Tuesday, January 30, 2018

GDS3: Trial 2 Congratulations and/or Condolences Open Thread

E-mails come out today! Here is your open thread for congratulating fellow Artisans who made it past Trial 2, and commiserating with those who didn't.

Although the Artisans are (in our unbiased opinion) the best amateur design community out there, we know not all of us are going to get the Golden Ticket today. Some of us might be extremely disappointed or upset that they're not advancing. We just wanted to let you know: we're here with you. Yes, it sucks to be cut. One test is not a true reflection of your knowledge, skills, or potential. Your Artisans in Residence have also had the experience of being eliminated.

I was cut in the Multiple Choice test of GDS2. It stung a lot. I felt like I hadn't been given the opportunity to demonstrate my understanding of design. That's why my fellow contributors and finalists started this blog.
I made it through the gauntlet of the GDS2 multiple choice quiz, and to this day I wonder whether I was cut as the 9th best submission or the 101st (in retrospect it was definitely closer to the latter). It was hard at the time, but forced me to think a lot more critically about my approach to design, and eventually led me to GA, where I've learned more about magic design over the last several years than I ever thought there was to know.

The Multiple Choice test got me in GDS1, and I was the first finalist eliminated in GDS2, so I know well the sting of defeat. I've been anxious all weekend about this cut. Whatever happens, I will keep making games and challenging myself to grow.

Mad props to those who made it through, and for those who didn't, we are still your fans!

118 comments:

  1. Thank you for this thread. My condolences to anyone who didn't make it because of what amounts to a totally meaningless, arbitrary, and noise-swamped cutoff. (Note: This group probably includes me; my best guess is I got 72 right. I have no word yet, of course.) As far as I'm concerned, anything over 70 on that test shows true design knowledge and worthiness to advance.

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    1. While I agree on that point, sheer logistics justified the harsh cut off. They cant read through 200 design submissions AND essays so picking a cutoff that gave the top 100 or the closest there of was a neccesity.

      Honestly I feel this test was better than the last two, no real trick questions and a lot of heady "fundamentals" on top of google foo.

      Still though anyone hitting high scores on it is a champ in my book.

      See you all at the finish line.

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    2. Logistics justifies the cutoff, but honestly there should have been five more questions of the "hrm" variety. If people are hitting the ceiling, you need a higher ceiling.

      Not many people hit the ceiling, but the point stands - a few more questions that aren't simple 'do you know your google' questions would push the noise down. It would be a matter of getting 6 out of 10 debatable questions correct, instead of 2 out of 3.

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  2. No emails yet, expected some time "in the morning" california time (6am was the time they sent out the other email, but if they need to do stuff manually, it might not be till noon).

    However on tumblr, Mark describes making the decisions on Mon http://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/170286279953/info-on-the-gds3-multiple-choice-test

    3,085 people took the test. Three people got perfect scores. The cutoff ended up being 73 (of 75) in order to include approximately 100 people.

    OK, that's a little higher than I expected but given the number of entrants I'm not surprised it was very high. I'm pretty sure I don't make the cut, there's two questions I got wrong, and I'm fairly sure there's at least one or two more.

    If Jay got everything else right apart from the GB flier question, you should be through! I don't know about anyone else. Fingers crossed for you and everyone!

    FWIW I'm fairly happy with how I did. I think I could have improved my score slightly with another round of thorough checking but since I was not really planning to succeed beyond the third round even in the best possible outcome, I don't think it would have been worth the considerable extra effort. I have learned more about how to take tests I'm serious about -- the main takeaway for me was recognise which questions I tend to be bad at and give them an extra separate round of checking imagining how people other than me are likely to answer them. And if I'm really really serious, to brainstorm the questions, asking "what might they be looking for" and "what might this be based on" to see if any relevant references emerge.

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    1. I was so hyper-vigilant during that test, it boggles my mind that I could possibly justify "I don't know what that sentence is doing there" and move on, even with a head cold.

      That might well cost me entry. Trying not to beat myself up about it.

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    2. Even if all the questions are simple arithmetic, it's incredibly, incredibly hard to hit 100%. There's so much luck in "who makes one or two mistakes and who doesn't", even when you've honed your check-and-check-again skills.

      I really really hope you make it, you deserve it so much. If you do, knock it out of the park on the design test, that's where you can shine if you do it right.

      I thought you had it, but now I'm scared, I compared my answers against yours to see how you did, and there's two I think you got wrong (BG flying vigilance and green hunting for sport), and two more that are questionable (RG or RU stealing, and reprint bolt or elves). Fingers crossed your answers are the ones they're looking for.

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    3. ETA: To see how *I* did, not to see how you did, but that meant I did read through all of your answers.

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  3. A good friend joked that we can only pray, but I took it to heart, and praying made sleep possible for me last night. Takeaways:
    • If I don't get in, sure I'll be sad and frustrated, but I'll find somewhere else to do good in the world, and it'll be not just fine but great, in time.
    • I'm already blessed in so many ways. As desperately as I want this, I don't need it.
    • I don't deserve this. Being qualified and being passionate are requirements for the job, but no one owes me anything, including the universe.
    • All the work I've put in to maximize my chances at this job, none of it is wasted. I'm a better designer and I've got a lot of friends, and losing this contest can't undo either.
    • Magic is only the best game so far. It is a statistical certainty that better games will follow.

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    1. Honestly Jay gives me hope. One thing I like about tv competitions like Amerixan Idol or the Voice is that often even the "losers" find sucess. My hope is to go far enough to build a career as a magic writer off my work here, or get more into Custom mtg like Reuben, Jay or Shadowcentuar

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    2. Thanks Jay. I'm feeling really down at the moment and your second point helped snap me back into the right state of mind.

      There would ALWAYS be far too many people who want this for me to just automatically qualify. No one else in this contest deserved it less than me, even though I feel this test did not actually select for those who deserved it more.

      It warms my heart to see a few names from our ranks making it through. You are all magnificent.

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    3. I meant to write "even if I feel this test did not actually select," cause I'm sure I'm feeling a lot of cognitive dissonance about the test for not having passed. I'll probably have a very different mind about it once the pain has passed.

      It wouldn't matter if the test had you flip a coin at the end, there would always have been deserving entrants who got knocked out. Thanks, Jay, for reminding me of that.

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  4. I made the cut to trial 3.
    I was convinced I hadn't.
    I'm crying.

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    1. Oh my god, congratulations. I'm so glad!

      Knock 'em dead, knock 'em dead.

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    2. Congrats, man. I didnt make it and I'm pretty devastated. Just feels like I didn't get a chance to even try.

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    3. Congratulations! Unfortunately that means I got a 72. Should have thought harder about question 2. Go get em!

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    4. Ouch. Bad luck to everyone who just missed the cut, I'm so sorry :(

      Anyone else succeed?

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    5. Nice! I made it too, which is interesting because we had differing answers for several things (I had Land Tax over Mana Drain, Elves over Bolt, and GB Flier).

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    6. Ah dude your breaking my heart so proud of you.

      And alsp effin terrified because I'm in direct competition with you but still full thumbs up bro.

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    7. Wait, and I also had "green likes powerful creatures" over "because white has better removal." We can't have 4 different answers and both have made it, can we?

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    8. oh wait... this is crazy. I must have been right about two of those, and you must have been right about the other two.

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    9. Congratulations Carl, wow, so well done! Also Ryan and Havelock! I am impressed.

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    10. Congrats Carl.
      You were def right about GB Flier.
      I was most likely right about Mana Drain.
      I won't even speculate who was right about Bolt/Elves or green's size.

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    11. Sorry, Noah. You were way high on my radar. I hope you keep participating here on GA.

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    12. CONGRATS!

      I'm pretty sure you got everything except BG and Llanowar Elves.

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    13. Thanks Jay, I'll keep on trucking. I'm honestly a little relieved, this takes a lot off my plate in the upcoming months. Ah well, more time to work on other stuff. It's not like this is my only route to Wizard-dom. Have fun with it!

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    14. Oh, and congrats Carl and Jim! Almost missed seeing your comments there.

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    15. I think Jay was wrong on the GB>UW flier and reprint question of Bolt over Llanowar Elves. Otherwise his guide should be a test key.

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    16. Sorry to hear that, Sage. It sucks feeling like you didn't get to show what you can do.

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    17. YES. There is some justice in this world.

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  5. Didn't make the cut. Sic semper Junkpiles, I suppose.

    Well, that means I have some more free time! And if Jay gets hired I can probably try to keep the WAC going.

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    1. Sorry you didn't make it, Pasteur! I hope you do awesome things in that free time.

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  6. I made it! Heart racing, hands shaking, praise Flying Spaghetti Monster YASSSSSS

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  7. Made the cut, which means based on Jay’s test either Lightning Bolt was the correct choice, the BG angel was wrong....or I was one of the three perfect scores. Holy shit.

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    1. You too Jay. Best of luck and hope to see you in the top 8!

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    2. I had that suspicion as well, but I dont really count it since Question 5 was a freebie. I got it right when it said Dt+Trample but got it wrong when it sais hexproof trample. Still got in, but no bragging right for me.

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    3. Oh my god. Ohhhhh my god. Based on Carl’s answers above and Jay’s answers, I must have gotten a perfect score.

      Wow. Woooooooooow. I am legit freaking out.

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    4. Then tell us what the debated answers really were!

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    5. Jay was right on all but Lightning Bolt and the angel.

      Carl was right about everything except Green’s Size and Mana Drain.

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    6. That is, the right answers were Llanowar Elves, BG for the angel, “white has better removal”, and Mana Drain. The wrong answers were Bolt, WU, “green players like bigger creatures”, and Land Tax

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    7. CONGRATS! Wow, perfect score!

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    8. Wait a second, that heavily implies all three perfect scores were artisans.

      >Nb4 Wotc shuts the site down for breaking the GDS metagame too quickly.

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  8. My friends. This is the metaphor I came to when I was knocked out of GDS2, which I hope will help:

    It's like going to a Sealed PTQ. Sometimes you open well, and sometimes you don't. Sometimes you find a way to make a pile into a deck, and sometimes you find a way to miss your best deck. Sometimes you get good matchups and sometimes you just get the worst. Sometimes you mulligan to 5 every match.

    All of the best players in the world have failed to win a PTQ. All of them haved failed to Top 8. All of them have failed to place in multiple if not many Top 8s. A big part of becoming a pro players is showing up to as many tournaments as possible.

    The only difference here is that there have only ever been three GDSs.

    And that sucks.

    (But no one can stop you from making your own games.)

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    1. After taking the day to stew, commiserate, collect my thoughts, what-have-you, I've come to the following conclusions:

      Yes, some of the questions were more subjective than objective. Some, like the play design question, came down to whose article you read more recently.

      Yes, the granularity of the test was sorely lacking. At someone's best, their score is likely to be (potential +/- one question). The more questions you have, the less that +/- determines your fate.

      BUT

      I will not let this test say more about me than it should. A 72 doesn't mean I'm not good enough, or can't design, or should not keep pursuing design. It means I got a 72 on this test. They need to set the bar somewhere, and however I may disagree with the number of questions, there was always the chance I don't end up on the side of the bar I wanted.

      I will be ineligible for GDS4. Employees of WotC can't participate, so I'll just have to disqualify myself. That, or find something better. You can't look at a point in history as the high point (or potential high point), or everything else seems sour. I will keep working on games and putting my name out there, and if good things don't come my way, then I will go to them.

      P.S. Shameless Plug: You guys should totally get Betrayal Legacy when it comes out at let me know what you think!

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    2. So, I had a bad day today and I have been trying to sort out how I feel about being eliminated.

      At no point have I ever doubted that this blog would be a good place to be. I have avoided reading Mark's comments on the test, but I feel so clear about GA. Jay, you've made something that is bigger than the GDS.

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    3. Noah, are you working with JR, and Brian, and Rob on Betrayal Legacy?

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    4. Aw, thanks, Devin. But I didn't make GA by myself. Neither to start, nor now.

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    5. Yup! It's been very fun and educational.

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  9. In. By the skin of my teeth (I missed #2 and #72).

    Anyone know if we're allowed to share the design challenge? It's a fun one.

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    1. Awesome!
      Congratulations.

      Share nothing unless Mark Rosewater explicitly says otherwise.

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    2. Yeah thats an easy way to get DQ'd. I didnt even talk about how I felt about it for fear of that.

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    3. Yeah, don't risk your spot for that. What a way to go. Good luck on the challenges!

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    4. Also double whammy for Jay and Ip for passing under extreme cirumstances. My nominally employed ass literally took a whole 24 hours to do it while one flu gamed it amd another made it through an effed up episode of the IT crowd.

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    5. Congratulations, do well!

      And yes, don't share anything public unless they explicitly say it's ok, be safe! I'm really eager to see it, but I'm sure it'll be public after the weekend.

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    6. Good advice, thanks guys. Maro tweeted that it's secret. https://twitter.com/maro254/status/958397124051222528

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  10. I missed out by 1 question which I think a few people here know the pain of.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/magicTCG/comments/7u1z18/comment/dtgz6bi

    Someone cross-referenced answers from people who passed and this should be a list of the right answers.

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    1. I have to imagine there are close to 100 folks in that situation. Brutal.

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    2. Those match my answers, I think this link is correct for those of you who want to check your work.

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    3. Oh, no, I'm sorry :(

      Thank you for the link, that's really helpful.

      OK, so of the suspicious questions, the answer seem to be:

      * Stealing +1/+1 hexproof trample is RG (but we don't know if there's a specific reason its not RU)
      * 4/4 flying vigilance is BG
      * "whenever this deals damage, draw a card" is U/G, untap isn't (despite the accidental 'trick question' that it should be combat damage)
      * Green doesn't kill for sport (I think this one is obvious if you read "for sport")
      * Play design, you should ask.
      * Commander decks, people should want to build new decks for the commanders more than the colours need to balance (I would have gone for that myself, but I missed that felt that wizards always made colours balance -- I should have realised they wouldn't have put "people are excited to design around them" as a fake answer)
      * Reprint Llanowar Elves (despite the worry that they wouldn't reprint elves even if they reprint a functional duplicate.)

      What did I get wrong? The killing for sport one, the commander decks one, and I think I stuffed up a couple of the rarity questions as well.

      Ironically, I think I got all of the harder questions correct, if I'd been willing to spend more time on it, I should have rechecked the questions I was a little bit uncertain about, not only the ones I was significantly uncertain about.

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    4. MaRo said there were about 200 with at least 72 questions right, so yeah there are about 100 people on the 72 train of sadness. One way ticket.

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    5. Wow so I actually did get a technically perfect score. Real brutal about the 72s but I think a lot of folks are taking it out on the test. Nothing here was as "trick question" as say the Virtual Vanilla one from GDS2 and the great majority of them could be looked up (The Bolt vs Elf one from Stoddard, the color pie ones from the Mechanical Article and ones like Land Tax vs Mana Drain and 10 mana instants from Gatherer/Scryfall)

      Seriously though hard fought all, great skills from the communitt and I hope to see a big explosion in custom magic folk.

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    6. Really sad to see that there were 200 people with 72 correct answers. This test could have had a lot more granularity to it with 5 more questions.

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    7. Maro said 22 people are on the sad 1-off train, and another 90 or so are on the 2-off.

      Mostly my bad on the question with the ability on the Artificer and thinking set design would want all UR Artificer to follow the rules of equal or lesser power to toughness.

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    8. Nah, 22 people are on the happy 1-off train (74/75).

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    9. Sorry to hear that. I definitely agree that the test's granularity was inadequate.

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  11. Made it, I'm completely blown away.

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  12. Made it! My wrong answers were 28 (GW) and 56 (brain fart). Definitely feels like there was an element of luck here, but they do need to narrow down the pool somehow, and things like the Play Design question help with that.

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  13. Disappointed this is not like GDS2, so the journey at least for the Great Designer Search is done for us who did not advance.

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    1. Agreed, that is a shame. I wonder what prompted the change back to GDS1 format.

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    2. You mean no wiki? Yeah I wonder whats up with that.

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    3. If you make the top three ask MARO or maybe it can be asked on his twitter.

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    4. I can see merits to either approach. The important thing is that just because the challenges aren't being posted in advance of participants submitting doesn't mean that others can't participate from the sidelines by trying their own designs for the challenges.

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    5. It probably comes down to the legal matter of who owns what on a community forum hosted by Wizards. Agreements don't protect as well as Hasbro likes.

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    6. Would only letting people who entered write on the wiki eliminate that, since we already agreed to terms and conditions?

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    7. It seems like it, but perhaps the fact they've got no skin in the game allows/encourages some kind of negative behavior. I don't remember anything like that last time around.

      It may have nothing to do with the contest at all. They might just not have the resources to moderate a forum, and want to avoid the bad press an unmoderated one would inevitably lead to.

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  14. I really wish I could assist and at least show some card designs. I guess I just have to wait for the next You Design the Card.

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    1. You can always show card designs! Twitter, Reddit and several other venues have active forums. And I'm sure GA will continue posting the challenges as they become available for those playing along at home. Thus is actually a great time to show off new designs as the top 8 aren't prohibited from seeing outside designs yet, so maybe something you want to see inspires the eventual winner.

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    2. I was wondering what are the rules about getting inspired from someone's design. In GDS2 you just gave credit

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    3. Because the challenges are secretly released in advance, any inspiration is purely coincidental. The community can only Monday morning quarterback this time around

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