Open source game design document

So out of pure boredom and since I’ve found these things to be so useful when structuring and planning future projects as well as current projects to ensure that I don’t miss anything and to allow me to get a clear goal that I’m working towards, I decided that I would write and share a game design document. Now, of course, each game will have a unique game design document with its own structure and content, but I figured a template could do to help get you started as well as to give ideas on what you can add if this is something you fancy.

Simply just download this thing and open it up in Google Docs to get the lovely outline feature to work:

And then one final question regarding this is there anyone else who does these kinds of things and do you think you could have any use of a template like the one linked above?

Also a side note, when working on events for Roblox you will always be asked to write a game design document to present your game pitch. So if you ever plan on applying for an event contract in the future you might as well give it a lookie.

112 Likes

My personal opinion on design docs is that its just better to start with a empty google doc and let the rest team (and myself) just throw ideas and concept art onto it and then worry about organizing it at a later time after the initial brainstorm session is done.

3 Likes

You beautiful person

4 Likes

I really love this.

1 Like

I’ve never used a game design document and have relied on my memory. This is incredible, thanks for sharing DieSoft! I’m going to utilize this NOW.

1 Like

on the projects I’ve been involved in

most times we’ve used google drive, and whether it’s sheets or docs basically starts out blank and we just throw down our ideas, using highlight colors/comments to organize things

even if we veto an idea, we always keep it written down for future reference, it’s coolio to see how original concepts of games (for example, Trade.'s game limited universe is fairly different from the concept)

but this is a neat little thing.

2 Likes

My 2 cents:

I think one thing that’s important to emphasize in these kind of documents is focusing on answering the “why” questions more than the specific “how” and “what” ones.

Why would I want to play this game? Why should it work a certain way? Generally, if you know “why” the “what” and the “how” follows naturally.

It’s really tempting to go into a lot of detail in these things in an early docs, but once you start actual work you’ll always find things that turn out to be impossible, or you find a better way to do them. This is natural. When that happens a lot of that effort you spent writing that out was wasted. Be specific as you need to figure out first steps and risk analysis, but no more. Giant docs are instantly outdated. Short manifestos are timeless.

Also suggestion on scheduling and risk analysis: use coarse ranges. You never know how long something will take until it’s done. Don’t cheat. Acknowledge the uncertainty. Prevent being overoptimistic or padding: do both. The ranges narrow with experience and progress, but until it’s done it’s hard impossible to be sure. Ranges are easy to add up and give you a clear picture of how sure you are that you can hit a deadline so you can act accordingly.

[sorry for the hardcore necro, got a link, had to reply]

23 Likes