The Ten-Page Design Document Sample

This is from the appendixes of Level Up (highly recommend that you buy it).  I will be using this template for my next game design project.


Unlike the one-pager, which should be kept to one page, the ten-pager is more a set of guidelines than a strict policy.  It’s more of a “ten-pointer” than a ten-pager, but feel free to dedicate a page to a topic. What’s important is that all the broad strokes of information are included and the document is accessible and exciting to read. The foundation of this document will turn into your pitch and GDD.


Page 1: Title Page

Include a graphic if possible, a title (preferably a logo) and your contact information, target platform, target audience, target rating, and expected shipping date.


Page 2: Story and Gameplay

Page 2 should include a few short paragraphs about the story (beginning, middle, and ending … or at least a cliffhanger) mentioning the setting, the characters, and the conflict. Gameplay description should give a brief idea of the flow of the game—break it into stages or bullet points if its easier to convey info that way.


Page 3: Game Flow

How does the player grow as the challenges increase? How does this tie into the story? Briefly describe how these systems will work (experience points, money, score, collectibles) and what the player gains as they grow (new abilities, weapons, additional moves, unlockables).


Page 4: Character(s) and Controls

Who does the player control? What is his/her/its story? What can they do that is unique/special to this game? Can the player do several types of activities? (Driving, shooting, and so on.) Does the player ever change characters? What is the difference in play?

Show control mapping highlighting some of the special/unique moves to this product. Include image of SKU’s controller for reference.


Page 5: Main Gameplay Concepts and Platform Specific Features

What kind of play does the player engage in? What genres are they? (Driving, shooting, platform, and so on.) How is the sequence of play broken up? (Levels? Rounds? Story chapters?) If there are multiple minigames, list them out by name and give short descriptions. If there are specific cool gameplay scenarios, list them. USPs from the concept overview should be included and briefly detailed here. Diagrams are to illustrate game concepts.

What game features are unique and capitalize on the platform’s hardware? (Hard drive, touch screen, multiple screen, memory card, and so on.) Provide examples.


Page 6: Game World

Where does the gameplay take place? List the environments the player will visit with short descriptions. How do they tie into the story? What mood is being evoked in each world? How are they connected? (Linear or hub-style navigation?) Include a simple flow diagram of how the player would navigate the world.


Page 7: Interface

How does the player navigate the shell of the game? What mood is evoked with the interface screens? What music is used? Include a simple flow diagram of how the player will navigate the interface.


Page 8: Mechanics and Power-ups

Gameplay mechanics. What unique mechanics are in the game? How do they relate to the player’s actions? How will they be used in the environment?

Power-ups. If applicable, what kind of power-ups/collectibles can the player collect? What are the benefits of collecting them? Can they be used to buy items, abilities, and so on?


Page 9: Enemies and Bosses

Enemies. If applicable, what kind of enemies does the player face? What kind of cool attacks do they have? Describe the enemy Al. What makes them unique?

Bosses. If applicable, what kind of boss characters does the player face? What environments do they appear in? How does the player defeat them? What does the player get for defeating them?


Page 10: Cutscenes, Bonus Material, and Comps

How are the cutscenes going to be presented? When do they appear; in between levels? At the beginning and end of the game? What format have they been created in? (CG? Flash? Puppet show?)

What material will the player be able to unlock? What incentive is there for the player to play again?

What other games will be your competition upon market



Author: Jay Fisher

I'm a product guy focused on building great consumer experiences. Gathering quick feedback and building internal consensus by iteratively improving on minimally viable products. My background is in consumer products and finance, I greatly enjoy tackling the challenges involved in financial services and technical product management I love making new professional acquaintances. Reach out ( if you want to talk technology, business, product management, or agile.

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