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  • Writer's pictureNikola Petrov

It’s 2023, I’m Alive, and Game Design is Great

Happy New Year! It’s time to zap some life into this blog after a comically long pause. Here’s what I’ve been up to and some of the things planned for this year. Let’s go!

Wow, almost a year without a post. On one hand, this “achievement” is inexcusable and I’m not proud of it. On the other hand, the biggest reason for not posting has been the sheer volume of stuff I’ve been involved with, so at least I have something to show for my absence. So here’s what we're gonna do: you forgive me and I give you more blogs this year. Deal!

Nikola R. Petrov game design blog Micro Medusa
One of the few pictures of me from last year. I took it after receiving my copy of Micro Medusa!

First of All… Who Am I?

A friend of mine who read my blog pointed out I never introduced myself, so… oops? Let’s remedy that in hopes that new visitors to my little site know who I am and what I do.

I am a full-time game designer and writer. I work on video, board-, and card games and I like to overanalyze what goes into them. This site’s purpose is to showcase my personal work and host blog posts such as this one, where I share thoughts and experiences about crafting games. I strive for the “all-killer-no-filler” approach, meaning I only post when I have something to contribute to my fellow designers.

I spend my days over at Snapshot Games working with renowned video game designer Jullian Gollop, who’s one of the most intelligent, capable, and contagiously calm people I know. I work as a game designer over there, which is a multifaceted position—I get to work with fellow game designers, concept and 3D artists, animators, programmers, and sound designers on a daily basis.

My day-to-day runs the gamut from boring things like spreadsheets and documentation (which is super important!) all the way to whacky things such as writing voice lines for our characters to shout mid-battle.

Outside of Snapshot, I work on personal projects and try to be very active in the board game space where I help people with my skills. This blog is one such example!

Nikola R. Petrov Game Designer Sofia Board Game Weekend
A photo from our "Video Games vs. Board Games" talk at SBGW

Did I Live Under A Rock For The Entirety Of 2022?

Well, yes and no! Though I stayed home much more than I wanted to, I began slowly reconnecting with people in real life and even attending events and stuff! Wowzers!

In actuality, I've been hard at work helping fellow creators, and I am very pleased with the results! Here’s a short list of a whole bunch of stuff I’ve been involved with:

  • Most of my creative energy naturally goes into Snapshot games. A sad reality of video game development is that projects take multiple years to complete and we are never allowed to share what we work on prior to its announcement, so you’ll just have to take my word that we are building something pretty cool over there!

  • I landed a publishing deal! My card game And That’s How I Died (formerly known as Boasting Barbarians) was signed to the amazing US-based publisher Mind Inventions. So far, they’ve been publishing a successful line of kids’ products and this is their entry into the “gamer” space. They’ve been amazing to work with and I’m happy to report that the game is close to complete! More on that later!

  • Another Mind Inventions product, a light card game called Kingdom Battle is now finished. I helped their team with playtesting, consulting, and development work and I think the end result is a cute little kids' game!

  • Black Mold, a truly analog game where you have to physically hold your breath to avoid becoming a murderous fungus monster, was successfully funded on Kickstarter. I was involved on the rulebook side of things and it’s safe to say this is one of the coolest things I’ve worked on!

  • More recently I got to help out with some finishing touches on the massively successful Kickstarter game The Flood!

  • I’ve written and illustrated a pamphlet adventure for MÖRK BORG and my players loved it! More on that later!

  • I’ve developed (an expensive) passion for the OSR movement and I think about it a lot. I don’t promise my obsession won’t find its way into this blog!

  • I’ve participated in a few local events. The highlight was definitely the massive Sofia Board Game Weekend where I did a talk and had the honor to be a judge in their game design competition.

See, I told you I have an excuse for not posting here!

And That's How I Died card game
Finished cards from And That's How I Died!

What’s Ahead?

As you can see, I’m a practitioner of “show (your work), don't tell”, so I prefer not to make any announcements and promises. That being said, here are some announcements and promises!

  • I’m bringing this blog back to life. I’ll keep posting only when I have something to say, but I promise it will be more than once this year!

  • We’ll launch And That’s How I Died. I am proud of what we’ve done and can’t wait to show it to the world! Vikings are cool and so are skeletons, and this game is stuffed to the brim with both.

  • I’ll participate in Zine Month 2023 with a cute little project that I’m super hyped for! ZiMo is next month, so more info will follow very soon!

  • I am officially participating in Dungeon23, a super cool D&D jam. The idea is to create a mega-dungeon that’s 12 levels deep and features 365 rooms. As you can tell, this means designing one room every day for a year!

What You Should Do

Read my stuff! I mean, please. It would be nice of you. You can make a quick account and receive notifications when I post again. I won’t spam you with anything unrelated to my work!

So yeah, happy 2023. Personally, I am super excited about what’s ahead and can’t wait to build some cool things. See you SOON™!

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1 Comment

Jim Allsop
Jim Allsop
May 25, 2023

I was an avid reader of your blog and was inspired by your incredible design work. Your articles on the principles and techniques of design have provided invaluable help in improving my own skills.

I wanted to take a moment to express my appreciation for the meaningful content that you constantly provide. Your passion for design really shows through in your work, and it is obvious that you are deeply versed in the subject.

I was wondering if you would consider making a video in which you share your journey into design and demonstrate some of your creative processes. It would be interesting to see how you approach various design projects, what tools you use and what techniques you use…

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