How Vandrouka uses Fibery for game development

How Vandrouka uses Fibery for game development
Startup 🚀
11-50 ppl 🎩
Game Development 👻
Switched from GitScrum, MeisterTask, Jira 😎
Templates used in this customer story

Vandrouka Games is a startup that develops casual mobile games. We started our history in Belarus in the spring of 2020, and now our team of 15 people is distributed across 4 countries. Currently, we are focusing on developing a beautiful and addictive mobile game in the promising Merge-2 genre.

What do you use Fibery for?
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We are building a company and its processes while creating a new large product. This is not the easiest, but a common startup path. We are able to cope with all that thanks to 3 things: the experience of the team, honest check-ins of intermediate results, and careful changes in our processes.

In Fibery, we have:

  • Product Management: hierarchy and prioritization of features and product tasks;
  • Game Development: the main product development process (we use Scrum);
  • Retrospectives: retrospectives of sprints;
  • GitLab: integration with GitLab, which syncs Brunches and Merge Requests;
  • Operating Management: all non-development company tasks;
  • Marketing Projects: small projects where tasks are tied to a calendar, not to development sprints.

We tried to set up other processes that Fibery supports thanks to its flexibility, e.g. Hiring, but in our case, we did not experience the same level of value and comfort as with our other processes.

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Why did you switch to Fibery and what tools did it replace?
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At first, we realized 3 things:

  1. To maintain processes and people coming into these processes, we need a tool.
  2. We need a single tool for team members with different skill sets and needs: Game Designers, Artists, and Developers. The tool, that is set up not only for management (we still don’t have PMs on the team) but for each unique member of the team.
  3. The team and the company are growing, processes are changing on the go. These changes require either an extremely flexible tool or a willingness to change tools as the processes grow and become more complex, i.e. from time to time “migrate” to other tools with inevitable losses.

Most of us had experience with Jira and we didn't want to continue using it in a new company. Our resources were quite a big limitation for us: we could not afford to pay a lot (money and time) for using such a tool (or, more probably, several tools at once). We passed by Wrike and Trello. Tried to use MeisterTask for several months, but it wasn't flexible enough. The next few months with GitScrum showed us that it was quite flexible (for us, at that time), so we bought a lifetime license, but soon realized that the product was quite buggy and unpolished — some simple functions simply didn’t work, and we ran out of set up possibilities quite quickly. Our goal was still to find a reliable and flexible tool for the main development process.

One of our founders had years of experience working with TargetProcess and while searching for an answer to the question “What is Michael Dubakov working on now?” we found Fibery.

I remember our first impressions, they were quite contradictory:

  • Comfort. Clean, clear, adaptive UI.
  • Caution. Fibery offers to use it for everything, from Development to HR to Vacations. Usually, such generic tools are either quite weak or difficult to set up and use.
  • Expensive. Fibery had the highest cost of 1 user compared to services that we tried and used at that time.

We spent a couple of days modeling the processes and playing around, showed the results to the team, and exchanged opinions. The comfort of use was exciting. Caution about the tool being generic disappeared with the realization that everything you don't need can be hidden or removed, plus it’s easy to run experiments (and they are quite safe for those parts that already live and work). The price issue disappeared once Fibery approved our application for a Startup Program. When a startup gives something for free to another startup, the discount is worth much more than 100%. 🧡

Now spill the tea: How does your game development process look like?
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Strategic planning, ideas formalization, and high-level progress tracking are happening in our Product Management space. We use Epics for larger product areas, product functions, and stages of the product’s life. Our backlog consists of three levels. We divide Epics by Features and then drill down to specific Tasks. We add things to the backlog and refine it during the development process when making significant changes to the product or moving it to the next stage of its life cycle.

Product Management space

Tactical planning and task tracking are happening in the Game Development space. In this space, we operate with Tasks from the Product Management space. We use Scrum (with our adaptations for the game development specifics) and have two-week sprints.

The Product Owner does a preliminary estimation and prioritization of possible sprint tasks together with the leads. After this, during the team planning, we form a scope of work, finalize time estimates, distribute the work within the team, and determine the task sequence.

🤖 By the way, we control the workload of each team member using the Fibery Automation Rule. After the assignment of the task to the team member, the volume of their workload is recalculated and compared with their capacity for the sprint. If some task requires the involvement and time reservation of several people, we divide it into several sub-tasks.

To manage sprint tasks, the team uses a classic dashboard with just five statuses.

We do retrospectives after each Sprint and for this purpose, we use the Fibery Retrospectives template with the original structure — you can not only leave notes, results, and reflections there but also create and track action items.

Praise time: What is your favorite Fibery feature and why?
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The flexibility of Fibery, visual and structural – is our favorite mega feature.

We can only see and use what we really need. It applies to everything: from spaces and views, to view filters and cards shown on each view. This is important both at the start when you want to set everything up exactly as you need it, and during the company’s growth when new needs appear, changes are inevitable (= processes complications, in most cases) and new processes need to be integrated with existing entities and data.

In fact, Fibery offers a lot of convenient and effective features. Integration with Slack and GitLab, full-text search for all entities, and a history of changes with the possibility of rollbacks help us a lot.

Also, we don't use any other task management tools in the company. This is important and convenient for a startup. For example, our founders perform several job functions — in development, marketing, hiring, and operations — and the ability to work in the same interface with the same data set saves a lot of time and helps to keep focus.

Criticism time: What you don't like/lack in Fibery?
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In any product, there are raw implementations or features that are simply not working. In complex and frequently evolving products, there are even more of them. In the case of Fibery, which is not as simple inside and is evolving quite dynamically with new functionality added frequently, there are surprisingly not so many problems.

For some time we were annoyed when the task status did not want to change when dragging and dropping the task card between the dashboard columns, although changing it manually in the task field editor worked well. It’s fixed now. 🎉

We disliked the fact that the view filters were shared (someone's changes were applied to the view for all team members). And this has been solved perfectly: now there is both a general filter and a personal one. 🎉

We have mixed feelings about the placement of the ‘Delete’ and ‘Delete Field’ under identical buttons in comments, literally side by side and publicly available.

Delete Field

Yes, it is obvious to everyone that these are different buttons and menu items. But in the fire of production, our guys confused them three times and instead of deleting their own comments, they deleted ALL comments on ALL the tasks of our main space. 😅 These moments were unforgettable, as we store solutions, results summaries, and other valuable materials in the comments. The first time the comments were restored by the guys from the Fibery technical support, and two other times we did it ourselves through ‘Restore’ in the user activity log.

Emoji mechanical-arm

After almost a year and a half of working in Fibery, we are confident about how reliable and flexible it is. We like the tool and it meets all our expectations. We are optimistic about our future with more complex processes, multiple products, and a larger number of colleagues because we see how we will do it in Fibery.

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