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Home Game Design Video Tutorial: How To Make The Best Game Design Document (GDD)

Video Tutorial: How To Make The Best Game Design Document (GDD)

Published on 2013-05-03, by in Game Design, Tutorial.


Having a well written, detailed and structured Game Design Document (GDD) is important for any game project. This will help you collaborate better with your team and ultimately make better games. So now I am going to show you the way I make a GDD from the very beginning so it stays structured, quick and easy to navigate.

Whether you have never made a GDD before or make them often you will learn lots of neat tricks in my videos, that will make your GDD easier and more useful for you and your team!

“A GDD is not a piece of artwork. It’s purpose is to clearly communicate your vision to others. If you are the only one who clearly understands the GDD, it is not a GDD, it’s just a journal.” – Bud Leiser



4 Responses

  1. Do you think you could squeeze your name or website address into your video or post a few more times? I didn’t get it the first 473 times.

    Also, this seems more like a “How to use Google Docs” rather than “How to write a GDD”. I think you can assume if people are writing games, they’re capable of using word processing software already.

    • Bud

      The feedback, with sarcasm ignored, is valid. I’ll try not to mention the website/name as often. As for the google docs/word processor comment I disagree. I assume if people are “writing games” they know how to be creative and come up with mechanics and features. Therefore the Tutorial teaches structure, features, ease of use, and appearance. Which are all important design elements.

      Cheers Capt!

  2. Mitchell Byrd

    Sorry if I missed this but when writing a GDD do you ever use the 2nd person instead of saying ‘player?’

    • Bud

      That’s a great question Mitchell.

      For those who don’t know:
      Writing in the second person requires use of the pronouns you, your, and yours. This point of view is used to address the audience in technical writing, advertising, songs and speeches. It is different from the first person, which uses pronouns including I and me, and different from the third person, which uses pronouns such as he and she.

      I don’t disapprove of this approach. It can be useful/powerful in the right context with the right readership. For example in a pitch document, where you want more impact on relating to the actual investors themselves.

      I guess for me it’s mostly habit to say “user” or “player” and I think it keeps things very clear. Especially when someone on the team doesn’t have English as a 1st language. If they keep reading “you, you, you” they might mistake this “you” to mean them persnally, game’s developers as a group, the game’s admin, the game’s moderator or the player. I don’t want that kind of ambiguity or confusion floating around in my document. There is so much to get lost and confused over why add more?

      Rule #1: Communication: Use whatever works best for you and your team. Whether that’s pictures, videos, skype meetings or emails. If you find writing it in the 2nd person makes it more impactful and clear; please do so and let us know.

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