"A picture is worth a thousand words"

In the project I'm currently working I have the designer roll, and by designer I mean to mechanics and not art, so in the process of writing ideas such as the main features of a character or an enemy, the layout of a room or dungeon etc... I think that a quick sketch would be more clear than four paragraphs of text, but, I know nothing about drawing or sketching and I cant find anything that is not art-related.

What is the name of the technique used to illustrate this concepts?

To be more specific I looking for the technique that allow me to explain design concepts by drawing them, in the case of a character it would be something like a stickman with the key details.

Finally to not run in opinion based or to abroad issues I just want the name of the technique or a way to google it, (I'm assuming that there is not a ton different valid technics or they can be merged in a group)

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There is UML which is more focused on business software, but can also be useful for visualizing software architecture in game development. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 15:32

2 Answers 2


Generally you could search for "diagrams". As one comment suggested UML which is a framework for diagramming some business and engineering concepts, but maybe not quite suited to what you're looking for.

Reality is that there may not necessarily be a specifically named type of diagram you would want. However, there exist many diagramming tools Visio, Draw.io, Realtimeboard, etc. that can let you build diagrams however you'd like. I'd recommend just getting into one of those (draw.io is free and easy, real time board is easier to collaborate in) and just building a simple diagram however you think describes your concept best.

Some references:

Boss Keys
Mark Brown has a series of videos on the layouts of Zelda dungeons. Through the series he actually develops his own framework for diagramming the dungeons to better communicate his concepts.

Joris Dormans created a tool for diagramming and prototyping economics in games. Or any economics really, but geared for games.

Google Searches
A quick google search for "game level flow diagrams" gave me this image: https://goo.gl/images/P6QzCg

  • game level flow diagrams
  • character progression diagram
  • character stats diagram

Most of these that you find fall into a broad category of diagram types (flow diagrams, charts, etc.). So if you see one you like, it may be worth researching what type of diagram it is. Google "types of diagrams".


Maybe Game Flow Diagram ?

You can find plenty of documentation refering to this name, but here is a Gamasutra article about the subject: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/JasonBakker/20090604/84211/A_GDD_Template_for_the_Indie_Developer.php

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you sure you linked to the right article? It describes mainly how to write a text outline for a game concept. One section mentions that game flow diagrams exist and that they are good tools, but not how they actually look. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 15:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, it mentions the 'Game Flow Diagram'. If you google the term, it seems to be what is described in the question. I have not found any other term in game design documents. Here are some examples from the web: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/24/87/ed/… Other questions in gamedev.stackexchange about the same topic: gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/114559/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Trader
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 15:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ When you can find a better description of game flow diagrams, please add it to the answer. It would also add a lot of value to your answer when you would provide an own description. We usually prefer answers to stand on their own and not rely solely on links to 3rd party websites. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 16:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Will try to find a better article, and update the response. Thanks \$\endgroup\$
    – Trader
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 16:17

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