In a new feature on Gamasutra sister site GameCareerGuide
, Spin Master Studios lead designer Tim Lang considers some of the major, easily-available tools that can be used to craft game design documents, including Google Documents, wiki software, PowerPoint, and the ubiquitous Microsoft Word.
On Microsoft's word processor, he explains, "Word is the thousand-pound gorilla of the game design document world. I'd estimate that 85-90% of all games in production right now still use Word. Why? Because it's on almost every machine. Because it's pretty easy to use. Because we all already know how to use it. It's a writing standard, and when standards get that much momentum, it's hard to change.
"So why not use it? As we all know too well, GDDs can get massive. Common sizes for a full Game Design Document can reach into the hundreds of pages. Some can even go as high as a thousand pages. Loading that big of a document takes forever! Finding what you need in it is even worse, even with Word's search function.
"Multiple people can't edit the same document at the same time. Like Wiki, you can include separate documents together into a single document, which makes things easier, but that single document is still gigantic! Word is the 1000-pound gorilla because that's how big the full GDD file is!"
To read the full feature, which includes summaries of the other solutions as well as useful lists of pros and cons for each, click here