Game development can be a very demanding and time-consuming process. To make things even more difficult, it can be hard to track project progress and manage expectations without some sort of project management software. That’s where customer research comes in—it can give you the insights you need to make your game development experience as stress-free as possible. In this guide, we’ll present you with the best project management software for game development, so that you can get the most out of your journe
Best Project Management Software for Game Development
Here are some examples of the top project management software for game developers. You’ll find them to be common choices amongst dev teams, but there are many more on the market that you can explore on your own should these fall short.
Jira Project Management
If using the Agile method is part of your teams software development approach, Jira might be the perfect fit for your game development needs. Why? Because this project management software was specifically created with the Agile method in mind.
The Kanban boards in Jira can help you easily visualize data on backlogs, bottlenecks, cycle times, etc. And its configurable Scrum boards can promote collaboration and cohesion by helping your team communicate and execute sprint planning with ease.
Speaking of configurable, Jira can be customized to fit your specific needs since it integrates seamlessly with over 3,000 software applications. Whether your team uses Slack, G-suite, or other applications regularly, they can continue to do so if you make Jira your project management software of choice.
Are you seeking something that offers time-saving automation? Jira has it, as its complex automation tools give you the power to automatically assign tasks or link issues, synchronize parent and child tasks, and much more.
Jira’s roadmaps provide a broad view of projects so you can avoid bottlenecks in advance, and you can also use this trusty feature to plan for any contingencies.
Some of Jira’s game-centric offerings include a quick-start feature that lets you launch a new project in under five minutes. Developers can track issues with a system that lets them mark, index, and track bugs when necessary. And if there are any coding issues, multiple team members can collaborate to handle them remotely via Atlassian’s cloud-based Crucible, a code management system that works well with Jira.
Jira’s pricing begins with a free version that supports up to 10 users and features Scrum and Kanban boards, backlogs, roadmaps, Agile reporting, apps and integrations, and more.
Jira’s Standard plan costs $7.50 per user per month, while its Premium plan costs $14.50. As you go up in pricing, you get more bells and whistles for your team, such as project roles, advanced permissions, increased storage, and more.
Codecks Project Management Tool for Gave Devs
Codecks is a project management tool made specifically for game developers, and it offers a little bit of everything to satisfy project managers, programmers, and visual artists alike.
Codecks calls its software “Playful Planning,” and with good reason. It uses the design of collectible card games as its foundation so you can track your project’s progress in a simple, intuitive, and fun fashion. Instead of focusing so much on the software itself, which can be the case with some complex competitors, Codecks lets you focus on the task at hand.
While aesthetically pleasing, the cards in Codecks are highly functional. You can link them to milestones, assign cards to workers, arrange them into decks for a high level of organization, and more.
Besides being easy and even fun to use, Codecks offers other attractive features for game development teams, such as detailed time tracking and reporting, plus collaboration to ensure everyone’s on the same page.
Codecks has a Free plan that limits you to three users and five projects. This no-cost option offers time tracking, reporting, and integrations, plus 1 GB of file storage. The Pro plan costs five Euros per month, which gives you unlimited users and projects, 5 GB of file storage, and more. And if you need Codecks’ top-of-the-line offering, contact them directly and ask about the Enterprise plan, which offers self-hosting and tailored onboarding.
Asana Project Management
Like Jira, Asana is project management software designed to work with the Agile method. You can use Asana’s built-in dashboard to easily add tasks and members, create customizable sprints, and track assignments. To save time, sprint tasks can be automated, so team members don’t have to update them manually.
To prevent individual team members from being overworked, use Asana’s Workload feature. It takes into account task assignments per member and determines their availability. If a specific item or resource is in danger of being overloaded, you’ll be notified thanks to an easy-to-understand color-coded system.
Bug tracking is robust in Asana, making it an attractive choice as project management software for game developers. You can use customizable forms to provide essential details on bugs as they’re detected. And if you need to share those details with outsiders who don’t have access to Asana, you can do so by sending them a link.
Asana’s pricing begins with a Basic version that’s “free forever.” With this plan for beginners comes unlimited tasks, projects, messages, file storage, and collaboration for up to 15 team members. You can also enjoy list view and board view projects, plus time tracking and over 100 free integrations through this no-cost plan.
Asana’s Premium plan costs $10.99 per user per month. It offers unlimited dashboards, timelines, custom fields, forms, rules, task templates, milestones, and more. Lastly, larger teams can use the Asana Business plan for $24.99 per user per month. It gives you everything Asana offers, including approvals, portfolios, workload, etc.
Work OS from Monday.com is a visual work management platform. It requires no training and is visual, intuitive, and easy-to-use. You will have access to over 200 ready-made templates based on real-life teams in action and can create your ideal workflow in minutes. Work OS makes you and your team more efficient by effectively organizing your day-to-day.
Every idea starts with a visual board or table, and everything updates in real-time. You can see status buttons for all projects and steps and notify your team members, link boards, and add files all in one place. Work OS allows you to keep track of all your moving pieces and streamlines your process and project so you can save time.
Work OS provides you real-time access to data as simple or complex as you want it. The platform works with Kanban, Calendar, Timeline, Gantt, map, form, and workload, so you can transform your data how you want to see it. Timeline and Gantt views provide you with real-time deadline tracking, and teams always view their work in Calendar view. No matter your screen size or device type, your team can quickly communicate and collaborate to meet deadlines.
Independent developers can take advantage of Work OS’ free individual plan. The platform’s Basic plan costs a mere $8 per month per team member and provides 5 GB of file storage. The most-popular standard plan costs $10 per month per user and provides added support for automations. The Pro plan further increases the functionality of the software and costs $16 per user per month. Monday.com also offers a custom-tailored Enterprise plan for large companies.
ClickUp advertises itself as the app to replace all others. It handles tasks, documents, team chats, goals, and more. The all-in-one project management software lets you build visual workflows, so you can crush your goals faster. ClickUp easily lets you collaborate with your team in real-time and move ideas to action faster.
You can easily add comments to any task or document and even assign actions, chat in real-time, and share attachments. With real-time notifications across all your devices, you will never miss a beat. A built-in global timer works across your desktop, mobile device, or Chrome browser and helps you set expectations and time estimates and allows you to monitor time spent on specific tasks with detailed reports.
ClickUp’s dashboards allow you to see everything at a glance and can be tailored to meet your needs with visual widgets. The platform supports List, Box, Gantt, Board, and Calendar views so you can always visualize your data how you want to arrange it. Aligning your team has never been easier. Mind maps, checklists, custom statuses, and goal tracking are all at your fingertips with ClickUp.
ClickUp offers a free plan for independent developers that provides 100MB of storage. Small teams will benefit from its Unlimited package that costs $5 per user per month. Its Business plan is best for medium-sized teams and adds additional features for $12 per month per user. Business Plus further adds to the features list and costs $19 per user per month. ClickUp also offers a customizable Enterprise package for large teams.
Game development planning
Document Design and Initial Planning
Prepare a document that contains illustrations on the game’s requirements and show what you plan on delivering at the end product. State down the game’s concept, its mechanics, target audience, game flow, lore, and level design. To plan a workable game development project, know what you are working on and why you are doing it. Have a clear definition of the project and note down the audience to be. Having a vision during your game development process makes you motivated to work towards the designated goal and contribute to the right decision making. A game development process without a vision has no direction and is likely to fail.
As you plan a game development project, have a general plan to spend your money. You need to have a game development process that is money saving. Write down the cost expected on each task and determine when to cut cost. You will inquire about costs on the salaries of the members, marketing, rent, travel and food expenses. Budgeting helps you to know whether the capital you have will be enough to balance off your expenditure.
3. Backlog and Task Breakdown
A prioritized list of figures should be included to plan a game development project. You can create these features from user stories. You will be required to analyze the document design to determine the game’s requirements. Split the requirements into a list of features that will give the game its aesthetics and unique appeal. Decide on the features required in the game development planning and breakdown each feature into tasks for different departments. Depending on how large or small your team is, assign specific tasks to teams in line with the project’s overarching goal.
4. Roadmap for the Project and Task Assigning
As a game developer, you should know when certain parts of the project will be tackled and completed. Give different duties and determine what you want to achieve in a given time.
In your game development planning, know what you want to complete at a defined time. Some tasks could be initial proof of concept, demo release or steam release. Create backlogs priorities to assist your team in developing a roadmap, which shows you how the project will develop over time. Ensure you have leaders for each team who will act, oversee, and help group members. Assign the leaders team members to work with and create tasks for each group. To promote collaboration and versatility, set a specific time frame for completion of the tasks. Your team leaders should demonstrate unparalleled time management and communication skills to ensure that they work with other group members towards reasonable and accurate deadlines. Determine what will be tackled at what time, the period it will take to complete the work and the number of people involved. Ensure you establish when the team players must work on more than one task at a time.
5 . Dependencies
To plan a game development project, you will have to relate different project tasks to mid-term milestones. Dependencies such as finish-to-start work are based on the idea that the predecessor must be finished before the successor can commence. Other dependencies include start-to-finish, start-to-start and finish-to-finish dependencies. After establishing estimates, your project manager is tasked with the responsibility to key in all the estimates into a computer project management software like Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Project. They should critically examine the tasks and match dependencies among teams. When creating different features, ensure they meet the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-based) criteria.
Game development planning becomes more apparent during scheduling. During this step in the game development process, your project manager will be required to estimate commencing and completion dates for each task. Some production schedules include target market, kick-off projects, generating storyboards, complete game mechanics, unit validation and product launch. During scheduling in game development planning, you will know exactly how long the project will take before completion. You may need to consider factors that may delay the completion of the game development process, like employee sick-offs and unexpected features delay.
7. Data Management
To plan a cost-effective game development project, you will have to scrutinize the available data on the game development planning and determine how much time and money the features will need. There is a need to decide if the feature is necessary for the game’s success or whether it can be delayed and later updated. This helps in ensuring the game development process is cost-effective. For seamless game development planning, you have to track the time taken to work on specific features. With this, you will be able to figure out whether the feature should be scrapped off from the game development process or consider trying new techniques.
8. Creating Milestones
When you plan a game development project, you have to create milestones that will show progress in the game. As you plan a game development project, milestones will ensure that you know what percentage of each task has been completed, the time frame the project will take, and the game development process’s functionality. Milestones are vital in-game development planning as it gives the team a unit of purpose and ensures they all work towards one goal, thus promoting the unity of purpose. Milestones are important in determining when and how to pay the studio if you are dealing with publishers.
Top ten project management software
ClickUp is a project management software tool with powerful features for managing and completing all your team’s projects in one platform. Users can plan projects, schedule tasks, and manage resources in a centralized workspace, as well as communicate and collaborate with team members and guests.
Task management features include task checklists, subtasks, and task templates, as well as the ability to filter, sort, search for, easily reorder, and view tasks in the manner most convenient for the team. Users can also create Gantt charts, calendars, and timelines to visualize tasks.
ClickUp also includes features for creating, sharing, and collaborative editing for Wikis and documents. Users can comment on documents and tasks, assign comments, and chat with other team members for increased communication and collaboration. Reporting features include the ability to create custom dashboards, as well as six built-in report types for team reporting.
ClickUp offers native integrations with Slack, G Suite, Dropbox, and many more tools, as well as over 1,000+ integrations through Zapier.
Free forever with paid plans starting at $5/user/month
- Free forever plan allows unlimited members
- Unlimited file storage on all paid account tiers
- Can email (set-up) a task directly from Outlook
- Read-only guest permissions are limited to paid account
- Reporting suite is limited to paid plans only
- Granular customization options results in a time consuming set-up
Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-like project management tool. It has won a few awards for quickly becoming a favorite business app. It’s a nice project management software if you’re comfortable working in Excel but wants a break from complicated formulas—Smartsheet performs all the calculations for you across multiple sheets. You can also add customized brand logos and set color themes for individual projects.
Smartsheet has useful project management features such as workflow automation and visualization of tasks in Gantt, calendar and card views. Team members get notified of critical changes in real-time, and the tool provides shared views, detail history, activity logs, automated alerts, reminders, and status reports to keep everyone aligned and informed. The Critical Path feature highlights all the tasks which directly impact your project completion date to keep an eye on important milestones. Reporting is a strong feature of this tool, with editable summary reports that you can easily export to Excel.
Smartsheet integrations include Microsoft and Google apps, as well as development essentials like Jira, and useful business apps like Salesforce, ServiceNow, Slack, Box, and Tableau. The platform is extensible through a REST API and webhooks.
30 days free trial
- Sheet-to-sheet linking
- Many project templates & resources
- Ease of sharing
- Easily customizable dashboards
- Jira, Salesforce, Dynamics connector limited to Premier plan
- Changes don’t update in real-time
- Can’t customize chart colors
Kintone is a customizable project tracking software platform used by teams at Volvo Trucks North America, Japan Airlines, Shiseido, and over 23,000 organizations worldwide. Their unique approach to project and task management lets you build a wide variety of customizable “apps” either from scratch, using templates or from your existing spreadsheets, for data management, business processes, and workflows. Kintone apps can be customized for project management, sales CRM, customer databases, expense reports, shared to-do lists, equipment management, product feedback, and much more.
Kintone lets you build no-code project tracking apps by dragging and dropping elements that you want to see onto the page: rich text fields, date fields, drop-down menus, number fields with built-in calculations, spaces for attachments, user or group selection menus, related data from other apps, tables, and more.
Once you’ve built the app you want, you can use it to more easily manage whatever data and tasks you and your team need to track. And with custom notifications and reminders as well as detailed permissions settings, your project tracking solution can look and work however you want it to.
What makes Kintone particularly great for project tracking are the features to filter and prioritize tasks by data field or team member to generate custom reports or dashboard views, as well as the ability to automate reminders and handoffs between team members for multi-step workflows.
Kintone’s built-in communication features also allow teams to discuss projects directly in the app and in topic or project-based threads. Dedicated “spaces” organize everything your team needs for your project, including task-tracking apps and searchable conversation threads.
There are so many ways to customize Kintone it can be hard to know where to start. Read the starter blog “What Can You Build with Kintone?” or watch Creating an App from Scratch for a quick look at how the drag-and-drop builder works.
Kintone lets you expand its capabilities with both free native plugins built by the Kintone team as well as integrations with other tools like Slack, Gmail, Google Calendar, Outlook, Tableau, Dropbox, Salesforce, HubSpot, Eventbrite, WordPress, QuickBooks, MailChimp, and many more through a paid plan with Zapier or via API integrations.
Kintone costs $24/user/month with a minimum requirement of 5 users. They offer a 30-day free trial (no credit card required) and discounted prices for nonprofits and educators. Kintone’s team also offers a free custom app build as part of the free trial process.
30 days free trial
- Flexible pricing that includes special deals for schools and NPOs
- Admin accounts have access to tons of customization tools
- Data is easy to pull and manipulate into good looking reports
- No single-user plan available (minimum 5 users)
- Limited to 5GB/user storage on every pricing tier
- No native templates for common project types or documents
Forecast is an all-in-one platform for resource and project management, used in 40+ countries worldwide, by agency, software, and consulting companies. It’s equipped with tools to manage everything from quote to invoice, plus it offers intelligent automation to predict project delivery dates, forecast capacity needs, and become more efficient. Their AI uses cumulative learnings from hundreds of thousands of projects and creates rules based on that user data.
Let’s talk about features. The Auto-Schedule feature is great for project scheduling, providing estimates, automatically assigning resources to tasks. It’s got a drag-and-drop module that lets you adjust plans and resources in an instant. Another cool feature is that the tool automatically builds a budget for every project with key financial metrics to track planned vs. actuals. It also supports various billing types (fixed price, time & materials) side-by-side and in real-time. It has advanced up-to-the-minute reports you can customize.
Forecast also introduced a one-of-its-kind feature to manage projects in a retainer setup. A dashboard with retainer periods and totals lets you track the financials of ongoing projects without losing sight of staff workloads and time spent on delivery.
Forecast integrations include several turnkey integrations with mainstream project management tools and two-way sync with Jira on the market. It also complements accounting systems like Quickbooks and Xero with PM capabilities.
14 days free trial
- Predictive tasks for spreadsheets
- Can manage resources across multiple projects
- Easy to plan projects and timelines
- Milestone data is lumped together rather than separated
- Additional fee for onboarding/training
- Higher learning curve
GanttPRO is a project management software based on Gantt charts and useful for managing all kinds of projects and teams from different spheres. It stands out for its intuitive interface and powerful features.
The software includes features for breaking down projects in an efficient manner into subtasks, sibling tasks, and subprojects, as well as set dependencies and milestones. To get more visibility, users can choose between the Gantt chart, Board views, and task dashboards. GanttPRO also offers handy task management features such as statuses, priorities, duration & estimation, progress, dates and deadlines, assignees, and more.
The Gantt chart maker allows teams to collaborate in real-time using comments, mentions, and attachments. Resource management and workload features for monitoring team members workload and tasks are also included.
You can integrate your projects with Jira, Google Drive, Slack, and other applications. GanttPRO is widely used in software development, construction, healthcare, finances, events, education, and many other spheres.
14 days free trial
- Intuitive interface with a short learning curve
- Multiple and flexible project views
- Professional Gantt chart templates
- Light on integrations
- Lack of options to create recurring tasks
6 Zoho Projects
Zoho Projects is a project management application that can handle projects of all sizes and levels of complexity. The tool comes with features that imitate social networking sites such as feeds, forums, and discussions and is available on mobile for iOS, Android, and other systems.
For project planning and monitoring, Zoho Projects’ Gantt chart features let you break large projects down into manageable sections and actionable tasks, plan and visualize different tasks and milestones, and create tasks lists to help you plan in better detail. Zoho Projects’ Gantt charts can also be used for resource allocation, so you can visualize your project schedule and the team’s workload. The resource usage table tells you who is available, who is busy, and who is overloaded.
With Zoho Projects, you can define dependencies between tasks and assign them to the right people, schedule events in your calendar, and monitor the percentage of work that’s been completed once the work has begun. Automate routine tasks at regular intervals by setting up a recurring task, and set reminder emails for tasks.
You can also create or download project documents, presentations, and spreadsheets, as well as upload and share files for team collaboration. Record the hours spent on tasks and compare them with what you had originally planned. This can be done manually or with the help of an integrated timer. Entries are automatically recorded in your timesheet, and generating invoices from this information requires only a few clicks.
Being part of the Zoho ecosystem allows you to connect to several of Zoho’s other services such as Zoho Books and Zoho’s finance suite. The new Zoho marketplace allows 3rd party integrations as well, like Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, Zapier, Zendesk, and ServiceNow. Integrations via Zapier and Zoho Flow are also supported.
10 days free trial
From $5/user/month and offers a 10-day free trial
- Unlimited number of projects
- Easy workflow automations
- Robust communication features
- Time-track multiple tasks at once
- Does not integrate with Quickbooks
- Lacks some reporting features
- Lack of file type export options
monday.com is an award-winning project management software used across diverse industries by companies like Hulu, BBC Studios, Coca-Cola, L’Oréal Paris, Adobe, and Deezer.
monday.com features for managing projects include resource and project management, time tracking, collaboration, and reporting features. For example, users can upload and attach files to cards, make comments, mention teammates, and more. It also offers a great project reporting dashboard that can collect data from multiple boards, allowing better tracking abilities of progress. And while monday.com doesn’t offer a complete set of tools for project accounting and invoicing solution as other tools, you can use monday.com to track hours, timelines, and invoices.
Overall, it’s a highly customizable tool that lets you work in whatever methodology—Kanban or otherwise—that fits your project and team. You’ll also find some useful workflow tools for automating parts of your process. Read our in-depth monday.com review for a complete overview of the tool, as well as a short video tutorial of basic features.
monday.com’s integrations include project management apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform and many more, accessible via Zapier.
14 days free trial
- Huge focus on collaboration
- Long list of supported integrations
- Easy to customize a workflow or board
- Helpful visual/color coding customization
- Complex pricing rubric
- Gantt charts locked to mid-level plan
- May be too robust for small teams
Asana is a task management solution with automation tools, a rule builder, and other workplace management items. Asana’s Timeline lets users create a plan that shows how the pieces of a project fit together and help keep work on track as things change.
Asana has a colorful, rich, and inviting user interface with everything from compartmentalized productivity items to playful cartoon animations that “zoom” across the screen to celebrate finishing a task. This scored them very well in the UX category of the evaluation criteria.
Integrations include Jira Cloud, Salesforce, Adobe Creative Cloud, Tableau, Slack, Microsoft Office 365, Gmail, CSV Importer, JotForm, EverHour, OneDrive, Zoho Cliq, Box, Mailbird, Instabug, DRopbox, Gitlab, Trello, VElocity, Tick, and many more per their website. Additionally, users can connect Asana to Zapier, Automate.io, and others to integrate with hundreds of more available apps.
One minor gripe is that having an active, real-time chat function would benefit this app in particular. Asana bills itself as more of a holistic solution to the project and task management but communication is limited to cumbersome comment sections.
30 days free trial
Used by Amazon and Netflix, TeamGantt is a project management tool with a freemium version for smaller groups and teams who don’t yet need an upgrade to a paid plan. Obviously, TeamGantt specializes in Gantt charts and other task planning but they also track workloads and team availability, collaboration features like chat and tagging, and customizable alerts.
Project managers should be aware that TeamGantt works best for simple projects but the software struggles to handle more complex projects across multiple teams. For example, it is not easy to gauge project status at a quick glance.
TeamGantt scores well in the Usability segment of the evaluation criteria, as it is incredibly flexible to use. The tool is accommodating to however you may want to set up and track your projects, no matter their structure or constraints. Additionally, providing an easy “read-only” URL makes it great for sharing with outside parties for input.
14 days free trial
- Flexible setup/tracking for projects
- Share charts without recipient logging in
- Easy drag-and-drop task duration
- Really easy to learn
- Dependency functionality can get complicated
- Doesn’t have in-app notifications
- Views lag behind changes
Workzone is a great project management software for marketing, agency and operations teams of 5+ users. It’s powerful but it’s still easy to use and adopt. Organizations small and large run their projects and keep their teams in sync—it’s been used and developed for 20 years, so the company has built some really useful features to answer real-world problems.
Some of Workzone’s standout features include a useful all-projects dashboard, personalized to-do lists, and an interactive Gantt chart. Workzone also offers secure file management and creative review tools, customizable project intake forms, workload management, time and expense tracking, and powerful reporting. Flexible permissioning allows for giving different levels of access to different users, providing extra layers of security and control.
For new teams who aren’t used to working with a project management software, Workzone is a smart choice because they assist in implementing the software—their team helps your team build the foundation, processes, and discipline you need to get the most out of the software and use it to manage projects successfully. Their level of support is hard to find—they offer needs assessment, success planning, setup and customization, training, and ongoing coaching.
The tool integrates with standard industry software including various communication, IT, file sharing, time tracking, accounting, marketing, and CRM software. You can extend Workzone’s functionality through their extensive APIdeveloper API and Zapier.
- Allows creation of templates from existing projects
- Easy to customize tasks using flexible notes system
- Email reminders to keep things flowing
- Completed projects aren’t automatically archived
- Delayed tasks negatively affect independent tasks on the timeline
- Better file access permissions welcomed
Overall, project management software can help you manage projects and keep them on track. By choosing the right project management software, you can ensure that your game development projects are completed on time and with minimal resources. In addition, managing stakeholders and data can be difficult without the right tools. Thanks to Project Management Software, game developers can make sure their games are successful no matter the situation.