Monday, July 30, 2012

CCDD 073012—Shortcut Through the Woods

Cool Card Design of the Day
7/30/2012 - I'm not sure how I came to this design. Couldn't have been top-down from the art. Maybe I started with the primary effect as a no-shuffling version of Rampant Growth, found the flavor that would match the random wandering effect and that some somehow triggered the idea to add madness. Maybe I was just looking for madness effects and realized there wasn't a land fetch card with madness yet.

Friday, July 27, 2012

CCDD 072712—Crush the Weak

Cool Card Design of the Day
7/27/2012 - Started on another short fiction CCDD yesterday, but when I "finished," it demanded a major rewrite. Stupid, demanding medium.

To sate your card-lust in the meantime I present the following without editorial. Opinions welcome.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

CCDD 072512—Defining Moment

Cool Card Design of the Day
7/25/2012 - Another unexpected factor of designing cards for this site is that I'll write down an idea or burst of ideas as they come to me, just as I used to, but I almost never write about them immediately. I let these cards ruminate in a folder, allowing the excitement that inspired them to ebb, so that when I see them again, I do so with fresh eyes and can evaluate how worthwhile sharing them would be. It's an impressive coincidence that the oldest card in the folder is exactly one year old today. Neat.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

CCDD 072412—Falls Market

Cool Card Design of the Day
7/24/2012 - Making cards for this site has had an unexpected impact on my development as a designer beyond the improvements afforded through your critical feedback and ideas. Because I produce a card image for each design (years ago I'd just divide a piece of paper and shorthand ~18 cards onto it), I'm more aware of how the final product looks, which has helped me to produce simpler cards with shorter text.

Monday, July 23, 2012

CCDD 072312—Prized Memories

Cool Card Design of the Day
7/23/2012 - Two things Spike loves are card advantage and difficult choices. This card requires each player to sacrifice some portion of their deck in order to enjoy the card advantage, the trick being that you have to guess how much your opponent is going to give in order to "bid correctly."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

CCDD 071912—Non-Red Dragons

Cool Card Design of the Day
- I was hoping HavelockV would talk more about some of the Dragon submissions for his last Design Challenge, but I believe he's swamped with real life. So instead, I'd like to share with some of the dragon designs I chose Isochron Familiar over, and why.

First up, is the obligatory Cold Dragon. I'm glad I didn't submit this one, because Chris' Dragon of Winter's Breath is better. His isn't as splashy, but it's simpler and still gets across the freezing breath concept.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

CCDD 071712—Dragonstone

Cool Card Design of the Day
7/17/2012 - Trying something a little different today. Let me know if you love it or hate it.

My brother used to tell me about life before the war. Of summer nights spent chasing fireflies and winter nights huddled around the village fire. Of tugging pigtails in the school house and the struggle to keep quiet in church. Of Mom's hugs and Dad's laugh. Jared never quite adjusted to hauling logs for the outer wall, endless hours of sparring, or Captain Tavek's fondness for punishment. But he suffered through it all to make sure no one ever hurt me. The only task he didn't dread was lookout duty.

Friday, July 13, 2012

M13 Designer Diary VI

Today I look at the lands and artifacts from M13 and the lessons we learned choosing/designing them. Here's part five. Here's a directory with all the card links from the final set. And here's the text spoiler Chah posted.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

CCDD 071212—Swarming Rats

Cool Card Design of the Day
7/12/2012 - I intentionally omitted a card from my recent batch of one-drops because it deserves its own post, particularly once we start discussing its variations. One way to keep a one-drop relevant later in the game is allowing it to grow. Scute Mob is a good example but a bit more drastic than what I'm thinking. One of the problems with one-drops is that if you're running any, you want enough to consistently get them early, but it's very easy to get so many that they ruin your late game.

From the original Plague Rats through to Relentless Rats, we've had swarms of virulent pests that grow more deadly in numbers and I think we can use this exact trope to make an excellent one-drop. I'm proposing knocking two mana off this old classic…

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

M13 Designer Diary V

Today I look at the green cards from M13 and the lessons we learned choosing/designing them. Here's part four. Here's a directory with all the card links from the final set. And here's the text spoiler Chah posted.

Monday, July 9, 2012

CCDD 070912—Goblin Scholar and other One-Drops

Cool Card Design of the Day
7/9/2012 - Today I've got a handful of cards for you. I was thinking recently about how to make one-drop creatures more relevant. That's hard to do without making them good, which is a problem since every one-drop should be worse than every two-drop, at least within rarities.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Challenge #7: Don't Call it a Comeback

Show of hands: how many people responded to the news of Return to Ravnica with an intense mixture of nostalgia, excitement, and lust?  Yeah, that's what I thought.  It's like getting friended on facebook by your unattainable high school crush, who then immediately writes, "I miss you so much.  We need to hang out!" on your wall.

(NB: I'm using my imagination here.  If this has actually happened to you, please mention in the comments whether the experience was similar to the announcement of Return to Ravnica.)

Anyway, I have a Ravnica-related challenge burning a hole in my metaphorical pocket, and we'd better get to it this summer before any previews start!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

M13 Designer Diary IV

Today I look at the red cards from M13 and the lessons we learned choosing/designing them. Here's part three. Here's a directory with all the card links from the final set. And here's the text spoiler Chah posted.

Sonnet #2: To Doom Blade

Shall I forget the day I saw your face
And knew that Terror's reign was at an end?
All terror in my heart was soon replaced
with fondest love for Doom Blade, my dear friend.
Oft have we smashed a Wurmcoil into twain
And watched its pieces feebly crawl away.
Oft did we halt an Angel slaying Bane
or leave Huntmaster's wolf a lonely stray.
But now you needs must leave, and Cupid's dart
has Gone straight for my Throat, and struck me down.
A Dead Weight hangs too heavy on my heart
and Wrings my Flesh until in tears I drown.
Whence came this loss?  It lies on R&D.
With Murder's advent, they have murdered thee.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Challenge #6: Critique

Carlos R submitted this card for critique:

Zwyvren the Damned
Legendary Creature - Dragon
Flying, undying, deathtouch
When Zwyvren the Damned enters the battlefield, choose a creature type, then put X -1/-1 counters on each creature of the chosen type, where X is the number of Dragons on the battlefield.

I thought this would be an excellent candidate for discussion, because it falls into a very common trap: this card is trying to do too much!

Monday, July 2, 2012

M13 Designer Diary III

Today I look at the black cards from M13 and the lessons we learned choosing/designing them. Here's part two. Here's a directory with all the card links from the final set. And here's the text spoiler Chah posted.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Challenge #6: Results

Welcome back, designers!  I apologize for the unexpectedly long hiatus.  Mark Rosewater and his crew of color pie "enforcers" paid me a visit, and I'm just getting out of the hospital.  Don't worry, they haven't entirely beaten the heretic out of me; I still love Witch Hunter as much as ever.

On to the non-red dragons!