Back in January TYL members and I purchased a mobile game development tool called APG (AppGameKit). Version 2 had just been publically released on Steam and we jumped on the opportunity of getting in on the ground floor. It was something I’ve always said I’d try if I had the resources, and darn it, the price for a 4-pack bundle was an opportunity one can’t miss. After being on Steam for a good month or so I had familiarized myself with a lot of their game dev tools and developers. At that time I came across a piece of software called Articy. Out of the box it was the most amazing creative management tool I’ve found to date. Robust, flexible, modular and heavily supported by the developers. I had linked my way through to the videos they posted on YouTube and came across some comments that just rubbed me the wrong way. Now, if you don’t know me they you will soon enough. I dispise those that bash others as a result of their own shortcomings or insecurities. I normally let that slide because it almost always has nothing to do with me, but this instance was different. I felt some type of connect with the developers of this tool and think it’s highly appropriate for those in the industry. Something needed to be said on behalf of Nevigo and other game developers that understand the value of their investment in software. Free comes with limitations. I thought I’d drop a little love on these and future posters who feel $100 is expensive for software of this caliber. I went a little overboard, but that’s me — to the bare metal.
Disclaimer: Excuse the small rant but this is important for those serious about story and game design management.
If your work is worth your time, and your time is worth money, The $100 price tag is nothing. Most of us will spend upwards of $1000 for a computer but can’t break $100 for software? You say, “Well, I can buy a $400 computer and do the same thing.” And my reply would be “Yes you can, but not as efficient IF you are going to be doing highly robust and CPU-heavy work.” I can drive a $12K car or I can drive a $120K car. Both get me from A-B, but what I have at my disposal varies greatly, and this is where my point of view lies.
Trying not to sound elitist but people who want to compete with industry standards pay good money for good tools. Cost should be the least of your worries if the tool/service justifies the means. I understand that there are those that love a tool like this but don’t have the project depth, the bank, and/or monetizing structure to justify the cost, but don’t knock the price. There are a lot of project management tools but almost no creative management tools. It’s well worth it’s weight in gold.
Yes, I can write a script in NotePad, WordPad, TextPad, Notes, whatever, but it’s a little easier in MS Word (which costs money). It’s a lot easier in Final Draft (which costs more money) but I get a lot of the functions automated and a feature list that saves me time and frustrations. The efficiency alone that you gain is almost worth the cost itself, let alone the amount of additional tools, plugins and features that come with it. Makes writing faster, and you worry less about formatting and more about feelings. I’d rather use a hammer than a stone to build a barn out of wood. You get the gist.
Same goes for these story boarding, mind mapping software. Yes, you could possibly do what Articy:Draft does with FreeHand and MindMup (free tools for mind mapping that I still use for all my story boarding), or Mindjet Manager (which cost money). But what the demo of this app shows and all the reviews on youtube show is that it’s a LOT MORE than just a mind mapping and story boarding tool. It’s a creative management tool. I’m still going through my trial and can’t learn enough. For those individuals or groups looking for a tool to take their story boarding, game planning, and scripting management to the next level, this is the tool. Hope this personal review help. Cheers to Nevigo on a wonderfully simple yet robust piece of software.