[This feature was published in the July 2013 edition of Develop magazine, which is available through your browser and on iPad.]
What is it? A version of Hansoft’s popular project management tool for Mac, designed to seamlessly integrate with the work of PC users
Back when Hansoft officially went into business, games development and Macs shared, relatively at least, a long distance relationship with one another.
In 2005, iOS wasn’t public and the social and gaming revolution was in fledgling form. Unity had only just launched, and quite simply, PCs remained the de facto standard for making games.
Over time that has changed, and today Macs stand as a significant cog in the machinery that is the global games development ecosystem. As a result, now Hansoft has moved to release its prolifically adopted project management tool for Mac.
“Hansoft 7.0, which was released last autumn, was a prelude to the Mac version,” says Hansoft’s senior production expert Samuel Ranta-Eskola of the process of the move to support Apple’s computers.
“In that release we re-wrote the whole interface to be more intuitive and fit better with OS X. We also enhanced the collaborative aspects of Hansoft, which fitted very well with the new interface. The underlying technology has also received a major face-lift to allow for a smooth experience no matter how big your game’s project demands are.”
And so it is that today Hansoft supports both PC and Mac in union, offering effectively identical features on both, and letting teams that use both desktop platforms work towards the same servers and integrate workflows seamlessly.
But just because the PC and Mac builds of Hansoft 7.0 offer the same features, that doesn’t mean the technology’s creator isn’t aware they may now be serving more diverse audiences, largely thanks to the number of smaller teams besotted by Mac.
“Macs are the dominant platform in casual studios,” offers Ranta-Eskola on Hansoft’s embracing of more diverse studio models with each new version.
“We also see that more and more of the triple-A studios have a portion of Mac users. Nowadays, triple-A is not only about the console game; there are usually web and mobile products developed with the core game. The Mac version comes in handy to these teams as well, parts of your team could be working on the Mac and parts on PC against the same server.”
Recently, Hansoft also introduced a new deal for teams requiring nine licences or less, that it has presented as a perfect partner for smaller studios looking to embrace the tool. ‘Start-up License’ lets teams with nine seats or less access the middleware for free.
“Many casual studios are small teams with small budgets, and they are often working on Macs,” states Ranta-Eskola. “When you are that small you probably don’t think that much about project management, but team sizes are growing very rapidly in this segment and with that come complexities that need to be managed.
“Hansoft can make a huge difference in making the expansion as painless as possible and we created the free Start-up License to allow small studios getting their processes right from the start. The Start-up License was a big hit from day one, and we expect a new wave of microstudios coming on board now when they can run Hansoft natively on Mac.”
Also in parallel with the debut of Hansoft for Mac, the company is releasing a ready-made integration with Git, commonly used on Linux machines, in response to a growing demand from users, which will be accompanied by the unveiling of a Hansoft repository on Git-hub.
“Apart from that we are growing more than ever before with a sales office in San Francisco, a new partner program with re-sellers and integration partners around the world, and many new big in industries like telecoms, aerospace and space and electronics,” concludes Ranta-Eskola.
“It’s really exciting to see how developers in other industries can learn from game developers, who are generally quite advanced when it comes to processes and agile methods.”
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