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One-Page Game Design Document Template

A one-page game design document template perfect for planning out jam games and smaller game development projects.

I put this template together so that I had a way of formalising the game jam games and smaller projects I had floating around my mind, not because it's strictly necessary but because it helped me conceptualise and flesh out ideas a bit better. I've found it helps to have a cheat sheet to glance at that contains all the important details of a single project without having to flick through multiple tabs or notebook pages and forcing myself to fill in all the sections makes me consider areas or details I might have overlooked. 

I figured if it's helpful for me, it might be helpful for others, especially because I hadn't found a 1-page GDD template that worked for me and my smaller projects.

The sections I felt it was important to include are:

  • Title: The current working title

  • Game Identity: A single sentence summary of the game

  • Theme: The main theme. Any sub-themes.

  • Genre: The main genre. Any sub-genres or cross-overs.

  • Key Pillars: Key emotions/ experiences you want for the player. Keep these short - single words or short phrases. Always refer back to these pillars throughout the design and development process.

  • Visual Style: How will the game look? How will the visuals make the player feel? Include inspiration/references & guidance for the artists.

  • Music & Sound Style: How will the game sound for both sound effects and the general musical soundscape? How will the audio make the player feel? Include inspiration/references & guidance for the sound designers.

  • Story: Overview of the main story beats, beginning middle and end, story progression, player character journey and development, plus other significant characters and their arc. Include world-building points, time/place, key landmarks, key exclusions or deviations from known worlds.

  • Audience: Who is this game for?

  • Platform: How will the game be accessed/played?


  • Main Aim: What is the main thing the player is trying to achieve in the game world?

  • Main mechanic to achieve aim: What is the main method/action the player must take to achieve that aim?

  • Enablers

    • Active: Actions the player takes to try to achieve the main aim.

    • Passive:  Events/objects/opportunities, things that happen, things that are found in the game that enable the player to achieve the main aim.

  • Blockers

    • Active: Anything that actively tries to stop the player achieving the main aim, e.g. hostile enemies.

    • Passive:  Obstacles that get in the way of the player's ability to achieve the main aim. Can be overcome (locked doors) or not (time limits).

  • Core Loop: What is the core, repeatable gameplay loop that is central to the entire game? Usually best to diagram this.

  • Win Condition(s): How can a player win the game?

  • Lose Condition(s): How can a player lose the game?

  • Features: A list of key and/or additional gameplay features and mechanics or other unique elements that will round out of distinguish the game.

  • Team: Who is involved in the game development team? What are their roles?

  • Personal Development Goal: The most important part of this document - What are you personally trygint to achieve through this project? Do you want to develop your art skills, explore a certain mechanic or to finally just finish and release a game?

It's completely free to download - just click the button below. The download includes a zip file containing the .pub editable file and a printable PDF version.

I'd love to hear how the template worked (or didn't work!) for you. If you have any comments or feedback that you'd like to share, please feel free to reach out to me here.

An updated version of the template has been turned into a game design notebook below:

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