Computer Games Design
Retrieval Brief: CGD3: Mapping, Mining, Pitching, Planning
This brief is to be completed during the summer break and as instructed before the
deadline date specified. In order to resume your studies next semester you must
pass this retrieval project to a satisfactory level, the highest grade possible for a
retrieval is D5. Given the maximum grade you must decide the appropriate amount of
work to undertake, as you can only pass or fail the retrieval. (You should not try to
make this you best ever project)
You must also take into account that there will be limited availability to equipment and
staff resources during the summer break, most staff will be away, equipment may be
being serviced or replaced and access to the building may be restricted. If you have
you own equipment (i.e. computers, software, cameras etc.) then you can use those,
but don't rely on resources being provided by the university.
Produce a concept document for a game of your choice. Follow the template
In One Sentence
This is your pitch. This is your most important sentence and should sum up your game in a
nutshell. Choose this sentence wisely. E.g. the pitch for the movie Alien was: Jaws on a
Short abstract. Here you write a short summary about what the game is about. Not too long,
not too detailed. Keep it short, and to the point. (max 200 words)
Who is your key-demographic. People tend to ignore this section for smaller hobby games,
but knowing your audience will help guide the design in the right direction.
Hobbyists most often make games for the Windows platform. Your choice of platform will be
dictated by budget, team size and unique features of a console. Sometimes the decision is
made by the funders and not the devs. Also state which engine is to be used.
Unique Selling Points
This section lists the reason people will play your game. You should have at a minimum 3,
preferably 5. There must be some reason people will play your game over the competition.
A game design document without a description of the core mechanics of the game is worth
little. This is where you describe how actually to play the game, and what makes it fun and
How do you play the game.
If any kind of reward system is in the game, describe it here.
Win and Lose Conditions
How do you win and how do you lose the game.
In this section of the game design document describe a sample level of the game. How to
complete it, sketches, etc. For this document provide 2 images of typical environments and
Provide 2 images of typical characters in the game, with very brief background story. No
more than 200 words.
The game story. This can be very long or very short depending on the game. If there is a
background story, make sure to add a section on that as well. In this scenario make it short.
No more than 200 words
Description of the visual style. This section of the game design document is very important
when the director is not the visual designer. Even when the same person, this section will be a
great inspiration and motivator for the rest of the team, as well as help pitch the idea to any
The section should include visual references as well as concept art of locations, sketches etc.
Provide 2 sketches or whatever seems appropriate
2 Sketches of typical game screens, including any interfaces
The game design document also needs to describe the musical style of the game. This is
usually the director who has a "vision" which the audio designer will try to realize.
Game Design Document Template
(based upon http://gamedesign.wikicomplete.info/game-design-document-template )
Remember that you will have to work within the resources available to you and can
only get a D5 grade for a retrieval brief. This should be seen as a learning
exercise, you not be penalised for inaccurate figures, but you should give
sensible estimates of costs and time scales etc. You do not need to provide
research and development folders or self evaluation grade sheets for this option, just
the completed project.