Chris Taylor, the game creator most famous for developing Total Annihilation and Dungeon Siege, has released a Game design template.
Especially his closing remarks are open minded and interesting: “Change this template any way you want and if you feel you have improved on it, send it back to me and I can pass it out as an alternative to anyone that asks me in the future.”
The design documents for Narbacular Drop, created by Nuclear Monkey Software, can still be found on the website of DigiPen Institute of Technology.
The original developers showed the Narbacular Drop game to Valve, which offered to let them develop it’s successor Portal at Valve. On this website several different kind of documents about the game can be found (Docs section) as well as the finished game (Downloads section).
Game developer Lee Petty from Double Fine Productions has placed some interesting game design documents on his Scribd page:
- HeadLander Casting Document
- Brutal Legend Material Standards
- Stacking GDD
- Stacking: The Triple Decker Tank Engine Level Design
- Stacking: Stacking Zeppelin Level Design
The pitch document from Chris Sawyer for the “The Transport Game”, which later became Transport Tycoon, can be found on the official website. Also a snippet of the source code can be viewed there.
The designer Thomas Grové shares many really interesting game design documents, pitches and even visual prototypes on his personal website (scroll down to “Concept Documents” section). Files for the following games can be found there:
- Street Fighter IV: Flashback
- Tony Jaa’s Fighting Force
- Street Fighter: Power Battles
- Kung Fu Dream
- And some interesting design Tests
The Game Design Document about Pid – Peculiar Destination from Might and Delight tells about the design for the game. It’s a stealth platforming adventure game with puzzles, rendered in a lovely art style.
On his personal website the game development entrepreneur Richard Hill-Whittall uploaded many game design documents. Some of the games are released some of them were not. He shared the documents for the following games:
- Build’n Race
- Build’n Race Extreme (renamed to VTrax)
- Combat Tanks
- City Defender
- Pool Hall Pro
In a lengthy two part interview lead designer Chris Avellone and “second designer” Chris McComb talk about developing the game Planescape: Torment at Black Isle Studios. The interview can be found at RPGWatch
At the end of the second page Chris Avellone shares the original Vision Statement for this game. This document was used to Pitch the game to their management. With quotes like “don’t do what’s been done” and “re-examine your first instinct” it’s an interesting read.
A couple of years ago Mike Dailly released the design document for the original Grand Theft Auto video game (then called Race’n’Chase) on flickr.
It was planned that Race’n’Chase would be a multiplayer racing game first, but later evolved into what it is now.
On IGN there is a page dedicated to the canceled original concept for the game Monster Knight from Insomniac. The design bible can be found on the second page.