Sign in to follow this  
Necrosis

Looking for some help with making documentation and getting design ideas recorded.

Recommended Posts

I have some decent experience with game dev stuff, enough to put my various simple ideas into code. But I've learned I'm not very good at organizing a design doc, as in, what exactly I want to do and to actually write it down in a text editor or whatever. I usually end up with just bits and pieces of design without any real organized feel and easily not enough for anyone else to pick up and work with. So my question is, are there any useful reading materials either online or books that cover writing pre-dev documentation and the post-dev manual kind of documentation that might help me organize and structure everything better? And perhaps some of the methods, I'm just used to opening up notepad and plopping in text... are there better ways?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When I design, I often draw a class diagram and specify dependencies, methods and contracts in it. One can also use CRC-cards (Class Responsibility Collaboration) or other tools depending on one's method.

A tool for drawing class diagrams is Poseidon UML. There are many books about UML (Unified Modeling Language) and I cannot recommend any in particular. The one I have read is "Applying UML and Patterns" by Craig Larman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not sure how I overlooked this, but it seems GameDev itself has a few resources that I must have missed (and come across with google :P).

http://www.gamedev.net/reference/list.asp?categoryid=23

I think a template such as Chris Taylor's Design Document Template might be just what I need, all I need is to plug in the information and add in sections if needed. Looking through all that info, it would force me to design ideas for things I know I wouldnt have thought of ahead of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd also highly recommend getting yourself a small portable whiteboard if you can - I use one, and I find it invaluable for quickly sketching out ideas for later reference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Kazgoroth
I'd also highly recommend getting yourself a small portable whiteboard if you can - I use one, and I find it invaluable for quickly sketching out ideas for later reference.


A note here. In Code Complete 2nd ed, there is a great idea about drawing the idea on a white board, and taking a digital picture, and putting it in the document. Talk about simple!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by SirSmoke
I have some decent experience with game dev stuff, enough to put my various simple ideas into code. But I've learned I'm not very good at organizing a design doc, as in, what exactly I want to do and to actually write it down in a text editor or whatever. I usually end up with just bits and pieces of design without any real organized feel and easily not enough for anyone else to pick up and work with.

So my question is, are there any useful reading materials either online or books that cover writing pre-dev documentation and the post-dev manual kind of documentation that might help me organize and structure everything better? And perhaps some of the methods, I'm just used to opening up notepad and plopping in text... are there better ways?


I'm actually trying to get better at software design in general right now. I'm starting off by designing incredibly simple apps to program and work up to harder projects. I know this might sound silly, but i've written millions of design documents and usually they come out the way you explain and never feel really finished.

I feel that maybe I can get better by designing simple apps and then working up, just like how it is with programming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Kazgoroth
I'd also highly recommend getting yourself a small portable whiteboard if you can - I use one, and I find it invaluable for quickly sketching out ideas for later reference.


Good idea - though personally, I use a dictaphone. Slightly more portable than a whiteboard, though no good for diagrams. You could always get both. Another invaluable tool is a personal wiki - allows you to organise fairly easily while keeping everything fluid.

Design docs pretty much always start off short and disorganised. The important thing is to get as much as possible written down; you can always 'refactor,' rearrange and reorganise your information later. The best structure isn't always visible until all your content is there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by superpig
Quote:
Original post by Kazgoroth
I'd also highly recommend getting yourself a small portable whiteboard if you can - I use one, and I find it invaluable for quickly sketching out ideas for later reference.


Good idea - though personally, I use a dictaphone. Slightly more portable than a whiteboard, though no good for diagrams. You could always get both. Another invaluable tool is a personal wiki - allows you to organise fairly easily while keeping everything fluid.


Hrm, nice idea there, I think I'll try out carrying around a dictaphone so I can record notes on all the things I think of. I'm already using a personal wiki and I'd have to agree it's an excellent system for organising project information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this