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Socoder -> Off Topic -> Do you make a design document?

Wed, 18 Apr 2007, 21:23
I've been wondering about this over the last 5 minutesm, and I'd really like to know. Do you make a plan or design of any future games or applications?

How in-depth does it go? Is it a general outline or a specific list of each class/type/method/function your planning to impliment?

Does it help?

And, would you be able to post any examples?

Personally, I've never really been one for plans and designs. I've always felt like I cannot really get the full and whole idea onto paper. I'd also rather just get down and start some programming. When I do however, I've always tried to make it as detailed as possible.

In one group project on one of my modules we had to make a text adventure game. We didn't make any object or class diagrams and no real writing, just a couple of pages writing what each class their should be and what it should contain and do. Although it was only around 3 to 5 pages in total, I thought it really helped. But I got the impression it more represented a list of things people had to do (as each class was assigned to each person), rather then a document to help set out how it worked or anything.
Wed, 18 Apr 2007, 21:42
i dont really plan anything,of course i havnt done anything that would need much planning. If i was to make a large project however, i would plan it out and know what i am doing before i start. but usually i just play it by ear.

Stuff... Yeah...
Wed, 18 Apr 2007, 22:00
No. I sit down and code.
Thu, 19 Apr 2007, 02:22
Wed.Workshops, Open up the editor, start typing, see what appears.

Other than those, I typically have an idea of something in my head, but very rarely do I bother to plan ahead. Planning = Getting stuck trying to work some silly little thing out. If you have no plan, and get stuck, you can ignore it and go try some other feature instead.

''Load, Next List!''
Thu, 19 Apr 2007, 04:40
I have a whiteboard that I scribble some stuff on, like flowcharts and bits of code and other ideas.

My Twitter
Thu, 19 Apr 2007, 05:59
I wanna get a whiteboard.
Thu, 19 Apr 2007, 07:46
i got a notebook and some pencils nearby, i write my ideas down only when i don't want to forget them. most of the time though i just start coding and only use paper and pencil for code when i am away from my PC so i don't forget the idea i had

i like green haired girls...
Thu, 19 Apr 2007, 09:30
If I'm working on something large then I'll make a rough plan of stuff to do. Nothing very detailed and it allways ends up changing drastically. Maybe I should start planning things better, but I don't see the sense in planning every single function. It would take ages and I don't think it would be very effective.

I'm working on quite a complex prog at the moment and I tend to plan as I go. Often when writing something there are multiple things that need doing, some cant be done until much later. To avoid forgetting these things I keep a list of things that need going back to and their location. That way I (hopefully) don't end up with bugs resulting from a load of loose ends.
Thu, 19 Apr 2007, 10:29
I once made a design document, but I realized that it was a waste of time, since I was the only person working on the project. I've never made another one, because they're not fun to make, and they're not really necessary if you're all alone.

Also, I don't have the whole game planned in the head, just like the others. I type in some code and if come up with any new ideas I add them to the game.

A white board would be useful, though.
Thu, 19 Apr 2007, 18:42
I've found, whenever I've done well enough to make the beginning of a really fun game, after I've actually written a few pages of notes, I've basically killed it. I can't work to a schedule or a plan - it stifles my creativity, regardless of the fact that most of my objectives are often very unrealistic!

blog | work | code | more code
Thu, 19 Apr 2007, 21:01
When I create games, I just code. Sometimes I write a todo list when I can't remember what needs to be done next, sometimes I don't.

At the moment I'm writing a Lisp interpreter. This started off with a massive coding session starting after dinner and going on until before breakfast. What I created was a mess, but it worked, sort of.

So now, I have to go back to it, and I'll draw up a specification for the language and for the interpreter, and then hopefully I can go back and recode most of it from scratch, going off what I've learned.

So the answer to your question is Yes, I do make a plan / design document, but it depends more on the circumstances than any kind of habit.
Thu, 19 Apr 2007, 21:06
I have a white board, its very useful for physics!

Stuff... Yeah...
Fri, 20 Apr 2007, 05:20
power mousey
sometimes I have some initial ideas or designs.
So, yeah I grab a piece of paper or some material
medium conducive to allowing the lead or ink atoms/molecules
to attach to the medium....in order to plan what to do.

Other times, an idea, an inspiration, a sensation just hits me. It whacks a bit of either wit, or wisdom, or weirdness.
Sometimes all three.
But I also have pen and paper handy...just in case.

Now, if I can do the same with my movie idea of
Spider Webs. And starring of all people... Jack Black.
Its alive and I daydream and dream about this
Spider Webs a lot. Now, if I can only contact
or somehow get in touch with the real Jack Black.
The Nacho Libre and Orange County dude.

Fri, 20 Apr 2007, 06:45
I usually just like to make up ideas as I go, as hobo said "it stifles my creativity". I usually have the basic layout of the game in my head and I just go from there.

Oh, and i think that I am going to get a white board. That sounds like a great idea. but it would have to be a big one. Like a whole wall.
Fri, 20 Apr 2007, 06:54
I tend to try and create a small design brief for each project. Not a detailed document by any means, more like an overview. I find it works for me to get ideas down on paper 1st.

One life - live it
Fri, 20 Apr 2007, 12:54
I don't tend to write design docs of any sort. I'm cursed with a terribly picky attitude - almost to an obsessive level - so usually any document I write has to be formatted and laid out very precisely. I spend more time making it look nice than actually writing the design itself... so I end up giving up and coding instead :S

Fri, 20 Apr 2007, 20:43
If you're going to get a whiteboard, why not just paint your wall with blackboard paint?
Sat, 21 Apr 2007, 04:26
power mousey

yeah yakyak!! true

but do a design document first.
Tue, 24 Apr 2007, 08:49
A design document can be good if you are an undisciplined coder who has a habit of changing his mind every 5mins or doesn't have any focus - but I don't bother with them personally.

I think I would find them too restricting like wearing blinkers - it takes away some of the excitement of coding, making it more like you are following orders (even if they are your own) rather than digging in and having fun with the code.

Personally I just get an idea of what I want to do and then see where things take me. I don't think I do so bad.