Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ready, Set, Go!

 This post was inspired by MaRo's recent column, "10 Things Every Game Needs," (you can read part 1 here and part 2 here if you missed them). It got me thinking about my effort a few years ago to learn Go, and what I could learn about game design from it.

Monday, November 28, 2011

M13 Designing Lair (1)

I summarized the initial rules for the implementation of lair in Magic 2013 in this article, but I didn't get into great detail and more importantly, we didn't come up with final answers. Note that a 'final answer' can still be changed until the deadline if we discover a good enough reason to warrant making the change, considering the large ripple effect that will have on other cards. We at least need to agree to what we're doing for now or else different designers will submit (have submitted) different implementations and we're wasting energy designing in different directions.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

M13 Playtesting Has Limits?

I've learned more than a few things during this project, and I hope those following along have gleaned a nugget here and there as well, but I've come to accept an unusually large lesson very recently: There are some design decisions that you can't rely on playtesting to help you make. I'm not sure I would have ever stated the counterpoint (that every design decision can be based upon playtesting) but solidifying the concept of what can and can't be handled this way took me the better part of two months.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

CCDD 112311—Goblin Grifter

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/23/2011 - There's not much to talk about the inspiration for Goblin Grifter. I was reminded by the last Rosewater article that rewarding a player for having no spells in hand is better than rewarding them for having seven (or even just a bunch) because it promotes playing your spells more instead of less which is kind of what we all sat down to do in the first place.

We will absolutely see hellbent again. It was perfect for the black-red Rakdos guild in Ravnica, but it's a simple mechanic that's fun to play and only the tip of its designberg has been explored. Here's one now:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

M13 Back on Task

I'm not going to lie, I couldn't find a way to make this post interesting or educational. It's more for the collaborators to discuss logistics than anything truly exciting. The upshot is that we've done some footwork and are ready to get knees-deep into the card file again. You're more than welcome to read on, but I promise it will be boring. Fair warning.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

M13 Party with Top Down (3)

I got so much good feedback from yesterday's post that I couldn't help but share the revised cards.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

M13 Party with Top Down (2)

It's been two weeks since I made the call for top-down submissions and the activity has leveled off so it's time to identify the best. What follows is my list of cards that stood out to me as fun, flavorful and appropriate (at least potentially) for a core set. Click for full-size.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shroud Vs Hexproof: Interactivity

Shroud Vs Hexproof: Downsides
Today I continue the debate between shroud and hexproof. For context, here're part one and part two.

What draws a player to play a game rather than read a book or even watch a movie with friends? Both of those media can be fun and challenging, but they're not interactive. The ability to make choices and see the results of those choices is primary in drawing players into single player games and the effect is multiplied in duels and group games because now you're not just interacting with the game environment, but with other players which can be deeply satisfying.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shroud Vs Hexproof: Downsides

Shroud Vs Hexproof: Downsides
Today I continue the debate between shroud and hexproof. For context, here's part one.

The only reason we're having this discussion is because they key-worded hexproof. It existed alongside shroud on Sacred Wolf in Magic 2011 non-italic text, but when they key-worded it in 2012 that's where we got the issue we discussed last time. Why keyword it? Why promote it over shroud? Because it's an all-upside version of shroud.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Shroud Vs Hexproof: Mindspace

Shroud Vs Hexproof: Mindspace
This last Friday, Aaron Forsythe tweeted a question which apparently earned the largest response he's ever seen. It's a qood question: Which of shroud and hexproof should be used in Magic going forward? It sounds simple but it's actually a compound question with an answer that depends on more than one factor.
Which keyword would you rather us use: shroud or hexproof?