The Definition of a Game Design Document

Topics: Game design, Play, Player Pages: 6 (1080 words) Published: November 28, 2011
Game Design Document
-----------------------------------------------------------------  A Game Design Document (GDD) is a difficult beast to tackle and can be very time consuming. A good place to start is to choose a GDD rubric or format. Formatting is really up to you. It is just easier to grab a preformatted GDD and adapt it. I prefer to use and adapt the GDD rubric created by Chris Taylor. The sample can be found on the internet. However, to keep this blog simple, I will post a simple GDD created by Mark Baldwin, referenced to me by David Spears, at the end of this blog as an Appendix. Please reference the Appendix during the blog as needed.  Getting Started

At this point, you should have a basic idea what your game is about, and what type it is. You should have a good grasp of what you want. If you don’t, I highly recommend you do the design exercises I suggested and blogged about earlier.  Workflow

The workflow is the steps you are going to follow in order to fill out your GDD. If you created a Game Proposal or a similar document, take this time to fill in as much of the GDD with the Game Proposal as possible. This will always be your first step with any new GDD. After you complete this task, you will want to come up with a way to work through filling in your GDD. I have found this workflow to be good for me. You may use any workflow that is good for you. • Prototype game feature or gameplay.

• Fill in GDD with new design data obtained through prototyping. • Repeat
 Even though the workflow is simple in theory, the GDD can be very challenging. Here is an example of a GDD by Chris Bateman for the game Play With Fire. As you can see, filling in the areas of the GDD can be hard. Work from at a high level at first. Fill in the details as you go along with the development phase.  Good Habits

• Keep it brief. Only place information in the GDD that is useful. • Use the GDD to answer questions. If your GDD cannot answer the question, the GDD needs to be updated. • Choose your game engine based on your needs and budget. If your project doesn’t need an expensive AAA game engine, don’t select it. • Keep your thoughts organized. Don’t ramble.

• Write the GDD to your audience. Your team is the one who is going to use it. Take their feedback. • Never let the GDD go stagnant. Keep it up to date, and use it often.  What to Avoid
• Procrastinating. Work on your GDD, and keep it updated. • You will never feel your GDD is finished. Don’t use your GDD as an excuse to not make your game. It is a tool, and should be used and treated like one. • Plan ahead but not too far ahead. The GDD is a living document. You will be updating and changing your GDD throughout the development process. • Don’t start with the fine details. Work on large concepts, and then work on the details.  Conclusion

You should now have a very basic introductory knowledge of Game Design Documents. This will allow you to follow along and participate in future community game design projects. If you have any questions, please post a new discussion marked as question. We will cover GDDs in more detail as we work along.  Appendix A

----------------------------------------------------------------- SOURCE: Mark Baldwin (Baldwin Consulting)
Oct 10, 2005
 I: Title Page
- Game Name
- Copyright Information
- Version Number, Author, Date
 II: Table of Contents
 III: Design History - Listing  descriptions of each major version changes  IV: Section 1, Game Overview
1. Game Concept
 2. Feature Set
 3. Genre
 4. Target Audience
 5. Game Flow Summary - How does the player move, both through the framing interface and the game itself. 6. Look and Feel - What is the basic look and feel of the game? What is the visual style?  7. Project Scope - Number of Locations, levels, NPC's weapons, etc. V: Section 2: Game Play and Mechanics

1. Gameplay
 -- Game Progression
 -- Mission/Challenge...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • How to Create a Game Design Document Essay
  • document design Essay
  • A Conceptual Game Design Document Essay
  • game design Essay
  • Essay on Design and Produce Text Documents
  • Software Design Document Research Paper
  • Business Document Design and Development Research Paper
  • Togaf Architecture Definition Document Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free