Friday, November 30, 2012

CCDD 113012—Dig

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/30/2012 - Pasteur's latest submission for Frontier includes Dig as a smoothing mechanic half-way between cycling and landcycling. You don't get to search your library or choose which card you get, but you are guaranteed a land card. He wasn't the first to propose Dig for this challenge and this challenge wasn't the first time Dig has been proposed, but it's an appealing mechanic because it fixes mana well while remaining fairly quick to execute and of low enough power level to go on a lot of cards without ruining their appeal.

Dig 2 (2, Discard this card: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a land card. Put that card into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

CCDD 112912—Stoic Defender

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/29/2012 - This card's been sitting in the file for a while. It had an additional clause which ensured you only got the defensive exalted bonus if you also attacked with Stoic Defender, but that seemed much too fiddly to keep. I'm guessing it had been included originally to force you to risk an attack and prevent you from just sitting back and blocking, but it read strangely and introduces (light) memory issues. The card's just cleaner without. It probably doesn't need vigilance now either.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CCDD 112812—Resilience Sphere

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/28/2012 - I'm confident we'll see more hard-to-target effects like Frost Titan's in the future. In fact, I fully expect "spells [and abilities] targeting ~ cost opponents N more to cast" to be keyworded someday. Until then, we'll seed the future with one-off effects. Today's card actually makes the added cost symmetric, but it does so as a cost for a useful effect, rather than a penalty.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

CCDD 112712—Ashen Furnace

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/27/2012 - Loosely inspired by the Ruins of Trokair cycle and Lake of the Dead, Ashen Furnace turns out to be a sort of reverse Dust Bowl.

Monday, November 26, 2012

CCDD 112612—Steal Fate

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/26/2012 - Reverse Fatespinner. Instead of robbing an opponent of part of her turn, Steal Fate gives you more turn. It happens to do so in a punisher-mechanic way, that lets your opponent prevent you from taking a particular bonus by conceding it herself, but that would be a desperate choice indeed and one you're just as likely to profit from.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

CCDD 112412—Peer Below

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/24/2012 - I don't know that this effect is particularly red, though I do think it's at least arguable. It's really just what came to mind when I saw this Dwarf inspecting this crag.

What do you think? Red can discard cards to draw a cards and it can sacrifice Mountains to empower effects. Is this kosher? Assuming we agree it doesn't belong in a core set, what kind of expert set might Peer Below belong in?

Friday, November 23, 2012

CCDD 112312—Migration

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/23/2012 - Caring about or messing with the colored and colorless symbols in a card's mana cost isn't a deep well, but I come back to it every now and again. I found this art, knew it had to be Migration and immediately made Naked Singularity. Dang. Tried again and... this very non-Timmy card came out.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

CCDD 112112—Ka's Pyramid

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/12/2012 - I was thinking a little about how to express pyramids for Ankh-Theb. I started with Level-Up on a land and was immediately convinced there's only one good design there. The three artifact solutions that follow aren't amazing either, but they have a good identity to them and express the intense labor required for great pyramids pretty well.

With some luck, maybe they'll be enough to start a conversation that leads us to something awesome.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mark Rosewater, Please Read This Article: Differentiating Green and White

[This series consists of articles about the future of Magic.  Because they are intended partly as feedback for R&D, they contain no original designs.]

I'm thinking of a color. 

It likes playing lots of creatures, including tokens. It likes pumping these creatures as well, both temporarily and permanently. It sometimes gives them vigilance or untaps them. It tends to be good with enchantments. It gains life at the drop of a hat, and can prevent damage to itself or its creatures. It can destroy both artifacts and enchantments easily, but has less direct methods for handling enemy creatures.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Round 3 Pitches!

It's time for the next round of pitches!  We have five worlds left, and each of them has tons of potential but also some unanswered questions. Here is the "homework" for each world after the second pitch.

  • Ankh-Theb: Find more mechanical themes. Possibly determine factions and/or color pie divisions.
  • Athambia Academy: Clarify the flavor of the Academy itself. Show us something about other Houses, or the role of the school in its world.
  • Ekkremes: Show us what kind of world this set takes place in.
  • Frontier: Invent more mechanics.
  • Sephorgia A: Decide which mechanics are important for evoking the Arthurian flavor.
  • Sephorgia B: Demonstrate something that goes on in this world besides enchantments.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

CCDD 111612—Training

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/17/2012 - I sincerely doubt this is a unique idea. I'm not even sure this is the first time I've thought of it. Even so, it's kinda neat and fairly inoffensive. Reverse Kindle:

A Forum for Our Set Design Project

We've set up a forum for our set design project. It's here.

While it requires you to register an account, it should be easier to hold discussion in this threaded forum rather than the comment section of this blog, since we tend to have parallel discussion on many topics for each set.

This is an example of how the mechanic design section for a set would look. Each mechanic would have its own thread, so it should be possible to browse through them like an idea list when you're looking for mechanic ideas to use in your pitch for this project.

Friday, November 16, 2012

CCDD 111612—Sanguaro

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/16/2012 - The idea for a cactus treefolk was not mine—I believe it was Antny's—but I just had to make the card. So awesome.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Set Design: Round 2 Pitches are Up!

After reading an astonishing thirty-five pitches from you based on our original eight sets, the Goblin Artisans authors have finally completed the task of narrowing the field from eight to five.  We based these decisions partly on the quality and number of pitches we received for worlds, but also on our own opinions of their potential for future growth.  It was a tough decision, and we're sure there will be some surprises.  Read on to find out which worlds made it!

Set Design: Ankh-Theb 2

HV: This pitch is by George Gone.  My comments are in blue.  The pitch from round one is here.  The wiki page for this set is here

Set Design: Athambia Academy 2

HV: This pitch is by James Bartolotti.  My comments are in blue.  The pitch from round one is here.  The wiki page for this set is here.  

Set Design: Ekkremes 2

HV: This pitch is by Jacob Munford.  My comments are in blue.  The pitch from round one is here.  The wiki page for this set is here

Set Design: Frontier 2

HV: This pitch is by Prophylaxis.  My comments are in blue.  The pitch from round one is here.  The wiki page for this set is here.  

Set Design: Sephorgia 2A

HV: This pitch is by Nich Grayson.  My comments are in blue.  The pitch from round one is here.  The wiki page for this set is here.  

Set Design: Sephorgia 2B

HV: This pitch is by Jacob Munford.  My comments are in blue.  The pitch from round one is here.  The wiki page for this set is here.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

CCDD 11/13/12—Reform

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/13/2012 - Sometimes people buy two of the same antique car so they can rip the good parts out of one to replace the bad parts from the other. Fallout uses this model for repairing all your equipment (and it's a great way to handle the So Many Guns problem). Is there a Magic mechanic there? (Hint: I think so.)

Monday, November 12, 2012

CCDD 111212—Æthershift

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/12/2012 - This mechanic was inspired while reading Mark Rosewater's Designing for Izzet. I share it today not because I think it would have been a better choice than Replicate or Overload (I don't) nor even that it should be used if we come back to the Izzet in the future. Æthershift fails in one of the primary goals of an Izzet mechanic: creating variance. In fact, this keyword will create more repetitive gameplay. That said, it's kinda neat and designing it was interesting.

Friday, November 9, 2012

CCDD 110912—Buried Treasure

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/9/2012 - I mentioned that Wednesday's crazy mechanic bury had been inspired by an idea that was itself inspired by the set submissions. Today, I want to show you the middleman, but I can't do that without telling you about the original because—and yes this is a serious flaw—it really doesn't make any sense out of context.

Actually, there wasn't a single mechanic I can point to, it was more a confluence of similar mechanics. Dig, Explore and some un-keyworded abilities all shared in common a similar action: looking at or revealing the top N cards of your library. For the most part, these were smoothing mechanics—the kind of thing that's important for keeping games moving forward and making more games competitive, but that tends not to be terribly sexy. Smoothing mechanics keep exciting sets selling because of the good gameplay they support, but they don't make a set anymore exciting to begin with.

My goal was to make the choice to use one of these mechanics more exciting. To compel people to make their decks better by adding interest to the workhorse cards they might ignore otherwise.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

CCDD 110712—Bury

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/7/2012 - This keyword was inspired by a keyword that was inspired by a couple of the recent submissions for Sephorgia. I made literally 12 versions of it, swinging between things that were more like Suspend, more like Miracle or more novel. I settled on two versions I want to share with that I feel are simple, unique and interesting enough. I'm going to share six cards executed using each version to demonstrate the differences.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Set Design: Processing Round 2 Pitches

Readers, you submitted a truly amazing thirty-five pitches for the second round of the set selection process!  We're all quite excited by the level of audience engagement in this project.  We're also going to be swamped reading and judging all these designs for the next several days.  I can't make any promises about the exact length of time it'll take to finish; despite our love for Goblin Artisans, we've got day jobs and enough geographic separation that it isn't feasible to lock ourselves in a conference room until the decision gets made.  But rest assured, we are extremely grateful for your ideas, and look forward to reading all of them.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Set Design: Round 2 Deadline Approaching!

The due date for the second round of pitches is midnight on Sunday, November 4.  Details are here.  This is an update to let you know the current numbers of pitches received for each world.

When all the pitches are in, we'll have another blog author huddle to make the cut to five candidates.  Whether a set survives will depend partly on the quality of the best pitch(es) for that world, but also on how many Goblin Artisans readers are actually excited about it.  To measure this, we'll consider number of pitches submitted, wiki activity, blog comments, etc.  So even if you don't have the time and energy to make a full pitch, please do head to the wiki (or comments section of the appropriate set, if you're wikiphobic) and contribute your brilliant ideas to the world of your choice.  That'll increase the likelihood that we pick your favorite set to work on!