What you think about this Game Design Document Template?

Today I met which means GDD, and I started to work on it. Googling I found this template and gives the guidelines to start developing a game [theory]. Wanted to share this information with yours [I guess besides me there are more people who do not know this] and I would like to know your opinion.

  1. Do I need really a document like this in a game development?
    2-What you think about the template? old fashion? or is still valid?

Thanks and sorry for my bad english.

Greetings and peace

PD: This template was designed by Chris Taylor the creator of Dungeon Siege game.

  1. In my opinion you dont necessarily need one but something that keeps you on your tracks is always good -> just the main parts (goal) and no details, because during the development many things will change and you will always have to overwork your GDD. :slight_smile:

Search on google and you will find many interesting articles about that topic. :smiley:

I think it depends. If you are in pre-production and have the time, it would be great to organize your thoughts in a coherent manner. That becomes more important if other people are expected to follow your design vision. But also good for you if you want to remember what you planned 6 months ago without having to reinvent the wheel.

Some games won’t need a design doc though.

And sometimes you may be going so far off the beaten path that you will simply have to make things up as you go.

There are plenty of ways to do a design doc that do not follow that traditional doc standard. I have a 30 page(unfinished) design doc for one game concept, but my current project is more akin to a couple dozen excel spreadsheets and assorted word docs.

I don’t remember a lot of famous quotes, but one that has always stuck with me is this:

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower

I fully endorse a design doc for any game you develop. It does not have to be complicated. It should, at the very least, help with this: brain storm ideas (in developing a design doc, you will often find new ideas for things like gameplay, art ideas, technical details). It helps keep you focused and on a direct path (but remain somewhat fluid). It can be really short or extremely detailed (would be needed for a team).
My design doc for my game is all hand written, with sketches and stuff. It sure did help hone in on a clear path.

I don’t like top-heavy design documents in general. I like prototypes – something that can communicate to everybody on the team what it really is you’re after, along some particular axis.
A game design doc can’t describe how your combo system is fun, or how your music enhances the mystery, or whatever.

Sometimes, you really do need to write down various parts of the design, as a part of communicating agreement with all involved stakeholders. Yet, as soon as you write something down, it’s just waiting for that next learning that will turn something that you wrote down obsolete and wrong. Smaller written documents, focusing on specific smaller areas, are usually a better use of time.

I believe it is a good jumping off point to collect all the pertinent information for yourself but it’s a little too plain to present to others. In that regard, I would collect some good concept art and add some basic graphic design elements. Your presentation can be the difference between getting people on board or not.