Gephoria

Rants from a game developer, a guy, a prophet, and well a general person, i may be boring but i find fun stuff from time to time

   Many newcomers to game design often are told to pursue their dreams as a modeler, programmer, texture artist, or some kind of animator or motion capture stunt guy.  Often the ones that want to become the "lead designer" are not directly told about the living entity that the entire game relies on as a bone structure to hold it up before the team working on it. 

Game Design is about many things, creating art assets, animation, programming, but all of that comes together where? That's right, the Game Design Document (I will refer to this as the "GDD" from here on).  This is a document but it is like a living thing, because as the project progresses this document changes to accomodate the modifications to the game and also may be changed due to restrictions in the engine. 

Topics a Very Basic GDD includes:
Target Market: Children, Teens, Adults, Aliens, Mermaids
Platform: PC using x game engine, PS2, XBOX360, NES, Etc...
Background Story: This adds tot he plot and outlines the history of the game world
Gameplay: describing how the game is played, platformer, action/adventure, first person shooter, strategy, any key elements like switching from strategy to first person etc...
Purpose: Educationl, entertainment, edutainment, effective orientation training maybe.
Setting: Again adding on to the description of the game world, what is the setting, what's it like how are the people behaving, is the world in chaos or is it barbie ranch.
USP (Unique Selling Point): Is your game based on my little pony or Unicorn raising? maybe breed a Pegasus in the middle of the game or at the end and that allows you to beat some evil horse hating boss? your USP can be anything really, the better you can make it sound the more likely the game will sell good.

To view a REAL Game Design Document Click Here(MSWord97-03)
This is a game design document used by bigger developers, this helps management budget and schedule the time between artists, programmers, and others in a more efficient way.  I will talk about SCRUM in a future post and how it works it's really magical.  Any-who, This document outlines everything, if there's something in your game that IS NOT in the design document you did something wrong obviously. 

Other Cool Places that have game design documents:
http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20070220/bateman_01.shtml
http://www-personal.engin.umd.umich.edu/~bmaxim/cis488/BaldwinGameDesignDocumentTemplate.doc
http://digitalworlds.wetpaint.com/page/Example+Blank+Design+Document

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Lakeville, MN
Bachelors of Science in Game Design and Development
BrentJorgenson.com
Gephoria @ Deviantart

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