Mike Stout is a superlative designer. Not only does he have an amazing design sense that he uses to quickly identify and prioritize design issues, but he has the rare ability to break down a design problem, identify a solution, and communicate it clearly, whether verbally, on paper, or by rolling up his sleeves and just plain showing...
Simply put, Mike Stout is the best designer I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I was proud to work with him while he was at Activision, and would whole-heartedly recommend him.
Mike is quite probably the most dedicated and passionate games professional I've ever met. He has a great knowledge of games and their mechanics along with a knowledge of other entertainment media which he combines to great effect. He has an inherent sense of how to make something fun and could probably even make a game about spreadsheets into something special if you gave him a couple of days.
Mike is an inspiration as a designer. Creative, intelligent, and passionate about making games, since the first time I helped interview Mike I just wanted to stick around to hear him talk! Rarely do you run into someone as friendly, hilarious, and clever, who can take any given gameplay situation and know exactly the questions to ask, and turn a simple level into a fun and engaging experience.