Hello wanderer. My name is Stoyan Stoyanov – a name so generic my parents thought I deserve it twice. Destined for creativity, right? It also makes me very susceptible to being flagged as a bot on websites. (yes, that actually happened)
Hailing from the distant and untamed wild lands of Bulgaria, where marauders roam free and livestock is legal tender I’ve come to deliver unto the world my obsession with deconstructing and understanding things and run on sentences.
Game Designer by trade, my main traits are an unrelenting thirst for knowledge, an amount of hobbies that I’d need a separate page for, innate perfectionism and a flair for the dramatic.
For my portfolio visit my dedicated website.
My background is somewhat atypical for a designer – I was originally going to go into physics/programming but chose to devote myself to design and develop these skills on the side. As a result, beyond scripting such as Blueprints, Lua etc. I am also comfortable with C++ and C# and am eager to code my own projects.
My design interests lean towards mechanics, balancing and gameplay design. As such, I work best a systems designer or handling combat. However, I have also had experience as a Quest & Level designer and enjoyed both of them!
I also have reasonable production & management experience both from leading 10+ projects during my degree and various events/competitions as well as taking a leading role on many initiatives within my own studio.
In terms of industry standard tools I have extensively used and feel comfortable with most major ones – Unreal Engine 4, Unity, Godot, Quixel, Blender, Maya, JIRA, TestRail, Photoshop including many proprietary engines/languages such as REDKit, EU4 modding etc.
My auxiliary skills include a background with published game development articles (Bulgarian magazine) as well as video and image editing – something that has proven to be invaluable for smaller projects.
I have over 5 years of professional experience. This includes working in a large UK mobile games studio, being a quest designer on Cyberpunk 2077 with CDProjekt RED, Senior Quest Designer on a Fantasy RPG with Techland and Gameplay Director for a Souls-like done with an Italian AA studio. Beyond that I’ve done a variety of projects/jams – spanning from your typical cutesy 2D sidescroller, to combat games and even an exoplanet landing simulation in VR (HTC Vive) done with help from astrophysicists!
TIGA 2018 Strategy/Social Nomination [Castle Creeps Battle] [iOS, Android] – realtime PvP arena battle game for mobile. Over 2 million downloads and featured by Apple and Google several times. Nominated for several categories in TIGA 2018.
Ninja Kiwi More Awesomer Award for Game Development 2018 – VOYN [PC, Unity] – Awarded for my Honour’s year prototype exploring the Science of Slick – a numbers based mechanical breakdown of satisfying gameplay. What makes games “feel” good to play? Too vague to answer? Well, I gave it a shot anyways – and the result is a paper and prototype that breakdown 2D games and serve an almost universal list of improvements and implementations that should make almost any game better to play.
TIGA 2017 Best Strategy Game [Castle Creeps TD] [iOS, Android] – tower defense strategy game with over 5 million downloads. Worked as QA as well as designing levels, balancing, narrative (yes, we had a story!) and handling UX/Onboarding
Jamchester 2017 – Innovation & Creativity Award [Congruence] [PC, UE4] – Team lead/Lead Designer on a Cyberpunk ARG simulation in which you become the hacker using a mix of on-screen in-universe interactions and your own real life smartphone!
Abertay University (2014-2018)
BA(Hons) Game Design and Production Management
A+ & Awards given for Honour’s Project & Dissertation examining, systematizing & deconstructing Game Feel.
Led multiple projects as Design Lead and Producer
Client project for astrophysicists, creating an exoplanet landing simulation for the HTC Vive
American College of Sofia (2010-2014)
Private high school consistently ranked top in Bulgaria & Eastern Europe
IT & Communications profile with German/English
Given Bulgarian (EU) & US Diploma
This website was created as a personal project with the humble goal of sharing my thoughts on the games industry and/or any topic that spikes my interest. I firmly hold the belief that true game design exists at the intersection of the artistic and the technical. Games are inherently very complex and having an understanding of their inner working, as well as of key aesthetic principles helps inform your design and guide it towards a more holistic approach.
Insightful? Hopefully. Strictly professional? Mostly.
The more selfish aim was to take my overwhelming amount of designer notes accumulated over the years and put them into one collected place, where I can distill them and hopefully improve as a designer in the process.