Game Design Document
This was the first piece of design documentation we created. We decided to do something a little different to what we were used to (i.e. a sizeable word document) so instead we decided to create a Google Site to hold all of our design information. By creating a website it has made it easy to navigate to different sections in comparison to a word document with a contents page.
We created separate sections for each portion of the game's design. Within some of those we have sub-pages so we can go further into detail about certain things (e.g. Player Character contains an overview of each player class, and then each class has its own page containing information relating to its description, abilities and stats). For other pages it’s just one page which contains all of the important information (e.g. Overview contains all information relating to the concept, feature set, target audience and visual style).
This document is still a living document and is nowhere near completed, however we believe that GDD’s aren’t ever fully complete until a game’s release/there are no more updates. It’s base structure of being a website means that it’s been very easy to add pages to expand what it covers.
One of the next documents we made was a Story Bible, or as we’re calling it, our Quest Log. Using this great resource as a template, this document holds all information and dialogue for each quest. The story for Rise Of The Jemhaji has 5 major plot points which we’ve defined in the GDD, and we’re using those plot points to split up the quests. We’re using this document to hold information such as dialogue trees, quest objectives and quest rewards. By writing all of this out before we put it into the game, it saves us making up quests on the fly, and we’re able to make sure that all main quests tie into each other and the main story. Writing the quests will also be able to inform our level design, as we’ll already have an idea of the number and types of nodes we definitely need within the level.
Finally, we have the all important balancing spreadsheet! Within this spreadsheet we will be balancing everything in our game, from player abilities (seen above) to the damage of different enemies. A spreadsheet like this is super important to any game’s design as it gives you easy access to important values instead of digging through piles of scripts. If we’re feeling fancy, we can also simulate combat scenarios within the spreadsheet using functions! We’ll let you know if we do this but currently that isn’t set up.
All of the documents we’ve mentioned are living documents and we sure that we’ll make many changes and updates to them as development progresses. We hope you enjoyed this 2nd devlog and learnt more about our design process - maybe you’ve learnt something you want to apply to your own project? Let us know!
In the next devlog we’ll be discussing where we’re at with the development of Rise Of The Jemhaji. In the meantime, follow our socials to stay updated!