What is a GDD? (+ my Free Template!)

Want to get into games but get lost in tracking your changes, jotting down your ideas, or don’t know where to start? Look no further than the GDD.

What is a game design doc?

A game design doc is a living document that details the overall vision that shows how the gameplay, story, narrative, art, audio, and UI/UX connect to create a game. Used by an individual or a team, GGDs track changes between departments and help focus ideas into features.

Lauryn Ash, personal definition, and like the GDD, always a work in progress

The Game Design Doc helps align the team to a solid vision. At some companies, it’s a confluence page; at others, it may not even exist. But for every member, a solid GGD supports and solidifies a common goal: making the game you (or you team) strive to make.

It sets goals, establishes vision, and creates conditions of satisfaction. As a solo dev, it aligns you with yourself and becomes your first “build notes,” “dev log,” or “red string through fifty post notes finally typed up into a doc.”

This version has been passed down to me from another dev who probably got it form another dev. I’ve tweaked it to be more for solo to small teams. When I did projects, it helped align me to think more “technical” when I was creative and vice versa.

Hopefully it helps you!

Free game design doc template below!


Want my template for mid to large teams? Email games@laurynash.com for more info and deets!

Photo by Stas Knop