The GDD (Game Design Document) or sometimes referred to as "The Bible" in the game design industry, contains the planning for your game.
The GDD collates all of your ideas into one cohesive plan. Making a game requires both considerable time and effort. That's why it's so important to have a plan in mind before you start! You don't want to start something that you can't finish or isn't what you intend to create. To help with this planning process, game designers create a plan called the 'Game Design Document' to help guide their decision making along the way. A full version of the GDD for Ezmore's Crystals is included here for reference. Please note, your GDD will look differently than the GDD of Ezmore's Crystals.
1. GDD One Page Concept Summary
In no more than 2 paragraphs, summarize your game concept. What kind of game are you creating? Reference other games that are similar in style and genre. Include images where appropriate. Include a description of how your game will look. For example, dark and moody or bright and happy; minimalist or hyper-realistic or cartoony or some other quality that is important. What is a phrase to describe the overall direction? For example, “Oppressed Medieval with a hint of hope” or “post-apocalyptic wasteland full of despair and misery”. What are some examples of the most important elements in your game. For example, beautiful forests with amazing views or constant explosions like in a war zone.
2. GDD Update #1: Art Direction
Time to consider how your game will look. In your GDD, start a new section called "Art Direction." In a paragraph, describe how your game will look. Be specific and consider the mood you are trying to create. You may rely heavily on the graphics of the game tutorial you are going to use for the creation of your game. Please use images to help with your explanation. You may also use assets from the Unity store! In a paragraph, describe what the player is controlling and how it will look in the game. Consider: Who is the character you play? What are their motivations? What is interesting about them? How is the player going to be controlling them? What are they going to do in the game? Provide a list of websites and other resource areas that you can draw from to support the art direction in your game.
3. GDD Update #2: Game Object
In a paragraph, describe the model/sprite you will be creating for your game and how it fits in with the overall design (unless you are making the main character). You may use other graphics to help with your explanation. Explain how this game object is important to the overall gameplay.
4. GDD Update #3: Game Screens
Using the game Among Us, record the various game screens that appear in the game. Such as the splash, main menu, game screen, etc. In your GDD, note what screens you will include in your game and a plan for layout/content. Also include what buttons are needed to navigate in Among Us menus and what buttons you will need for your game. Include a sentence on what design you will use for your buttons.
4. GDD Update #4: Custom Level
In a paragraph or two, explain how you will expand on the tutorial series of your chosen game? How will your game be different from the original tutorial? Include design maps for your game levels. Carefully consider how the game will progress as you near the objective of the level. You should mention what level mods you will include in your final game.
4. GDD Update #5: Custom Code
Time to demonstrate what you have learned about coding and add some custom code to your game. Think about adding something small to your game. Perhaps a pause game button, a custom map menu, or maybe an easter egg that causes your character to dance when a hotkey is pressed. The possibilities are endless. Be careful to not to bite off too much - keep it small! Your custom code must not be part of the original tutorial you used for game development but it can be from another tutorial. Your custom code must include lines of new code, not just manipulation of your existing code. To start, in your GDD, answer the following questions:
- What will your custom code do in your game?
- How will the custom code make your game better?
- How will you begin to write it? Think about what research you need to complete first.
* Make sure you comment your code so you can find it later. You will need to add it to the GDD in another update for marking purposes.
5. GDD Update #6: Sound Design
A sound track is so important to game design. It can set the mood, pace, feel and setting of a game. If you do a great sound track, it will make your game better. Likewise, if you ignore sound, it will degrade your game considerably. Sound tracks can be generally divided up into 4 basic categories: Voice, Sound Effects, Music and Ambience. Discuss how you will use each of these in your game (a paragraph for each).