The Design Document

We completed a game!

What do you mean, “what are you doing next?” We’re making another game!

The first task is to start thinking about the design document. In my case, I have to refresh my memory about what goes into the design document, and then think about how to approach it.

Here are GDD (Game Design Document) guidelines from Gamasutra.

Game Design Documents

This was written in 1999, but it still has the kernel of what a game design document should do.

Here’s another Gamasutra article trumpeting that GDDs are a Thing of the Past…and then telling you how to write one:

Here’s a contemporary Wikipedia article providing more in-depth guidelines:

A post on design documents from the subreddit r/gamedesign:

Finished Game Design Document Examples? from gamedesign

Some of the above links contain example documents to study.


Brainstorming, before I jump in and over-research the topic:
Since we took so long to produce Fantabula, this new project will be very small. Like, GameJam sized.  I don’t want to break our excitement at having completed a project. This new project should add to that momentum.

Scope: I want to learn about AI and Deep Learning, and play with Amazon’s Deep Learning Tinker Toys, but that would increase the scope beyond GameJam size, so let’s not make the Music Box I have in mind just yet. A better project would be a simple art gallery.

The 2016 Gamasutra article contains a good reminder that I still haven’t bought the materials I saw the team using during GameJam last January

–note to self, *ahem* *ahem*

Done. Bought.

Here–this link might be legal in your country:


So here’s my own takeaway from writing this:

How do I turn an art gallery into a game?

I hope to answer that in my next post.


P. S. :  The subreddit r/GameDesign has a superb wiki. Thanks, all!

Keyframe Animation

Climbing Scene

The rhino model that Lareena added to the Climbing Tutor scene had a running-rhino animation. However, the rhino only ran in place, as if it were a character in a Scooby-Doo episode.

From what I could tell, animation components placed inside the model’s folder, the animation components seem to be read-only. Don’t tell me–I’ll figure out how to do animation layers and masks the right way when I study animation more in depth to prepare for the next app. Simple now, elegant later.

For right now, I puzzled out a solution, in a similar way to the puzzles in the “Breath of the Wild” game that is feeding my game addiction this week.

So here it is:

Create an empty. I named mine RhinoPath.

Click on GameObject and create a new animation. (Not Animator)

I named mine RunRunRhino.


Add an Animation component (Not animator component) to RhinoPath.

Add the animation RunRunRhino to the animation component.  I added the animation name to both blank fields.  I don’t know why it’s needed twice; I will figure that out before next project.

So right now, if I were to start keyframing, the rhino would still run in place. However, an invisible component would be racing around the lawn.

Next, then, is to make sure RhinoPath has the same Position Coordinates as Rhino. It’s dummyproofing the parenting — I know they will be in the same position.

Make Rhino a parent of RhinoPath.

Leave the Root Node checkbox on the rhino model OFF. That’s because the model is going to follow its parent, not the other way round.

Open the Animation pane to set up keyframing.

Click on “Add Properties”, Position and Rotation. We’re not going to make it get bigger and smaller, so don’t need “Scale.”

Get rough points on the Position keys first.

Estimate the points where you want the rhino to run, scrub the timeline cursor, moved the RhinoPath object, click on the Position keyframe, then click on Add Keyframe.

Hit play on the Animation timeline (NOT the Scene play) and see if it moves to the place you want it to go.





Lareena’s Amazing Credits Room

Me: “We need to credit the asset creators.”

Lareena: “Okay.”

I didn’t want to be like the company which put out the Adventure game:

I was thinking we should at least list the credits with a prominent link.

Lareena, however, has gone all-out:


Lareena’s amazing credits room for Fantabula

Dang.  Lareena did good.

Wonder if she put an Easter Egg anywhere in this rogue’s gallery.


(Colossal Cave Adventure on the Dec 10, in 1979, was my second ever computer game. First was Pong, in the lobby of the theater showing Star Wars. 1977. Lots of credits in the Star Wars movie, but none in Pong.)