Blagoy Topalski is our lead game designer for our massively multiplayer online real-time strategy game March of Empires.
Based in Sofia, Blagoy first joined the studio in 2014 as a QA tester and has grown throughout the years to become the seasoned game designer he is now!
Find out more about him, his career path, and what he loves about Gameloft Sofia below!
Hi, Blagoy! Tell us about yourself.
Nearly six years and six months ago I learned about the Gameloft studio kind of accidentally, and I saw an opportunity to work as a quality assurance (QA) tester.
Since I was an avid gamer, the chance to work in the gaming industry sounded really exciting. But I didn’t really have any experience, in either my education or previous jobs, in anything similar. Not to mention that at the time, I had never held an iPhone in my hand!
To this day, I'm grateful for all the opportunities the people here have given me and for my growth in the company. My passion for gaming and especially my interest in history and grand strategy games, such as any of the Paradox Interactive one or the Total War series, were enormously helpful, and when March of Empires entered BETA, the pretty surreal journey from a QA tester to a lead game designer started.
What is your role and what do you like most about your job?
Honestly, there are a lot of things that I like about my current role as a game designer. The project, the always-changing conditions… Every day is something new, and the experience I'm gaining (I’m especially thankful to all the other designers and producers, from whom I’ve learned so much) makes me feel like I’m in the right place.
What are some of your most memorable moments at Gameloft?
There were a lot of funny and exciting moments in the office, but nothing compares to our Christmas parties. I think the singing karaoke at one of these Christmas parties was one of the most wonderful moments, not only related to Gameloft, but in my life in general. But a special mention has to go to March of Empires' release party a few years ago.
What advice do you have for aspiring game designers?
Getting a degree or taking courses in game design wasn’t as popular before. They’re awesome, but in order to apply your knowledge in the most useful way and to be really beneficial for a game’s development, you have to be really into the project you’re working on.
In my opinion, some of the most important things is to be as familiar as possible with your project, to never stop asking questions, and to be as proactive as possible. As Benjamin Franklin said, "Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today." Of course, that's not always possible, but the more you do it, the more productive you’ll be, and that’s the key.
Also, always try to see everything as an opportunity!
We have multiple game designer positions available in our studios around the world, and you can find all of them here! Stay tuned next week for another edition of Humans Behind the Game!