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Design document programs

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Well, now I have deleted the code for my engine three times just to start over because of bad design. I never wrote a design document and I think my "think about design while coding" coding style were the reason the design became so bad. So now I have chosen to write a design document before my fourth attemp, I have started in MS Word, but I find it pretty bad at a lot of things like showing relationship between files(DLLs, .LIBs etc), of course I could just import an image, but then when I change something I need to redo the image. So seeing that a person here on the forum have written a "design document writer" type of program (I think it was called Shakespeare 0.01) I thought that there might be programs (which are done) to create a design document, so could anyone recommend such a program (if they exist)? BTW I'm not sure this is the right forum, but since it is a design document I thought it would be a good idea to post it here.

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There is a ton of UML software out there, and I've always found MS Visio sufficient for my design document needs.

Silverrun(sp?) also have a range of products specialised in software analysis / system design. They will even generate some code for you.

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How about powerpoint, It's also in the office package...

You can write text, and it's easy to make some simple graphics, and if you change something just change it, as easy as in word...

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Thanks for the answers. Power Point wont really work as the design document will be rather text heavy. For the same reason I wont use Visio (I'm new to Visio, but from what I can see it aren't good for lots of text). I just figured out that it is possible to import Visio files into a Word document, which seems like a great solution, but of course if there's some dedicated software it might be even better so I'm still open to suggestions.

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I write just about everything in HTML, myself. Just use the Paragraph tags before and after each section of text using Notepad, make a few tidy images in Photoshop, get some HTML tips at w3schools.com and htmlgoodies.com, and you can make just about any document you please. And, with internal links, you can jump around a page to different subjects entirely without even needing to scroll.

Simple, reliable, portable. Me likey. :)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Maybe you need to start with a smaller game, so the re-writes won't take as long. Once you get that down, make a bigger game. I don't see how a design document will help you unless you base your stuff on something like... say irrlicht or enginuity.

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Maybe you need to start with a smaller game, so the re-writes won't take as long. Once you get that down, make a bigger game. I don't see how a design document will help you unless you base your stuff on something like... say irrlicht or enginuity.


Well I think I'm ready to create this engine I have already learned alot just by the first three attemps. Anyway I don't know what you mean when you say a design document only will help me if I base my engine on another?

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If you haven't seen it, there is a design document section here at gamedev.

Generally I use pencil and paper for the initial graphical representations of relationships - easy to make changes, then when they are pretty much set in stone convert it into a digital format.

[Edited by - Will F on June 21, 2005 7:22:57 PM]

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Quote:
Original post by Will F
If you haven't seen it, there is a design document section here at gamedev.

Generally I use pencil and paper for the initial graphical representations of relationships - easy to make changes, then when they are pretty much set in stone convert it into a digital format.


Thanks, no I didn't knew they had a design documents section, I'll check it out.

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