Design Docs: IC Character Specs

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I recently posted a challenge to game designers to share more of their documentation, so academia had more examples to learn from. And then I posted an Outline of Game Documentation, with some high level descriptions of different types of game design documents. Time for me to share some!

From 2012-2014 I worked on a DC Comics MOBA called Infinite Crisis. I was one of the Champion Designers: our team was responsible for designing the character abilities and overall balance. Generally, a given character would be owned by a single designer from start to finish, and over months of design iteration (which I’ll cover in another post), we’d eventually reach a state where we were confident in the design we were going to make. At that point the designer would write their first draft of the complete “Character Spec” document.

Character specs were a “source of truth”, the most authoritative place to keep track of details of a character’s gameplay and ability design. The engineers who helped us make their skills, the animators, and the VFX artists would all use these to anticipate and plan the work that they were responsible for.

These documents were only maintained up until the first implementation of a character was complete. Once the character was playable with all of it’s abilities, the actual game data became authoritative instead. These are somewhere between the “Feature Spec” and “Content Reference Spec” doc types I outlined in the outline.

Without further ado, here are the specs for most of the characters I designed for Infinite Crisis: