Game Design

Game design is the process of creating and developing the rules, mechanics, and overall structure of a video game.

Games designers are redacting a Game design document (GDD) that covers every information and aspect of the game.

✍️ Do not remove entries from your game design document. Simply strikethrough them, to ensure we keep track of the changes.

Game Planning


  • Name, Genre (RPG πŸš€, FPS, ...)
  • Short description
  • Target audience: age, country, language, new players/experienced, platforms


  • What's the goal? What's the plus-value of your game?
  • Why should we play your game?
    • Is it the Hero? It is the story?
    • What feelings are you expecting the player to feel?
  • What makes the game fun to play?

⚠️ You are NOT the player. Ask for feedback a lot of times.

Game Story

  • What's the world of your game? (open-world?)
  • What's the story?
  • What's the goal of your Hero?
    • Short-term
    • Mid-term
    • Long-term
  • What are the obstacles to the goal?
    • Traps
    • Enemies
  • Can the player die? How would he get a "Game over"? Are there "save points"?
  • What kind of graphics are you planning to use? Something realist, or more something fantasist?

πŸ“š Take inspiration from other successful games.

Game Mechanics

Mechanics are the rules of your game. Basically, what the player can do, and what the player can't do.

  • Can the Hero, Jump? Walk? Run? Open a door/chest/...?
  • What are the items? (perks, loot, usage)
  • Is there a looting system? How does it work?
  • How are money, player life, time, etc. handled?
  • Is the user influencing the world? (ex: The Witcher 3)
  • What are the maps? Draw or list each map.
    • Shops
    • Houses
    • Cities
    • ...

You would also have to define the stats of the player

  • Is there HP, MP, ATK, ...?
  • Is there a notion of stamina?
  • Is there an inventory? what's its size? etc.

For instance, if you are making a zombie game, you may add a stat "infected" turning the player into a zombie if the stat reaches 100.

User Interfaces

  • What's shown on the screen?
    • Is there a mini-map?
    • Are there some skills shortcuts?
    • Is there a life/mana/stamina bar?
    • Is there an icon for the settings? the sound?
    • Are there icons for other players?
    • Is there a chat?
  • What are the screens of your game? (draw a mockup)
    • Inventory?
    • Play/Pause/Game Over/...
  • Is there an animation when switching screens? Describe...

Game Development

Technical Specifications

  • How is the user interacting with the game?
    • Full Screen with F12?
    • Settings with Escape?
    • ...
  • Does the user need a keyboard? A mouse?
  • Is a joystick supported?
  • How can the user become strong? (combos/...)
  • What kind of play style should be encouraged? discouraged?
    • are the mobs/monsters respawning?
    • you can prevent the user from accessing some quests/areas

In most games, we are not teaching everything at once. We slowly add tutorials as the users get by with the game.

Development Tools

  • Will you use a game engine? Which one?
  • Will you use a game template? Which ones?
  • Which coding editors will you use?


Release planning

  • Which platforms?
  • Which platforms?
  • Will we release an Alpha? A beta?
  • How can users report bugs?
  • How do we plan to organize tests?
  • Will we add credits? Where?

➑️ See also: xsolla.

Replay value

The replay value or replayability is a score of how much more content the user can discover after completing the game once.

  • Alternate/different scenario
  • New challenges (new locations/classes/difficulties/play styles)
  • Reaching 100% of completion (e.g., all quests, etc.)
  • Add Multiplayer Content
  • Add Achievements
  • ...