The Game Design Document
I get a lot of email from people asking me how to get their video game made. Granted it is an exciting proposition and wouldn't it be really neat to have your video game idea turned into a reality?
So where do you start? How do you get the ball rolling toward getting your video game idea made into a video game? This is done with something called a Game Design Document or GDD. This is where it all begins and this is something that is created by a video game designer.
The Game Design Document is a comprehensive document that lays out and explains many of the aspects of the proposed video game. There is no set standard for this kind of document although different companies do have standards that they enforce within their company. It could be a word document, pdf, power point presentationm hand written and hand drawn or even a combination of all of those. The important thing is that it lay out as detailed as possible many aspects of the proposed game including game play, theme, characters, story, look and feel. The important thing is that the GDD has to tell a variety of team members exactly what they need to do. This variety ranges from programmers to writers, artists, musicians and more.
It is a living document
A game design document is a "living document" and may go through numerous revisions before a final initial design is agreed upon. As the game development progresses, the design document changes as programming limitations and new capabilities are discovered and exploited.
Consider your Audience
It is very important to realize who you are writing your game design document for. You are not writing it for lpeople who are playing the game! You are writing this document for people who are making the game. Always keep that in mind.
So, What are the things you need to cover in a GDD?
Well, this is quite a big ball of wax but I will give you a look at a lot of the things that you absolutely need to cover when creating the GDD.
This is just a beginning. As you start writing out your game you are going to come up with a lot more stuff. Remember, you have to describe everything to the developers, programmers, and artists.
What to do?
Grab an empty spiral bound notebook and start writing!
Resources and more information
Free Game making programs - to help you make games without spending money.
Writing quests for video games. Tips, ideas and techniques
A look at video game design - This shows you the process of how a game is designed and I take you from idea to game.
What is the most important thing you need to make a video game? It isn't what you think
Who do you contact if you want to get a job in the game industry? I have advice and more.
Video Game Design - What is it and how is it done?
Kids Make Video Games: A Guide for kids of all ages in game making.
A look at Assassin's Creed II - From a game makers perspective. This game is remarkable and there are some great lessons to be learned from it when it comes to making video games
Into the Looking Glass: A History of video games including a video. How did it all start?
A look at the various Game Design Software Packages - Help finding the one that's right for you
Free Resources for making video games. If your budget is Zero these resources are for you!
Three New Lessons in the Milkshape 3d Animation Tutorial: Animate, Link skeleton to skin, and animate both
So You have a great idea for a video game! What do you do now? - Some solid advice on turning an idea into reality
AMD New Chipset and Processor breaks the barrier in gaming realism - games that look as good as movies are coming
How to write a video game players guide - Writing a guide is an easy way to start learning about how games are made.