Reply To: Design Docs


In some ways Roberta’s documents are fairly similar to Al’s, so if you haven’t seen Al’s, you should definitely check them out. Al’s are interesting because they contain a lot of prose. Roberta’s contain a lot of description. Basically, for each room in the game, Roberta has described what will happen if you interact with any of the different objects or characters on screen. For a complex game like KQ6, for a scene such as the branching path on the Island of the Crown with Cassima’s bird, since there are a number of times you have to go into that screen and interact with the bird, each of those interactions are all described in the same section of the document, that screen. The document goes through all the screens in the game to describe what each one is, and everything that must happen in that screen. And, when you get into the later games such as Phantasmagoria, they get even more complicated, because of all the planning that has to go into designing the game in a very specific way because everything will need to be filmed and then work smoothly in-game.

I can understand Roberta not wanting to post her whole documents. I’d love a digital copy for the master archive I’ve been working on for posterity, but I do have some photocopies of small portions of Roberta’s documents. Perhaps with Roberta’s permission, I could put up a couple of pages to at least provide an example, which would be especially interesting in contrast to what Al has posted on his site, to see how different designers work.