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Design Document Editor

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pan narrans

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Because I'm eventually going to make my design document public I was thinking today about the format, and what I should use to make it (it is currently in Microsoft Word .doc format). I was re-reading Drew Sikora's discussion of Online Design Documents in Game Design Perspectives, and was considering going down that route. The basic idea of his article is to create a HTML template for document sections, and maintain a number of links to previous, next, and above sections. However, it seems like a lot of housekeeping work, especially if you want to start inserting new sections half way through development. I'd rather spend my time on the actual content, and let the editor worry about re-numbering the sections.

It looks like I'll be sticking with Microsoft Word and the .doc format. Most of the examples I've found use that, plus there are free .doc viewers available for those who don't actually own Word. I'm making liberal use of a number of its features:
  • Proper use of styles allows the document to be reformatted easily
  • Table of contents and section numbers are updated automagically
  • Cross references and comments make the writers job easier
Any alternative suggestions are welcome though [smile]
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Have you heard of the book Swords And Circuitry? Mine arrived today. I won't get to read it for a while but it is highly rated, cheap and may be of interest to you in writing a game design document.

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Thanks very much for the recommendation. I've just checked out the reviews, here and on the various amazon sites, and it seems to be well liked (5 stars from the Rhino!). I've just ordered it and hopefully it will arrive before my upcoming holiday and will give me something new to read on the plane. Thanks again.

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