Is there a design document standard format?

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Fibericon 101 Feb 23, 2010 at 18:22

I’ve never had to write up a design document for a game before. Is there a standard format for this?

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Nerd_Skywalker 101 Feb 23, 2010 at 20:11

Whatever you and the people you are working with can understand. That’s really it ;)

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Shelf 101 Feb 23, 2010 at 23:43

There’s many ways you can set out a GDD, but if you’re really in the dark, here’s a nice model you may wish to follow. http://74.125.95.132/custom?q=cache:Xx3xtvBaezAJ:www-personal.engin.umd.umich.edu/\~bmaxim/cis488/BaldwinGameDesignDocumentTemplate.doc+game+design+document&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=pub-8993703457585266

(If you’d like the actual document then go to http://www-personal.engin.umd.umich.edu/\~bmaxim/cis488/BaldwinGameDesignDocumentTemplate.doc for the download.)

Keep in mind, there isn’t exactly what you called a “standard format” as there are so many different things in a game that need to be included in a GDD, but here’s a good way to start. Good luck!

Regards

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Fibericon 101 Feb 24, 2010 at 00:20

Thanks for the replies! I guess what I’m really looking for is a clear method of mapping conversation flow. Since I’m working on a RPG, the conversations have multiple paths and include morality options. The way I’m using is getting out of hand, and I’m even confusing myself at times. Here’s an example of what I’m using to map the conversation:

Commander: Which one of you is going in?

Choices: I will go (GOTO 1)
Zeke will go (GOTO 2)
You should go (GOTO 3)

(1)
Player: I’m going in first, commander.

GOTO 4

(2)
Player: Let’s send Zeke in first.

GOTO 5

(3)
Player: Why don’t you go?

GOTO 6

(4)
Alignment adjustment (good)

Commander: Just don’t get yourself killed. Move out.

(5)
Alignment adjustment (evil)

Zeke: You can’t be serious!

Commander: Stop your bellyaching and get in there.

(6)
Commander: Uh huh. I don’t think so.

And that’s just a short conversation. It looks absolutely atrocious by the time I get to the third conversation choice.

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Reedbeta 167 Feb 24, 2010 at 00:40

Try diagramming it using a tree diagram or a flowchart.

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Fibericon 101 Feb 24, 2010 at 05:58

I suppose something like that would work. Would it be better to cram the whole conversation fragments into each box or just put conversation markers inside?

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Reedbeta 167 Feb 24, 2010 at 06:03

I don’t know which would be better for you. Experiment with both and see. :) Putting the whole line into each box would mean less cross-referencing, but the diagram would be larger.

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TaggM 101 Feb 25, 2010 at 06:02

@Fibericon

Thanks for the replies! I guess what I’m really looking for is a clear method of mapping conversation flow….

You’ve already tried the text editor approach. What about html hyperlinked pages, a mind map (http://sourceforge.net/projects/vym/ or http://www.edrawsoft.com/freemind.php)), or something like M$ Visio? There are collaborative cloud apps which you might also consider.

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alphadog 101 Feb 25, 2010 at 15:42

@Fibericon

I’ve never had to write up a design document for a game before. Is there a standard format for this?

No. Not only is there no “standard format”, there are different versions of this kind of document depending on who you hand it to.
@’

What about html hyperlinked pages’ date=’ a mind map[/QUOTE’] I second the mindmap idea. Very good for non-linear discussions.

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Fibericon 101 Feb 25, 2010 at 16:39

I’m absolutely loving mind map! What an excellent tool.

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TaggM 101 Feb 28, 2010 at 01:29

@Fibericon

I’m absolutely loving mind map! What an excellent tool.

Glad you found mind map useful! You might find this book writing freeware program useful, too:

http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter5.html
“t’s a word processor which breaks your novel into chapters and scenes…. It does help you keep track of your work, leaving your mind free to create.”

I decided that revision control for micro-updates is a good thing. So, I installed Notepad++ which can be configured for automatic revision control. Using the same mind map app on Windows and *nix systems is also good for cross-platform development. Vym can be configured to use Notepad++ to open linked URLs. So, I compiled vym for Windows today.