The Forms and Uses of Undergraduate Student Game Design Logs

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Gestwicki, Paul
Coy, Jennifer
Largent, David
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Design logs provide a way for designers to articulate their goals, track their progress, and record decisions. College students in an introductory game design course were assigned to keep design logs during a multi-week, community-engaged tabletop game design project. The research team analyzed the students’ design logs and the designer’s statements of their final projects in order to understand how students engaged with these writing practices and what impact these had on their work. The design logs varied significantly from each other and from the recommendations. The form of the logs can be described along three dimensions: multimodality, composition style, and document structure. We identified seven categories of use, only four of which came from the provided recommendations. Despite their idiosyncrasies, the logs and reflections demonstrate that students learned to follow a rigorous, iterative design process.