Remote collaboration tool: how RealtimeBoard helped wayward ventures keep up the progress and stay on track In 2015

It’s always exciting to watch projects in early stages of development. The teams are optimistic, creative and full of energy. They love what they do. And we are equally excited to have them onboard, uniting teams across the globe and helping them overcome the difficulties of team engagement when they use RealtimeBoard as a remote collaboration tool. This is precisely one of the key reasons why we started building RealtimeBoard 4 years ago.

Wayward Ventures

Wayward Ventures is one of these young exciting projects — it’s an open world online co-operative sailing game. Currently being built in Unreal 4, they are still in early development. The team currently consists of 5 people, responsible for 3D, 2D art, programming, design, game development and promotion.

All of the team members are volunteers, so contributions vary widely from week to week. However, they do make sure to discuss the project together every week.

Wayward Ventures

Wayward Ventures — an open world online co-operative sailing game

Due to the team living all across the UK, working together in the same room isn’t an option. That is why they gave a try to RealtimeBoard to discuss and keep track of processes in the project.

“The month we set up our first board we had a jump in visitors. We got a lot done that month, I’d like to think mostly in part because of the boost in organization we had thanks to RealtimeBoard!”

We asked Jackson Rolls-Gray, project lead and 3D artist at Wayward Ventures, to share their RealtimeBoard success case.

Jackson Rolls-Gray

Jackson Rolls-Gray, project lead and 3D artist at Wayward Ventures

Challenges the team has faced

Before RealtimeBoard we were using actual boards. In 2015 we were all sharing a classroom at the University of South Wales, and were able to collaborate quite cohesively.


The solution Wayward Ventures used before searching for remote collaboration tool

However, when we graduated, we dispersed across the country. This meant that all of the documentation for the design of Wayward Ventures was sat on my computer, and if anyone wanted to find something out about it, they had to ask me for a copy — which got complicated when so many different versions started being made.

Another frustration for us was getting our ideas down. We’d often discuss the game and talk about what we wanted, but often forget, or resort to writing ideas in notebooks which become difficult to share online.  

When I heard there was a shared whiteboard online, I knew it would be worth checking out. With all of our documentation, ideas, and progress fragmented and mostly offline, a singular place to write down everything sounded like a great idea.

Remote collaboration tool - RealtimeBoard

RealtimeBoard not only allowed the team to store all the ideas and documentation in one place, but also to progress on the project in real-time

Product experience was awesome — we liked RealtimeBoard for the real-time aspect, but also for the ease of use. We’d tried Google’s shared boards before, but found them somewhat clunky. RealtimeBoard has so far been nice and streamlined, which has really helped us as a team. Being able to freely scribble anywhere is a lot of fun — and makes a big difference when it comes to actually making the board feel like a board, rather than just a shared text document.

I feel like the real-time aspect is definitely the most important feature in this remote collaboration tool, it has saved us a lot of time — and has made documenting our project a fun, shared experience, rather than the chore it was before.

RealtimeBoard as remote collaboration tool

We didn’t face many difficulties starting to work inside RealtimeBoard. Some of the text tools took some time for getting used to, but we were familiar with most of the tools right off the bat as they share a lot of commonality with programs we are already familiar with like the Office suite and Photoshop.  

Knowing that we now have a central hub for all of our thoughts, ideas, and discussions that is secure and reliably accessible is very reassuring. Whereas before we would write down notes on paper or in Skype chats, now they are logged on our board. This means everyone on the team has access to all necessary information.

Remote collaboration using RealtimeBoard

RealtimeBoard is a central hub for all Wayward Ventures thoughts, ideas, and discussions. Secure and reliably accessible

Essentially, before we had the boards, any discussions between team members would usually stay between them, unless someone went out of their way to communicate to everyone individually. Now we have everything in one place, meaning team members are no longer dependent on each other for access to information.

Remote collaboration using online whiteboard

Yellow marks show comments and discussions for each object on the board

I feel like RealtimeBoard has been a big part of why my project has continued to even exist and progress over the last 5-6 months. With a collaborative team made up of volunteers, keeping everyone focused and organized is a daunting task, and without our board [in RealtimeBoard] it’s difficult to say where we’d even be now. Setting up our board in the first week, transferring all our written documentation that existed in bits and pieces on our PCs and in our heads, was a great moment.  

How does the Wayward Ventures team assess the influence of online whiteboarding collaboration?

My project is far from finished, but RealtimeBoard has really helped us secure our vision for Wayward Ventures, and I’m sure, will continue to keep us on track for the future.  

We are somewhat short on metrics, but I do have access to our IndieDb Statistics, which show a jump in visitors in the same month we set up our board. We got a lot done that month, I’d like to think mostly in part because of the boost in organization we had thanks to our remote collaboration tool!

“I would definitely recommend RealtimeBoard as remote collaboration tool because of its ease of access. This goes beyond the real-time aspect of it all. Setting up shared boards is easy, getting ideas down is easy, and discussing them after the fact is easy!”

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