The process of creating design documents can be legendarily complex and challenging, but a new book on game design aims to simplify the process in a special chapter excerpted by Gamasutra sister site GameCareerGuide.
In Morgan McGuire and Odest Chadwicke Jenkins' book Creating Games: Mechanics, Content, and Technology
, Chapter 5: The Design Document is geared at developers' first design docs and how to create them with relative ease.
The excerpt explains the following terms: Choke Point, Design Document, Issue Tracking, Player Composite, Bugs, Plot Graph, Staffing Plan, Storyboard, Tags, and Technology Plan.
"The format of the design document is essential to its use as a reference document. Each chapter addresses a specific aspect of development, such as the user interface.
The order and style of the chapters varies across companies, but any game-development project should contain most of the sections discussed in this book.
When the developer works with a publisher, the developer proposes the game with an early version of the design document and later uses the design document to present the game's evolving specifications to the publisher. Some sections of the document resemble a business plan in order to meet these needs."
Indeed, the book excerpt presents the game design document as something like a business plan, in an outline in several sections with thorough explanations of what the contents of each section should be.
You can now read the full book excerpt at GameCareerGuide
(no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).