Albert Chen of Cogswell on Design Documents


Tuesday, February 16, 2010 -

7:00pm to 9:00pm


Guadalupe Room, Student Union
San José State University

The Plan

We've asked Albert Chen (we've seen him before) to give a presentation on design documents! A design doc is basically a big document that describes a game in detail before it's been made; in big companies, it's given to all the departments and they try to make a game matching it as accurately as possible. For some games, it can be hundreds of pages long, and it can be a full-time job to write and maintain one!

Making a design document first isn't the only way to make a game—some continue designing throughout the entire development process, some just implement what's fun to implement. Some use a design doc, but only as a first draft, and modify the game as they please as they're making it. Some, like Valve, just make a bunch of gamelike things, see which ones are the most fun, and try to glue them together.

A design doc is probably the best way for you to describe your game, though, for this competition! Albert will help you make yours better.

What Actually Happened

Thanks, Albert Chen, Assistant Professor of Game Design and Development at Cogswell, alumnus of LucasArts, Factor5, EA, and 3DO, and generally awesome guy, for presenting at our club for a third time!

(He talked about design docs, you guys! So great!)

Event added by Kelsey Higham


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