Game Design Documentation: Four Perspectives from Independent Game Studios

by Richard Colby and Rebekah Shultz Colby
Changes in technology, development philosophy, and scale have required game designers to change how they communicate and mediate design decisions. Traditional game design studios used an extensive game design document (GDD), a meta-genre that described most of the game before it was developed. Current studies suggest that this is no longer the case. We conducted interviews at four independent game studios in order to share their game design documentation processes, revealing that, while an exhaustive GDD is rare, the meta-genre functions are preserved in a variety of mediated ways.

Queering Consent: Design and Sexual Consent Messaging

by Avery C. Edenfield
For decades, sexual violence prevention and sexual consent have been a recurrent topic on college campuses and in popular media, most recently because of the success of the #MeToo movement. As a result, institutions are deeply invested in communicating consent information. This article problematizes those institutional attempts to teach consent by comparing them to an alternative grounded in queer politics. This alternative information may provide a useful path to redesigning consent information by destabilizing categories of gender, sexuality, and even consent itself.

How Developers Use API Documentation: An Observation Study

by Michael Meng, Stephanie Steinhardt, and Andreas Schubert
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) play a crucial role in modern software engineering. However, learning to use a new API often is a challenge for developers. In order to support the learning process effectively, we need to understand how developers use documentation when starting to work with a new API. We report an exploratory study that observed developers while they solved programming tasks involving a simple API. The results reveal differences regarding developer activities and documentation usage that a successful design strategy for API documentation needs to accommodate. Several guidelines to optimize API documentation are discussed.

Editorial: Michael Albers

by Michael Albers
East Carolina University
Michael Albers is a professor at East Carolina University, where he teaches in the professional writing program. In 1999, he completed his PhD in technical communication and rhetoric from Texas Tech University. Before coming to ECU, he taught for 8 years at the University of Memphis. He is a Senior Member of ACM. In addition to his work on CDQ, he was SIGDOC Secretary from 1999 – 2005 and the 2013 SIGDOC Conference Chair. He also chaired the Symposium on Communicating Complex Information from 2012 – 2018. Before earning his PhD, he worked for 10 years as a technical communicator, writing software documentation and performing interface design. His research interests include designing documentation on the communication of complex information.