Undoubtedly, tech companies and huge investment entrepreneurs make big capitalizations to make a high-end gaming experience, one should not even doubt for a second about their decision to make a game design document for a moment.
From the user’s point of view, when anyone starts playing the game on their PC, mobile phone or console, they are ultimately in search of a distraction-free and exciting experience. It only becomes possible when all the parties involved in the creation of the game are working on the same page and implementing their part according to the discussed vision. To make a successful game, you are required to make sure that the user experience facilitates the goals of the creators.
If you are new to the world of game development and looking to find out what planning for a successful game looks like, then do not stop reading. In this blog, you will come across the exact game design document and what is the required point to make the effective one.
What Is A Game Design Document?
A game design document is also known as GDD, it is a superiorly detailed document that is created by game owners to share their information and vision for the particular frame to their development teams. Game design documents are usually subject to too many changes and updates over the development course as the game begins to take shape.
Being an entrepreneur, you want to make an effective game design document. Game developers depend on this document to ensure flawless collaboration between multiple departments and experts working on the same project. The game design document facilitates everyone in the team of the creation of the game to be on the same page in terms of its functionalities, features, app design and other elements.
Significance Of Game Design Document
Well, the most important thing is to have a well-defined roadmap, especially if you are taking on a complicated project such as the development of a game from scratch. Your game design document performs as the referent point for game designers and develops when establishing your game. The document makes sure that everyone is aware of exactly what the game is about and why they are supposed to attain the most wanted result.
You may have heard from the limited experienced people in the gaming industry that you do not need to have a game design document. But when you come across a professional game development specialist, you come to know the importance of this document. It is the basic guideline for the development team; they refer to it before making any noticeable decisions and creative choices.
Moreover, even at the future stage when you are reviewing your game fully and going back and forth for the editing with your development teams, it facilitates you to refer to a shared document that everyone is broadly familiar with. Game design documents enable you to avoid loads of possible issues and confusion that can come up in catastrophic delays in development.
The game design document performs as an organizational tool for all the persons involved in the development phase of the game, which is necessary for an effective collaborative process. Therefore, as an entrepreneur, you must prefer to make your game design document. If required, you can take help from your technical team to create the document as per your choice.
The increase of mobile gaming applications to the level of popularity in the prior decade can be attributed to the efforts of mobile game developers partially. In terms of providing the appropriate implementation models on which even the most complicated games can be simply developed properly. Game design documents were among the most important of such aspects that played an important role in facilitating making several of the highly interactive games we play at this moment, a reality.
How To Write A Game Design Document?
You should keep in mind, before sitting down to write your game design document, that it is important to know that every GDD is unique depending on its characters, concept, theme, target users and many7 more. Therefore, there are some essential elements that all game design documents should give to provide required and full information to game developers and designers. This greatly allows your game development team to arrange their work better and get their efforts in the appropriate direction.
Here is the Following game design document template that includes all the important elements that can help your team.
1. The Name Of The Game:
The foremost thing you are supposed to do is to give your game a catchy and fun name that shows what the game is about. Selecting an attractive name really assists during the marketing and launch phase to enhance the attention of players. It may sound simple, but believe me, it can take loads of time. So at this phase, you can provide a few of your best options and get the name done later on based on the other elements.
2. Project Or Game Description:
This is the summarized description of the game that you desire to create, without going into more details regarding how it works and many more. The objective here is that after reading the game description, developers and other people should know what kind of game you want to establish a genre like survival, puzzle, FPS, royal and so on. You can also insert some more information regarding the game you consider important and relevant to your vision. Mainly this section of the game design document should be based on a couple of paragraphs.
3. Main Characters:
The main character is a noteworthy portion of most games. They provide their game concept with a marked edge that is more trustable or enjoyable for the players. Therefore, some people like to concentrate on their character, from their appearance and any exceptional physical feature to how they interact with other game elements and other characters. If you have a special vision or want to make some character choices, this is the phase to include them.
Therefore, some games may not have characters at all such as word games and puzzles. In that scenario, you can skip this step.
Particularly for video game design documents, to be successful, this portion plays an important role. The storytelling process is important in some games. They assist players’ influence with the characters, and they feel more invested in the video game. A few examples of games with a smiling storyline are Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Final Fantasy 6.
5. The Gameplay:
This is one of the necessary sections of the game design document and it explains what your gameplay will be like. To facilitate your understanding in a better way, of what you require to include in this portion, this step has been divided into subsections. You may not require all of these factors, as these are the subjective areas.
Objective – Here, you respond to the concern of why the player is playing your game. For instance, to save a friend, to return home, to go to the level and so on.
Describe Player Skills – recognizing what expertise your players will require to have to expert the game will assist you to narrow down the scope. Explaining player skills facilitates you recognizing issues with your game design and getting back to the appropriate track. It will assist in finding out if the skills needed are too advanced or not challenging enough for your target audience or if some efforts may only work for smartphones and not for a gaming console.
Game Mechanics –without sharing any details, this is the part where you explain the computer mechanics of your game. This portion also includes the controls that block particular actions and reactions from the events or characters in the game. This is the phase your development team will usually come back to and therefore, you can even add some screenshots and artwork to describe the game mechanics better.
Capabilities And Power-Ups – this is what you additionally elaborate on your game mechanics. Rather than pouring all details into a single section, you offer information into categories and subsections to make it less and easily confusing for your team. Here you explain further abilities that you want to integrate into the gameplay such as fun power-ups that enable the game to be more engaging for the players. You must include here all the power-ups the game provides and how it impacts the main gameplay.
Levels And Challenges – Again this is the subjective area that may or may not be suitable for your game. Frequently games have various levels and different storylines also as difficulty levels. All the things here process as the game proceeds forward. Talk abou8t how players get the latest missions or levels and what features will need to catch up with the game.
Losing – The last but not least sub-section in the gameplay is the ending point of the game. In this portion, you explain what will be the losing conditions for the game. Does the player go out of health, time, get killed or something else?
6. Graphics And Styling:
The entire gaming experience is more on the quality of graphics and how influential is your game environment. In this phase, you are needed to communicate regarding what your game looks like, paint a picture for designers and include some other concepts for reference.
7. Music And Sound Effect:
The background music and sound impacts insert as much to the entire experience of players as the graphics and visuals. Therefore, in this portion, you explain the type of sound and music impacts that you want to insert into your game. If you see the requirements, you can also divide this portion of your game design document into subcategories depending on multiple levels of phases of the storyline.
8. Technical Description:
In this phase, you discuss diverse platforms where you will be launching the game and any particular retool you are considered to utilize for the development process. You may need to include an explained technical description to prevent any confusion later. For instance, this is the portion to talk about if you are going to make a cross-platform mobile game if you want to establish a PC standalone version.
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9. Funding And Marketing:
This is the completely optional phase that you may or may not desire to include in your game design document. The concept being this phase is to enable the development team to have a better understanding of your vision for the game and how you plan to promote and scale it in the future. Here are some elements you should consider in this portion:
Demographics – awarding who is the target audience for your game, it will help to show the same onto your game design document. For instance, if your target audience is 8 to 16 years old children, your characters, your colour scheme and the atmosphere you are making should be designed to talk to them.
Monetization policy –consider adding some details regarding how you plan to monetize your game. Here are the noticeable app monetization trends you should get into.
Hopefully, this document is helpful to you in both cases if you are a game entrepreneur or a game developer. This game design document is helpful for your future projects. Feel free to reach out.