Thursday, May 31, 2018

GDS3 Reflections: Scott Wilson, Challenge 5

By Scott Wilson

Well this was it, the final challenge. And the day before we started, Mark Rosewater sent us an e-mail that made my heart drop.

GDS3 Reflections: Jeremy Geist, Challenge #5: Fleshy Humans of Tarkir

Ah, the “design a bunch of commons” challenge. Truly the Restaurant Wars of GDS.

GDS3 Reflections: Ari Nieh, Challenge #5

One last challenge! One last hurdle before Renton! One last chance to follow the rules in their entirety! I felt optimistic about this challenge, because I'm more comfortable with the refining/editing/polishing phase of creative work than generating new ideas whole cloth.

GDS3 Challenge 5: Pack and Play (Discussion Thread)

The results from the final pre-Renton challenge are here! Here are the discussion threads for discussion the challenge, the designs, the judge calls, and the elimination, plus a good place to congratulate the top 3. We're finally caught up with the actual GDS in real time!

Contestant Challenge 5 Discussion Threads

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

GDS3 Reflections: Scott Wilson, Challenge 4

After the previous challenge where my Ancestry mechanic got a (deserved) lukewarm reception, I wanted to step it up for this challenge. Mark Rosewater had these words for me that I essentially used as my guiding light this time around:

"You have to step up your innovation and try some designs that make us sit up and notice."

With that in mind, for this challenge I aimed to make EACH card do something that hasn't been done before. In doing that, I think I made some cool cards, but I also ended up creating some monsters that I shouldn't have.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

GDS3 Reflections: Jeremy Geist, Round 4 - A Tale of Lofty Ambition And Reasonable Execution

The art challenge from GDS1 is my favorite of the challenges, so I was jazzed when my opened up my e-mail and there was a message saying “Twelve Arts for Design Challenge #4”. I opened it up, looked at the challenges, accepted that my submission for Challenge 3 was my worst performance so far, and got to work to redeem myself.

GDS3 Reflections: Aftermath

By Ryan Siegel-Stechler

Ever since I was 11 and first learned about Magic, it’s been a giant part of my life. My brother Kevin and I have been jamming decks (with ever-increasing competence) for years, keeping up via Magic even when we both moved to different states for college. Same with our childhood best friend, Spencer, who lived down the street from us. Magic gave us a bond that is strong to this day.

GDS3 Reflections: Ari Nieh, Challenge #4

When I saw that this week's challenge was an art challenge, I felt rather sheepish. We've been running Weekend Art Challenges here for many years, but I rarely participate in them. My thinking was: "Is is actually useful to practice designing for a given piece of artwork? Sure, they did it one time during the first Great Designer Search, but let's be realistic- it's a niche skill that I'll never need."

So. Yeah.

GDS3 Challenge 4: Work of Art (Discussion Thread)

The results from the fourth challenge have posted. You can use this thread and the linked individual pages to discuss thoughts and results. What do you guys think about how this round played out?

Also, my fan name for this round is Ballad of the Lizard Wizard.

Contestant Challenge 4 Discussion Threads

Friday, May 25, 2018

CCDD 052518—Bloodspill r5

Cool Card Design of the Day
5/25/18—Yesterday I processed the comments the GDS3 judges gave me on the bloodspill mechanic I submitted. Because I'm still really excited about the gameplay it creates and I now have tons of perspective and advice to apply to the idea, I've re-worked it. Unlike the original, this is un-playtested, so it's possible this isn't as fun as it looks or that certain tweaks playtesting would reveal are possible but unseen.

There are 38 cards below, which is far more than a set would devote to a three-color mechanic, but we're not building a set, we're exploring a mechanic, and that means considering as many executions as possible so that we can pick and choose the best.

Weekend Design Challenge 052518 - A Circus Act

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

GDS3 Reflections: Scott Wilson, Challenge 3

Closing our week on Challenge #3, Scott Wilson brings us the tale of how Ancestry came to be. Click through to read about it, and check out his GDS page for the judge feedback on his submission for this challenge.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

GDS3 Reflections: Jay Treat, Challenge 3, Mechanic

Greetings, acolyte. You wanted to know how to defeat all those who oppose you? You must shed all reluctance to spill blood. Mercy and hesitation are unknown to a true warrior. They who would be victorious have already accepted that their own blood will run with their enemies, but know that the fluid of life will continue to flow through their veins as long as they stand last.

Bloodspill is a very {B}{R}{G} mechanic that rewards you for causing players to lose life, and sometimes you've got to be willing to cost yourself some life to get your engine running. It's pretty spikey, definitely not for everyone, and incredibly fun.

GDS3 Reflections: Ryan Siegel-Stechler, Challenge 3: Mechanical Engineering

Ryan is back today to discuss the mechanics he came up with for the Third Design Challenge. Click on through to read how he approached this challenge. The judge comments for Ryan's submission can be found here.

GDS3 Reflections: Ari Nieh, Challenge #3

I was pleased to receive this challenge, because it catered directly to my biggest interest in Magic: set design. I had a reasonably large file of mechanics stored up from the last several years, and it was just a matter of picking the best one to show off. Piece of cake, right? As we would all discover, writing down something that sounds plausible as a mechanic is a far cry from adequately demonstrating that it can support a set.

GDS3 Challenge 3: Finding a Good Mechanic (Discussion Thread)

The designs and judge comments from the third design challenge have posted! Individual card designs are listed on the contestant's discussion pages linked below. Let's hear your thoughts about the mechanics, the judges comments, and who got cut!

Also, #TeamEquipment.

Contestant Challenge 3 Discussion Threads

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

GDS3 Reflections: Scott Wilson, Challenge #2

Scott Wilson is back to provide us with some more insight into how he approached the GDS challenges. Click through to read about how he crafted his take on Bigtopia. Scott's designs and what the judges had to say can be found on his official GDS page

GDS3 Reflections: Jay Treat, Challenge 2: Bigtopia

I was hoping to look between the lines of all the judge comments throughout the contest, but it's too much too fast, so I'm just going to respond to the comments I received and talk about my experience working on the challenge.

I'm not telling you anything you don't already know when I say the judging for this round was pretty subjective. Despite the judges' mixed opinions, I feel very good about my submission here.

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.