The quest for the perfect FREE team collaboration app. Part 1: Slack

slack-logo_large

The quest for the perfect FREE team collaboration app for indie game development.

So, you’ve decided to form an online indie game team to create the next big hit, now you just need a way to communicate with teammates and organize everyone’s job.

Sounds pretty easy, right?

WRONG! It’s a ruddy nightmare, actually.

Here at Point Bleep Studios, a humble team of 2 incredible people, we have gone through the process of trying almost every Free/Low Cost app to help us do our work more efficiently.

We have tried chat apps, workflows apps, Kanban apps, tasks apps, complete document editing suites. We now have the insight we wish we had before we downloaded 50 different apps onto our computers and phones. Hopefully this series will save you some time and account confirmation emails.

DISCLAIMER

Each team will have their own requirements so this list will be heavily biased on our own opinion and needs, so please don’t get mad if your favourite app doesn’t quite work for us.

SCORING SYSTEM

Scoring will be calculated by how many requirement each app fulfils.
Each requirement will have a 0 to 5 score that will be added to the global score.

You can follow along modifying each requirement value according to your needs.

In our case we have decided that our perfect app should fulfil these conditions

1. Free or low cost.
2. Chat
3. Tasks (Kanban preferred)
4. Android and IOS Client
5. Chat available in mobile AND Tasks available in mobile.
6. Web client and Native client
7. GIF Support
8. Unlimited Chat History
9. Unlimited Users (in free plan
10. Integration Gitlab commits, mails, assorted notifications

FIRST UP – SLACK

Try Slack

This is the obvious first stop. It’s a really awesome chatroom, unfortunately that is all it is.

SCORE (out of 5)

Free or low cost

  • [+2] Slack is free but the biggest limitation in its free plan is the limited chat history retention (I think it’s 30 days). 7USD per user per month is a bit too much for our current state too.

Chat

  • [+5] Here is where Slack excels. Lot of options, integrations, and room support.

Tasks (Kanban preferred)

  • [+0] Sadly, there is no tasking for Slack. A workaround can be done using Trello/Asana as an integration but its just a notification.

Android and IOS Client

  • [+3] Notification sometimes don’t work as expected. App speed is regular.

Chat AND Tasks available in mobile

  • [+2] As there is no native tasking, there is no mobile task options.

Web client and Native client

  • [+5] Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, IOS, Supported and they run incredible well.

GIF Support

  • [+5] Work as expected.

Unlimited Chat History (in free plan)

  • [+1] 10K of your team’s most recent messages.

Unlimited Users (in free plan)

  • [+5] No limitations of users.

Integration Gitlab commits, mails, assorted notifications

  • [+5] Almost all new service providers now include Slack in one way or another. It has become a standard.

CONCLUSION

With a solid [33/50] score Slack really is awesome, BUT, the lack of tasking and the history limitation makes it not worthy for us. Next!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s