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Games Design Document (word) (Forums : Development Banter : Games Design Document (word)) Locked
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Aug 29 2013 Anchor

Ok so anytime i have been involved in the planning and making of a game, we have used this document which i find covers most of the basics.

its available for download in the link below, it's to big to paste the Doc here so if you have a look feedback would be appreciated.

Aug 29 2013 Anchor

I suppose this is a good starting point for any game. But every design should be different and be treated as such. For instance if you're designing an RTS your GDD is going to look very different from that of an FPS or RPG. I've found that it's much easier to create a game pitch first before diving into creating specific mechanics. A pitch is a five to ten page document which outlines the general idea and mechanics to see where the gameplay value lies. Once this is iterated on a few times you will have a much better idea of where the fun in your game and which features hold the most value. Then, after knowing exactly what the game is all about, you can get into creating a rigid GDD.

However, GDDs are not always good because one problem that I've found is that NO ONE WILL READ IT. That's where one-page game designs come in. One-page designs are design documents that clearly illustrate game mechanics using pictures, short sentences, and verbs all expressed on one page. This is really good for developers that either don't have the time to read through a 100-page document or just refuse to. I've found them to be really helpful as you can post these up all around your workspace and if anyone has a question about something they can take a quick look without having to dedicate themselves to reading through something they may find really dry.

Gamasutra has a good article about alternatives to lengthy documents that I think would be worth a read:

Aug 29 2013 Anchor

You make some very valid and well put points, that link you posted is a good read thank you.

Sep 11 2013 Anchor

Great points man, that's like first thing you have to learn as Game Designer, Design is universal . Compiling game vision in a way whole development team will benefit from it becomes as much challenge and is as important as crafting that vision for players. Anyway that was a very good summary, I would add just few small thing I found helpful from my experience.

You might try using mediawiki, I found for some Games its easier to manage and keeping track of updates was more comfortable. I could also create separate pages for character or some gameplay system which i didn't want cluttering main page. And it was easier for team to search for required parts, as it can be painful finding correct info in 100 page doc file. Especially as most developers hate to install Microsoft Office.

I also found it useful to start with basic vision statement and iterate from there, as pants1067 mentioned it can save you a lot of trouble if you have to rewrite some parts of the design document for example because of the technical issues with game engine. And that works perfectly if your team uses some form of agile development approach.

I have some examples from classic video games design docs found in internet stored on dropbox, you might find them useful.

Edited by: Sothasil

Sep 11 2013 Anchor

Very nice Sothasil and thanks for the share.

My hope is that people will learn a thing or 2 from these docs.

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