GDB Series: Creative Design Document

NOTE: This article targets small to medium sized F2P productions.

As with the other documents, the CDD (creative design document) is meant to provide clarity to all stakeholders involved. In this part, you will detail the look and feel of your game, the setting, the environment, the story and characters, you will set your mood board and art style, in short you will need to “paint the picture” of your title.

The Story
Your game’s story will of course not need be final, as with many documents in this stage a simple sketch will do. Trace the main plot line and pin the important points, skeleton onto which you will have plenty of time to add the meat soon after. You will also need to touch on important elements such as time and location, characters, setting and environment. Having this will help the art team figure out how will everything look like, as you will of course not want to start with having a neon theme in a dark ages setting (or maybe you do :D)

Setting and Art style
Having a story backbone your art team will now be able to sketch the game’s mood board, exploring theme, environment, color palettes and overall style. In short, the way your game will look and feel. Try defining that in the simplest of ways, narrow it down until you have the key elements defining your game’s style and then build on that.
Should it help, i had a fairly decent success rate defining the game’s style by starting with three simple words, say “Vibrant, Futuristic, Clean” or “Gloomy, Gothic, 1900”. They somehow already put me in the atmosphere and help everyone start with the same base in mind.