Unit 32 - Computer Game Design
H/502/5671
LO3 - Be able to prepare game
design documentation
Learning Outcome (LO)
The learner will:
Pass
The assessment criteria are the
pass requirements for this unit.
The learner can:
Merit
For merit the evidence must
show that, in addition to the
pass criteria, the learner is
able to:
Distinction
For distinction the evidence
must show that, in addition to
the pass and merit criteria, the
learner is able to:
1
Understand the
principles of game
design
P1
Describe visual style and
elements of gameplay
used in game design with
some appropriate use of
subject terminology
M1 Describe the history
of computer gaming with
regard to different
genres of game play
D1 Critically evaluate the
use of expansion packs in
game design
2
Be able to generate
ideas for a game
concept
P2
Generate outline ideas
for a game concept
working within
appropriate conventions
M2 Generate a detailed
plan for a game concept
D2 Generate ideas for an
expansion pack for a game
concept
3
Be able to prepare
game design
documentation
P3
Prepare design
documents for a game
with some assistance
M3 Create a project plan
for the development of
the game concept
D3 Evaluate the importance
of creating a high concept
game document
4
Be able to present a
game concept to
stake holders
P4
Present a game concept
to stakeholders with
some appropriate use of
subject terminology
M4 Gain feedback from
stakeholders about a
game concept
D4 Improve a game concept
based on feedback received
from stakeholders
Scenario
Criteria
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Assessment Criteria P3
 Learners must prepare design documents for a game, with some assistance.
Learners should create a high concept games document and a game
treatment document following the guidance within the teaching content.
The actual documents will be presented as the evidence.
Assessment Criteria M3
 Learners should be evidenced through a copy of the project plan. Learners
could use project planning software; alternatively it could be paper-based.
The project plan should contain the items listed in the teaching content.
Assessment criteria D3
 Learners are required to evaluate the importance of creating a high concept
game document. This could be in the form of a video of the learner
presenting the evaluation supported by copies of documentation e.g. high
concept game document, copies of presentation slides, hand-outs etc. or as
a written report.
Scenario
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Learners should be taught how to prepare documentation
appropriate to their audience as identified in the teaching content.
The learners could be provided with examples of game
documentation or directed to freely available examples on the
Internet. They should be taught how to construct a mood board
using images, colours and concepts, how to storyboard, how to
produce conceptual art work (it may be possible to visit or gain
access to a speaker who may show how these concepts work in
real game conceptualisation). Learners could be provided with
examples of project plans and then discuss why they are used and
the importance of maintaining them in a class discussion.
Group discussions could be used to discuss the importance of
design documentation in particular the use of high concept and
game treatment documents. Learners could discuss the issues
surrounding legal and ethical implications as per the teaching
content.
Scenario
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Now that you have researched the conceptual sections of the game
and planned the graphics and plot, it is time to pitch the game to a
Publisher. For this you will need to use a Game Design Document, a
pitch document, and within this should be everything that a Publisher
needs to have to be able to decide to fund the game or sub-contract it
to a second party design studio or drop it.
This document needs to be professional, needs to have all the ideals
of the game within it from plot to programming plan and needs to
have budgets and timescales for production sorted out.
For P3 and M3 all the categories within the specification need to be
tackled, the overall document produced should be between 20 and 30
pages in total, should contain artwork and graphics and read like a
game bible.
Using the samples provided research what is expected of a game
design document. Look at the way they are laid out, how the levels of
language are built up in layers and how the game art links to the
written language.
Link A
Link B
Link C
Scenario
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The first stage of the Game Documentation booklet is to create a
guide on how the game is formed and managed.
 Instructional design – This is a guide on how you expect the game to
be controlled, how the menus will work, button presses, how the
character will move linked to the console or computer, what are the
sequences that need to be taken to get from loading to game playing,
will there be options for different game playing or level selecting.
Using the sketches created from LO2 as a guide, and incorporated
within, draw up how to play the game for the average user. Aim the
language at the intended game audience.
 Game design – For this section you will need to discuss how the game
is played, the level designs, the characters, the role and plot, how the
main characters interact with each other, how the characters
communicate, what the function of the NPC’s are and their
interaction with the main characters, what the beginning, middle and
end of the game is and how a successful conclusion can be reached.
P3.1 – Task 01 – Within your game documentation, produce a
walkthrough for the Instructional Design and Game Design.

Scenario
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 Artwork - Based on the sketches created in Lo2, you need to create a
section within your booklet outlining the concept art for the game, the
levels and the characters. These need to be created like a guide, framed and
explained that should include the storyboard of a level of play. These need
to explained in the language of your average game player audience.
 Character Bios – Create a guide that shows at least two of the characters
within the game and explain their history, their function, their abilities. This
should be read like a Bio breakdown, the character should include any extra
features that the character can develop as the game progresses.
 These will need to include the concept Artwork, Mock up screenshots and a
detailed breakdown of the characters within the game including voice, look,
movements and history.
P3.2 – Task 02 – Within your documentation, create a section that contains the
concept art, mock up screen shots and character information for your game
design.
Scenario
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 Programming – From Lo2 you will have decided how the game is going to be
created, what tools you will use, what Modelling programs, Programming tools
and animation tools. Within this section you need to justify your choices for
these to the client. If you are suing a Game Engine, you will need to explain
why that particular one using the appropriate technical language.
 Instructional data analysis – Within this section you will need to explain how
your project plan shows a realistic timescale and consideration of the project. If
it takes too long the publisher may not want to have the game made, if it costs
too much, if the figures used seem under budget and show a concern of budget
overruns, if the deadlines, milestones and contingencies are unrealistic. You
should demonstrate this through evidence of the project plan and the a
demonstration of realistic contingencies, milestones and use of resources.
 Logistics – In this section you will need to explain how you intend on making
the game in terms of staffing, production times, resources, levels of skill,
marketing and promotion and the technical details like machine format,
dimensions, add-ons, online and offline play etc.
P3.3 – Task 03 – Within your documentation, create a section that contains the
Programming creation justification, Instructional Data Analysis and Logistics of the
game format with evidence of the Project Plan.
Scenario
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 Brief description of the overall story – using the explanation from LO2 you need to
create section that outlines the overall story for your game, who is in it, what they do,
what is the ultimate goal, how do they achieve this. And when concluded explain how
this make the storyline achieved, will it be left open for a sequel, will the add-ons be
capable of extending the storyline or act as a prelude or side mission for the game.
 Analysis of competition and why this game would be better – In a separate section you
need to explain who and what the direct competition is. All games have a genre and
therefor all games have a rival, something similar, a potential sequel to something that
exists, perhaps the game that inspired your game. Then state what your catch will be,
why is yours different, what will make it better, why do people buy need when there is
GTA, why Gears when there is Halo.
 An overview of how the game will look and play – For this section describe a level, how
it looks, how the character moves, what objects do they use, what is the threat, how do
they overcome the threat. Describe the menu, the interface, the control system, the start
screen, the pause and options. And describe it in technical terms that will appeal to the
target audience.
P3.4 – Task 04 – Within your documentation, create a section that contains the Story with
justification, Competitor Analysis, and Look of the game format.
Scenario
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The High concept is a shortened version the game documentation that could be sent to the press as a release
statement, with just the best details from the Documentation that should include:
 Used as a sales tool
 Communicates rapidly and clearly the idea of the game
 Should contain a “hook” statement to attract interest
 Hook Statement – A hook statement is a by-line, something that sells the game, you need to create a
statement with a justification that will be the sounding point in your pitch to the publisher. The statement
only needs to be a sentence but will need explaining.
 Two to four pages long
 Takes about 10 minutes to read
 For this document you will need to aim the language at the publisher (or press) so it needs to be neat, in an
appropriate language and condensed. Characters and levels should be described using similarities rather than
move by move detail.
 Mention of online and offline capacity should be highlighted with specific reference to the unique value you will be
bringing to the game.
D3.1 – Task 05 – Within your documentation, create a section that contains the Story with justification, Competitor
Analysis, and Look of the game format.
D3.2 – Task 06 - Evaluate the importance of creating a high concept game document.
This could be in the form of a video of the learner presenting the evaluation supported by copies of documentation
e.g. high concept game document, copies of presentation slides, hand-outs etc. or as a written report.

What is a High Concept Document
Who is it aimed at
What should be contained within
What headings are best to use
How to present it
What can you do wrong
Scenario
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Your Game Documentation sets an example to the business, the publisher and to the audience
of your intention and professionalism. Its quality reflects the quality of the game, from the way
it is laid out, to the spelling and evidence of the project Plan.
 Spelling and grammar checking and version control within game design documentation –
Professionalism, fear of losing the document, making different versions so more than one
person can work on it, saving it consistently and keeping others informed of changes. All these
are vital for a document that can make of break the game. If a publisher rejects the game
based on the quality of the presented document, then this can have a devastating impact on
the game production.
 Identifying unique selling points, genre and audience, market research – It is important to
impress the publisher with knowledge of your USP. In all discussions this will be the pitch, why
your game is better, what is better about it, why should they invest in something that is too
similar to another game. Tetris had no end, Duke Nukem had adult content, Doom could be
modded and mapped, Zelda had a character you could care about, Kong was the skill of
repetition, Borderlands was a bazillion weapons. Every game you play has a selling point and it
is important to keep emphasising this. Similarly with genre, audience and market research,
without these you are blind, £100m later you are blind and broke.
 Creation and maintenance of a project plan including timescales, milestones and
contingencies – projects change and you need to evidence these changes as they happen,
more money, less money, overruns, moved milestones, good or bad.
M3.1 – Task 07 – Discuss the importance of maintaining the game documentation with evidence
that you have done so.
M3.2 – Task 08 – Evidence that you have kept the Project Plan up to date with evidence and
justification of changes made.
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Scenario
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Copyright – the Copyright Act is very clear, all companies are aware of this, all game
companies know their rights, what they can do, what they can get away with. You
would not be in the business if you were not aware of the issues. But there are grey
areas, similarities. If you produce a character with a blue boiler suit, Nintendo will
sue. They sued over the use of green pipes with Flappy Birds, petty though the
argument was, they were in their rights to do so. Copyright on code is worse, 1m
lines of code, a few lines here and there, who would notice. Lawyers.
 Copyright works both ways, take the ideas for your character from someone and
make it too familiar and you are in breach, but make a character and have someone
use it for their game, you are suddenly the victim. Think of the thousands of lines
of code that will need to be changed if caught.
 Use of Location – Surprisingly perhaps but Locations are also copyrighted, the story of the Manchester
church use in Resistance, Fall of Man and the church suing Sony is the classic case. Permission needs to be
given for the interior use of buildings, product placement, stats on vehicles etc. Think of the implications if
Glock decided it did not want its gun range on COD.
 Data Mining – Most games play online or can be downloaded, leaving an internet connection open and the
company access to your Avatar and previous purchases. Under the Computer Misuse Act they cannot use
this information but companies like Microsoft use previous purchases for their recommends.
P3.5 – Task 09 – Using the headings, Copyright, Computer Misuse, and Location Use, outline with newspaper
evidence arguments for and against the Legal implications of gaming.

Copyright
Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
Use of Products and Location
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Data Mining
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The positive and negative aspects of gaming is something the newspapers tend to focus on during Slow
News days. Especially the negative aspects. The two kids from Columbine played Doom before going to
school the news reported, Doom is bad, Doom is at fault. They also went 10pin Bowling.
Korean teenager dies from starvation while playing WOW the news reported, but did not mention the
other 6million users not dying from playing it or how two people in Britain died through tea cosy related
incidents in 2012. Tea did not get blamed.
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Global play – Before online play users bought the games, played the games, put the games back in
their boxes and that was that, little or no external interaction except talking to friends about it, which
armour in Skyrim they preferred or how many little soldiers they collected in FF7. Online play has been
the unique selling point since Xbox360 and PC’s before that. Breaking down country barriers, playing
against people from nations around the world, teaming up against other countries, joining a game
with a thousand users. The next generation of RTS will have ten thousand users in different teams
fighting a war against each other. It is what the gaming industry has always wanted, a captured world
audience.
WOW has 6m users at any one time. There are numerous other games, Trekkies playing Star Trek
Online, Star Wars fans playing Battlefront, RPG’s of all shapes and sizes, Lord of the Rings online for
Tolkien fans worldwide, Sims, Second Life, Poker, Bridge, there is a customer base for all games
online. And then there is COD, Fifa, Skyrim Online etc. The days of playing two player, three and four
player are fading, the chances of playing against human AI online is a greater need, breaking down
barriers, allowing players to communicate across the world, to have conversations from unknown
people, and then shoot them. It is the ultimate anonymity.
The downsides of this include government blocking. In countries where Twitter is illegal, free speech
through online play will be monitored for similar reasons. Similarly Global Play and anonymity can lead
to Trolling and Grooming, at least the press believes so. There are arguments for and against, the
biggest being that the world is not ready for the breaking down of cultural, physical and religious
barriers that the freedom of net play offers.
Scenario
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Addiction – How many hours of games does the average boy or girl play now. Is it more than television
watching, more than socialising with friends. The press has been arguing that games are addictive since the
80’s, more so now. Teenagers who starve themselves to death playing games like WOW because if they
stop, someone will overtake them, these are the kinds of stories that are used as arguments for the case.
The teenager who shot his father because his father took away his Xbox, is this addiction or just one case.
The nature of addiction is in the power of the withdrawal, adults would consider two hours or more a night
for their child as addicted but games like Football Manager take that long to get through a match. Three
hours, this is the average Skyrim, COD, WOW and Eve play. Four hours, do parents bring you food when you
play games, how long before hunger stops you from playing, do you eat while playing. Is taking a day off
sick to play a game an indication of addiction.
Psychologists argue that anything that substitutes for an every day activities is an addiction and we all know
someone who spends five or more hours a night on some game. 30% of teenagers admit to playing some
game through the night. 18% of teenagers admit getting their parents to buy them age restricted games.
27% of young males admit to getting their parents to queue at midnight for the latest game and half of
these admit to missing school the next day through some mysterious fatigue illness.
With games getting larger, longer, more in depth and more demanding of attention and time, the press
argues that this is increasing the potential for addiction but if Microsoft placed coding on the Xbox One that
limited gameplay down to three hours per game per 24 hour period or 4 hours on time per night what
would the outcry be. Can gaming be regulated to reduce down addictive tendencies and is it worthwhile
legislating on this.
Age restrictions – Another ethical argument is age restrictions and how most people do not abide by them.
Parents queue up outside supermarkets and game shops at midnight to get an age restricted game for their
children. The demands to have the newest death fest game is too much, impacting on social values and the
morality. Parents and children alike argue that games are not violent, that it is common, no different than
the violence on TV, that they know how to separate reality from gaming. Games legally have the age
restriction on the cover so they company is protected, shops cannot sell an age restricted game to a minor
so they are protected leaving it up to the parents. And when it all goes fatally wrong, parents blame the
business.
Scenario
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Loss of social aspects – Before games became a fundamental part of the home entertainment
system “kids used to go out and play in the streets, in the fresh air.” But when Google put
Pacman on their logo it was adults who lost tens of millions of working hours.
 Gaming has been blamed for the disintegration of family life, for the removal of face contact
among the young, for the de-socialisation of young people and even the desensitisation of
horrific events. There was a time when the news was banned from showing graphic violence,
dead bodies or would have to warn the viewer before a certain scene would appear. Now you
can shoot a man from a distance through a scope in any number of games and watch him
bleed to death. The papers believe the separation between computer generated violence and
actual violence is blurring with the increase in graphic reality on the screen.
 Whether this is true or not is another matter. The Jamie Bolger incident caused an outcry of this
nature, were the kids desensitised by computer games, the banning of the airport scene in COD
4 because it was too realistic, stabbing certain women in GTA. The same argument was used in
Rap Music but Johnny Cash “Shot a man in Denver, just to watch him die.”
 The second argument is that games reduce down social skills, communication, writing skills,
conversing in a world where your Avatar is more likely to form relationships than the player.
 The argument against is the “Even nerds have nerd friends.” If it was not for computer games it
would be something else, Manga, Music, Films, the argument that socialisation is something
that is in our nature and computer games are just an outlet. It has been shown in a study that
teenagers are more in contact with each other now than ever before, the lack of face contact is
just a part of that against argument.
P3.6 – Task 10 – Using the headings, Global Play, Addiction, Age Restrictions and loss of Social
Skills, outline with newspaper evidence arguments for and against the ethical implications of
gaming.

Global Play
Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
Addiction
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Age Restrictions
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Loss of Social Skills
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P3.1 – Task 01 – Within your game documentation, produce a walkthrough for the Instructional Design
and Game Design.
P3.2 – Task 02 – Within your documentation, create a section that contains the concept art, mock up
screen shots and character information for your game design.
P3.3 – Task 03 – Within your documentation, create a section that contains the Programming creation
justification, Instructional Data Analysis and Logistics of the game format with evidence of the Project
Plan.
P3.4 – Task 04 – Within your documentation, create a section that contains the Story with justification,
Competitor Analysis, and Look of the game format.
D3.1 – Task 05 – Within your documentation, create a section that contains the Story with justification,
Competitor Analysis, and Look of the game format.
D3.2 – Task 06 - Evaluate the importance of creating a high concept game document.
M3.1 – Task 07 – Discuss the importance of maintaining the game documentation with evidence that
you have done so.
M3.2 – Task 08 – Evidence that you have kept the Project Plan up to date with evidence and
justification of changes made.
P3.5 – Task 09 – Using the headings, Copyright, Computer Misuse, and Location Use, outline with
newspaper evidence arguments for and against the Legal implications of gaming.
P3.6 – Task 10 – Using the headings, Global Play, Addiction, Age Restrictions and loss of Social Skills,
outline with newspaper evidence arguments for and against the ethical implications of gaming.
Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
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Unit 09