OK, the title may be misleading!
Something Im always on the lookout for are Design Documents of existing games. There is something cool about learning straight from the masters. Unfortunately, there are very few developers who release their design documents (and for good reason!).
If you look around, you can find a few. The full documents of VAN BUREN (Fallout 3, before Bethesda) are available, which if you are building an RPG, you really cant get a better resource!
The thing with these documents, is they show everything, from, level design-power ups, weapons, enemies and where to find them, what strategies the player should use, etc.
But there are some ‘poor mans’ design documents available…
Here we have a massive collection of books that detail everything in a game, from level design, to full weapons stats. These guides go through every story point, making certain that the player gets the most ‘bang for his buck’.
Granted, these wont show the inner workings of a game…how certain stats are calculated-but they show how things work from a GAMEPLAY point of view-and as far as I’m concerned THATS what’s important in a game.
I hope this helps someone else, in the scary but awesome world of micro-development. 😀