Conceptualize a Video Game
Pick a Game Idea
- Copy an existing game idea.
- Innovate on top of an existing game idea.
- Change the theme/setting of an existing game idea.
- Tell a different story of an existing game idea.
- Mix together ideas from two or more games.
- Brainstorm novel ideas.
- Brainstorm around Game Jam themes.
Write a Game Design Document
A Game Design Document (GDD) is a consolidation of text, diagrams, and art, that describes your game's design.
What are the High Level Details?
- What are the genres, goals, and features?
- What is the art and sound direction?
- What platform/s are you targeting? (Desktop, Console, Mobile, VR, AR)
- Who is the Target Audience?
- What do you want players to experience or feel?
Elaborate on the Game Design
- Rules, game systems, game mechanics, game objects.
- Game loop, progression, & rewards.
- Control schemes, interfaces, & options.
- Art direction, art style, & perspective.
- World, theme, & setting.
- Story, narrative, & lore.
Game Design Doc Tools
Game Design Doc Templates
Draw Concept Art
- Solidify the art style and list out the necessary assets, such as environments, characters, props, music, and sound effects.
- Establish a more cohesive theme and aesthetic.
- Sketch out environments, levels, characters, and game objects to get a sense of scale and art direction.
- Make Wireframes of the UI and HUD Elements.
2D Art Tools
Sketch Out Levels
- Sketch out the levels and game flow.
- Make diagrams and rough maps that show game flow and mark positions of game objects, obastacles, scenery, landmarks, etc.
2D Level Design Tools
Jot Down the Narrative Plot Points.
- Describe the setting, the game world, story, premise, lore, characters.
- Describe the basics of the lore, world building, story beats, plot, narrative, and character interactions. Storyboard scenes and cinematics of key plot points.
Narrative Writing Tools
Evaluate the Scope
Lock Down Your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Prioritize your design goals and organize your designs into the following categories:
- Musts: Essential Features and Content. The MVP.
- Shoulds: "Value-Adders". Important, but can be postponed until after MVP is finished.
- Coulds: "Nice to Haves", but are not necessary for the game.
- Won'ts: Unnecessary designs.
Can You Make this Game?
- Do you have the technnical skills to make the game? If not, where will you get them?
- How long will it take to make this game?
- Can your team execute this game idea and create a finished product in the desired production timeframe?
- How much time and money would it take to make the game?
Avoid Design Pitfalls
Avoid Perfecting Your GDD
- The GDD is a living document and should contain the most recent design of the game as it will serve as a reference during development.
- A game's design is always subject to change. You don't know if a design works until you make it. Verify your designs as quickly as possible through rapid prototyping.
Avoid Feature Creep
- Don't continuously add new features and content to the game's design over the course of development.
- Focus on achieving the game's Minimum Viable Product before adding additional content.
Full List of Design Tools
Full List of Narrative Writing Tools
Full List of Diagramming Tools
Full List of 2D Art Tools