Game design documents are not outdated and actually bring about lots of benefits, according to Snap Finger Click design director Joanna Haslam.
During her talk on the 'Tips and Tricks for Agile Design Documents' at Pocket Gamer Connects London 2020, Haslam detailed the methods for maintaining an effective and useful GDD that grows with the project and (in theory) works for the whole team.
Benefits shared included that GDD makes things easier to find things alongside having everything in one central location. Furthermore, the documents were said to be easier to maintain as well as better for covering all features.
Three Header Method
To best optimise the document, Haslam recommended The Three Headers Method. This consists of Heading One, which will be the chapter title and will feature an overview - such as the core gameplay.
Heading Two contains how the feature actually works while focusing on facts and avoiding heavy detail. This then concludes with Heading Three that is all about facts and details, with an emphasis on being clear and concise.
More details will be shared on Haslam's Twitter account later tonight for those interested.
We previously spoke to Haslam about her unique 11 years as a game designer.