Video Game Design Document Example

I have completed another lesson from Pluralsight, and it has to do with the video game design document. Check out the conclusion at the bottom for the bad, good, good news!

video game design document


A Real Video Game Design Document

I created a design document when I started this project. However, I winged it as I had no experience in creating a game design document.

The mini course by Christopher Kao (Link and check home page for free trail information) looks at several pieces of software, some of them free and some of them paid. I personally just used pencil and paper when I didn’t have the required software. My drawing is not that great, so I was thankful that it was only flowchart type objects that I had to create.

I found it interesting that the course looked at what to include in your video game design document and what not to add.

They have an interesting look into game retention. I did not think that much of game retention before I started this lesson. When it comes to my game, I want to retain the interest of the player and make sure they come back tomorrow. The main talking point of game retention is to make the game fun to play and also keep the game mechanics simple and enjoyable.

Some tips on keeping the player coming back are:

  1. Show depth of gameplay by showing things are not accomplished.
  2. Make sure the gameplay is changing. You can do this by providing new content or competitions.
  3. Cool down time or creating a need for the game player to return at a predetermined point of time.
  4. Make an emotional connection with your game.

Other Design Issues

  1. List things that can make your game viral, for example, social shares.
  2. Explain your save system, what do you need to save? Levels, experience, profile information, etc.
  3. Monetization – You need to think of this and should be included in your document. It’s hard to monetize after the creation of your game. Types of monetization are Premium, Freemium or advertising.

Basic Game Design Document Example

  1. Introduction

    In this section, you should provide a basic introduction to your game. Provide between 2-5 sentences that explain the game in basic terms.

  2. Concept

    In the concept section, you will add more details to the introduction information you provided. The concept portion of your document is where the meat of your game design document is going to be. You should add all the extra information (monetization, game retention, etc.) into this portion of the document and create subheadings where needed.

  3. Features

    What are some of the features of your game? Does your game have multiple levels? Is there a randomness to your game, so in other words if you play the game a second time does it change?

  4. Target Platform

    What is the platform for your game? IOS, Android, etc. IOS and Android are the platforms for my game.

  5. Genre

    What type of genre does this game belong to? Is it an action game, adventure game or maybe a puzzle game? In my game project, I am creating a puzzle game with a slight space shooter element. My game will be classified as a puzzle game.

  6. Target Audience

    The audience is important as you should be aware of what person is going to play and enjoy your game. If you know your audience, you can tailor the game mechanics to the needs of your audience. What tends to happen if you create a game for everyone, is that very few tend to play the game. When you have a specific audience in mind, you will find that even people outside your audience will play your game.

  7. Reference games

    What other games are similar to the game you are creating?


  • The bad news is that I am behind in my six-month project.
  • The first part of good news is that I have started my game, so I am on schedule.
  • The second bit of good news is that I am 100% confident that I, and other potential game developers, can learn everything we need from the free three month PluralSight subscription.
  • I am also sure that I can catch up to the 1 hour a day of training that I originally set myself.

I am currently at thirteen and a half hours however I also have about 2 hours worth of training I have completed but am yet to write about.  If you found this video game design document useful please share using the social buttons below.