Game design document format for video games with passive dynamic difficulty adjustment

Pratama Wirya Atmaja*, Daniel Oranova Siahaan, Dan Imam Kuswardayan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Video game is a type of entertainment software, and therefore the satisfaction of its players is the primary mean to measure its quality. One important element of player’s satisfaction is a proper difficulty level, which is neither too easy nor too hard. The current state-of-the-art way to implement it is with Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment (DDA), which allows the difficulty level of a video game to be adjusted at run-time. Currently, the most popular type of DDA is the passive one. Meanwhile, Game Design Document (GDD) is an important artefact in the development process of a video game software, and there is still no GDD format that supports the design of passive DDA mechanism. The aim of this research was to find a new GDD format that supports the mechanism. We modified a general purpose GDD format by adding new parts for designing passive DDA mechanism. We tested the usefulness of the modified format in a testing process involving developers and players. The developers developed video games using the modified GDD format and the general purpose one. Their development processes were observed and evaluated to know if there were any difficulties. The resulting video games were played by the players to find which are better in terms of passive DDA mechanism. The result of developer testing showed that the modified format is better than the general purpose one. The result of player testing showed that the video games made with the modified format are better than their counterparts, albeit by an insignificant margin. Based on the results, we declare that the modified GDD format is successful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-97
Number of pages12
JournalRegister: Jurnal Ilmiah Teknologi Sistem Informasi
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


  • Dynamic difficulty adjustment
  • Game design document
  • Requirement engineering
  • Software development
  • Video game


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