How to Write Great Design Docs

I blogged hopped while away on a family vacation over the weekend and found myself at a rather interesting game designer’s site – Damion Schubert. His site piqued my interest for a couple of reasons, one being he lives in the same city as me (Austin since he works for Bioware) but also because of a great power point presentation on exactly the title of this post.

How to Write Great Design Docs

Now I may be an IT professional / programmer with no connection to the game industry but many of his ideas ring very true even in the business world. His examples used were fun but to the point, and painted a crystal clear message of certain pitfalls to avoid when documenting the infancy of a project.

A couple of quick highlights…

– Define boundaries (slide 13)

– Feature Ambition (slide 14)

– Keep it Short (slide 25)

– Illustrate Abstractly (slide 38)

– Don’t tell others how to do their jobs (slide 41)

– Capture your reasoning (slide 44)

– Separate Code from Content (slide 47)

– Have a visual method of tracking progress (slide  63)

I love seeing how those in other fields manage projects so this was an especially cool look into the gaming industry for me.



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