GDD
– Alan ThornDon't be the game designer writing only for themselves. That's a sorry place to be. You have important ideas worth hearing, so communicate them well or not at all
The Game Design Document (GDD) is critically important. It’s basically a written version of your game. It discusses rules, mechanics, characters, worlds, weapons and more. Designers write GDDs in advance of development to describe the game they want to make. The GDD must be proofread by team members, friends and family, investors, pets, and anybody whose opinion truly matters for turning ideas into reality- including yourself. It’s easy to get out of bed intending to write a good GDD later, but it’s actually much harder to achieve that intention. This is because writing an effective GDD is difficult. Not surprising. Expressing ideas is difficult generally. Have you identified your core concepts? Are these presented appropriately? Do you understand your audience? These are important types of questions. Thankfully, you can answer them all and lots more with our comprehensive online guide to creating Game Design Documents.

On this course, you’ll learn to…

  • Write effective Game Design Documents
  • Be a better communicator
  • Identify your aims, target audience and needs
  • Break down your design neatly into sections
  • Remove irrelevant or confused materials
  • Stay true to your mission
  • Negotiate document changes
  • Translate your ideas into text and imagery
  • Work effectively under time pressure
Coming Soon

Course Details

The Game Design Document expresses the core vision of a game. It may sound boring, but it really isn’t it. It details rules, world, characters, and other important stuff that developers must know. In larger studios, the GDD is written by Game Designers, Level Designers, or other Creative Leaders. In a really small team, the GDD is made by input from everybody. This course explores, step by step, how to create detailed and effective GDDs easily.

This course is presented by Alan Thorn, game-development expert and author, and Evy Benita Kvinlaug, illustrator and entrepreneur. Together, they examine the major stages of GDD creation by building a sample GDD from concept to completion. In the process, they detail: How to develop your ideas. How to translate your ideas into words, images and graphics that are easy to understand. How to write persuasively for your target audience. And also how to quickly identify different types of critical information.

The course is divided into three major sections. The first explores fundamental concepts that every designer needs to build any GDD successfully. The second demonstrates how to create a beautiful and effective One-Page GDD for a mobile game. And the third details advanced tips and techniques for making more extended GDDs that includes RPGs, RTS games, and multiplayer experiences.

This course is ideal for…

  • Someone starting out in their career
  • A hobbyist interested in gamedev
  • A games student skilling-up
  • An indie developer building their business
  • An aspiring Creative Director
  • A seasoned pro wanting to be better
Coming Soon

What’s Included

  • 3.5 hours of high-quality video instruction
  • Watch online on your desktop, mobile or TV
  • Lifetime access, 24/7
  • Includes course files, notes and quizzes
  • Certificate of completion award
  • No-nonsense presentation style
  • Closed captions for English
  • Support included
  • Instant access
Coming Soon

Course Contents

Our Game Design Document course has been lovingly designed and crafted for Beginner and Intermediate students. In 3.5 hours you’ll study three sections, each focussing on a unique aspect of GDDs. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to create fit-for-purpose GDDs for your own game ideas.

SECTION 1 - Fundamentals - 60 mins
  1. What is a Game Design Document?
  2. Why Make a Design Document?
  3. The Document that Nobody Reads – Be Careful
  4. Visual Communication
  5. One-Page Design Documents
  6. GDD Templates
  7. GDD Structure
SECTION 2 - Building a One-Page Document - 90 mins
  1. Downloading and Installing Krita
  2. Using Krita
  3. Creating Infographics Part 1
  4. Creating Infographics Part 2
SECTION 3 - Advanced Tips and Techniques - 60 mins
  1. Audience – User Stories and Player Profiles
  2. Platform and Technologies
  3. Scope and Deliverables
  4. Concept
  5. Mechanics and Controls
  6. Story and Context
  7. Character Profiles
  8. World and Objects
  9. Usability and Experience
  10. Monetization

What’s in the Companion Files?

  • All documents and files featured in the videos
  • Original source files ready for editing
  • Quizzes and Notes
  • Instructions and help
  • Completed project files
  • Example Game Design Documents
  • Bonus material
Coming Soon

What’s needed to take this course?

  • Windows, Mac or Linux Desktop
  • GIMP Software 2.10.12 or above
  • GIMP Paint Studio Software
  • Scribus Software
  • Willingness to learn
  • Sense of humour

*All our courses use only freely available software

Coming Soon

About Your Instructors

Alan ThornAlan Thorn is a Co-Founder of BeIndie.Biz and is its main gamedev instructor. He’s a game-development generalist with a passion for free and open-source software, especially Blender, Godot and Inkscape. Alan has worked on 33 games over the past 20 years using many different tools. He’s written 30 books and presented 30 video courses on gamedev, covering lots of subjects. This includes: Unity, Blender, GIMP, Unreal, Godot, GameMaker, C# Programming, animation and tons more. Basically, he loves making games and teaching the process! Alan is currently the Head of Games for the BAFTA-winning National Film and Television school, London. He leads their innovation-focussed post-graduate course in Games Design and Development. Alan also founded indie-studio Wax Lyrical Games in 2010, which developed the award-winning and best-selling adventure game Baron Wittard: Nemesis of Ragnarok. Alan enjoys sunshine, philosophy, good humour, mathematics and being indie! His personal site is: https://www.alanthorngames.com

Evy Benita is a Co-Founder of BeIndie.Biz and is its main art instructor. She’s a creative-generalist with a contagious passion for enamel pins, merchandising, animation and super-charged coffee! Evy founded the EvyB merchandise company where she designs and sells enamel pins, clothing products, stickers, and other fun home-made collectibles. Evy has launched many hugely successful Kickstarter projects, and worked as an artist for the gaming and entertainment industries for 3 years- using Blender, Inkscape, Photoshop, Procreate, and many more excellent tools! Be sure to check out her in-depth tutorials right here, at BeIndie.Biz. Evy created the App Game Raytale, and the cutesy-platformer Sprinkle Palooza. She loves animals, wildlife, plushies, candies and creating heartwarming artworks. Her personal site and artist blog is available at: https://www.evybenita.com

Share:
Written by Alan Thorn
Alan Thorn is a Co-Founder of BeIndie.Biz and is its main gamedev instructor. He’s a game-development generalist with a passion for free and open-source software, especially Blender, Godot and Inkscape. Alan has worked on 33 games over the past 20 years using many different tools. He’s written 30 books and presented 30 video courses on gamedev, covering lots of subjects. This includes: Unity, Blender, GIMP, Unreal, Godot, GameMaker, C# Programming, animation and tons more. Basically, he loves making games and teaching the process! Alan is currently the Head of Games for the BAFTA-winning National Film and Television school, London. He leads their innovation-focussed post-graduate course in Games Design and Development. Alan also founded indie-studio Wax Lyrical Games in 2010, which developed the award-winning and best-selling adventure game Baron Wittard: Nemesis of Ragnarok. Alan enjoys sunshine, philosophy, good humour, mathematics and being indie! His personal site is: https://www.alanthorngames.com