Likely shouldn't mix two differing questions in the same post, but in the interest of taking up less space:
1) Project Management.
As my game world grows and requests pour in I am finding my sheafs of paper and .txt notes to not be enogh to keep up. Can anyone recommend a project management system or code that helps keep all the prioroities and % done on each project? The little crumpled paper list next to my computer is frayed and growing thin.
I am not a website creater. I realize that a game needs a decent website. I could use recommendations for software that helps create nice looking websites. While I could google this (and have) I would prefer hearing recommendations from others in the gaming community.
On point #1, I tend to stick with the scattered notes and papers method, modernized. I have a disorganized pile of text files, emails, and forum posts in an admin only section on smaugmuds.org where I keep this sort of thing. So I've never really looked into project management code. The irony of this is that Smaug, and AFKMud, have code that supports creating projects and allowing notes about them to be kept, but none of us ever use it :P
Point #2 - I tend to write any webpages I need the old fasioned way: HTML code in notepad, uploaded to the web. Only recently have I gotten more used to doing things with a CMS. Or something CMS-like. If you're looking for something simple, you should check out QSF Portal. Shameless plug, I know, but it is capable of doing quite a bit. Even if you don't know PHP. If you do, then it becomes an even more powerful tool since you can whip up customized modules for it in little time. There are of course other CMS programs available. Like Drupal, Joomla, Mkportal, and others.
I've gotten into the habit of keeping a specific pad of paper for writing mud notes on, although I sometimes end up making notes on other bits of paper (which usually end up going through the washing machine). Most of my notes go into text files though, which I move into a "design" directory - I can then just do a grep when looking for something. Not particularly well organised, perhaps, but it's down-right amazing for me.
One thing I've also found useful is to maintain a 'progress.txt' file to which I add every change I make - then every Sunday night or Monday morning I post the progress report for the previous week onto my mud forums, and one of my team members then copies it to the website. It's really handy when I later want to find out when I made a specific change, as I can just do a text search through the progress reports going all the way back to the start of the project (in theory a properly-used version-control system would do the same, but in my experience the checkin comments never seem to be particularly informative).
I've considered using some sort of bug tracking system, but never really got around to looking into it. I should investigate properly at some point, because low-priority bugs will sometimes get forgotten before I get around to fixing them.
Myself, I tend to go with a combination of the methods already mentioned, I have several notepads on my desk that have each been dedicated as the one mud notebook at one time or another only to get misplaced just long enough to start a new one… combined with a slew of personal text files spread over my forums and several PCs combined with the project command in my mud (I do use it, but mostly just to track area assignments) and finally, my fiancee regularly reminds me of projects that I had mentioned I needed to do and then promptly forgot about because of another project with greater priority.. oh, yeah, I also use task entries in my calendar too.
As for the web pages, like Samson said, I use a text editor for html, php, and css (I've never really figured out any of the 'better methods', though my fiancee uses one of them for pages she does or when she edits pages I've done.)
Webpages, I use Macromedia Studio MX for teh bulk of my editing, simply because I have it. and it makes it nice, because if I can't remember how to do something via the HTML I jst switch views and do it in the graphic interface and look at how the program wrote the html and viola, memory refreshed.
But Like Samson mentioned, I use QSFP for the Malevolent Whispers site. (link in signature) And it's extremely easy to use. Especially since I know very little about php. Though I have been using it as a nice little tutorial on how to use php. :biggrin:
The key to organization (at least for me) is the less paper the better. I used to have post-its and all kinds of slips of paper sitting around. So I did some digital feng shui type bs, and now have organized todo lists for everything.
I personally use Wordpress for our MUD website. Not only for the universal features it has, but it allows me to keep everything divided up into categories. Normal posts, coding todo lists for my staff, bug issues that are found, and it lets me decide which I want to display on the main page (obviously bug fixes aren't).
But if you want something simple, there are a lot of sites out there for such a thing, http://www.rememberthemilk.com coming to mind as a digital todo list. You could also set up a Google Calendar and invite people to have access to adding things, if you wanted a set time for certain things to get done.
As far as websites, like most people here, I've coded all of mine by hand since I started 12 years ago. Even at work I code all of the companies websites by hand. There was only one instance (a demo sitemap) where I had to use a program, and I had downloaded a copy of Dreamweaver 8 from their website. It was the 30 day trial version, but it looks -awesome- for anyone not really able to code their code by hand. I'd suggest at least downloading the trial and seeing what you can come up with.
I just have a single text file that serves as my ToDo list, and Changes list. When things get done, they get moved to the top and are given a bullet. I also note when I make milestones. Occasionally, I sort the bottom, moving things less likely to get done closer to the far end so I don't get stalled by things that stump me. I also group things together, sometimes finding that ideas overlap and enhance each other. I've been doing this for a couple of years, and it's a big step forward. I used to just keep everything in my head, and let my subconscious filter it. This works okay when working alone, but when accepting input from others, it helps to write it down as the ideas don't seem to have the same 'hooks' in your memory as your own do.
My pathetic little webpage is done in TextPad, with constant referencing of the W3C pages. It's not pretty, but it does work in Lynx. :)
I know a few other people who do project management using Wiki's and I have to admit, it's a pretty flexible way to organize an entire project. Also, if you have multiple developers it's a great way to keep people from stepping on others toes. It's kinda like svn for comments ;). Just google for mediawiki. I'm sure everyone knows what/where it is ;)
I guess I'd qualify as one of those anti-wiki people because I'm not real fond of the wiki concept myself. Even if it's limited to only specific project participants, I think I'd prefer a forum format to a wiki format. Call it personal preference. *shrug*