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Jake Montanarini

Jake Montanarini is a Lecturer and Industry Liaison for Games Art and Design at Norwich University of the Arts. As a practicing Games Designer, Jake uses games as a creative solution for specific challenges of communication, maximising their potential for storytelling, empowering players through play, and engaging audiences in complex narratives.

Jake Montanarini joined the Games Art and Design team in 2019. As a Lecturer in Games Research and the Industry Liaison for the department, Jake designs and delivers course content that connects students to important cultural contexts and embeds contemporary industry practices into the course curriculum.  

Traditionally, games are excellent vehicles for play within which learning, and communication, take place. Games are also vehicles for storytelling, connecting audiences to stories through interaction. I design games which maximise these essential components to turn contemporary research narratives into interactive stories and experiences.

I have worked with a wide range of private and public clients, including Academics, Architects, local authorities, Educators, research groups, and private parties. Recent projects include an exploration-based card game for Norwich Good Economy Commission and Norwich Council, a board game for a research group exploring optimising algorithms for relocating refugees, and an interactive experience for the development of resilience in primary school children.

As a scholar and a designer, I educate students on the fundamental elements of game design which cross both analogue and digital disciplines; working to establish connections between students’ studio practice and the intellectual fields of games studies and cultural studies.

As the industry liaison for the course, I work to update and maintain the course content and delivery so that it is in line with contemporary industry practices. Recent projects include live art tests and career experiences in partnership with Sumo Digital and Odd Bug Studio.


  • 2019 – Archetypes [card game] – research led storytelling card game.
  • 2020 – Ecopolis [board game] – research led board game.
  • 2020 – Vote of No Confidence [board game] – research led board game.
  • 2021 – P/ARC Designer Deck [card game], P/ARC – A custom made tool for innovative interaction and direction in client based design projects.
  • 2021 – “Urban/Game Design.” Presentation at the AMPS conference Urban Assemblage: The City as Architecture, Media, AI and Big Data, the University of Hertfordshire, London.
  • 2021 – The Resilience Finder [board game], Ministry of Imagination – A project designed to help educate primary school children on resilience.
  • 2021 – New Horizons Experiment [card game], Norwich Good Economy Commission and Norwich City Council – an analogue experience with integrated digital components developed in partnership with Norwich City Council and Norwich Good Economy Commission, to explore the potential for new economic models within local, under-represented communities.
  • 2022 – Space: Intergalactic Relocation Agency [board game] – a communication tool for People powered algorithms for desirable social outcomes research initiative, in partnership with Dr Buckley in the School of Computer Science, University of East Anglia.
  • 2023 – Chat Bot Game 1 (working title) [card game] – in partnership with Dr Buckley in the School of Computer Science, University of East Anglia.
  • 2023 – Chat Bot Game 2 (working title) [card game] – in partnership with Dr Buckley in the School of Computer Science, University of East Anglia.