Design Docs and Teaming Up

Feb 11, 2010

What You Need to Know

The next meeting is this Tuesday! Albert Chen will be presenting about design docs, and you (yes, you!) will be bringing stuff you've made.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010
7:00pm - 9:00pm
SJSU Student Union, Guadalupe Room

Facebook event details

The Rest of This Post is Boring

Design Docs

We've asked Albert Chen (we've seen him before) to give a presentation on design documents! A design doc is basically a big document that describes a game in detail before it's been made; in big companies, it's given to all the departments and they try to make a game matching it as accurately as possible. For some games, it can be hundreds of pages long, and it can be a full-time job to write and maintain one!

Making a design document first isn't the only way to make a game—some continue designing throughout the entire development process, some just implement what's fun to implement. Some use a design doc, but only as a first draft, and modify the game as they please as they're making it. Some, like Valve, just make a bunch of gamelike things, see which ones are the most fun, and try to glue them together.

A design doc is probably the best way for you to describe your game, though, for this competition! Albert will help you make yours better.

Teaming Up

This is the meeting where you should bring stuff you have made that can conceivably be shoehorned into a game! It doesn't matter how terrible or ugly or embarrassing it is, bringing stuff is better than not bringing stuff.

If you're an artist, you can bring drawings or your laptop or whatever. If you're designing a game, you can bring any game ideas or sketches or mockups you've made. If you're a musician, you can bring something with headphones or speakers.

If you haven't made anything that could conceivably be shoehorned into a game, try it! Think up a game idea and write it down, or try to draw a cool robot. Give yourself an absurd time constraint, like 5 minutes, so that when you show it to people, you can excuse how bad it is with "well I only gave myself five minutes".

The goal here isn't to find out who's good at what, it's to find out who's interested in what. If there are two people who like unicorns, and one of them is interested in design, and one of them is interested in illustration, maybe they should team up!

honestly though i think both of these are awesome