Some designers or aspiring designers seem to think that a thorough design document is, by itself, enough to build a game. Indeed, some companies have had designers write design documents, only to then have those designers move on to write other design documents while a separate team actually executes their design. At its best, a design document is a rough outline, more the suggestion of a game than anything else, and without being involved in a game s creation until it goes gold master, one cannot truly be considered to have designed the game. A designer who takes any pride in her work will want to be there throughout the project, ready to change the design as necessary to make it the most compelling game possible and updating the document as the design is changed and revised (and rest assured it will be continuously changed and revised). A committed game designer will want to be there to balance the weapons, the AI, the controls, and certainly the levels. She will want to make sure the game follows the focus through and that the initial vision is realized.
If a designer writes a design document and then passes it on to others to actually build, the people who do the actual creation will change the design to match their own interests and artistic drives . The design document will be a springboard for their own acts of creation, not the original designer s. The design document is an integral part of the game s creation, perhaps, but a design document is not all that is required. To claim any sort of meaningful authorship on the project, a designer needs to be involved for the duration. In a way, writing the design document is the easy part of computer game design. Actually taking the document and creating a compelling gaming experience is much, much harder.