Game Design Documentation Checklist

stacktips avtar

Written by:

Editorial,  7 min read,  updated on September 17, 2023

This article explains the Game Design Documentation Checklist for feature specifications, profile Specification, and audio while making a successful game. Documents includes feature specifications, profile Specification, and audio while making a successful game.

After knowing the whole of the end to end process for game development, I realized the game developer’s job is real easy compared to designer. They are the real guys, the coordinators who transforms the creative ideas to a visual prototype and then to a working piece.  Here are few of my thoughts shared which explain the checklists for a game designer’s specification document. The below points are as critical as we breathe to live

  • Remember that the documentation is also for other people
    • If anything is differently in this document than in the game, QA will bug it
    • Post Production will solve their problems based on what the Features Specification document specifies
  • Update the documents before every milestone
    • And remember to use the version control table
  • Does the document explain the cheat code
    • From QA: Consider language testers who need to see every text/stage of the game (Make sure each game step can be reached individually (for localization) and unlocking all milestones is a separate cheat, consider adding cheat menu (good example: Wind)
  • Is the unlocking structure explained in its own section?
  • Is the scoring system clear and explained?
  • Explain what is the games high score(s)
  • Explain is possible how the games score is counted
  • Is what the HUD contains explained?
  • Is the mission structure/career explained in detail in its own section?
  • Are the controls explained?
    • Use a table to explain the controls in-game and in menus
  • Use the version history table to report every change.
    • After Beta it is mandatory to report every change here! But even before, use it!
  • Do not explain same things in two places
  • Use one term for one thing throughout the document
  • Use a lot of tables and lists
  • Use an own header for game modes, locations, for unlocking, difficulty levels, mechanics, scoring, high score, ranking, power-ups,  hud, tutorial, controls, settings etc. items so they can be found easily from the document
  • Concentrate on features
    • Create a own header for each feature (one feature = one header rule)
  • If you do put actual values of variables from the game in the document, do verify their values
  • If you have screenshots (like for the HUD) use them
  • Group things: like everything concerning screens, put them in one place, everything “technical” like Settings, Controls and so. In one place
  • Do not use 5 key in the cheat code, since might be an action
  • Consult with QA what they’ll need for the cheat code
  • You can put game texts to the document, but in that case you’ll have to be updating them a lot