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Design Doc templete

Posted on 2004-04-20
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I am Looking for Good format for Game Design Document for a Isometric-Role playing real-time Game.
formats related to the wanted area/type will only be concedered.
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Question by:Yasith
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by:Matt-the-HAT
ID: 10917017
I am unsure what exactly you require, I've always felt that the best method was to create as far as finalising the file format and then build a map editor.  This editor would allow me to build the lay out of levels and areas.  I understand that there was one created in DarkBasic that allowed the designer to fly around the 3D landscape to explore the world being built.

I don't know any more than that but does that help at all?
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brandonh6k earned 100 total points
ID: 10920774
You'll need a few different docs for this (if you're planning to document everything at a fairly detailed level).

You'll need a broad overview doc.  This will give the "big picture" of what you're game is supposed to accomplish.  You should answer general questions in this document.

For example:
What era is the game set in?
Is there a prevailing mythos?  If so, what?
Is the game multiplayer?  Massively multiplayer?
Can the player host their own server?
What basic weapons are available?
Does magic work?
Are there magic items?
etc...

You should have requirements documents for each of the points in the overview doc.  These are the hard and fast milestones that you code towards to make the game what you want it to be.

For example:
Multiplayer:  
 - Supports 2-8 players via LAN or Internet connections.
 - Dedicated server.
 - Multiplayer games can be saved and reloaded.
 - Ability to kick / ban players from server.

You can then move into writing technical requirements docs.  These are going to be really detailed.  You should probably have one doc per point in your requirements docs.

For example:
Dedicated Server:
 - This is the networking and AI code from the main program.
 - The server (if present) will overrule clients that have different results.
 - Basic GUI (Windows style) to configure options.
 - Configuration stored in XML files.  Can be saved / loaded.
 - Able to run multiple servers on single machine.
 - GUI displays current game status: players online, how long, errors, etc.
and so on.

As far as format, I'd just type it up in a text editor.  Use outline style docs with paragraphs of information to explain points as you think they need it.  I'd try to get all the idea down so you don't forget them and then work on the details.  Initially you should mainly be interested in the big broad brush strokes of the documents, not the nitty-gritty details.

Hope this helps.
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Assisted Solution

by:Mazzzy
Mazzzy earned 150 total points
ID: 11075487
brandonh6k gives a very good example of a design document. I'l throw in my tenpence and a few links iv found that may be helpful.

What is a design document? Well its what your design specification/advertisment for prospective publishers and 'log book' all rolled into one.

For you rpg game specifically you should detail the following:
First of explain the story of your game, explaining what makes your game special.
Describe the format you'd aim for the game to reach(e.g. PC XBOX GameCube), and the language you wish to write it in.(also give specs if your planning it for a P.C.)
Give a brief description of controls, the kind of sound effects, what kind of visual style you wish(e.g. photo-realistic, cell shading, stylized,etc), and the general atmosphere.

Now explain more deeply the game world. Who are the characters? What is the world like? What are the factions/people groups? What will be the subthemes within the game. How big is the game world? What creatures populate it? What kind of items/technologies are available for use? Give examples of the quests and stories likely to be encountered.

Next give details of the game engine. What will be used for visuals? 2D,3D? list technologies you shall be using e.g. DX, OpenGL, RenderWare, etc. What will be the AI capabilites? Will there be day or night cycles. Collision detection, statistic models, rulesets all should be defined here. What kind of lighting will be used?
Give details of the user interface, what the single player and multiplayer games will be like.
Dont be worried about writing too much/too litle you should be updating this document as you go on. Have appendixes containing more detailed knowledge on each aspect if you wish. Include diagrams showing classes, state machines, transitions, design model, etc.

Just remember only around 10% of all your ideas will end up in the game.

The best thing to do is pay a visit to www.ihfsoft.com and take a look at the examples given there. Visit Gamasutra.com and Gamedev.com, and other sites such as guildhall.proboards15.com, www.erasmatazz.com (check in his library for examples) and also www.engin.umd.edu/CIS/course.des/cis587/design-tx/game.html

But for your game idea check out Chris Taylors design document on ihfsoft.com He;s one of the members of the Dungeon Siege programming team.

If you need anymore help on the subject send me an email or comment here, i'l try and post some of the lecture slides we had on design documents from my uni course.
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by:Yasith
ID: 11286090
Good if U can post thoes
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