Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Multiple Choice Magic Design Question of the Day 25

25) Which of these abilities is least appropriate for a Wandering Ones variant?
 a) Ascend. As long as you have the city's blessing, CARDNAME gets +3/+3 and has flying.
 b) When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, reveal any number of land cards from your hand. Put that many +1/+1 counters on ~.
 c) Kicker {3}. When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, if it was kicked, draw two cards.
 d) Play with the top card of your library revealed. You may play the top card of your library.
 e) T: Untap target land.

Click through to see the answer and my rationale.

Monday, January 15, 2018

GDS3 Prep: Final Words of Essay Advice

Tomorrow's when the first trial of GDS3 drops! Here are a few non-Magic-specific words of advice from me on writing good job application essays.

Sell yourself. There will be any conceivable "correct" answers to the given essay prompts, and which one you come up with is not that important. What matters is more is how you react to the question: can you think critically about game design? Can you defend an opinion with evidence? Can you stick to a coherent thesis? Can you evaluate strengths and weaknesses within your own position? If you can consistently come across as a competent and insightful thinker, it won't matter if your essays aren't the textbook answers R&D expects.

Proofread. Your first draft may contain tangents, misstatements, or straight up errors in spelling or grammar. Clean, polished prose is one of the easiest ways to communicate professionalism and care for detail. Once you've edited each individual essay, consider them as a whole- do they combine to paint a good picture of you as a designer? Or are there unintended omissions or overlaps?

Show them your humanity. They're looking for a coworker, not an emotionless designbot- a human person whom they'll have to deal with on a daily basis. Let your personality shine through in your writing via humor, passion, and candor. Avoid anything that could give the impression of pretension, arrogance, obsequiousness, or general dickishness.

Stick to the word limits.

Good luck, friends! I'll see you all at the multiple-choice test.

Friday, January 12, 2018

GDS3 Prep: Essay Question 5

5. Describe an experience that gave you some insight into what players get out of the game of Magic. Explain what you learned and its implications for Design.

Weekend Design Challenge 011218—color shift

Click through to see the requirements for your design test, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, which you may use to revise your submission any number of times. I will aim to review the most recent submission from each designer.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Multiple Choice Magic Design Question of the Day 19-24

19) Which of these abilities/templates is best for the most audiences?  a) Whenever you put a -1/-1 counter on a creature, create a 1/1 black Insect creature token.
 b) Whenever you put one or more -1/-1 counters on a creature, create that many 1/1 black Insect creature tokens.

 20) Which of these abilities/templates is best for the most audiences?
 a) As long as CARDNAME is attacking, it gets +2/+0.
 b) At the beginning of combat on your turn, CARDNAME gets +2/+0 until end of turn.

 21) Which of these abilities/templates is best for the most audiences?
 a) Whenever CARDNAME or another creature dies, target player loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.
 b) Whenever CARDNAME or another creature you control dies, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.

 22) Which of these abilities/templates is best for the most audiences?
 a) Whenever another creature enters the battlefield, you gain 1 life.
 b) Whenever another creature enters the battlefield, you may gain 1 life.

 23) Which of these abilities/templates is best for the most audiences?
 a) At the beginning of combat on your turn, target creature gets +2/+0 until end of turn.
 b) At the beginning of combat on your turn, you may have target creature get +2/+0 until end of turn.

 24) Which of these abilities/templates is best for the most audiences?
 a) This creature gets +1/+1 as long as it's attacking or blocking.
 b) This creature gets +1/+1 as long as it's blocked or blocking.
 c) This creature gets +1/+1 as long as it has blocked or been blocked this turn.
 d) Whenever this creature blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

Click through to see the answer and my rationale.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Dreams

Let's get personal.

My dream job for the last 25 years has been: Magic Designer.

GDS3 Prep: Essay Question 4

Today's essay question comes from Jay:

4. What existing Magic mechanic would you promote to evergreen status?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Multiple Choice Magic Design Question of the Day 16, 17, & 18

16) Which of these effects is least suited to be an upkeep trigger?
At the beginning of your upkeep…
 a) …gain 4 life.
 b) …discard a card.
 c) …this creature gets +3/+3 until end of turn.
 d) …win the game.
 e) …untap this creature.

17) Which of these effects is least suited to be a saboteur trigger?Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player…
 a) …that player gains 4 life.
 b) …discard a card.
 c) …it gets +3/+3 until end of turn.
 d) …win the game.
 e) …gain control of target blocking creature.

18) Which of these effects is least suited to be a end step trigger?At the beginning of your end step…
 a) …if you lost life this turn, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature.
 b) …discard a card.
 c) …create a 1/1 white Soldier creature token.
 d) …win the game.
 e) …untap this creature.

Click through to see the answer and my rationale.

Monday, January 8, 2018

GDS3 Prep: Essay Question 3

3. R&D follows many rules for what kind of cards may be printed. However, these rules can be violated if the set calls for it. For example, Yoked Plowbeast broke the size limit on common white creatures because of the theme of Naya. Give an example of another set in which R&D should have broken a particular rule, and explain why.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

GDS3 Prep: Essay Question 2

2. Choose a mechanic from a Modern-legal set that was not well designed. What could have made it better? (You may propose changes either to the mechanic itself or to its implementation.)

Friday, January 5, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 010518—Cycling It Out

Click through to see the requirements for your design test, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, which you may use to revise your submission any number of times. I will aim to review the most recent submission from each designer.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

GDS3 Prep: Essay Question 1

The first stage of the Great Designer Search 3 will be an essay test: "Contestants will have one week to answer ten essay questions. Answers must be no less than 250 words and no more than 300 words in length."

Now, it'll be pretty hard to get eliminated at this stage, because they won't actually read the essays until after the multiple choice test has eliminated most of the contestants. However, the essays will definitely play an important role in selecting the finalists, so we should be prepared to put our best ideas forward!

For reference, here are the essay questions from GDS1 and GDS2. (Note that the maximum word count was 350 then.)

Here's your first sample essay question.

1. In the past few years, we've stopped using some mechanics such as Regenerate and Protection. In the future, what would you remove from Magic: the Gathering, and why?

Multiple Choice Magic Design Question of the Day 13, 14, & 15

13) What color would Holy Light be if remade today? Assume we can change "non-white" to another color exclusion.
 a) white
 b) blue
 c) black
 d) red
 e) green
 f) more than one of the above

14) Which rarity would Holy Light be if remade today?
 a) common
 b) uncommon
 c) rare
 d) mythic rare

15) Which of these changes would be most appropriate if Holy Light were remade today?
 a) Make it a sorcery.
 b) Increase its effect to -2/-2.
 c) Remove the "non-[color]" restriction.
 d) Limit its effect to creatures you don't control.
 e) Increase its colored mana requirement (from 2M to 1MM, for instance).

Click through to see the answer and my rationale.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Multiple Choice Magic Design Question of the Day 12

12) Which of the these is the most important reason to stop making cards with islandwalk?

 a) Blue decks have the weakest creatures.
 b) Landwalk isn't very interactive.
 c) Blue has the fewest answers to evasive creatures.
 d) It's too easy to give your opponents islands.
 e) We don't want to punish people for playing basic lands.
 f) The quality of your deck shouldn't depend so heavily on the nature of your opponent's deck.

Click through to see the answer and my rationale.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Multiple Choice Magic Design Question of the Day 10 & 11

10) Which of the following cards would raise the most red flags in a set file at common.

 a) Bog Hoodlums
 b) Amoeboid Changeling
 c) Oblivion Ring
 d) Spellstutter Sprite
 e) Consuming Bonfire
 f) Broken Ambitions

11) Which of the above cards would raise the fewest red flags in a set file at common.

Click through to see the answer and my rationale.