Ira Fay

I'm an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Game Design in the School of Cognitive Science at Hampshire College. In October 2011, I founded a game studio (Fay Games), which is primarily focused on making fun games for educational impact. I previously co-founded the Game Design and Development program at Quinnipiac University, where I was an Assistant Professor of Game Design and Development. Before becoming a professor and starting my own studio, I was a Senior Game Designer at Electronic Arts, working within the Pogo division for 5 years. I designed several top web games and led Pogo's Mobile Games team, which created games for iPhone, iPad, and Android. Prior to Pogo, I worked at Activision, Disney, and Maxis. I also worked on several graduate level projects at the Entertainment Technology Center, where I earned my master's degree in 2004. I was also a co-designer for three expansions to Agricola, one of the best board games I've played.

Published Games
Food Web, an infinite runner maze game with a rainforest theme where players eat prey, avoid predators, and unlock new animals and upgrades. The game was designed for 6th grade students to help them learn about the food web and rainforest ecosystem.
In public school pilot tests July 2013 by Amplify with Fay Games
Role: Lead Game Designer and Producer. Team Size: ~6
The Tomes, a choose-your-own-adventure graphic novel game designed to help 6th grade students learn English vocabulary.
In public school pilot tests December 2012 by Amplify with Fay Games
Role: Lead Game Designer and Producer. Team Size: ~6
Unearthed, a casual game with an archaeology theme designed to help 6th grade students learn English subject-verb agreement.
In public school pilot tests December 2012 by Amplify with Fay Games
Role: Lead Game Designer and Producer. Team Size: ~6
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Ninja Slide, a puzzle game using multiple Sifteo cubes with innovative tilt, touch, and rotate interactions.
Released November 2012 by Sifteo with Fay Games
Role: Level Designer. Team Size: ~7
Pogo Games, five of the most popular Pogo games customized for iPhone and iPod touch in a single free app.
Released December 2010 by Pogo.com (EA) (free app, peak rank on App Store: #1). Released on Android April 2012
Role: Lead Game Designer and Producer. Team Size: ~30
Poppit Sprint, an original fast-paced puzzle game. Unique powerups on each level.
Released October 2010 by Pogo.com (EA) (free web game, #1 game in Pogo Games app on Facebook)
Role: Lead Game Designer and Producer. Team Size: 4
G.I. Joe: Renegades, a complex and detailed tactics game using the G.I. Joe license.
Released October 2010 by Pogo.com (EA) (free web game, top game on Hasbro's Hubworld)
Role: Lead Producer. Team Size: ~8
Battleship, the classic Hasbro game with added powerups and new game modes.
Released October 2009 by Pogo.com (EA) (free web game, top 10 game)
Role: Lead Game Designer and Producer. Team Size: 5
Lottso! Express, a bingo-plus-lottery-scratchers game.
Released April 2009 by Pogo.com (EA) (free web game, top 10 game)
Role: Lead Game Designer and Producer. Team Size: 5
Operation Mania, a time management game based on the classic Hasbro boardgame Operation.
Released August 2008 by Pogo.com (EA) (downloadable and retail for PC)
Role: Lead Producer. Team Size: ~10
Mahjong Safari, a tile matching game with a safari theme, unique match mechanic, and collectible tiles.
Released March 2008 by Pogo.com (EA) (free web game, 3.8 million lifetime unique players as of May 2009)
Role: Lead Game Designer and Producer. Team Size: 5
Word Whomp Widget, a Flash version of Pogo's popular Word Whomp game,
released on all major social networking sites, including Facebook and MySpace.
Released January 2008 by Pogo.com (EA) (free Flash game)
Role: Lead Producer. Team Size: 5
Bingo Luau, a bingo game with a prediction feature, team bonus, and extra balls.
Released July 2007 by Pogo.com (EA) (free web game, 5.8 million lifetime unique players as of May 2009)
Role: Lead Game Designer and Producer. Team Size: 5
Tumble Bees, a word game that's a mix of Tetris and Boggle.
Released February 2007 by Pogo.com (EA) (free web game)
Role: Lead Game Designer and Producer. Team Size: 5
Agricola: Gamers' Deck, a collaboratively designed expansion to the boardgame Agricola.
Released December 2010 by Z-Man Games (#3 game on boardgamegeek.com as of Feb 2013)
Role: Co-Lead Game Designer. Team Size: ~30
Agricola: World Champion Deck, a collaboratively designed expansion to the boardgame Agricola.
Released November 2011 by Z-Man Games at the Austrian Spielfest for the first Agricola World Championship.
Role: Game Designer. Team Size: ~30
Agricola: Pi-Deck, a collaboratively designed expansion to the boardgame Agricola.
Released October 2012 by Z-Man Games at Essen.
Role: Game Designer. Team Size: ~30
X-Men: The Official Game, a 3rd person action game released simultaneously with the X-Men 3 movie.
Released May 2006 by Z-Axis (owned by Activision)
Role: Associate Producer. Team Size: ~120
Jam-O-Drum, a multiplayer audio-visual gaming table for four players.
Entertainment Technology Center, Carnegie Mellon University, Spring 2004
Role: Game Designer, Producer, Programmer. Team Size: 5
The Sims 2, the second installment of the famous life management simulation game.
Maxis (EA), Fall 2003
Role: Assistant Producer (Intern). Team Size: ~150
ToonTown Online, a massively multiplayer game for kids, by Disney.
Disney VR Studios, Summer 2003
Role: Programmer (Intern). Team Size: ~25
BioHazard, a real-time 3D simulation designed to train firefighters how to respond to a chemical attack in a mall, using the Unreal Engine.
Entertainment Technology Center, Carnegie Mellon University, Spring 2003
Role: Game Designer, Producer, Programmer. Team Size: 6
Dinosaurs Alive, an interactive exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in a five-screen panoramic theater using a real-time 3D engine, video capture, and 7 networked computers.
Entertainment Technology Center, Carnegie Mellon University, Fall 2002
Role: Game Designer, Producer, Programmer, Assistant Electrician. Team Size: 5

Other Stuff

I might someday prioritize the task of organizing the links below; until then, here are some other random things that might be of interest:

I organized the first-ever Global Game Jam site in Connecticut in 2012, and I made this game. In 2013, we participated again and I made another game. In 2014, I participated at Mount Holyoke College and made Dragon Words.

I gave a talk at GDC 2014 called Spreadsheet Skills for Game Designers. A variety of supporting material is available. I also wrote an article for Game Developer magazine on Excel with some similar supporting files.

I gave a talk at PAX East in 2013 and I put together lots of supporting material. I gave a similar talk at GenCon 2013.

My business cards have puzzles on the back, so I included some hints. The hints probably won't make much sense unless you actually have my business card, though.

I made some interactive probability puzzles for my Introduction to Game Design class based on real-world game design issues I've experienced.

I submitted a boardgame to IndieCade 2013.

I've made a lot of PHP scripts for random reasons:

In 2006, I applied for (and got) a job at Pogo that turned out to be incredibly rewarding and a great career move. I had to complete a design challenge.

Here are some awesome ambigrams that my brother made.

I rated movies I watched for a couple of years in the early aughts.

I spend most of my free time playing Ultimate Frisbee, playing native american flute, and of course playing games.

Feel free to contact me.