Design documents?

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Arn Cota

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Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
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Anywhere I can get a good skeleton design document? I plan on using TADS
but I guess it does not have to be TADS specific, just IF/Adventure game
specific.

Thanks,
Arn

Michael S Gentry

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Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
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Arn Cota wrote in message ...


You mean like general tips on how to design a game? Graham Nelson wrote a
really good essay on the subject -- it's at
http://www.gnelson.demon.co.uk/craft/index.html

--M
================================================
"If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding.
How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?"

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
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Arn Cota <arn...@ipass.net> wrote in article
<ahdN1.2173$yo1.45...@news.ipass.net>...

> Anywhere I can get a good skeleton design document? I plan on
using TADS
> but I guess it does not have to be TADS specific, just
IF/Adventure game
> specific.

Are you looking for a document on how to design a text adventure?

I'd check out "Craft of An Adventure". I think it's available from
some
subpage of the Inform home page, since Graham Nelson wrote it.
But it's not Inform-specific. It's also not comprehensive, but it
is
very helpful.

--

Dyslexic email address: ten.thgirb@badanoj

David Glasser

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
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Michael S Gentry <edr...@sprynet.com> wrote:

> Arn Cota wrote in message ...


> >Anywhere I can get a good skeleton design document? I plan on using TADS
> >but I guess it does not have to be TADS specific, just IF/Adventure game
> >specific.
>

> You mean like general tips on how to design a game? Graham Nelson wrote a
> really good essay on the subject -- it's at
> http://www.gnelson.demon.co.uk/craft/index.html

Also, check out many documents in ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/info/

Some of the best include Craft.Of.Adventure.* (as you mentioned,
available in many formats); authorship-guide.{base, sup1, sup2} (an
excellent set of essays by G. Kevin "Whizzard" Wilson), and (for TADS
writers) /if-archive/programming/tads/examples/tads-tip-sheet.txt

--David Glasser
gla...@NOSPAMuscom.com | http://onramp.uscom.com/~glasser
DGlasser @ ifMUD : fovea.retina.net:4000 (webpage fovea.retina.net:4001)
Sadie Hawkins, official band of David Glasser: http://sadie.retina.net
"We take our icons very seriously in this class."

Stephen van Egmond

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
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For what it's worth, the aforementioned titles (Craft of Adventure,
Whizzard's guide) and numerous others are reference here:

http://bang.ml.org/library/

Updated "whenever I feel like it".

Hope this helps.

/Steve
--
--
,,,
(. .)
+--ooO-(_)-Ooo------------ --- -- - - - -

Arn Cota

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Sep 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/22/98
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Guess I should have been more specific. I am looking more for an outline or
model to follow for a design document. Like a template or something

Lucian Paul Smith

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Sep 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/22/98
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Arn Cota (arn...@ipass.net) wrote:
: Guess I should have been more specific. I am looking more for an outline or

: model to follow for a design document. Like a template or something

To the best of my knowledge, nobody writing IF today ever uses design
documents, or at least not a standardly-formatted one. This is,
presumably, because only one person is usually involved in all aspects of
the project, so nobody else ever needs to know, "What were you thinking
when you wrote this?"

If you're interested in design documents in general, I recommend a
dejanews search of rec.games.design; the topic has come up there several
times, with some useful responses and pointers.

-Lucian

J. Robinson Wheeler

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Sep 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/22/98
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Maybe I'm wrong, but I was getting the impression that what is being
asked for is sort of a small, generic game with rooms and objects that
provides a good starting point -- so things like Museum.z5 and Toyshop.z5
for Inform would be in order, or Ditch Day Drifter (drifter.t?) for TADS.

What I did was just grab whatever sources looked promising from the
archive and hacked them up and modified them. This is the only recourse
I can suggest.


--
J. Robinson Wheeler
whe...@jump.net http://www.jump.net/~wheeler/jrw/home.html

Gerry Kevin Wilson

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Sep 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/22/98
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In article <6u7a7n$q6o$1...@joe.rice.edu>

lps...@rice.edu (Lucian Paul Smith) wrote:

> Arn Cota (arn...@ipass.net) wrote:
> : Guess I should have been more specific. I am looking more for an outline or
> : model to follow for a design document. Like a template or something
>
> To the best of my knowledge, nobody writing IF today ever uses design
> documents, or at least not a standardly-formatted one. This is,
> presumably, because only one person is usually involved in all aspects of
> the project, so nobody else ever needs to know, "What were you thinking
> when you wrote this?"

Well, umm, actually...after OAF/Avalon, I've started using a sort of design
document, because as Avalon showed me, there may come a point when YOU
don't know what you were thinking when you wrote that. Too many times I
had to dredge up 2-year-old notebooks and such to follow up on something
I was writing. So, anyway, here's the format I'm using. Hope it helps:

---------------

Title
Month/Year

Plot:

A brief synopsis of the game's plot, from start to finish. You
don't need to be real specific yet.

Background Story:

The events leading up to the start of the game.

Technical Details:

Any unusual coding tricks you'll need to write the game.

Game Design:

A paragraph or two on the way the game will play. If the player
has to return to a central point many times, that should be noted.

Map:

A rough idea of what the map looks like.

Puzzles:

The puzzles you plan to use in the game.

NPCs:

For each NPC, a brief physical description, personality notes, and
game purpose, if any.

----
G. Kevin Wilson: Freelance Writer and Game Designer. Resumes on demand.


Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Sep 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/22/98
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Arn Cota <arn...@ipass.net> wrote in article
<k_CN1.2529$yo1.46...@news.ipass.net>...

> Guess I should have been more specific. I am looking more for an
outline or
> model to follow for a design document. Like a template or
something

IIUC, that will necessarily be language-specific, like the Inform
Designer's
Manual. I don't know what the TADS equivalent is.

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