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  • 13 Free Tools To Manage Remote Development Teams

    [08.06.20]
    - Christian Kasilag

  • Development Support Tools

    Amplitude + Expo + AppFollow

    Amplitude is our primary analytics tool that we use to track gameplay stats and user behavior in Hexicon. It was easy to set up a system in our code that tracks which game modes people play the most, which items are most popular in our shop, and many other gameplay events. Of course, Google Analytics is excellent for getting stats about app traffic and usage, but we find that Amplitude's output graphs and data filtering tools are easier to work with.

    • Slack Integration: when a link to an Amplitude graph is shared in Slack, an image of the graph is automatically generated

    An Amplitude graph showing how frequently players chose each level of bot difficulty

    Expo is an excellent tool for streamlining development of a React Native app like Hexicon, as it eliminates the need to deal with any of the native build processes normally required. With Expo, we are able to make edits to our code and then test them on our phone within 10 seconds, wirelessly. Best of all, non-developer teammates are able to easily test internal builds on their own phones through a single link.

    AppFollow alerts us when our latest builds are live on Google Play or the App Store. This is a relatively small task, but we no longer check every couple hours to see when a new version goes live!

    • Slack Integration: AppFollow will send automatic alerts to a Slack channel.

    Design Tools

    Figma + Lottie

    Figma has been absolutely awesome for easy design collaboration amongst our team. The 3 of us can access Figma files from any computer, and we can even follow our designer's live view in Figma as she presents her work to us over Discord (full-resolution beats screensharing!). Figma's Library and Component features allow us to maintain a consistent design system for the Hexicon app, website, and marketing materials. We also use the integrated prototyping capabilities to quickly test interaction design ideas. Figma is free for 2 Editors and any number of Viewers, so it's a lifesaver for our small team.

    • Clubhouse Integration: show a live preview of a Figma artboard in a Clubhouse Story.

    Figma organizes pages in a nice sidebar on the left. Very easy to navigate.

    Lottie is a tool from Airbnb that can convert Adobe After Effects animations into code that developers can use in a React Native app (among many other frameworks). We import our Figma designs into After Effects through AEUX and start animating. Both our designer and developer save a lot of time with this tool. Note that while Lottie is free, Adobe AE is not, and we are on the lookout for a fully free solution.

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