Nicolas Kraj

Nicolas Kraj

Creating GDKeys

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All Patrons on 1€ or more will instantly get:

  • Access to every single GDKeys Patreon-exclusive posts, present, and future, my proven, production-ready design tools, as well as every other article.
  • Invited to our Discord private channel where we debate game design, give feedback on each other games, and talk about games in general.
  • A direct line to reach me for any design questions or feedback
Join our community today!

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On this tier, you will get:

  • Every benefit of the Buddy tier
  • 2 extra-invitation to our Discord to gift to your team and friends! 
Share the fun, bring your friends!
Includes Discord benefits


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This tier will instantly grant you:

  • Every benefit of the Supporter tier
  • Your very own channel on our Discord for your game! Nothing like it to get all the support from our community and get your own little piece of land around there. The channel's name and management will be entirely left to you!
If you are developing a game, this will give you all the design support you'll need!
Includes Discord benefits



About Nicolas Kraj

Hi! My name is Nicolas Kraj: I am a veteran Game Designer that will be your side-kick designer/consultant/teacher/supporter. I will give feedback on your games, share my experience with you, give you my personal, production-ready tools, teach you what I hoped someone had taught me when I was starting, and globally support you as much as I can. You can already read plenty of my publications here:

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We are also a community of expert developers with its dedicated Discord. We are supporting games like Weaving TidesRoboquest, or FairTravel Battle to name a few.

About me

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 Immortals Fenyx Rising, 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

First of all, a strong community of game designers and developers striving to learn, grow and support each other. Come with your questions, experience, your game, or prototype: you will fit right in! On top of managing this community, I am writing articles on the GDKeys website at least once a month based on the needs of my Patrons and the discussions we are having on the Discord. My articles, for now, have been focusing on:

  • Design reviews, using games from our community when requested. I focus each article on a specific design topic that this game is tackling: I 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 topics, I 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 and personal tools with you! They will often come as a complement of a “Keys to…” article, and will always be ready to use, no strings attached!
  • Dev-team immersion: how about a dive down inside indie teams? How do they work, organize their budget, manage their scope, support the pressure? Because of Covid, I couldn't put that in place in 2020, but I have plenty of plans once I can start traveling again!
  • Etc.

Talking about our community, there is an important rule in place: every question, feedback, proposal, and suggestion is shared with everybody on the Discord: you will have the unique opportunity to follow and learn from a multitude of teams and games, and bring your own contribution to the place.

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, you will slowly but surely make this site more self-sustaining (while making me deeply grateful at the same time). It will also come with perks for you too!

  • You will become part of our community and get invited to our Discord Channel
  • 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 and probably the best help you could ever get on your designs for a few bucks a month.

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 and that GDKeys is done in my free time, evenings, and weekends.
I am doing my best to bring fresh content on a regular basis, and provide as much support and help 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 share them with you!

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


PS: If you want to put a face on a name, this is me bragging during the The Crew launch press conference at Igromir (Moscow) in 2014, I didn’t have my grey hairs, beard, and wrinkles yet, so let’s keep this picture forever shall we?

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