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The Design Document Ahmet Uğur. Overview No standard format Should communicate the nature of the game effectively Companies with agreed format The design.

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Presentation on theme: "The Design Document Ahmet Uğur. Overview No standard format Should communicate the nature of the game effectively Companies with agreed format The design."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Design Document Ahmet Uğur

2 Overview No standard format Should communicate the nature of the game effectively Companies with agreed format The design document is a tool to make a good game, it’s not the game itself.

3 The Writing Style Should be a good reference tool Using writing tools is rarely a good practice Avoid repeating information Use references Avoid being inconsistent Game should be entertaining, not the document Tempting to compare with other games, but you should be very specific about your system.

4 The Sections Table of Contents Introduction/Overview Game Mechanics Artificial Intelligence Game Elements Story Overview Game Progression System Menus

5 The Sections - Table of Contents Use detailed list of contents Listing main sections won’t work Make navigation easier by using sections, sub-sections and even sub- sub-sections

6 The Sections – Introduction/Overview Should be single-page Good starting point for understanding the game Focus is the excellent starting point One of the body paragraphs should sum up the game’s story The other body paragraphs should be about key features of your gameplay Conclusion should sum up entire overview

7 The Sections – Game Mechanics Should describe the actions of players Avoid detailing specific game-world objects like weapons etc. Start out simple, describe basic movements and basic behaviors Describe how player will use the character Explain statistics i.e. Character creation in RPG games Proceed to players’ more complex actions Explain Puzzle elements Explain HUD( head up display ) Do not assume, explain everything

8 The Sections - Artificial Intelligence Explains how the world will react to the players’ actions Explain NPC behaviors Detailed list of difficulty characteristics If possible, ask for help from programmers in your team Be realistic

9 The Sections – Game Elements Characters, Items and Objects/Mechanisms List in the most logical order possible Avoid assigning actual statistics Try to describe relation between them Avoid too much detail

10 The Sections – Game Progression Breaks the game down into the events Which objects should be used in levels Basically explains players’ progression in game Free-form strategy games such as the SimCity series will not require a Game Progression section, since what happens during the game is entirely determined by the player’s choices and the game mechanics

11 The Sections - System Menus Should detail main menu and other menus Describing the flow of menus is important

12 Inauspicious Design Documents The Wafer-Thin or Ellipsis Special Document The Back-Story Tome The Overkill Document The Pie-in-the-Sky Document The Fossilized Document

13 Inauspicious Design Documents - The Wafer- Thin or Ellipsis Special Document Mistakes: o Meaningless descriptions like “gameplay will be fun” o Comparisons like “The game has a control scheme similar to Quake.” without giving any detailed information about the gameplay o Spends a lot of time talking about how the system menus work o Mentioning about 2 weapons and leaving the rest to the imagination of the reader. o Leaves the important details about world to the imagination of the reader

14 Inauspicious Design Documents - The Back- Story Tome Mistakes: o Stretches document into hundreds of pages – 300, 400, even more o Poor table of content like in novels o Too much detail in character backgrounds o Reader can’t understand the gameplay of the game

15 Inauspicious Design Documents - The Overkill Document Mistakes o Detail is good but too much detail wastes time o Trying to do animators job by sketching animations o Trying to give detailed statistics about game items like weapons o Creating algorithms and including source codes o In such a mess, useful information will be hidden

16 Inauspicious Design Documents - The Pie-in-the-Sky Document Mistakes: o Not being realistic o Not knowing the capabilities of your team o Not knowing the technical constraints Solution: o Reality check with key programmers and artists

17 Inauspicious Design Documents – The Fossilized Document Outdated document after making changes in game design Wastes time of people Loose credibility

18 A Matter Of Weight Weight is important for most of the publishers This importance causes bad game design documents get accepted over good ones Over a few years publishers doesn’t care much about weight

19 Getting It Read Providing a detailed table of contents, being practical and writing high-level summaries helps your teammates to take care your document. Make your document easily accessible and keep your document up to date After updating document, inform your teammates via Use version numbers so people can keep track


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