CS 369: Assignment 3

Game Design Documents

Course Wiki


Game Rules and Actors

Games are defined as a set of possible interactions between a set of elements. Each element and possible interaction needs to be defined clearly to avoid ambiguity and ensure that the game is a closed, consistent, and repeatable space.

The game actors/elements should be listed out along with all of their state variables and their initial, default values.

One way to organize the game element interactions and rules is to generate a matrix with the elements listed across the top and down the left of the matrix. The matrix should list the outcome of the interaction for each possible combination, or NULL if two elements cannot possibly interact.

The information that needs to be defined includes:

GUI Elements

The user must be able to execute actions within the game. For a computer game, this means identifying the physical actions available to the user (e.g. keyboard presses or mouse clicks) and their effects on elements of the game.

The GUI element table should include an entry for every action available to the user. The entry should indicate the effect of the action in terms of which element or elements it affects and how it changes the element's state.

In addition, you need to know what information needs to be displayed for the user. In many cases, the information to be displayed is the state information of one or more elements. In some cases, the information is meta information about the game, such as the number of enemies left to destroy, or the mount of time left to play.

The information that needs to be defined includes:

Sketches and Storyboard

Each game has a visual character. Games also often have a background story or underlying concept that provides motivation for and ties into the visual character. Many types of games are story-driven, with the user discovering new pieces of the story or enacting parts of the story. Games with more than one level may change the look and feel and/or gameplay. What is the motivation for these changes and how do they look?

Both the game elements and other information must also be displayed visually or played on the speakers. You will want to create sketches or sample screens define the look and placement of the visual elements. If there are screens in between levels, or dialogs that are part of the game, these also need to be described both in terms of how they affect the game state and their visual appearance.

Games also need to give users the ability to manage the game at a meta-level, such as starting, pausing, saving, or quitting the game. Users may also need to be able to set options for the game.

The information that needs to be defined includes: