Behind the Veil #26: Show me the Money!

Show Me The Money!

For the last year I have been going on and on about the importance of Game Design Documents (GDD). Things you need, things you should avoid, the proper way to make a ham sandwich, and everything in between. Don’t you think it’s about time I showed you I practice what I preach?

For this installment, I’m going to do just that. I promised you something special, and your unspecified seasonal holiday present is an actual GDD, written by yours truly, for a small Flash I made. I’ve been working on a small game in my spare time, and wanted to use my GDD for that, but I couldn’t get it under twenty pages. Flux would have murdered me.

So here is a GDD from my vault. It’s written in a very simple format I use for small projects, and is in no way proprietary, so by all means please feel free to reuse it to your heart’s content.

[INDENT]Cussing With Sarge

In the webseries Red vs Blue, Sarge is a gruff character who yells lots of profanities formed from everyday words you might hear in the kitchen. The goal of this application is to provide a sound board of Sarge cusses, free from actual profanity, for people to amuse themselves with.

This should appeal to all fans of Red vs Blue. Though the show is intended for a mature audience due to the large quantities of genuine swearing, Sarge almost never utters an expected profanity, so no age restriction needs to be placed on this application. It should appeal to people of both genders, in any age group.

This is an application best suited to Flash, which can play on any platform. No special considerations need to be taken.

There aren’t any other Red vs Blue sound boards out there not made by me, so there’s no competition. Since this application is free to the world anyway, this is hardly relevant.

A simple non-interactive preloader will be required, followed by a simple menu. The name of the application will be visible in the top-right corner, with menu options beneath it and a static image of Sarge on the left.

For the sound board, a simple point and click interface will suffice, where the user clicks on a button to cause a predetermined audio file to play. An animated Sarge figure on the left will act out the phrase, then return to a stationary position when finished. Above Sarge should be a text field to indicate what cuss will be activated by pressing the current button.

All speech audio will be taken from episodes of Red vs Blue. Sarge is voiced by Matt Hullum, and his name must appear in the credits. There will be two music files, one for the menu and one for the background of the sound board itself. These will be songs available from and modified to be loops. Trocadero and/or Nico Audy Rowland must be credited for the music. Songs to be used will be Steady Ride and Hick.

All images will be taken from episodes of Red vs Blue. Any sequence of frames in which Sarge speaks will suffice for the animated Sarge, and any frame where Sarge is isolated from the other characters will suffice for the static Sarge on the title screen. The buttons will be cropped Sarge heads that tilt when clicked on. Red vs Blue and/or Rooster Teeth Productions must be credited for the images. Some of this credit only needs to be on the webpage on which the flash is located, and not within the flash itself.


From the menu, the user will be able to view the credits or enter the sound board. From either place there will be a back button to return to the menu page. Speech audio will be louder than music audio. Since there is no actual profanity, nobody should be offended by the experience.

Since this is a simple flash application, no staff are needed.

Graphics will be copyright 2003-2005 Rooster Teeth Productions. Music will be copyright 2003-2005 Trocadero. Speech will be copyright 2003-2005 Matt Hullum and Rooster Teeth Productions. Halo is copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corporation. Since no money is being made off this, and nobody is being defamed, credit given within the application should be enough to avoid legal problems.

So there you have it, a genuine, bona-fide Game Design Document, in all its glory. The copyright information there isn’t quite accurate, but it’s far too complicated to go in to this in detail in one of these columns. Entire books have been written about copyright law on intellectual property. Setting all that aside, though, take notice of what I never mentioned:

I never made any mention of the technical side of the project, other than stating it would be in Flash. I don’t talk about code, nor do I say anything about what type of compression the audio files will use. There’s no mention anywhere about how to animate Sarge. These are all items that must be covered in the Technical Design Document. That’s the next part of this column.

For those who are curious, here is a link to Cussing With Sarge.

Disclaimer: Behind the Veil was written by Chris Marks and hosted by The opinions expressed in these columns are those of the author, and not necessarily those of

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