The following pages are a template for creating a game design document or GDD. The GDD is skewed towards an action, adventure, platform, RPG, and shooter-style game. However, most of the elements listed in the template can be adapted for any style of game.
Don't feel like you have to fill in every detail of information while creating the GDD, but it is better to have areas of the design roughed out than to not have them at all. I tell the developers I work with that a "TBD" is better than nothing at all.
Remember that a GDD is a living thing: everything in it is liquid and might change due to anything from technology limitations to production time realities.
In the end, use the information in this template in the way that's best for YOU and your team. If you need to draw more pictures, then do so. If you need to break the data up into "one-pagers" then do that. (See Bonus Level 1.)
(Insert evocative cover image here)
Document version number (keep this current!)
Written by (your team name here)
Point of contact (producer or lead designer w/phone number)
Date of publishing
Footer should always have:
Copyright Company Date Page number Current date
Table of contents—remember to keep this current
Revision history—update this with publishing dates and track which author updated the material
Game goals—this includes:
Game's "high concept"
The "back of the ...