I frequently hear that it's difficult to develop a complete feature analysis (design document), and that when staring at the notepad (digital or print) it's often troublesome to come up with the next finer grain of detail. How do you know what else to add? How do you know when you're done?
The answer to both of those is yet another question: "What else do you need to know?"
Any answer to that question other than "Nothing" is an answer to your first question above. If the answer to that question IS "Nothing"...well, then you're done. So to get from draft 2, to draft 3 of our feature analysis, we must look over our existing feature list and ask our selves "what else do I need to know to come up with a working systems design for this list of features?" Lets do that now...
What channels are present by default? (ie. General, Trade, etc...)
What's the range on the /yell command? (how far away must you be not to hear it)
What do each of these interface elements look like?
- What's the layout and behavior?
How do you target enemies, object, and party members?
What are the camera/movement controls?
What does the map look like?
Is there water anywhere?
Where are the trees, the NPC's, and the Instance located?
What are the color ranges for the different customizable attributes?
What are the ranges for height & weight? (Visual Attribute)
What are their names?
What inventory do they carry?
Is their inventory static or dynamic?
How are Health & Mana calculated?
How are Health and Mana increased/decreased/Recharged during game play?
Days & Fatigue
What EXACTLY causes fatigue?
How much rest do those things consume?
How much TOTAL rest do you have to consume?
Are items statically created or randomly generated?
-If static, what items are there?
-If generated, what tables are there for item creation, what effects do they have on items?
- Which classes can use which items?
How many items will the bank carry?
What patterns & Designs are there?
How much of which resources is required for each pattern?
How much skill do you earn for creating the different items?
How much skill do you need before obtaining new patterns?
What tools are there?
WHERE do you create craftable items?
Can users trade items with other users?
- How will users go about making a trade?
- How many items can be traded at a time?
What are the ranges for melee and ranged combat?
How do ability scores relate to formulas for determining damage modifiers?
How far do you have to run before a mob leaves you alone?
Player vs. Player
What IS the Player AI for combat?
How do you get into the inn to attack players?
If the player AI wins, does he loot the active player's corpse?
- What if there's not enough room in his inventory?
Where is the psychic located and why is he/she not listed with the other NPC types?
What does talking with the Psychic ACTUALLY do?
How much favor do you gain with Osiris for killing the different mobs?
How much favor do you need to be reincarnated?
What else can you get for exchanging favor?
What are the different mobs' stats & abilities?
What are their loot tables?
Which are aggressive?
Is there some place specific they spawn? (rough formula)
What stats do the classes start with? - How much do they gain per level?
Which abilities do they get at which level?
How much XP is required to advance to each level?
What ARE all of the special abilities?
Which require a target, what kind of target, etc...?
Which are instant cast, and which have a cooldown?
How are they acquired after defeating your master?
What ARE the available quests?
What ARE the rewards for each quest?
How is XP and quest rewards divided up between party members?
How are parties created?
- Are there requirements that must be met to add someone to your party?
What ARE the random events, and what must I do to trigger each of them?
Answering the above list of questions should get us from Draft 2 to Draft 3 of the Feature Analysis (Design Document). But ya know, I could have always missed some things.
Look over the Draft 2 feature list and see if YOU'VE got any questions which need answering. Post your comments, and I'll add them to the list of questions to answer for Draft 3.
As well, we've gotta come up with ANSWERS to all those. So if you've got a particularly strong idea about the answer to one of the above questions, post that as well and I'll add it to the feature analysis if possible.