The first document that a game designer creates is called a one pager. The one pager explains and sells your game’s concept to publishers and developers and puts your ideas and vision into a concise document. A one pager can be one or two pages (double spaced preferred but single spaced in lieu of a partial third page).
The one pager always begins with your game’s title. You are selling the game’s name as well as its design. The first sentence is the most important and often the hardest one to write. In one sentence you must describe your game concept. Let me repeat this rule: You must explain the entire game in ONE SENTENCE. Usually, the sentence repeats the game’s title and includes the game’s genre and a basic description or overview of the concept.
Some examples are:
Gangster is an FPS where the player is a gangster like Jesse James, Clyde Parker, or John Dillinger, and the player is placed in the gangster scenarios and must successfully complete each mission.
P-Man is an action game where you maneuver a dot-munching, animated circle through a labyrinth trying to destroy flashing bases, as six enemy squares eagerly roam the maze seeking to capture you.
Couch Potato Baseball is a 3D sports game (baseball) where the player selects his All-Star team and manages the team through a season of play to the World Series by selecting his All-Star team players, assigning each game’s line-up, selecting the pitchers, trading players, and bringing up triple A players to play.
The one pager also includes other gaming issues. You need to list your game’s features (cover the basic, standard features as well as special features that make your concept different or better than the current, competing games), the hardware and software requirements needed (required) and suggested (recommended) to properly play your game, and similar and competing games (their title, publisher, platforms like Windows, PlayStation 2, Nintendo Game Cube, or Microsoft’s Xbox, and retail price). You may also include any marketing and sales issues that will help sell your concept and get an interest in your game, like a license, anticipated audience (sex, age ranges of players), and pertinent data (sports game number of players and world-wide audience numbers). After you write the one pager to your liking, show it to avid game players and fans as well as non-players. The one pager is important and should be understandable to everyone from business people to hardcore gamers.