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5 Alternatives to a Game Design Doc « Gravity Ghost

5 Alternatives to a Game Design Doc « Gravity Ghost
If you're building a game with a team, communicating the design vision in a clear manner is essential. So what does a game design look like? The most well-known way to describe a game's systems is by writing a Game Design Document. But I much prefer to work visually, so here are 5 ways you can communicate your vision without resorting to long blocks of text. Few things can sum up your goal like an illustration of the desired result. Pencil sketch, plus a Photoshop pass for color and contrast. Even if you've embraced the philosophy of rapid prototyping and iteration, at each stage you need a goal to iterate towards. What if your game needs moving parts to explain what's going on? The final presentation had nearly 70 slides illustrating steps in the gameplay. If you're lucky, a series of mock-ups like this can do more than explain your goal: it can energize and inspire the team to do their best work. This is an activity I have all my game design students do. Related:  Game Design Documentssmadar.bernstein

Jason Bakker's Blog - A GDD Template for the Indie Developer The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. I'm in the process of making a few different design documents at the moment, so that our iPhone development team can have some options to choose from. After writing a couple of docs, I've massaged my design document "template" into something that really works for me, and I think works better than the traditional formats for independent game development. The documentation style you get taught in university and at game companies tends to have a large focus on target audiences, marketability and "selling the project" to whoever is reading it, as opposed to describing the project and laying it out in a more objective and easy to read manner. Intro 1 paragraph description of the game. The dame's gone missing, and, just like always, you're to blame. Character Bios Rough Plot 4-6 paragraphs. That's it!

A Method for Developing Game Concepts I use this method along with other ideation methods (i.e. brainstorming). Why do I use it?It’s better suited for iteration.It’s focused on creating a game concept, not a bunch of loose random ideas for features. Ideation if not focused correctly can develop concepts but leave the important questions that lead to a design unanswered. Most brainstorming methods focus on fast-group-procreation of concepts, this method encourages slow-individual-germination of game concepts. You can access the Quick Concept Format worksheet here. How to use: Give your concept a working title. The QCF is also an excellent tool for aiding designers in structuring discussions about design.

Game Design 101: The Design Doc In the early days of game development when teams were based on only a few individuals, there really wasn't any need for what's commonly referred to today as a design document. With only a few people working on the development of the game, the need for creating a document that defined in an easy-to-read and detailed fashion wasn't all that important because the individuals working on the game were always communicating and often already had their hands in every single stage of development, including coming up with the concept and design of the game. Nowadays with teams working on the development of games in the hundreds, the need of creating a design document that helps communicate the vision and direction of the game to every single member of the team, such as the programmers, producers, artists, musicians, marketers, and testers, has grown exponentially. Nevertheless, here's a good basic rundown of the items that should be included in a basic design document. Revision History Storyline

Tiny Game Design Tool Pitch Like a Pro | Hyperbole Games I bumped into Corey Young on Twitter like I have many of my design peers. Like an athletic team recruiter seeking his first round draft pick, I began bugging Corey to write a column for Hyperbole because the man is opinionated, well-spoken, and has not one publishing deal, but many publishing deals. Corey has things to teach. I was delighted to read what I hope is only the first of many guest columns. Corey’s advice here is outstanding, thorough, and inspirational. It is absurdly quotable. Guest Column by: Corey Young ( You’ve created the best boardgame since Senet, yet for some reason the big publishers haven’t sent a limousine to pick you up. If you think about it, you have several face-to-face opportunities with publishers each year. Does it work? The techniques I use are simple, but it requires a bit of preparation and finesse. (Step 1) Ensure that your game is ready: The goal of a pitch is for the publisher’s representative to look at your prototype.

Features - Design Document: Play With Fire [In the spirit of community, and for the sake of education, International Hobo's Chris Bateman has provided a rare public look at an in-depth commercial game design document. The game, here tentatively titled Fireball and targeted for the PlayStation 2, was released for the PC by Manifesto Games with the new title of Play With Fire. A second document was also provided, the Fireball Field Design Guide, which can be downloaded in *.doc format here.] Fireball Hidama Example level from Play With Fire 1.1. Fireball is a budget game for PS2. On each field (level) the player has an ultimate goal of igniting the torch (brazier) and thus clearing the field – but the torch is generally positioned at a high point and out of reach. Simple, clean cut graphics and controls combine to give an easy to learn but engaging play experience. 1.2. The player should be delivered the following experiences: Effortless play originating from a simple control scheme. 1.3. A hybrid approach may also be undertaken. 2.1.

Game Design, Psychology, Flow, and Mastery - Articles - Slippery Slope and Perpetual Comeback If a game has slippery slope, it means that falling behind causes you to fall even further behind. For example, imagine that every time your team scored in basketball that the opponent’s team lost a player. In that game, falling behind is doubly bad because each basket counts for score AND it makes the opposing team less able to score points of its own. The actual game of basketball does not have this screwy feature though, so real basketball does not have slippery slope. Scoring in real basketball puts you closer to winning but does not at all hamper your opponents’ ability to score. Slippery slope is another name for positive feedback, a loop that amplifies itself as in a nuclear reaction. Slippery slope is usually a bad property in a game. StarCraft and Chess do have slippery slope. This is why there are a lot of forfeits in Chess. This guy just lost a Chess piece. StarCraft also has slippery slope. In basketball, the score is completely separate from the gameplay. Fighting Games

The Anatomy of a Design Document, Part 1: Documentation Guidelines for the Game Concept and Proposal The Anatomy of a Design Document, Part 1: Documentation Guidelines for the Game Concept and Proposal The purpose of design documentation is to express the vision for the game, describe the contents, and present a plan for implementation. A design document is a bible from which the producer preaches the goal, through which the designers champion their ideas, and from which the artists and programmers get their instructions and express their expertise. Unfortunately, design documents are sometimes ignored or fall short of their purpose, failing the producers, designers, artists, or programmers in one way or another. This article will help you make sure that your design document meets the needs of the project and the team. The intended audience is persons charged with writing or reviewing design documentation who are not new to game development but may be writing documents for the first time or are looking to improve them. The Purpose of Documentation The Benefits of Guidelines

Developer Blog | A tiled adventure/puzzle game by Jason Roberts. “Nice game,” you’re probably thinking, “but can it be reduced to dry, boring diagrams?” It sure can! Three sequential tile interaction diagrams In these diagrams, rows containing yellow diamonds represent interactions between tiles (i.e. puzzle solutions, roughly speaking). A single row can actually represent multiple interactions that occur in sequence, so four diamonds don’t necessarily mean a single interaction involving four tiles. Rows containing blue squares represent tile states and state changes in-between interactions (e.g. the player may be navigating around within tiles, but tiles are not interacting with each other). If a line (coming from above) ends at a yellow diamond, that represents the end of the tile’s life; it has been absorbed through interaction with another tile. Now consider the middle diagram above. But even with only four squares available, a five-tile situation isn’t necessarily a game breaker, because tiles can sometimes be stacked.

Guide to a Better Game Design - YoYoGames Wiki From YoYoGames Wiki Game Design is the most important part of any game, no matter how good the graphics , sounds , and game play are – no game would ever be complete without having good Game Design. And, in this guide, we will show you some good ways to have good game design and therefore a good game in general. Love the Game! If you just want to make a game for the sake of it then stop right now! In order to make a good game, you need inspiration, you need to want to make the game, love the game idea, and love the game itself – enjoying playing this game! Have a Plan! Before the development process of a game starts, planning would help avoid any problems occurring during the development. Believe it or not, plans are always important. Also, let’s get one thing straight! After you have that all sorted out, then you are officially ready to start working on a good game that many people will (hopefully) like. Change is Fine! Create an “Atmosphere” Variety is always good! Difficulty Random! Dynamic!

The Two C Introduction There have been a countless number of books and articles written about the games industry from both its technical and theoretical aspects. However many of these have been written by people who although deserving of respect due to the amount of effort they have used to achieve their professional status are still probably not the ideal people to listen to. The reason for this is as follows: To make video games you only really need the technical knowledge to do so. However to create good games requires both a sound technical knowledge and creative and communication skills. This article therefore has been written with a focus on creative and communication skills, not technical. Creativity Anybody can be creative. Another complaint is that there are too many licensed games. Even if you are not naturally creative there is still no reason why you cant design a good game. Others ways you can learn to be creative are by watching and reading every film and book you can.

So Here Are My Ideas

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