開發者談開發環境下需要遊戲設計文檔(GDD)的4個原因

原文作者: Jasmine Greene 譯者:Megan Shieh

無論你是獨自在開發一款遊戲,還是開發團隊中的一員,手頭上一定要有的東西就是記錄遊戲設計信息的文檔。如果你曾經擔任過任何開發團隊中的一員,那麼你肯定聽到過關於“是否應該使用遊戲設計文檔(GDD)”的討論。這時你估計也會問自己同樣的問題:“我真的需要一個GDD嗎?尤其考慮到我是一個人在獨自開發遊戲。”

Unty3(from gamasutra)

Unty3(from gamasutra)

答案是肯定的,你當然需要有一個GDD。它不需要有100頁長,但是一個優秀GDD的角色往往不僅僅是遊戲開發過程中的指導方針。

(一)整理你的想法

研究表明,我們的記憶不是很可靠。你可能在洗澡的時候想出了一個很棒的主意,但是如果沒有把這個想法記下來的話,隨着時間的流逝,甚至幾周過去了,你記得的細節會越來越少。一個很好的、跟蹤這些想法的方式就是創建一個GDD文檔。

更重要的是,你可以用它來查閱遊戲中的某些特性或方面。當你與一個團隊一起工作的時候,GDD可以爲團隊中的所有成員提供對遊戲總覽以及運作方式的深入理解,使得不同部門之間的溝通更加容易,減少了理解上的混亂以及來回溝通的次數,從而節省大量的時間。

如果你是一個單獨的開發人員,GDD對你而言仍然是有用的,因爲它是一個很好的參考文件。沒有人的記憶是100%的,所以你可能會忘記一些細節。有了GDD,你就不必擔心這個問題(除非你以某種方式刪除了裏面的內容)。

(二)幫助你聚焦注意力

有些開發者的特性太多,而有些開發者則沒有足夠的特性。GDD可以同時解決掉這兩個問題。在特性太多的情況下,GDD會幫助你聚焦你的注意力,從而達到你的終極目標。你需要的所有特性都已經記錄在GDD裏了,而且你也已經把所有東西與各個系統的交互方式都列舉出來了。這時你就可以問問自己:“我想要的這個特性會爲整個遊戲提升價值嗎?”還是“它雖然有趣,但是感覺有點多餘?”。通常情況下,答案往往是後者。

一個好的GDD還可以揭示遊戲中缺少的功能和特性。比如說你在開發一款跳臺遊戲,但是裏面卻沒有跳躍機制。除非你是故意不加的,不然肯定得補充進去呀。

GDD應該作爲你的主要參照列表。參照這個列表可以給你帶來巨大的激勵和滿足感,因爲每完成一項任務,你就離開發結束又近了一步。

(三)做一個詳細的時間表

過去我會在Trello上直接制定一個開發截止日期,也不會想太多。(遊戲邦注:trello是一個方便的團隊協作工具)但是在查看了各種GDD實例模板之後,我發現它們都包含了一個細節化的時間表。然後我自己試着做了一個詳細的時間表。這時我意識到,給每個具體的任務設置截止日期會迫使我真正地思考“每一項任務需要多少時間來完成”還有“我希望遊戲在1個月、6個月、1年裏具體達到什麼程度”,它使我更加意識到從美術、到聲音、到編程的每一項獨立任務間的相互作用。

雖然不是每個人都會有同樣的感覺,但我認爲值得一試,特別是當你發現自己開始了一個遊戲項目,但是好像永遠做不完的時候。仔細查看GDD中的所有特性,從美術資產到編程,誠實地考慮每項任務需要多長時間來完成。這意味着你需要把可能會影響到開發時間的其他因素考慮進去,比如你的全職工作、家庭瑣事,等等。然後在這個基礎上再加上一些時間。舉個例子,如果你認爲某個項目需要一週的時間來完成,那麼就給自己兩到三週的時間,因爲開發的時間總是會比你想象的更長。

(四)對營銷超有幫助

如果GDD做得好,基本上就等於是公關和市場營銷的金礦。GDD包含了你遊戲中的所有獨特特性,美術概念,整體主題等。負責營銷的人員可以根據它來製作遊戲截屏、宣傳片、新聞稿,等等。而且,一個好的GDD通常都會包含一些關於目標人羣的信息,因此營銷人員就應該可以確切地知道如何創建上述營銷材料來吸引這些人的注意力。

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Whether you’re working alone or in a group, the most important thing to have on hand is documentation. Enter the game design document (GDD). If you’ve been a part of any game development group, at some point you’ll run into a discussion about whether people should use a GDD or not. At this point you might be asking yourself the same thing. Do you really need one, especially if you’re a solo developer?

The answer is YES. You should absolutely have a GDD. It doesn’t have to be 100 pages long, but a good GDD is a lot more than just guidelines for your game.

ORGANIZE YOUR IDEAS

Studies show that our memories aren’t very reliable. While this study focuses only on our recollection of events, it’s also true of our own ideas. You might have come up with an amazing idea in the shower, but as the days or even weeks go by without writing it down, the less you’ll remember. A GDD is an excellent way to keep track of your ideas on paper.

More importantly, it’s a way for you to reference certain features or aspects of your game. When you’re working with a team, a GDD provides all team members with a deep understanding of the game’s overview and how it works. This makes communicating between different departments much easier and reduces confusion and the amount of back-and-forth saving you a lot of time. If you’re a solo developer, a GDD is still useful because it serves as an excellent reference. No one’s memory is 100 percent so it’s likely  you’ll forget some details. With a GDD, you don’t have to worry about that (unless you somehow delete it).

KEEPS YOU FOCUSED

Some developers suffer from feature creep while others don’t have enough features. A GDD could solve either option. In the case of feature creep, a GDD keeps you focused on your goal. All of the features you need are already in there and you’ve already laid out how everything interacts with the various systems. You can look at the GDD and ask yourself if that feature you want will really add to the overall game or if it’s fun, but unnecessary. More often than not, it’s the latter.

A good GDD can also reveal missing features and functions in the game. Perhaps you have a platformer game but you didn’t include a jump feature. Unless that’s part of a conscious design decision, it’s definitely something you should add.

The GDD should serve as your master checklist. Checking off the various items on the list can be hugely motivational because it means you’re one step closer to finishing your game.
SETS A SCHEDULE

I used to just assign deadlines in Trello without a second thought about timing. But after looking over various sample GDD templates, I found they all include a schedule. When I tested it out, I realized setting milestones for each item forced me to really think how long a task would take and where exactly I wanted the game to be in 1 month, 6 months, a year and so on. It made me more conscious with the interaction of each separate task from art to sound to programming.

While not everyone will feel the same way, I think it’s worth a try, especially if you find yourself starting game projects but never finishing them. Really take a good look at all of the features in your GDD from the art assets to programming and honestly think how long each task would take. That means you need to factor in other things like your day job, family and other items, then give yourself even more time. If you think something will take one week, give yourself two or three weeks and so on. Development ALWAYS takes longer than you think.

GREAT FOR MARKETING

When done well, a GDD is pretty much a goldmine for PR and marketing. It contains all of the unique features of your game, concept artwork, general theme and more. From it, you or whoever handles your marketing can put together screenshots, trailers, press releases and more. And since a good GDD generally has some information on the target demographic, you or your marketer should know exactly how to create these items to make sure it catches their attention. (Source:gamasutra.com