What is this all about?

TLDR; I am a veteran Game Designer that will be your side-kick designer/consultant/teacher/supporter. I will do my best to review your in-development games, share my experience, knowledge and design tools with you, and teach you what I hoped someone had taught me when I was starting as a designer in this amazing industry.


I have spent 12 years in the design industry, I shipped more than 11 games on 7 platforms. I have been Lead Game Designer on Assassin’s Creed Origin and God’s and Monsters, Senior Game Designer on Beyond Good and Evil 2 and The Crew and UX Designer for Marvel, Just Dance, Raving Rabbits and Might & Magic to name the most significant ones (and the ones I am allowed to mention for now).

What you will find here

Well… This is something we will have to refine together! But here are some of the things I would like to give you:

  • In-development games Design review, because we have a lot to learn from each other. I will focus each article on a specific design topic that this game is tackling. I will present the game, flush out some theory on the topic, then study how this game approach it and how to improve it. Do you need a hand on your game? Ping me!
  • “Keys to…” Design topics breakdown: focusing on specific design topic, I will share with you my methodology, efficient approaches and keys to apply directly in your games. These articles are summing-up my design process, and hopefully will help you shape yours too.
  • Design tools: sometimes, the right excel, deck of questions or methodology can make all the difference. So let me share my tricks with you! They will come as a complement of a “Keys to…” article and will often follow with an exercise for us to practice together.
  • Dev-team immersion: how about a dive down inside indie teams? How do they work, organize their budget, manage their scope, support the pressure? This will take time to put in place, but something I believe would help many.
  • Game-design tests: similar to the ones I give to people applying for a design job in the industry. I will correct it, share the best answers I receive and help the ones in this community seeking a job in the industry improve and prepare for it.

There will also be one important rule: everything you ask me, and everything I produce and answer, will be public and shared with everybody here. Chances are, your problems are shared by hundreds of other teams that would learn enormously from your questions, your projects, your struggles, and our exchange!

Have you ever wondered how to build a reward system that drives players’ engagement? How to deal with players onboarding? What are the go-to rules for a robust signs-and-feedback system? How to balance your difficulty? Cross your game’s systems in a cohesive experience? Playtest your game? Well let’s try and answer all those questions, and many more, together!

Supporting GDKeys through Patreon

A fair share of the content of this site won’t be gated in any way. I do not want to create an exclusive platform, and it is perfectly fine if you are just passing by and learning a few things along the way. Should you decide to support GDKeys though, you will slowly but surely make this initiative more self-sustaining (while making me deeply grateful at the same time), and allow it to grow. And it will come with perks for you too!

  • You will get invited to our Discord Channel, where we discuss and debate design topics, games, where you will be able to interact with the devs of games studied here, etc.
  • You will also get access to the Patreon exclusive articles. My design tools, more personal articles or the ones that make sense to be discussed between us, and not with the entire world.

In short, you can see your support as a ticket to our premium community. One where we will build more personal interactions, and a direct line to ask whatever you feel like asking me or the other devs there.

It’s been years that I feel like sharing what I accumulated of knowledge this past decade making games or leading teams making them, and I can’t wait to see where this is all going to get us.

As always, pardon my French, and see you around!

Nico


PS: This is me bragging during the The Crew launch press conference at Igromir (Moscow) in 2014, I didn’t have my grey hairs, dark rings and wrinkles yet, so let’s keep this picture forever shall we?

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