Game Design Document 101-Midterm Prep

The game design document clearly articulates your ideas for a game. They are a standard way to share your ideas before intitiating any kind of interactive project. For this course, you are really making a mini-design documents. As stated in the syllabus, you can choose to make a game instead of making a game design document for your midterm project.

Unlike some design documents, you will not concern yourself with too much technical specification or over articulate your audience.  Your design document should follow the “Jaffe” model for this class.  Concise and to the point.  To make a film analogy, your mini design documents are treatments, not production scripts.   Please refer to the design document grading criteria for more details about expectations.

Anything you read about game design documents will emphasize the concept that they are "living documents." For this course, your documents will inform your final game "product" in the class. We create three game designs documents to allow you the freedom to experiment and investigate three different concepts with an audience. One of your game designs is likely to become a final project for this class. Please design accordingly.


Like most free markets, the web abounds with good and bad advice about articulating your designs.  There is no sure, step-by-step process for communicating this information.  There is also no single correct format. Instead, I suggest you review some of the heuristics and opinions provided by people involved in game design:

General Sites:

Game fiction Site

More examples and tips on writing are available at



Through the generosity of practicing designers, a few quality game design documents are available online.


Other Resources:

Here’s some reading and resources I gave my former students: