How Scryptic was Designed and Developed
In developing Scryptic we found very few case studies on the web that detail the game design and development process. So, in the interest of helping other game developers, we have decided to make our game design documentation available. The documents here are, of course, the final versions and each went through a number of iterations before reaching this stage.
Game Pitch - It is common in the pre-production stages of a game to present a number of possible game ideas to the development team or funders. It is best if each game is formalised in a short game pitch document (maximum 1-2 pages) so that those involved have something concrete to consult.
Interaction Design - Paper prototyping involves creating a mock-up of the game out of paper and office supplies and it has the virtue of being low cost and easy to change, unlike a full software prototype. The development team used paper prototyping to explore some interface issues such as board layout and the placement of letters.
Game Design Document - The team needs to have agreement on how the game works. It is easy to make a small decision about a design aspect of the game and forget about it later in development, unless it is embodied in the game design document.
Technical Design Document - For the purposes of development it is important that the game architecture be formalised and, in particular, that the components and their interfaces be well defined. Specific implementation details like this are generally captured in a Technical Design Document.
It is worth noting that these game design documents are somewhat on the heavy side for a small development team. Many indie developers prefer a "back-of-the-napkin" approach, but we found it better to err on the side of completeness.
- James Gain: initial concept, interface, game AI, connotations, map design
- Patrick Marais: game engine, map design
- Stephen Meyer: graphics, website