What is the GDD?The Game Design Document (GDD) is as it's name suggests a document containing all the necessary information about your game in development. It should be your first step to make one and note down any ideas you may have. It's ultimate goal is to help in the long run because the development time can really stretch out and things are way easier if you have a solid fundation to rely on.
A GDD can come handy in many situations. You may be part of a whole team or you may work solo but either way it's easier to convey your ideas to your teammates or to yourself later if you have written them down and whenever you come to a halt due to an unforseen gameplay or mechanics problem or a design decision then you can fall back to this document for the right direction to proceed.
What should my GDD contain?There's no set format for a GDD so you may really just write down whatever you feel is important. However there are a few general information which should be an obvious part of your document:
- target platform
- target audience
- description of gameplay
Keep in mind that a GDD is always evolving during the development process so it's alright if you won't have every little detail worked out in the very beginning. You can always expand your notes whenever you feel like it's needed but try to keep everything in an organised manner.
You shouldn't be afraid to draw images either for certain gameplay elements. This often helps to better explain the features to your teammates and it's perfectly alright if they're just stick figures for the time being.
I'm going to post a GDD for a game I have in mind and I'll definetly going to try and make in the upcoming months so stay tuned for that. I hope it will be a nice example and once I'll get to the end of my project I'll show you the final version of the GDD as well to see how much it changes during a development cycle.