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Wutalife37

Design Doc Question

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Simply put, how long should it be for an RPG? So far mine is at 3500 words. That''s about 10 pages. Is that any good or am I suppose to be doing 200 pages? Thanks.

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As long as it needs to be. My last RPG project, which is relatively small, had a design document 78 pages long, and that was sufficient. You might need more or less, depending on the scope of your project. It''s a better idea to worry more about the content of your design document than the number of words/pages, regardless.

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Yeah, don''t think of it as an assignment. Putting it in Courier size 14 won''t make it any better. Look at content, not mass. A better question might be: "What should a good design document include, if it''s going to cover all my bases?" There are plenty of people on this board who have made many games, and they can no doubt give you what amounts to a form you can fill out. At least a list of subject headings would be nice.

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Do the outline thing tree-style, starting from the most general level. Include everything that you can possibly think of. Story, Characters, Singleplayer, Multiplayer, Graphics Engine, Sound Engine, and all that.

Now, go down this list and think of every header you can for each subject. Story: Setting, History, First Plot Point. Characters: Heroes, Enemies, Mythology, Key Characters. You get the idea.

Keep breaking down each subject into separate categories as much as you can. If you come to a spot where you can do no more breaking down, then you start describing the subject. If it''s a simple feature that most people are equated with, two sentences are enough. If it''s an obscure item that somehow has magnificent importance, make a few paragraphs.

Your design document only has to be explicit enough for you and your team to understand fully. If everybody knows what a W.A.D. is, then you don''t need to explain further. Design documents are an instruction sheet for the team, not a FAQ.

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Also, your design document does not have to be confined to one file. It may be wise to keep a very general design as the main file, but have supplementary files on the plot, characters etc. Of course if you''re doing Tetris this might be overkill.

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One good way to do it might be to build a web site. I don''t know what kind of skills you have in that direction, but making it an html or even a pdf file will allow you to use hyperlinks in your text. I know from experience that you''ll want to cross-reference a large number of your ideas, and hypertext is a good way to do that.

Also, it allows you to throw the document online when it''s done.

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