Appendix C – Useful Tools
This digital supplement is made possible by purchasers of The GameDev Business Handbook. Our mission is to continue providing high-quality, accessible instruction for developers. Learn more and support future supplements at GameDevBizBook.com.
Mint – http://mint.intuit.com
Mint is a free tool that tracks bank account and credit card activity. It also includes simple budgeting, financial goal setting, and trend tools. You can access the service via desktop or mobile app.
YNAB (You Need a Budget) – http://www.youneedabudget.com
If you need something with a bit more oomph than Mint provides, YNAB is a good option. In addition to account tracking, goal setting, and more detailed budget tools, YNAB offers webinars and tutorials so you can make the most of your money. It’s free to try, but has a yearly licensing fee. Like Mint, it as accessible via desktop and mobile devices.
Xero – http://www.xero.com
When you’re ready for business accounting software, Xero is a good place to start. The paid service comes in three tiers, with the entry option priced at $9 per month (at time of publication). The starter service allows limited bank transaction reconciliation and invoicing. Once your business spins up, you’ll probably need to move to the $30 per month tier.
Quickbooks – https://quickbooks.intuit.com/
Quickbooks is full-featured accounting software, similar to Xero. If you’ve been using Mint and want to transition to something with a bit more power, Intuit offers an inexpensive ($10/mo at time of publication) version of Quickbooks for self-employed professionals. Service features (and fees) ramp up over a number of tiers, topping out at $50/month. The most expensive tier is required for inventory management, contractor tax form generation, and budget creation.
Genius Scan – https://www.thegrizzlylabs.com/genius-scan/
Traveling for business can be exciting, but the expense reporting that comes after can be arduous. Make your life easier by using your phone as a receipt scanner. Genius Scan allows you to scan in batches, categorize, label, and export to make record keeping easier. All you need to do is make sure to take pictures of your receipts before you lose them.
Slack – http://www.slack.com
Slack has changed the way remote teams are able to work together. On the surface, it’s just a private group chat room. However, the ability to create multiple open and private sub-channels, share files, and integrate with other apps like Google Docs and Calendar, Dropbox, Paypal, Trello, and dozens of other tools covering analytics, HR, payments, sales, and more, makes Slack a go-to solution for many teams.
You can start using Slack for free. However, for some of the premium features, you’ll need to upgrade. Slack charges a per-user fee (about $12 at time of publication), but small teams can easily use it at no charge for years.
Discord – http://www.discord.com
Slack and Discord are complementary pieces in the communications puzzle. Slack is wonderful for internal communications. Discord takes those same concepts and applies them to community management and development.
The service is completely free and allows companies to create channels for players to meet, party up, and discuss your game. Discord emphasizes voice chat, so players can easily transition from chatting about your game to strategizing will playing it.
Since coming on the scene a few years ago, Discord has largely replaced free services like Skype and paid applications like TeamSpeak and Ventrilo for online gaming communities.
Trello – http://www.trello.com
Like Slack, Trello has reached near-ubiquity. The free option allows you to manage unlimited boards, which represent different project or task categories). Each of those boards can have an unlimited number of cards (specific tasks), checklists, members, and attachments.
The free version does limit you to one “Power Up” per board. These include integrations with file management tools (Google Drive, Dropbox), communication apps (Slack, Google Hangouts, Twitter), Support (Zendesk, Package Tracker), and more.
presskit() – http://dopresskit.com
Rami Ismail created presskit() to make it easy for members of the media to find information about Vlambeer’s games. He’s since made the tool available for free to all. Presskit() allows studios to create simple repositories of game information, assets (image and video), press clippings, contact information and more.
distribute() – http://dodistribute.com
Distribute() is the partner tool to Rami Ismail’s presskit(). The free application allows developers to access a list of verified press members, manage refined lists for email press releases, and distribute both preview and review code.
Promoter – http://promoterapp.com
Andreas Zecher created Promoter to streamline the process of distributing preview and review codes to verified members of the press. The paid service also includes a media coverage tracker and review score aggregator.