Computer Science and Game Design
His primary research interests are in educational games, best practices in game design and development, and interdisciplinary collaboration.
He is the CEO of Fay Games, a game development studio primarily focused on games for educational impact. He previously co-founded the undergraduate game design and development program at Quinnipiac University, where he was an assistant professor of game design and development. Before beginning his academic career, Ira was a senior game designer at Electronic Arts (Pogo.com), where he led Pogo iPhone game development and released several top web games. Prior to Pogo, Ira worked at Z-Axis (Activision) on X-Men 3, at Maxis on The Sims 2, and at Walt Disney Imagineering on ToonTown Online. He is also a published board game designer.
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Through the lens of interactive fiction, students will improve their creative writing and digital game development skills by working as a member of a small, interdisciplinary team. As a prerequisite, students must have expertise in creative writing and/or game design. No programming experience is required, though some light programming will be included in the course. Students will pitch ideas for games and will work on games of their choice. To obtain instructor permission and more information, see irafay.com/classes. Students will be encouraged to develop games using Twine or other appropriate interactive fiction tools, and will ideally make their games available for free. All assets and code generated in the class will be released to the public domain. To facilitate group work, there is a reserved lab time from 10:30am - 1pm on Fridays.
In this course, students will play, analyze, and design many non-digital games to deepen their understanding of game design. We will make good use of the Hampshire Game Library! Assignments will be project-based and are intended to provide both crucial practice of skills and useful additions to a portfolio. Student interest will determine the specific games to be studied, but could include D&D miniatures, Magic: the Gathering, Star Wars: Destiny, and a large variety of strategy board and card games, etc. Frequent critiques and playtests will increase students' ability to give and receive thoughtful feedback. To facilitate the substantial game playing and analysis that will be required outside of class hours, there is a reserved lab time from 1 pm - 3:50 pm on Fridays.