Nicolas Kraj

is creating GDKeys

Select a membership level

The only Tier
reward item
per month
There is only one Tier here. I do not want to gate content nor discriminate based on what you can afford or want your support to be.
Supporting this Patreon will instantly give you access to:

  • Every single GDKeys Patreon-exclusive posts, present, and future.
  • Invite you to our Discord private channel where we debate game design, games and support each other.

The goal of this platform is ultimately to create a welcoming and enriching community. One where every idea, question or discussion feel welcome and every voice heard. And I believe that this unique Tier is perfect for that: it engages you in the process, engages me into delivering more qualitative content, but will never ask you to make sacrifices to be part of it or get access to more content.

One Tier to get it all!

That being said, my dream with this Patreon is to reach enough revenue to make it my main activity: I could bring so much more to you if my days were dedicated to it! So if you can or feel like tossing few extra coins, you will make me infinitely grateful, and you will make this dream closer to become a reality.

Let's create better games together!

Includes Discord benefits




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 with you, teach you what I hoped someone had taught me when I was starting and globally support you as much as I can. You will find everything here:

>> <<

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)

What you will find here

Well… This is a question we will have to answer together! But while we figure it out, here are some ideas of what I want 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 a bit of 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 it directly in your games.
  • 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 gave to people applying for a design job in the industry. I would correct it, share the best answers I receive and help the ones 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

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, and you will slowly but surely make this site more self-sustaining (while making me deeply grateful at the same time). 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.

What you should know

Should you decide to support me, please consider that I am also working full time for Ubisoft as a UX Director for now and that GDKeys is done in my free time and lunch breaks.
I will do my best to bring fresh content on a regular basis, and interact with you as much as I can, but some irregularities may happen because of this situation.

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 u!.

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


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?

Become a patron to

Unlock 9 exclusive posts
Be part of the community
Connect via private message

Recent posts by Nicolas Kraj

How it works

Get started in 2 minutes

Choose a membership
Sign up
Add a payment method
Get benefits