- Start a New Email Address
- Great for Collaborating
- Docs, Sheets, Forms, and Keep!
If you haven’t been introduced to the world of Google Drive or something similar, consider me your welcoming party! In the real world, this is like your Microsoft Office suite in the cloud. In the gaming world, it functions similarly, and I’ve barely touched the surface on all that it can do for Koalatie Games. I’m sure many of you are far more versed in Google Drive’s capabilities than me, so please feel free to comment below on what you’ve found and what I can actually improve on.
Start a New Email
If you’re anywhere near serious about becoming a part-time or even full-time board game creator, you should start a brand new email address. If you’ve got your own domain name that you plan to use, you can set up a G suite account. The advantage? You look more professional when you’re sending out emails. The disadvantage is that it costs $5/month for the basic.
Great for Collaborating
The biggest advantage to using Google Drive or a similar platform is the ability to collaborate with other people. Sure, there are other programs out there. However, as Ariel the Little Mermaid sings, “I want to be where the people are.”
I suggest starting with a fresh Google Drive. Again, I can’t stress enough that you should start a new email for this, especially if you plan on collaborating. At the very least, make sure you have a folder within your existing Google Drive dedicated to creating board games. You will quickly find that there will be branches and branches of subfolders within, especially as you come up with new game ideas. And as you have more collaborators, there may be certain things that you share with certain people. So yeah. Get yourself organized and take advantage of the folders.
The calendar function in Google is awesome! As with many calendars, you can make different areas of your life different colors when you create events. I would definitely suggest this so you can keep timely track of your alter egos. And, of course, you can share your calendar if need be. Also, if you ever need a record of meetings or conventions and such for tax purposes or what not, it’s all right there, itemized for your using.
Docs, Sheets, Forms and Keep!
These are probably the most-used features (aside from the Calendar) that I use for board game creation.
Docs are obvious. For example, I use Docs to write all my blog entries. Then I share it with my peeps so they can make sure I don’t make a complete idiot of myself (incomplete is fine by them, though). I also keep all my rulebook iterations in Docs, etc. While most of my stuff is private, I always have the option to share and collaborate.
Sheets is like Excel. So far, I’ve found Excel to be a little buffer, but in terms of game creation, it does all I need. Exporting to .csv format has proven useful when creating card layouts. Keeping track of expenses and mileage? Dude. Keeping track of this blog? It’s a work in progress. Gantt chart to show the production timeline? Yeah. I need to do that. Okay. I’m not perfect. But I want to be as perfect as possible. And I’ll get there once I get my Sheet(s) together. Get it? Get my Sheet together? Haha. Okay. Nevermind.
Forms. I’ve barely scratched the surface on this one. But man. What I’ve played with so far is gonna be awesome for playtesting. When you’re playtesting, you want to keep track of as much data as possible. When you’re blind playtesting with people who are not in your geographic area, you may still want them to fill out some score sheets and feedback sheets. This can be done in Sheets. However, it may prove to be less messy and more user friendly to create a Form for your playtest groups and have it import to a sheet. Hopefully, in the near future, I’ll let you know! Better yet, if another game designer has done this and is reading this, can you let us know your opinions and experiences on this?
Keep! I like this. It’s like a notepad. I have friends that use this to share grocery lists. For game creation, this feels like the ultimate digital notepad. This thing is awesome for brainstorming. Best of all, you can then transfer this information into Google Docs to organize it later. The one thing I can’t do is doodle pictures on it. If you know of a Google Drive feature where you can doodle on your phone and transfer it to Google Drive, I gotta have it.
Anyways, as I continue on my journey as a game designer, I’m sure there will be more uses and tools through Google Drive that I discover. In the meantime, I’ll keep you updated as I go along, and if you have any suggestions for me on how to maximize my Google Drive experience, please let me know. Anything that will save a game designer time in the long run is worth a try!