Bozhidar Grozdanov – Game Design and the Art of Creating Games

Every gamer at least once had a great idea for their own game. Creating characters and worlds, zones and quests – at first glance it does not seem so difficult to create your own game, right? However, in reality this is one of the most complex roles in the development process. If we have to be precise – this is not one role, but about 4-5 different ones, which are done by separate teams. The game design is perhaps the most extensive role in the industry, which includes the overall development of a game – from the beginning of the idea to the final product. We have the concept of the game, quests, missions, history, characters, mechanics and everything else that can come to mind!

Skills and Softwares:

The skills that a game designer must have are many, but this should not shock you – there are game designers who program, and there are those who use only programs such as Powerpoint, Excel and Word in their daily work. To become a good game designer it is recommended to have the listed skills, but not necessarily, because they are all possible to learn.

To introduce you to the role of game designer from the point of view of a professional, we invited the lecturer and mentor in our online program Game Dev Fundamentals OnlineBozhidar Grozdanov (Bave) from Snapshot Games, who has many years of experience in game design and has titles of Assassin’s Creed and Phoenix Point in his portfolio. 

What is your path in the game industry?

My journey in the game industry began about 20 years ago, and I have been involved in game design since 1996. In the beginning I started with choose your own adventure books, I was more of a writer, but over time I went deeper into the process and theory of game design. After years of working as a game designer in the Bulgarian office of Ubisoft, I taught game design to my fellow rookies and other colleagues of the team. Since then, I’ve worked on over 20 titles – including games from the Assassin’s Creed series. I am currently working on Phoenix Point in Snapshot Games.

What is the essence and logic of game design?

Game design is a complex profession and many have the idea that they know what game design is, but they actually have a misconception. Game design is like a translation, in which an idea becomes a practical element. 

What software do you use at work?

Nowadays, game designers do not have a large variety of software. In general, most of us use programs that are completely free – Powerpoint, Excel, Word and all other similar versions are suitable. Unfortunately, this is something that has not changed much since the 1980s and 1990s, because everything has to be documented so that other people can go through it and read it. 

How do you become a good game designer?

Over the last 10 years, game design has changed and evolved a lot. When I started my career in the years after 2000, there weren’t many books and no courses to help you get better. The most important thing was to be able to code and implement your own ideas. Game design back then consisted mostly of making documentation and writing help files. Nowadays, there are universities that offer not only game design programs, but also programs for the whole process of developing a game. There are also many books from which one can learn. My favorites are The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses and The Design of Everyday Things.

What will the game design module contain in the online program “Game Dev Fundamentals Online”?

The focus of the online program “Game Dev Fundamentals Online” will be on the basics of game design. One of the things we will learn is how to quickly and efficiently create a design document that contains the vision of the project and that helps increase the iterations – because the more iterations the game has, the better it will become. It is much easier to change something on a piece of paper than to restart the development process of a game.

You can watch the whole interview with Bozhidar Grozdanov (Bave) in the video below, and if you are interested in the interdisciplinary role of the game designers, the online program Game Dev Fundamentals Online gives you the opportunity to meet and learn from game designers like Bozhidar Grozdanov. You still have time to apply and start your career as a game designer!