Greetings, traveler! My name is Stoyan Stoyanov – a name so generic my parents thought I deserve it twice. Thus, I was destined for creativity.
Game Designer by trade, I have always had a huge focus and fascination with problem solving. This led me to physics and programming in my early years and then channeled me towards games – the ultimate puzzle in my eyes. Whether it be Producing and being a Lead Designer in various student/hobby projects or doing technical design work & balancing for a professional studio, I have always taken every new task with eagerness and excitement as I thrive on challenge! After all, creating a modern high-profile title requires an amazing collaborative effort from various disciplines where skill goes hand in hand with communication.
As a designer I seek to draw inspiration from my varied background and hobbies – in particular informing my design with my understanding and knowledge of physics and coding. Structure, numbers and logic are my secret tools – the solid foundation on which I build with creativity. Games are deceptively technical and I have always been drawn to their inner workings – what makes a Nintendo game feel so good mechanically? What numbers click together to create classics under the pretty surface? Why did Super Mario Odyssey’s movement take 6+ months to develop? Even the most visually captivating game can crumble under bad technical design decisions and in a day and age where games can look so good… it’s even more important to make sure they play well too.
This approach can be evidenced in my work – every project done with extensive research and careful attention to numerical interactions. For most all I have been Producer and Design Lead, eagerly taking on the task of bridging disciplines and giving order to the design process. I have also eagerly balanced gameplay systems, designed & assembled levels, implemented UI and even written dialogue as I was eager to better myself in all possible aspects of development. There’s never too much knowledge for a designer, after all!
My Honour’s dissertation was a systematic breakdown and analysis of the “Science of Slick” or what are the psychological and numerical approaches and techniques that result in a “satisfying” core gameplay experience – a large undertaking for which I received an award & industry attention. Trying to create a framework and defined rules for terms as vague as “game feel” is a challenge that is wholly captivating to me and no doubt a natural evolution of my physics days.
In my professional career I have been responsible of enforcing standardized templates, handling documentation, balancing, analytics research, level design and aiding in designing new mechanics – alongside more creative endeavours such as writing dialogue and flavour text. Working in a large company taught me efficient workflow using industry standard tools, rapid release cycles, crunch and how important communication is for bringing a product to life. Games are made by people, after all.
In my own spare time I have a variety of hobbies and interests. Day to day I am a firm believer of the age old healthy body, healthy mind mantra – with a love for cooking, nutrition and fitness. On evenings, I am either frantically jotting notes as I’m playing the latest games, buried in a book, expanding my absurdly large music collection or obsessively researching the latest piece of tech! When all the intensity gets too much I try and seek out new creative outlets which has led me to try a wide array of things such as learning Chinese, sword fighting and photography! I am also an avid skier with a competitive background and sucker for anything cute – dogs & alpacas preferable.