Making Design Documents!
michemagius last edited by michemagius
Hi! I've discussed that I want to make a particular game someday and that I've started to make design documents. So far that has mainly comprised of making character profiles, making concept art, and writing essays on certain aspects of the game.
I have a series of google docs that I'm keeping all this information in. This is what I've got in each google doc.
World: About 2K words and 2 images right now. I've laid out space to detail the locations, culture, government, laws, fashion, language, religion, and entertainment of the world I'm trying to develop. So far I've fully written the descriptions for language, laws, and fashion, and illustrated one location. This is the aspect of the game I know the most about but because I've been developing my ideas for about 9 years now, there's a lot to write and draw and I haven't gotten around to transcribing all of it.
Major Plot Points: This is a newer doc that I'm using to describe aspects of the story that will impact the characters significantly. It's got about 5K words and it covers the history and methods used by the main antagonists and the history and mechanics of an important religious symbol.
Plot Resources: This is a bit of a mess to be honest. It just where I jot down any ideas I have for characters or the world that don't need to be written about in depth. It includes timelines of events for some characters, lists of pets for some characters, lists of quirks or habits that some characters have, lists of characters that make up certain groups or factions, and other miscellaneous information. I also listed things that I want to research further before I work them in to the story and things of that nature. This one is only 1.5K words or so, but it's mainly just lists and stuff.
Gameplay Mechanics: This is the document that I change most often since my ideas for how the game works change pretty often. I know the 2 main gameplay styles that I want the game to employ, but other stuff like damage types and difficulty settings shift a lot. Right now I have a general overview, a summary of what I want the opening/tutorial to be, and part of the first chapter or arc done. It's about 2K words long.
Playable Characters: This is where I write profiles for each playable character. Each profile is based on a template I made that lists things like their name, nationality, religion, gameplay styles, etc, and a brief summary of their personal history. I'll obviously have to narrow it down but I've got ideas for about 15 playable characters. 7 of them have complete profiles, and 8 have concept art.
Resource Characters: This is where I plan to write profiles for every NPC. This one I don't have a lot done for. I haven't even sorted out how many NPC's I need, and I've only got like 7 NPC's named in my head so far. So, there's a lot of work to be done here. I have a template for characters here as well but with slightly different information, like what services they offer, rather than their gameplay style. I also plan to right brief summaries each NPC's personal history. So far I only have 3 profiles completed and 1 with concept art.
In terms of concept art, I've done way less than I've written. Making a colored piece just takes me a lot longer than describing something with words, but since I've got a better idea of personalities and attributes than appearances, I think it's important to start work on visualizing characters. So far I've only fully illustrated one location with another in progress. I've done concept art for 9 characters, and one location's common apparel. I've still got a lot of work to do.
The reason I'm making this blog is to record my progress throughout the year and try and keep myself on track. My hope for the year is to have concept art for every playable character, all of the plot important NPC's, all the different styles of dress for different locations/occasions, and important symbols. I want to make illustrations for all the important non-real world locations. And I want to finish profiles for every playable character and story important NPC. I want to flesh out the antagonists, the history of the protagonists as a group, and their relationship with the world. Anything else seems like too much to be realistic. In all I estimate that I'll have to do around 30 different pieces. I'm not going to commit to doing anything super detailed with character art because I don't have the time or skills for that. Right now I think I can do 5 characters or clothing designs per week. Location illustrations I can probably do one a week.
So hopefully I can get all that done this year. I'm going to post here whenever I get something done to keep myself honest. So yeah.
michemagius last edited by michemagius
So here's the first piece of concept art I've made this year. It covers the common fashion of one location in the game. I like the design of the clothing itself, but I'm not super sure about the colors. I'll think about it more over time and revisit it if I need to. I'm satisfied with how I translated the important lifestyle elements and ideals of the location in to the designs. But I'd like to do further drawings of specific articles of clothing and other stuff that impacts the way a person from that location might dress. I know that I am very bad at drawing men, so you might not even know from looking at this, but 2 of the designs are for men or masculine people. There are a lot of people from this location with lots of different lifestyles that require different styles of dress, but these 5 designs represent what you might see someone walking down the street in depending on how old they are.