Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Managing the chaos

Because our game relies on characters engaging with players each of them has a communication channel that they'll use to engage. These range from Twitter to blogs to Tumblr. Keeping up with all of those accounts can be a bit crazy. Never mind that we're playing characters which means keeping track of account passwords etc and not accidentally posting from the wrong account. Here are a few tricks that we're using to manage the chaos.
Tweetdeck (or Hootsuite): Both of these tools can run on multiple platforms and post to multiple accounts. I have Tweetdeck running on my desktop and use it to monitor both my personal Twitter account as well as the character accounts. It's handy but we have to be careful. Posting from the wrong account on accident could derail the game or confuse the players. These two tools are also helpful because they allow us to prepost tweets (scheduling them in advance) and create ongoing searches for special terms and hashtags (ours is #IUMM).
Google Docs: Throughout the design process our team has relied heavily on shared Google docs but they're even more important now as we prepare to launch. We use a spreadsheet as a production schedule (who does what and when) and a document that has all of the account information for every account and every character. This means that should one of us find ourselves unable to post something or respond that others can log in and take care of it. We also used a spreadsheet early on to share our puzzle drafts and give each other feedback on out ideas. Yes, we met face-to-face on occasion but we're all volunteers with busy schedules so much of our collaboration happened online just as our players' will.

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