The grand plan. The big idea. The soul of the game.

The ‘soul’ of a game, the game design document (GDD) is a super-detailed description of the game. As the game changes from design choices, implementation restrictions, or other situations, the GDD is often kept up-to-date with these changes.

There is no set format to a game design document, but generally includes sections on items like story, characters, interface, gameplay, art, sound, and a myriad of other possibilities. There are those who want to try and standardize the format of GDDs, but they currently can come in various forms ranging from text documents to wikis to evenĀ  Overall, GDDs help to guide development teams in the creation and organization of their games, and are often integral to the development of a game.

Jason Bakker wrote a great blog post on GamaSutra that showcases his idea of a GDD template for the indie developer, located here.

About the author

Michael is currently an Associate Game Designer at E-Line Media, working primarily on Gamestar Mechanic. He lives in New York City and loves it in the Big Apple. In his spare time Michael likes to snowboard, watch movies, play and follow sports, bang on drums, and of course pwn some n00bs.

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