In the following I want to present you 5 tipps how to work with this piece of software. These may work without making use of Hack 'N' Plan, too!
- Plan out the most important features first. Focus on those.
- Avoid spontaneously added tasks as much as possible.Bugs and improvements of existing code/assets are an exception. This serves mainly the purpose to prevent a scope creep. I know it's tempting to add one idea after the other, but like this you will never get your game done. Ever.
- Use the game model feature to set a design direction(e.g. game mechanics you want to have). This will be your focus. Do not add tasks that do not support your game model (except bug fixing)! Push them down the abyss of the forgotten mercilessly if you find any.
Or just dump sidetracking tasks into a "unimportant brainfarts" milestone if you're not a ruthless task-murderer like me.
In fact, I'm still trying to find a most effective way on how to use this.
- Make many milestones with small scope.Keep it 10 tasks and below, add a max of 5 tasks spontaneously (thus a maximum of 15 tasks in total). You need ruthless focus and this will help you establish it.
- Cut tasks into the smallest chunks.You don't have to (and shouldn't) plan out every detail of your project, but if you notice you need more tasks, make them small.
- Group together tasks that cover a similar topic.Not doing so has a chance of making you feel scatter-headed because you are jumping from one section in your code to the other. This is ok when you fix bugs, but not when you need focus to do progress.
Do not make a clutter like this:
...but keep it more like this.
Those are all UI-tasks I got done very quickly because I grouped them ruthlessly. Kept the scope of these tasks small, too.
I hope this helped with your gamedev endeavours. Keep on rocking, keep on coding!