I mentioned in an earlier post that the design document for the game is 74 pages, but I figured I should give a better breakdown on how it’s organized. There are five main parts in the doc, listed here:
- Project Overview – A short section which gives a high-level explanation of what the game is about. Two pages.
- Game Overview – The story, the characters, and the world are all explained in detail here. Seventeen pages.
- Gameplay – Every state the character can be in is explained at length here, as well as what states can transition/cancel into what other states. Also includes explanations on gameplay concepts such as hitstun, scaling knockback, and directional influence. Twenty-three pages.
- Character Movesets – Details the in-game “feel” each character will have, as well as descriptions for their moveset. Eighteen pages.
- Additional Notes – Ideas I’ve jotted down over the last year and a half go here. Four pages.
There are some extraneous things that fill the rest of the pages, like the title page and table of contents, but the above parts are by far the most important sections.
A quick note on the design itself. Melee is the Smash game I’ve played the most, so that’s where I draw most of my inspiration from. That said, I’m not setting out to make Melee 2.0. Many of the mechanics and character designs of Melee built on themselves in beautiful ways, so the main thing I want to take away from the game is its emphasis on movement and counterplay.
I’ve gone through and analyzed every mechanic I could in every platform fighter I could find, as well as several other games in both the platformer and fighting game genres. I want this game to be the combination of what I love about these genres, with a few of my own personal twists added in.