Inspired by his children - Mark embraced the mission to reinvent board games. As an engineer and designer, he raised the creative bar with the following questions:
"What would make the time with my children more fruitful? What would boost their minds? What would help them learn all the abstract concepts and logic of the modern world but at the same time entertain me, too? What would be the super cool game of the year 3000 that everyone would play? How could a whole tabletop gaming world be synthesized in a single playset? What type of abstract visual language will be applicable for multiple civilizations? Is it possible to entertain your younger self and your adult self with the same set for years? What would be the mechanics of resisting the boat's movement or the lack of gravitation in space? What if one needs to play games in the dark without seeing? How will this game look if it needs to fit in your pocket and be carried from ship to ship, from pod to pod?
What would be this timeless, universal design? How could one create more value with less design? If I could own only one physical game - what game that would be?"
Mark believes GEMJI is the incredible physical answer to all these questions. Do you agree?
The production is still boutique and scarce, but with GEMJI being an open game system - the journey has just begun. Stay with us and follow our indie brand story!
GEMJI is a tabletop game system of 70 magnetic tiles, that gives you the freedom to play multiple games.
Currently, we start with over 30 games and 7 building models. Games include original titles developed by the GEMJI team, educational games, and popular classic game adaptations.
Mark (Margarit Ralev) is a multidisciplinary designer, entrepreneur, and teacher with a great passion for physical games, board games, puzzles, and design objects.
Born in Bulgaria (East Europe) in 1984, his exposure to computers, the internet, various digital gadgets, arts, and the family manuscript library formed him curious and playful.
Mark's career started as a graphic and web design freelancer when he was still in high school. Later, in 2004 he founded his design studio (Ralev.com) and gathered a strong team of professionals working on various commercial and pro bono projects. Domestic and international clients vary from small startups and SMEs to government organizations.
Mark studied at the Technical University Sofia, Cisco Entrepreneurs Institute, Babson College, combining creative know-how with business strategy.
Currently, his NGO "Bulgarian Design Group" is among the most active and most-influential local design organizations.
Mark has many recognitions both in the press and online media. He is also a mentor and a teacher in multiple formats, helping other talents achieve their dreams. Read the full bio on Linkedin
As a highly complex project, GEMJI could not have been possible without the tremendous help and the support of all his colleagues and family. Special greetings to everyone involved in creating the crowdfunding campaign!