Hi Gamers and Game Makers!
In this week's blog, I'm going to talk about one page Game Design Documents and why they're a really handy tool for prototyping games.
So, by now you know I like to prototype my game ideas as early as possible in an effort to ascertain whether or not the game idea actually makes for a good game. Now while the prototype is meant to be a very rough small build to demonstrate gameplay and mechanics, you still need to keep track of what it is you're going to make and more importantly, understand what it is you're trying to make.
A great way of keeping track of and understanding your design better is with one page Game Design Documents(GDD). These are great not just for organizing the design of your own early prototype, but also if you're taking part in a game jam. It's a quick and effective way of conveying your games design to other people and members of your team so that you can work more effectively towards making the game in the given time you have.
So, what should be in a one page GDD? Well, it can vary to an extent depending on the type of developer you are and the type of games you tend to make but, a good overall one page GDD will consist of a Game Overview, where you give a quick summery of what the game is about.
An Objective section where you outline the goals and motivation of the player as well as structure.
A Mechanics section where you describe the core mechanics and features of the game. Preferably in bullet point structure, keeping it clear and concise.
A Gameplay section where you describe a typical scene from the game and how it should play. Be very clear and descriptive here so that the person reading it can easily imagine the game scene in there head and understand what it is you are conveying.
A Style section which you use to describe the visual style of the game. Attach any reference images that may be applicable to help the person reading to understand or further research the style. Also make use of this section to describe the style of music the game will have and the role audio will play in the games design.
I've attached a basic template version at the end of this post for people to use if they wish. One page GDD's are make for not just better communication about your games design with other people, but also helps you better understand game design by seeing how all the elements of your idea come together to work or in some cases, you see why it doesn't work and you can fix it. As always, I hope this was of use and if you want to ask any questions or get in touch, please do or leave a comment below.
Until next time!