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Community Discussion Topics => Game Dev and Gaming => Topic started by: WoE-Byron on Nov 08, 11, 05:26:38 AM

Title: Flowchart Tools
Post by: WoE-Byron on Nov 08, 11, 05:26:38 AM
I am looking for online collaborative flowchart tools and the best one I can find so far is a team license on Lucid Chart (https://www.lucidchart.com/).

We have also bee considering Microsoft Visio however it is not very collaborative for a online studio.

I would like to know other peoples opinions before I decide on which way we are going to expand our tool chain for our development team.
Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: shadowfire on Nov 08, 11, 06:37:32 AM
visio is the best I have used thus far and if you make a folder in your repository say called "Gem Documentation"  You can upload it there where it can be downloaded and modified at will then reuploaded and it counts version number every time it is uploaded.  In this folder you can also keep your GDD, Algorithm files for scripts, notefiles and anything else your team needs to collaboratively access and keep up to date on.

This is actually akin to how it is done in many in house development students where a main file server holds all relevent files which are then accessed and modified at will usually with an approved do not touch back up folder in case a change made is undesirable and you need to roll back to an older version.

In my case I prefer the method of datestamping within notefiles every time a change is added or written by a member and using named notefiles. One for each member to make notes thus readable by others and the datestamps allow reference points of said notes.  This method allows for all notes of all kinds in lieu of a forum which is a preferable comm system for such things.  In the case of GDD and Flowcharts and what not I prefer to version mark them.  If you have an overwatch developer who approves all changes then mark a file Version X.XXXXX-Beta until the changes are approved and then remove the beta while keeping each file as a version and include a notefile called "Flowchart-1-changelog.WRD" or whatever extension you use where flowchart-1 is replaced with the name of said flowchart instead of a numbered system.  This changelog can then keep you apprised of what changes were made in what versions.
Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: dmccollum on Nov 08, 11, 06:46:34 AM
Google apps has a drawing application in addition to the document, spreadsheet, presentation and forms. All of the Google apps support real-time collaboration. They also have a new product called Google cloud connect, which allows you to do real-time collaboration for Microsoft Excel, Word and Powerpoint.

Google apps standard is free for up to 10 users. You have to upgrade to Google apps business for more than 10 users, which is $5.00 per month for each user.
Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: shadowfire on Nov 08, 11, 06:50:26 AM
Google EULA agreement states that anything you use through google.com, Google Inc, Google Chrome etc.  Is the propertry of Google and thus you have no rights.  DO NOT USE GOOGLE FOR  PROPRIETARY INFORMATION!
Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: shadowfire on Nov 08, 11, 06:52:21 AM
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloud/default.aspx


Also you can set up a multiple access remote desktop and keep everything on a single server and then several mice can enter the same system at one time and modify things... this is a wee bit comlicated...

I repeat do NOT use google for anything!
Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: WoE-Byron on Nov 08, 11, 06:59:51 AM
Google EULA agreement states that anything you use through google.com, Google Inc, Google Chrome etc.  Is the propertry of Google and thus you have no rights.  DO NOT USE GOOGLE FOR  PROPRIETARY INFORMATION!

Good to know man.
Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: FI-ScottZ on Nov 08, 11, 07:19:44 AM
In the past I've used Bubbl.us (http://download.cnet.com/Bubbl-us/3000-2064_4-10650248.html).  Its free and is a sort of brainstorming/mindmapping chart maker.

Also, I'm a fan of OpenOffice.org (http://www.openoffice.org/) as an open source alternative to MS Office, and it has a program similar to Visio called Draw.  I've used it for flow charts, as well as Visio, and though Visio has much more depth for making some heavy-duty UML diagrams, Draw will suffice for most simple flowcharts.
Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: JMurdick on Nov 08, 11, 07:21:27 AM
While Visio is a good app, I wouldn't recommend it for use in a collaborative environment.  Even if you use SVN, it still isn't up to the task as it doesn't support change tracking or anything useful such as that.  

For a GDD I would highly recommend the use of a wiki over a word or openoffice doc.

For a flowchart, the site you found looks like a good one.  Another good tool that I have used in projects to good effect is Mikogo.  It lets you screen-share and also do markups on certain things.
Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: WoE-Byron on Nov 08, 11, 07:26:40 AM
While Visio is a good app, I wouldn't recommend it for use in a collaborative environment.  Even if you use SVN, it still isn't up to the task as it doesn't support change tracking or anything useful such as that.  

For a GDD I would highly recommend the use of a wiki over a word or openoffice doc.

For a flowchart, the site you found looks like a good one.  Another good tool that I have used in projects to good effect is Mikogo.  It lets you screen-share and also do markups on certain things.

Yeah, I am looking for pure online collaboration tools. the Wiki is also a really good idea.

Planning is very important to the success of a project.

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail.
Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: shadowfire on Nov 08, 11, 07:33:47 AM
Chance favors the prepared mind.
Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: WoE-Byron on Nov 08, 11, 07:45:19 AM
I like that one :)
Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: dmccollum on Nov 08, 11, 08:40:18 AM
Google EULA agreement states that anything you use through google.com, Google Inc, Google Chrome etc.  Is the propertry of Google and thus you have no rights.  DO NOT USE GOOGLE FOR  PROPRIETARY INFORMATION!

NightShadow, please show me a link to where that is at in the Google EULA?

Here's the link to the actual Google Apps Terms and conditions agreement.
http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/terms/standard_terms.html

 You can see in section eight of the agreement that this is not the case.

Quote
8. Intellectual Property Rights; Brand Features.

8.1 Intellectual Property Rights. Except as expressly set forth herein, this Agreement does not grant either party any rights, implied or otherwise, to the other's content or any of the other's intellectual property. As between the parties, Customer owns all Intellectual Property Rights in Customer Data, and Google owns all Intellectual Property Rights in the Services.

I think you're confusing the fact of Google owns all of their intellectual property, not that they own your data. If that were the case, you wouldn't see companies like Motorola, Konica, Virgin America, HunterDouglas and a whole slew of universities using Google Apps.

EDIT: To be 100% clear. Here's a link to the FAQ that specifically answers that.

http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?answer=60762

Quote
Privacy
Who owns the data that organizations put into Google Apps?

To put it simply, Google does not own your data. We do not take a position on whether the data belongs to the institution signing up for Apps, or the individual user (that's between the two of you), but we know it doesn't belong to us!

The data which you put into our systems is yours, and we believe it should stay that way. We think that means three key things.

   1. We won't share your data with others except as noted in our Privacy Policy.
   2. We keep your data as long as you require us to keep it.
   3. Finally, you should be able to take your data with you if you choose to use external services in conjunction with Google Apps or stop using our services altogether.

Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: JMurdick on Nov 08, 11, 08:45:55 AM
I think this is the one (from here:  http://www.google.com/accounts/TOS?hl=en) that gets people:

Quote
11.   Content license from you

11.1   You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

11.2   You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.

11.3   You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this license shall permit Google to take these actions.

11.4   You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above license.

Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: dmccollum on Nov 08, 11, 09:22:55 AM
I think this is the one (from here:  http://www.google.com/accounts/TOS?hl=en) that gets people:

Quote
11.   Content license from you

11.1   You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

11.2   You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.

11.3   You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this license shall permit Google to take these actions.

11.4   You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above license.



Here's Google's clarification for that clause.

http://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=82366&hl=en

Quote
About section 11.1 of our Terms of Service
We've received questions over time about the meaning of section 11.1 of our Terms of Service. We realize that for those not familiar with legal agreements for services that use the Internet, these terms can look confusing, or even frightening.

The first thing to understand is that this language doesn't give Google ownership rights to your data. You, and you alone, own your content. Whether you wish to keep your content totally private, or share it with the world, that's your choice.

However, in order to honor this choice, Google Docs needs permission to display your content as you see fit. This is what we mean by a "license to reproduce." We need to ensure that when you click the "Publish document" button, or use the "Invite collaborators" option, we have the license to carry out your wishes. It is this agreement, between Google Docs and you, the user, that section 11.1 of our Terms of Service reflects.

I think this is enough to clarify Google's EULA. It is a very useful tool for small teams and each team has to weigh their options and decide their comfort level in using any tool.
Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: HE-Cooper on Nov 08, 11, 11:29:12 AM
We have the same clauses in our EULA Nightshadow, and people unfamiliar with the language raised the same concerns. I would really recommend having a contracts attorney familiar with IP and digital rights walk you through any contracts you've observed where you think you're somehow being screwed over. It will make your blood pressure go down a lot. :-)


Also, Mind Mapper is the greatest visual concept organization tool evAr. And exports to flash as an interactable file.
Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: shadowfire on Nov 08, 11, 07:40:55 PM
Google owns all Intellectual Property Rights in the Services.

Loopholes... owns ALL IP rights IN the services
Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: shadowfire on Nov 08, 11, 07:45:17 PM
We have the same clauses in our EULA Nightshadow, and people unfamiliar with the language raised the same concerns. I would really recommend having a contracts attorney familiar with IP and digital rights walk you through any contracts you've observed where you think you're somehow being screwed over. It will make your blood pressure go down a lot. :-)


Also, Mind Mapper is the greatest visual concept organization tool evAr. And exports to flash as an interactable file.


howd you know my blood pressure is off the charts?  And with most company I dont look so closely for thier hidden loophole crap but google is evil and even thier contract portions shown here are lies because they are cataloging the entire internet and dont delete anything they keep a copy of every website, message and file that passes through thier systems.
Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: Mwindley on Nov 10, 11, 03:24:21 PM
Now where did I put that darn tin-foil hat?

Just kidding. But honestly I don't think Google is as evil as you are making them out to be and besides Google docs has been a lifeline in my teams communication. Without them it would have been way harder for us to have some real time collab brainstorming sessions outside of our workplace.
Title: Re: Flowchart Tools
Post by: shadowfire on Nov 11, 11, 04:11:30 PM
realtime collaberation outside the workplace.... Skype, AIM, MSN Messenger, Windows Messenger, PHPBB, Yahoo Messenger,  Group Emails,  Conference calls, Chat rooms, FTP Servers, P2P communication systems like peoplePC, IRC.....


need i say more that does not include the word google?

Sorry I have issues with google and java...