Whats your thoughts on creating a VERY extensive GDD?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by flyinian, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. flyinian

    flyinian Member

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    "GDD" stands for "Game Design Document". It's a document that you design your game in.

    I am currently creating a fairly large GDD for a game. I think this is what I was missing when creating my other unfinished and abandoned projects. Using the GDD to organize everything, from variables to the layout of the game assets. It consumes countless hours but, if it means that the game can remain organized and I am able to keep track of nearly all aspects of the game then I think it's a good thing to perform and maintain, especially for a solo developer. I've also noticed that organization is crucial when developing a game.

    Well, that's my thoughts. Whats yours?

    Highly organized or risky organized?
     
  2. pixeltroid

    pixeltroid Member

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    I didnt even know what a GDD was until long after I started my game project. From what I gather, a GDD is very useful if youre working with a large team or if plan on pitching your game idea and having your game released by a proper publisher.

    As the one only person working on my game I dont feel the need to have a very extensive or detailed GDD. I just compile ideas and checklists in a notepad. The only useful "document" I work with is an MSpaint file showing the gameworlds map and the IDs of various objects like doors and monsters in each room. I needed to make this because it was getting difficult to keep track of things.

    This has helped me keep track of how my rooms are interconnected, and what the players path would be like.

    Edit: Maybe I should create a proper, more extensive GDD for my own reference. I'll work on it after I finish my actual project.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
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  3. flyinian

    flyinian Member

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    If you're making a relative small game and especially if you have good coding skills then I don't think GDDs aren't as crucial. however, for someone like me who is new to coding and "forgets" to keep things organized and commented, it's a thing to maintain.

    forgets = i'll come back later to organize and comment but, I never do or I forget what to organize and comment.

    GDDs would also be good for sequels....or if you haven't touched your project in a long time. I think the possibilities are endless.
     
  4. dannyjenn

    dannyjenn Member

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    I'd say that GDDs are necessary, even for solo projects. Because as you design and develop the game, you're likely going to come up with new ideas and you're also likely to want to abandon some of your older ideas. If you don't stay organized then you'll begin to forget which ideas are new, which are old, what parts of the game are finished, which parts you'll want to improve upon, etc. You also won't be able to reflect upon past mistakes as easily, since you'd have only your memory to go off of, no documentation.
     
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  5. Electros

    Electros Member

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    This sounds pretty overkill to me, particularly variables. For local and instance vars, follow good practices a naming convention you like and parenting + inheritance where suitable, and that should suffice. I'd recommend putting all global vars and enums in an initialisation object at the start of the game, and comment the purpose of them to keep organised there.

    My view on the GDD is it should contain enough to keep you on track to realise the game vision. Features etc may change as you go, but it should remain your guiding light to the end of the tunnel.

    On top of that, I always have a sketchpad with me for thoughts, task lists and to break down trickier problems. And sketching fun stuff to put in.
     
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  6. Taddio

    Taddio Member

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    I scribble a lot in a notebook. I put down sketches, games rules, mechanics, things to do, some sort of roadmap and stuff. I also use it to put down game states/unit states sketches, all kind of things.
    The notebook is a mess, in the long run, but nobody else will probably ever see them, even less have to work with it, so it's all good.
    It's just to keep me focused, I know how I am, so I'm not taking any chances:D
     
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  7. flyinian

    flyinian Member

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    I'd like to make at least one game that people can play and maybe like. The coding is a challenge and being unorganized doesn't help. So, I figured i'd see how the large game development companies organized their work among their large teams. That's when I found the GDD. SO, I adopted the practice. So far so good. The coding is still a pain.:(
     
  8. pixeltroid

    pixeltroid Member

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    Good points. I agree.
     
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  9. nlolotte

    nlolotte Member

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    I’m with pixeltroid on this one. When conveying ideas and mechanics to other people an extensive GDD is very important. I usually just open notepad, type out ideas and track bugs.

    It’s all about personal preference and what you find best to work to.
     
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  10. Siolfor the Jackal

    Siolfor the Jackal Member

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    I tried a couple times writing GDDs for a couple projects, but then I just get stuck in planning mode and constantly reword and reformat and reorganise the whole thing so much that I never actually start any development.
    Like others have said, something like that is almost mandatory in groups but I think for solo dev it's personal preference.
     
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  11. Druid_UK

    Druid_UK Member

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    Currently writing one myself, 18 pages in, barely even scratched the surface. My programmer is going to be using it a lot (when I eventually turn it over to him lol), so my intention is to make it as detailed as possible, but without naming the actual variables etc, I don't understand all that voodoo, that's down to him, but he will reference the names I use in the GDD so we know what we're talking about on Mumble etc... when actually making it.

    I wouldn't dream of trying to make a game without one tbh.
     
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  12. flyinian

    flyinian Member

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    Might be a good idea for your developer to add to the GDD. Such as the variables and other essential things so, if you lost your developer you can have a document to give to the next developer so, the transition is "better".
     
  13. Druid_UK

    Druid_UK Member

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    That's a damn good idea, i'll add blank lines to the right of all the identifiers so he can write in the selected variable names when chosen eg... ( Gang_Member_Burglary_Skill - _________________________ ). Thanks for the tip.
     

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