A design document never survives contact with the enemy.
Game designer roles come in all shapes and sizes. The “traditional” game designer role is the one you see at big video-game studios: Designers manage and communicate the vision for a large team, often crafting levels and features themselves, but just as often they delegate to engineers and artists. Designers at small video-game studios also have to rely on documentation to solidify what are often ephemeral design ideas taken from conversations and playtesting. Analog game designers need documentation most of all: Almost all analog games ship with written rules.
One thing is certain: A designer cannot rely solely on verbal communication. ...