I made the following flowchart in draw.io. it's just a simple arcade shooter. cardboard zombie pops up, bang, or not. I don't have any official education in game production.

So, are there other chart styles, or UML diagrams that would be better suited for drafting this type of simple game play?

Simple Shooter Flowchart

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    \$\begingroup\$ The right process is whichever one works for you. If you find diagramming your gameplay like this is useful, do it. There isn't an industry standard for gameplay diagramming, though some designers have favoured styles (eg Skill Atoms or Machinations). If you have particular criteria to satisfy there might be a more specific answer, but so far this question is likely to be closed as primarily opinion-based \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 22:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DMGregory Thanks. "There isn't an industry standard" is probably the answer I am looking for. I have seen different methods for describing different types of logic, or entity relationships. This is basically just an exercise. My purpose is really to get better at describing larger games and scenarios to team members and artists who may have not been part of the initial concept and design stages. Flowcharts just seem like an easy way to describe processes. \$\endgroup\$
    – dval
    Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 0:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Side note, you have a logic issue in the graph. "Kill Zomb" should just go to the "Time Up?" node. Or maybe there's something missing in the graph. \$\endgroup\$
    – CLo
    Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 22:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nice catch, thanks. I do need to get better at it... I updated the image. So, when this does get deleted, it can be deleted with integrity. \$\endgroup\$
    – dval
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 17:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DMGregory That Machinations tool thingy is interesting. Never seen that before, I'll have to play around with it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


Flowcharts and diagrams are very often used to represent game mechanics or game-play. I would dare to say that most visual assessment of game mechanics are indeed based on some given type of flowchart or diagram.

Now, there is no specific standard on the specifics of what should be represented in such diagrams. But of course there are quite a few suggestions on how to think about game mechanics in an organized manner.

At GDC 2005, there was a presentation called "Game Design Atoms, Can Games Be Diagrammed?" that might be of interest. Later on, Stéphane Bura proposed an elaboration to that use of diagrams in representing games: http://www.stephanebura.com/diagrams/

A great article on that is also Gamasutra's "Game Design Tools for Collaboration". There you will find more on diagram-based approaches, the suggestion of using tokens, a quick summary of Daniel Cook's Game Alchemy for Skill Atoms that was already suggested in the comments, and also some mention to a more recent interesting paper called "MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research", that is surely worth reading.

Lastly, if you don't know of it yet, there is a very nice paid software that allows for integrated story-telling, preparation of game-play diagrams and so on: Articy:draft2. While it is paid, there is a trial version available. Its trailer can be seem in youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaKkHHjVPtU.


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