I am developing a game and have a clear vision of how it works, what key features it has and how it should look alike.

But when it comes to introduce the designer I feel a little bit lost. I have no graphics talent so I try to pitch it with mockups and text.

But I guess there are better ways or methods to get it on paper - how would they look like?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I remember seeing a talk by Jonathan Blow. Title is "Indie Prototyping". There were many things he shared, one of them was on communicating. He says don't just use words. If you want to convey meaning, use context, like a pointed arrow on a piece of paper with label. \$\endgroup\$
    – SanSolo
    Nov 2, 2015 at 10:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ To communicate aesthetics, you can "borrow" graphics talent. I.e. gather reference pieces that represent parts of your vision, save them, and share them. "I really want character portraits to look like a cross between this and that." etc. It takes time, but it can be extremely helpful for narrowing down what you have in mind. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 3, 2015 at 22:10

2 Answers 2


Most gaming companies create a Game Design Document (GDD). Its purpose is to contain all aspects of the game before actual development starts. It's mostly text, but it can contain rough sketches (mine have been just boxes with labels representing objects) to help give visual for how the game should play out. A GDD usually includes other parts of development, such as art style, target audience and target platform.

When my friends and I started working on a game project the first thing we did was create an elaborate GDD, and we found it a very good way to organize our thoughts through the design phase. A GDD isn't just for giant studios, it can help Indie developers too, group or single.

There are many online tutorials and examples for writing a GDD, a quick search should give you many resources to reference.

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    \$\begingroup\$ GDD is a good key word. But that means you design the first thoughts into a document and it will change alot thru development, won't it? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jurik
    Nov 11, 2015 at 7:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jurik yes. This is also a general agile vs. waterfall thing. Games change a lot, so investing tons of time up-front in a design doc doesn't make much sense. \$\endgroup\$
    – ashes999
    Nov 11, 2015 at 15:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jurik This is where play testing comes in. The first writing of the GDD isn't necessarily the end of design, it's when development starts. Quick mockups of the mechanics in the GDD are created and given to play testers for review. The GDD is revised and the process repeats until the designers are happy with how the play testers respond to the changes. Final development, then play test once more to make sure everything is corrected, make minor revisions if necessary, and release. \$\endgroup\$
    – pjrader1
    Nov 11, 2015 at 19:18

The above answer is really good, but generally look at how you want the gameplay loop to be is what I’ve been doing for a while. Making a flowchart is amazing. if you want your game to be going around slashing monsters apart until you reach the win condition, your flowchart can be like

start—>go to nearest monster—->kill—>repeat until [win condition]

you can even scale it up by drawing it into huge designs. There is a meme known as “flowchart ken” it’s funny but more importantly, it accurately describes gameplay for street fighter. You can make a flowchart for any game. Try making one for your desired game. happy creating!


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