2Design Document Description of entire project Acts as a script; it should be giving every other professional involved with the product a more than firm idea of what they need to know to implement their portion of the product.Story, characters, features, user-interaction, look & feel, assets, etc.Living documentGood design not only about ideas, but it's also about the implementation of those ideas.
3One-pager from http://www.gamasutra.com/features/19991019/ryan_02.htm IntroductionBackground (optional)DescriptionKey featuresGenrePlatform(s)Concept art (optional)
4Common MistakesThe concept is totally off base or inapplicable to the company's current plans.In terms of resources, the document asks for the moon.The document lacks content.The game isn't fun.The game-concept document employs poor language and grammar.
5Design Questions (adapted from Tim Huntsman - Lead Designer for Acclaim‘s WWF Franchise) What are current trends?What do people want?What tools/assets/technology do we have access to?What has been done and how was it done?How does the front-end flow?What options or mods should we allow?How is the pacing?How difficult are the levels?Cut scenes vs. run-time movies?Replay value?
6Development Ladders Chief Technology Officer Director of Technology Lead ProgrammerSenior ProgrammerProgrammerJunior ProgrammerArt DirectorLead ArtistSenior ArtistArtistJunior ArtistAudio DirectorAudio LeadSenior SoundSound Eng./Comp.Junior S.E./Comp
7Design/Production Ladders CEOVP of ProductionExecutive ProducerProducerAssociate ProducerAssistant ProducerQA TestingChief Creative OfficerCreativeDirectorLead Game DesignerGame DesignerLevel Designer/World Builder
8Design Considerations Cooperation, Conflict, ConfusionFormal Abstract Design Tools (Church ’99)INTENTIONMaking a plan in response to the current situation in the game world and one's understanding of the game play options.PERCEIVED CONSEQUENCEA clear reaction from the game world to the action of the player.STORYThe narrative thread that binds events together and drives the player forward towards completion of the game.
9Design Dos (Adapted from Tzvi Freeman) Describe the body AND soulMake it readablePrioritizeGo into detailsDemonstrateWhat AND howProvide alternativesMake it “living”Info should be locatableMake it look important
10Design Don'ts Never overcomplicate a game if you can help it Never make the same mistake twiceNever take control from the player if you can help itNever forget the controller or I/O device you will be using to play the gameNever assume the player knows what you're thinking.
11Design Don'tsNever break the established rules unless you TELL the playerNever assume technology can fix bad design.Never assume the license is all you needNever cheat the playerNever design morality.
12Design Document #1: Overview - recap and revision of the original concept paperThe User ExperienceGenre, TypeCompelling aspectsThe PlatformThe UsersTimeGame-play timeProduct life
13Design Document #1: Overview Basic ConceptsNavigation ChartScenes and ActionList of Resources
14Design Document #1: Basic Concepts - feel for the game, why things are the way they are, and what the essential, indispensable elements areStorylineThe background storyStoryline or object of the game playRules of the gameHeroes and Villainsbiographical information and descriptions.Novelties and Compelling FeaturesThis is your chance to state the things you could not bear to see disappear from this project, and justify your emotional attachment to them.Navigation Chart(An illustration of how parts of the game link to each other.)Entry and exit Main menuLevel movementAccess to preferences and creditsGlobal Behaviors(Ensures that your game will have a consistent feel to it, avoids serious run-ins with the programmers.)Run through all the standard elements of your project (sprites, buttons, life-bars, input devices, and so on) and describe their behaviors in every circumstance you can imagine. Your programmers will shower you with wreaths for this one. Later, you can go change things on them - as long as the objects remain consistent, and everything is justified.Illustrate the motion of each animation, at least in stick form. For 2D scrollers, fighters, and the like, you'll want to describe things cel by cel. With other projects, rough sketches of general movements and their approximate duration in microseconds may be enough.If you are relying on a specific input device, justify your button-mapping and button-combination decisions.Scenes and Action(In an adventure game, this will take up most of your document.)Include preferences, credits, and main menu.In subchapters, lay out consistent behaviors of local elements.Very often, a storyboard (that is, a series of panels illustrating each scenario) is provided. In many projects, however, this is clumsy and impractical.Lists of ResourcesYou'll have to go over this with a fine-tooth comb to make sure it's thorough. Leaving out even a few items, or failing to describe them clearly, could prove a major source of exasperation later on.This section comprises detailed lists of animations, sounds, music, narration, sprites, backgrounds - everything that needs to be created besides code.
15Design Document #1: Navigation Chart - An illustration of how parts of the game link to each other.Entry and exit Main menuLevel movementAccess to preferences and creditsGlobal BehaviorsEnsures that your game will have a consistent feel to it.buttons, life-bars, input devices, etc.animations, at least in stick form.
16Design Document #1: Scenes and Action - In an adventure game, this will take up most of your document.preferences, credits, and main menu.In subchapters, lay out consistent behaviors of local elements.Optional Storyboard
17Design Document #1: List of Resources - should be thorough. Leaving out even a few items, or failing to describe them clearly, could prove a major source of exasperation later on.This section comprises detailed lists of models, animations, sounds, music, narration, backgrounds, etc.
18Design Document #2 Revised game concept doc Market analysis Technical analysisLegal analysisCost and revenue projectionsArt
19Design Document #3: FEATURE-ORIENTED Goals are broken down into doable bits.1 FEATURE HEADING1.1 Contact1.2 Goals1.3 Implementation1.4 Impact1.5 to 1.8 Tasks & Questions for:Designers, Programmers, Artists, Sound