Academics and Consulting

In addition to his game design work, one of Jay’s greatest passion lies in talking… especially about games, the game industry, and the game design process.

University of Wisconsin – Stout

Jay currently teaches at University of Wisconsin – Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin, where he also sits on the Game Design & Development degree program’s advisory panel. UW Stout is one of the top 25 video game design programs in the country, and features an MFA in Game Design & Development through its School of Art & Design, the largest in the UW system.

There he teaches a variety of courses, including introductory game design principles, 2D and 3D video game design, and design thinking foundations. In Fall 2015, he proposed and developed an entirely new course, Boardgame Production & Processes, in which his students split their time between traditional classroom and lecture learning and establishing a faux game publisher to learn hands-on about the industry and the production process.

Jay also developed and taught a special summer game design course – Design Your Future – alongside UW-Stout’s Pre-College Program for. This summer course used game design as a tool for attending high school students from across the state to learn and apply math skills in a fun and dynamic setting.

Speaking Engagements and Advising

Jay attends a number of conventions and panels throughout the year, where he is asked to share his insights and experience in game design and the design industry. He has appeared as a guest speaker or been invited as an honored attendee at dozens of conventions over the years, including GenCon (Indianapolis), DragonCon (Atlanta), GameFest (Denver), and ConnectiCon (Hartford, CT).

He has also had the opportunity to talk about game design to teachers and educators, such as the University of Minnesota School of Mathematics and the Create Something Great teaching conference in Denver, Colorado.

Jay is also an Advisory Board Council Member for The Game Academy, a non-profit organization committed to the social, emotional and academic success of learners of all ages through the use of tabletop role-playing games.

Consultation

Jay Little is available for speaking engagements and consultation, both in-person and remotely. If you are interested in having Jay speak to your organization or consult on a game project, design or development, contact him via email at jay.little@paintedthumb.com.

Some of the topics and presentations Jay provides are:

  • Game Design 101 – An Overview of the Design Process
  • What are the Odds – Game Math and Probability Aren’t That Scary
  • Social Contracts – The Unwritten Rules of Gaming and Safe Playing Environments
  • Presenting… You! – How to Prepare for a Presentation or Proposal
  • Creative Thinking – Brainstorming and Creativity Tools for the Designer
  • Good Design is Good Design – How Fundamental Design Principles Apply to Everything
  • The Power of Three – Why The Number Three is the Ultimate Design Multi-Tool
  • Game Economics – Using Games to Teach Economic Principles