks for the reply!

    Checking these software, but the issue is to find good templates....otherwise the time spent to make templates is basically going to kill my productivity :D
  5. DutchManNL macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2009
    Well i make some games in C++, i donno witch language you want to use.
    But the free X-Code is not a bad program. Since there are the great upgrades it is a fine program.
    Another great tool is CodeWarior (google is your friend).
    Good luck with game design.
  6. darshie76 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2008
    I use C++ and Java and C#; and xcode is my worst enemy :p Except for iphone development and for instruments; i do not ever launch it at all :)

    I love netbeans and visual studio; sadly the second is not available on the solution is to load parallels and write code in there, then integrate it on mac; while netbeans works just fine on Mac.
  7. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    I'm, a Java developer as well, and I know C++ and C# too, like you do. Like you, I use NetBeans and Visual Studio like you do, too. However... I've come to the realization that Java just isn't the greatest of languages for game development. I'm currently trying to learn Python well enough to use it as a Java replacement, and I'm making great progress. Python is one of those languages that will throw you for a loop if you're used to C-style languages, but once you realize just how powerful it is you won't want to write programs in anything else. ;)

    That said, I find to be an extremely versatile game designer/programmer's tool. Sure, it's not a good source code editor, but it does provide the core features a game designer frequently needs: text processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and databases.

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