Tiny Brains' developer 'no design doc' policy allows for more creative freedom

Tiny Brains developer Spearhead Games builds without design documents, which the studio feels allows them to focus on creating the "best game experience" at all times during development, according to a post on the PlayStation Blog from Spearhead co-founder Simon Darveau.

Spearhead Games, a studio made up of former Assassin's Creed 3 and Dead Space 3 developers, is currently working on co-op puzzler Tiny Brains for launch on PlayStation 4. Darveau wrote that the company's "no design doc" policy has allowed designers to freely develop any "cool ideas" they have for levels and puzzles as they go.

After creating it the team will play the level together and decide whether or not to incude it in the finished product. Having this flexibility during the development of Tiny Brains allowed the title to "[emerge] almost by itself."

"Being able to do this has been one of the best things about going indie, and the philosophy helps us make significant creative developments in a short amount of time," Darveau wrote. "With no design docs, we can think about how to make the best experience at all times."

At PAX East in March, Spearhead watched attendees play Tiny Brains and took note of their behavior. Darveau noted that the game is designed to force player interaction, and no one can solve the puzzles without talking to their teammates.

"Since our design flexibility lets us make updates quickly and we're committed to trying different things until we have the best game possible, we've already incorporated feedback and ideas from the surveys into our latest build," he wrote.

Check out Polygon's interview with Spearhead Games here.

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