Tuesday, May 22, 2018

GDS3 Reflections: Ari Nieh, Challenge #2

My initial reaction to this challenge was, “Are you kidding me? Why would they ask us to do this?”

Circuses are a rich source of tropes, but they’re not a remotely appropriate setting for a Magic: the Gathering set. Magic is fundamentally a game about violent combat between supernatural creatures, and the entire concept of a circus is a poor fit. I assume that this choice was deliberately inappropriate, so as to avoid overlaps with any future sets.

GDS3 Reflections: Jeremy Geist, Challenge #2: CLOWNS!!!!

Jeremy's back with some more reflections on how he approached the second GDS3 challenge. Click here to review his designs, here to see the judge feedback, and click through to see what he had to say about the challenge. 

GDS3 Challenge 2: A Circus Act (Discussion Thread)

The results of the second challenge have posted. This thread for general discussion of the results, while the below threads are for individual comment and critique. You can also use this thread to discuss the third challenge before Thursday, but hold onto your own designs until we do the Weekend Design Challenge for it. You can also always refer to our GDS3 Index for links to all the contestants challenges, reflections, and other material.

Contestant Challenge 2 Discussion Threads

Friday, May 18, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 051818 — You Might As Well Tribal

Hey, Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge, submissions due Monday morning.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

GDS3 Reflections, Jay Treat: Challenge 1

While I'm proud of the work I did for this challenge, and the deck full of shamans and activated-abilities matter cards, I admit that the submission itself was poor. If I hadn't won the previous test, I likely would have been eliminated this week.

GDS3 Challenge #1 Writeup - Scott Wilson

Continuing in our series of reflections on the tribal challenge of the GDS, Scott Wilson returns to share his writeup on the Samurai tribe he submitted. Click through to read how he prepared for the challenge and how he assembled his eight cards.

GDS3 Challenge 1: One Last Job

Jeremy Geist is back today to share his approach to the tribal challenge of the GDS. Click through to read how he prepared for the challenge and how he assembled his eight cards.

CCDD 051718 - Wishing for a Shot at Challenge 1

Well, I wanted to take a shot at the first Challenge amidst hopelessly failing to keep up with the pace of the GDS. Here are my very unplaytested, very uniterated, cards for the tribal challenge.

GDS3 Reflections: Ari Nieh, Challenge #1

When I received this challenge, I immediately sat down with a list of creature types and frantically through Scryfall trying to figure out which was the most fruitful. Aside from Insect, I also considered Advisor, Berserker, Knight, Monk, Ninja, Nomad, Rogue, Samurai, Scout, Shaman, and Unicorn. I settled on Insects fairly quickly- they're extremely rich in tropes and emotional resonance.

GDS3 Challenge 1: You Might As Well Tribal (Discussion Thread)

Hey all. The results of the first challenge have posted. Go ahead and use this thread for general discussion of the results. There are also individual pages for each contestant's submissions, where you can offer individual comment and critique, and more easily reference the cards.

Contestant Challenge 1 Discussion Threads

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

GDS3 Preliminary Challenge (Scott Wilson)

Continuing in our series on approaches to the Design Test, Scott Wilson has provided some insight into his process. Click through and check it out.

GDS3: The Design Test

Jeremy Geist has offered us some insights into how he approached the Design Test portion of the GDS. Click through to find how he designed his ten cards.

Between the Lines of GDS3 - The Design Test

I'm going to examine some of the comments the Wizards team reviewing the GDS made. Today, the Design Test. (I'm obviously biased, discussing more of my own. Feel free to discuss anything in the comments.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

GDS3 Reflections: Ari Nieh, Design Test

... or, How I Completely Misinterpreted the Design Test But Somehow Made Top 8.

You can see the judges' commentary here.

Portfolio Theory

Now that the judge feedback for the design test in the GDS is live, Ryan Siegel-Stechler has written up a summary of how he approached the test. Click through to see what he has to say about the test that landed him a spot in the Top 8.

Designing Archfrenemies


By Bradley Rose

“Wait, what’s Archfrenemies?” you ask as you read the title of this blog post. If this describes you, check out my Card Kingdom blog post on the rules of this Cube draft innovation and Archenemy variant by clicking here.

To summarize, it’s a Cube draft followed by an eight-player game with two archenemies and two three-player teams. It has its own special rules to help ensure this “large multiplayer” format is still fun.

This post will look at issues inherent to multiplayer games and cover how Archfrenemies design and pack rarity distribution addressed those issues.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Meet the Top 8: Jay Treat

Today we finish our series of introductory interviews with the GDS Top 8, talking design with Goblin Artisans most prolific writer/designer, Jay Treat. Click through to read a little bit about him and some of his thoughts on Magic design.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

CCDD 051318—New Rebel

Cool Card Design of the Day
5/13/2018 - The rebel mechanic is broken because it's card advantage, card selection, repeatable and grows exponentially. If we were remaking it today, what would it look like?

Saturday, May 12, 2018

CCDD 051218—Hymn to Rot

Cool Card Design of the Day
5/12/2018 - There are two problems that prevent Hymn to Tourach from being reprinted in new sets: The most egregious is that it can get lands and mana-screw players, which isn't fun; The other issue is that reliably nabbing two cards inherently costs 3+ mana.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 051118 - Mother's Day Cards

Hey, Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge, submissions due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, so after you've come up with your idea, tell people what you like or dislike about theirs. Also listen to what they had to say about your card, and armed with that critique, revise your submission any number of times. Over the course of Monday (and possibly bleeding into Tuesday, depending on submission volume), I'll review the most recent submission from each designer.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

CCDD 051018—Jedi

Cool Card Design of the Day
5/7/2018 - I found the "force is with you" conversation from the last Weekend Art Challenge fascinating. I started exploring the Force N idea Moonfolklore posited, but found that it's just more natural to create effects that scale based on your force total, rather than converting that number we worked so hard to generate into a binary. I think that's got potential but not toward the end of enabling "the force is with you."

The other idea I was most excited to explore, formidable-meets-ascend, fared better.

Partly because there's such a wealth of fan art, and partly because I found the mechanic compelling, as well as supporting it, I went a bit overboard on designs:

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

CCDD 050918 - Other Iconic Forms

I loved Jay's exploration of Forms of the Phoenix earlier this week, and decided to take a shot at forms for other iconic creatures.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Step by Step -- “May the Forth” Weekend Design Challenge


Hi y’all! This week I’m demoing what may become a somewhat regular article on GA, walking through step-by-step how I came to my design for the weekend design challenge. I hope that doing it this way will give some insight into the things that I think about during my process, some of the potential pitfalls and concerns that come up, and a demonstration of the editing process that takes place behind the scenes.

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, May 7, 2018

CCDD 050718—Form of the Phoenix

Cool Card Design of the Day
5/7/2018 - Now that red has a chokehold on black-bordered forms, let's try it on another iconic red creature.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 050418 - May the Fourth

Hello, Artisans. Click through to see the requirements for this weekend's design challenge, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, but you all know that already, because the feedback you give to each other each week is out of this world. Revise your submission any number of times, and on Monday-ish, I'll review the most recent submission from each designer.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

CCDD 050318 - May Flowers

Just a handful of Lotus designs that are either obscenely broken or useless jank. Ask Play Design.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Weekend Art Challenge Review 050218 — Skizoh

Golden Guardian by Svetlin Velinov

Weekend Art Challenge Review
Here's the challenge we're reviewing today!

CCDD 050218 - Nemesis Aura

I've been contemplating flavor for a new set, and I wanted to find a mechanic that played up an arch-rivalry. One of the things I came up with wasn't enough to be a full-blown mechanic, but might make for an interesting card.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The GDS3 Design Test I Didn't Submit

Months ago now, I walked through the 10 cards that I submitted for the Design Test and my process. Today, I'd like to share with you my alternate set. The group I compared with the one I did submit and just barely decided against.

Monday, April 30, 2018

CCDD 043018—Clonelet

Cool Card Design of the Day
4/30/2018 - I wanted to make a cheap Clone that could only copy small creatures. Mocking that up gave me a couple more ideas. (Treat the following cards as rare, for complexity, like Clone.)

Sunday, April 29, 2018

CCDD 042918—Now or Later Land

Cool Card Design of the Day
4/29/2018 - Now or Later Land is a rare dual land cycle where you choose whether you can't use it the turn you play it or the turn after.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Weekend Art Challenge 042718 — Skizoh

Golden Guardian by Svetlin Velinov
Click through to see the requirements for your design test, due by Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, which you may use to revise your submission any number of times. I encourage you all to revise your designs at least once in response to feedback. I will review the most recent submission from each designer.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Meet the Top 8: Linus Ulysses Hamilton

Our series of interviews with the Top 8 contestants of the GDS3 continues with Linus Ulysses Hamilton, who was kind enough to answer a few questions.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

CCDD 042518 - Steam Vent Remixes and Overdesign

I've been thinking a lot about rare land cycles a lot recently, and Ravnica's shocklands have been bugging me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

CCDD 042418 - A Few More Remix Legends

Just a couple more Weatherlight Crew remixes before moving onto something else.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 042018 - OG Weatherlight Remix

Hello, Artisans. Click through to see the requirements for this weekend's design challenge, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, which frankly, you all are awesome at. Listen to each other's feedback, revise your submission any number of times, and on Monday-ish, I'll review the most recent submission from each designer.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

CCDD 041918 - New Line of Questioning and Better Options

I was designing Blue commons yesterday for Adam Klesh and Bradley Rose's Castmire, and came up with a couple of spells with semi-hidden modes.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

CCDD 041818 - Spoils

Larcent's article Monday had me thinking about a mechanic that could have used the treasures that Ixalan's Pirates kept creating (finding? stealing? conjuring?). I tried to find a mana sink mechanic that wasn't kicker or a variation thereon, and came up with this.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Meet the Top 8: Ari Nieh

Next in our series of interviews with the GDS Top 8, we spoke with Ari Nieh, one of the co-founders of Goblin Artisans.

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Pirate Problem: Flavor Doesn't Make a Tribe


I've been playing in the beta for Magic: The Gathering Arena since February. My experience in this very limited game environment has helped me think a lot about tribal design, particularly where Ixalan block succeeded and failed. Let's talk about Pirates and figure out what the heck happened with them, design-wise.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Weekend Art Challenge 041318 - Tsabo6

Hello, Artisans. Click through to see the requirements for this weekend's design challenge, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, which frankly, you all are awesome at. Listen to each other's feedback, revise your submission any number of times, and on Monday-ish, I'll review the most recent submission from each designer.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

CCDD 041218 - Batching and Augmented

I was reading MaRo's article on Historic and the new mechanic technology of Batching a few days ago. I have thoughts on it, but I'll save those for a twitter rant. In the meantime, I was thinking about other ways to use batching, and came up with Augmented.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Weekend Art Challenge Review 041018 — David Alvarez

Golden Guardian by Svetlin Velinov

Weekend Art Challenge Review
Here's the challenge we're reviewing today!

CCDD 041118—Jaya's Immolating Inferno

Cool Card Design of the Day
4/11/2018 - Have you seen Jaya's Immolating Inferno from the Dominaria spoilers? Let's discuss legendary sorceries.

Alex Werner's Essay Submission

(Wizards has alerted GDS3 Top 8 contestants that their essays would not be published on the mothership, and gave them clearance to self-publish. We reached out to all contestants and offered to host their essays.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

GDS 3 Index Page

Here at GA, we've produced a lot of material leading up to and in response to the GDS3 (arguably, every bit of content on this site since its birth falls under that umbrella). Here's an index of links, somewhat organized, of such material since GDS3 was announced. (This is a work in progress. I'm still going through our archives and assembling links. Please be patient as I get it together.)

CCDD 041018 - Questing Bear

I've been looking at D&D stuff for the first time in about 20 years, and that had me thinking a lot about Zendikar. I liked the leveler mechanic in Rise of the Eldrazi, although I felt like they should have used Quest counters rather than level counters to better parallel their enchantment counterparts*. This brought me down the path of how we could tie creature leveling to gaining quest counters.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Meet the Top 8: Ryan Siegel-Stechler

Continuing our interviews with the GDS Top 8, we spoke with long-time Artisan Ryan Siegel-Stechler. Click through and see what he has to say about Magic design.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Weekend Art Challenge 040618 — David Alvarez

Golden Guardian by Svetlin Velinov
Click through to see the requirements for your design test, due by Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, which you may use to revise your submission any number of times. I encourage you all to revise your designs at least once in response to feedback. I will review the most recent submission from each designer.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Jay Treat's Essay Submission

1) Introduce yourself and explain why you are a good fit for this internship.

Hey everyone! My name's Jay Treat and I'm a professional game designer.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Scott Wilson's Essay Submission

(Wizards has alerted GDS3 Top 8 contestants that their essays would not be published on the mothership, and gave them clearance to self-publish. We reached out to all contestants and offered to host their essays.)