Building design docs is one of my favorites things I’ve gotten to do as a game designer. Design docs are written before a feature or piece of content is implemented, and is used as a blueprint for building it. They describe exactly how the designer wants a particular feature or content to function, and investigates all of the implications and background knowledge relevant to it.
For something large like a new zone, that means creating a relevant history for the area and the people groups that populate it. It also gets more granular as you create the characters the player will encounter, discuss how they’ll encounter them, and define their own private histories and personalities. It’s wonderfully creative, in a very pure way.
Most descriptions for content are accompanied by artwork that helps the reader (usually another designer, artist, or coder) understand what they’re envisioning. So I’ve been digging through a lot of art recently for a design doc I’m working on.
This particular piece of art jumped out at me during my digging. So many people draw orcs at the peak of combat, or in the slums of poverty. But this is an orc long after he’s been forced (or chosen) to stop fighting, and he’s using the kind of fancy technology denied from orcs in 99% of fantasy lore, where they’re half-mindless savages.
It’s an interesting twist on how we look at a traditional fantasy race. It made me think for a bit, and I hope it does the same for you.
Inspiration posts highlight others’ creations that I find inspiring or thought-provoking. All of their stuff is theirs… obviously. For more of Vasylina’s work, visit her DeviantArt gallery.