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Share your design document here!

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(I searched and couldn't find any other thread like this.) The purpose of this thread is to provide a single location where multiple design documents can be viewed and critiqued by others. I think that it would be great to show examples of design documents of games that have found success, or are currently well on their way to success, so that others can get an idea of what type of design documents were created for the more successful indie projects out there. When you post, include a link to your document (duh) whether it's in HTML, PDF, DOC, or whatever, and also please include a brief (brief) description of your game, how long you've been working on it, and what state it is in and the highest level of success it has achieved. As for myself, even though my project is into it's 20th month of development right now and has already been more successful than many failed projects out there, we've never had a design document! [headshake] Well, we have all the content that usually goes into a design document anyway, but it's scattered all over our forums in various places. So one of the things that I was hoping to get out of this thread is a guide to look at to (finally) build up a formal design document to help organize our information. (Hence, my ulterior motive has been made clear [lol]).

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Xenallure: A Tapestry of Hearts is a romance RPsim. Think a cross between Final Fantasy and Harvest Moon. Xenallure's design has been in progress on-and-off for about 2 years, and we have just entered the stage where we are starting to produce programming and 3D models rather than just concept writing and art. Here's our design doc. I am currently collecting suggestions for a major reorganization of this document where it will be broken into several sections: Introduction, Technical, Characters and Story, Art, Music, Lists of items in the game. So I would appreceiate any constructive suggestions anyone has for how to reorganize, condense/clarify, and fill in holes for this large mass of info.

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I was only able to take a very brief look at your doc a couple days ago sunandshadow, but I do have one general suggestion that you may or may not care for. Undoubtably, it is difficult for a single person to manage and maintain such a verbose, constantly-evolving document. So why not split up that work amongst your team, so that perhaps they can manage specific sections, or you could all just keep a constant vigil on the document and modify it when you find a section that is outdated, or poorly worded?


But doing this with a simple office document file would be a mess, unless you put the document into some sort of revision system like CVS or SVN (and even then, you have people with multiple versions of office...). What we are actually doing is putting our design doc together on a wiki, along with a *ton* of other information related to our game's development and our team. It has been working out great so far, and now that the whole team can organize our content and concepts instead of just myself, it's a big pressure reliever and I can afford to do more of the things I like: actually making the game. [grin] Our wiki is only a little over a week old and we haven't released it publicly yet, but we will be doing so any day now.


Anyway to sum up my long rambling, [b]my suggestion is to use a content management system that is easily modifiable by anyone and can keep a history for your design doc, such as a wiki[b]. I truly think that would be a great help to organize and manage all of the content in design documents, though I have yet to prove it. [smile]

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Alas, none of my other current teammembers have half the writing skills I do. Which makes sense, I mean I did spend years at college studying it while my other team members were studying art and programming instead. Not to mention that I want to have all the info under my control and in one place in a linear format. A wiki's branching structure doesn't work so well if you want to tell someone "Here, read the whole thing." and you want to make it efficient for them by putting the information in the best order.

But I think splitting the document into sections will make it much more managable because then I can revise only one section at a time rather than the whole thing.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
So I can steal it!

Up Next: Post your source code here!

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
So I can steal it!


Ideas are a dime a dozen. It's incredibly simple to come up with a good sounding idea for a game. It's incredibly difficult to implement those ideas into a game, and balance everything well. Unless you are some big-name professional company, no one is going to give a crap about your yet-to-be-released games if you remain silent and don't share the features that will make it great.

Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Up Next: Post your source code here!


Sure, why not? [grin] :: Allacrost source code :: What, haven't you heard of open-source? [wink]


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