[Gamedev] Fuck games, we’re making apps now. Mad Productivity - part1

I’m a game developer in a company which we run together with 3 other great developers. We’ve been enjoying creating hypercasual game prototypes for the past few months and one thing we’ve noticed is that being a game developer, every once in a while it’s really important to let random things happen and lead you into the fun unknown.

Something random happens

It was an early morning, around 5:56AM (give or take a few hours) when I was trying to find and install an extension for my chromium browser which would allow me to set notifications akin to reddit’s RemindMe! bot and what do you know, I couldn’t! Madness.

Looking at my task list and being the responsible, entrepreneurial adult that I am, I said no to everything including, but not limited to, eating, working, talking, breathing, and thinking in order to sketch a concept of a productivity app I’d be making for myself, bespoke in every way, tailoring to my needs. The best part is I decided to make it in Godot, a game engine! It’s got a fantastic UI toolkit so I knew doing this wouldn’t be all that difficult.

After a few trials and errors here’s what I came up with for the productivity app to rule them all:

Sleek, right? I thought so too! I quickly went ahead and implemented the damn thing in Godot, it took around 2 hours to get to a pretty good state from which I knew I could easily expand and finalize the necessary functionality. You know what happened next? Being a game developer at heart, you surely do…

Feature creep. It’s the best.

So originally I wanted to have the following functionality:

  • Time tracking (click to start tracking time passed on a project)
  • Reminders (create a data block that will trigger a reminder for a specific message at a specific time)

… but, by the time I was finalizing the design I realised I wanted several other things too!

  • Todo list (checkboxes and shit)
  • Note taking (sort of like notion but worse, much worse)
  • Pomodoro (we all love this fella don’t we? I do/)
  • Profile (so that I can feel at home using the app)
  • Kanban board (I’ll be honest, I’m a real sucker for these, although I rarely use them.)
  • Dashboard (a centralised place being home to a small number of things from all sorts of places, looks fancy, you never spend more than 3 seconds there and that’s just the time it took you to click yourself away)

And that’s how we, game devs, have negative numbers of free time even in absolute amounts. To my and everyone else’s surprise the app actually started taking shape though so I carried on. Disclaimer: I am many things, but a programmer ain’t one of them. My strengths generally lie in 3D and Game design, I do not take pride in my programming skills, I do however surprise myself often with how I can bring art into code. Looks pretty, reminiscent of how an elephant trainer might use their skills for shopping.

Le name

In other words the name of the app is “Unpredictable Productivity”

The program is called Mad Productivity. You know I hate all the modern day bullshit about how people need to be trying to be productive, active, busy and how procrastination is bad. It’s as if we, people, have completely forgotten how to rest. Hence the name, not only is our game studio company called Mad Cookies, but I also really like how chaos implication brought onwards from the word “mad”, “madness” is a powerful thing because it’s unpredictable. In other words the name of the app is “Unpredictable Productivity” and I like that, the ideology of it is that it does absolutely nothing to motivate you at all. No it really doesn’t, it’s just there and you’re welcome to use the beautiful little beast if you wish, but you’re also welcome to track the time you procrastinate, which is a pretty cool idea by the way, let me add it to the to-do list (which I keep within the app of course)

Knowing people, which I don’t, the title might not be enough to convey the true depth of the meaning so I opted for a subtitle which read as follows “The chill productivity app”. Is it bad that the word productivity repeats itself? I sure hope so. The video above shows the current state of the app and boy am I looking forward to sharing my future progress.

Thanks for reading! I’m the idea guy(lol)over at madcookies.games, join our discord for a chat about games, gamedev and beer, also let me know what you thought about Mad Productivity!

Having fun. Game design, Blender and Godot.