Thursday, February 21, 2019

Lenses for Friends: Making Mechanics Interesting

Last time in Lenses for Friends, we introduced the lenses of gameplay and experience. Today, we're introducing the lens of interest, and sharing a story about helping a friend with it. I've seen more designers struggle with this lens than any other.

Also: check out Episodes 59 and 60 of the Beacon of Creation custom Magic design podcast, to see these lenses used in action. I made a guest appearance helping Bradley RoseAdam Victor Klesh, and Juliet Louis with their community set, Castmire!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Lenses for Friends: Making Mechanics Play Well and Tell Stories

As some may know, I recently had the pleasure of being a guest on the Beacon of Creation custom Magic design podcast, discussing their community designed set Castmire with Bradley Rose and Adam Victor Klesh. On that podcast, I mentioned something I called "mechanical lenses", which I use to evaluate the mechanics of game designs, especially for custom Magic design. Today, I'd like to begin a series where I formally introduce these mechanical lenses, by telling some stories about how I've used them to help fellow designers with their design troubles. In this part, we'll introduce two lenses which most designers think they're very familiar with already...

Friday, February 15, 2019

Weekend Design Challenge 021519 - Out-of-Guild Ravnica Keywords II

Hey Artisans. Click through to see the requirements for this weekend's design challenge, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, so once you've got your great idea down, give some thoughtful critique to some of your peers. Revise your submission any number of times, and, time permitting, I'll review the most recent submission from each designer.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

CCDD 021419 - Some More More Interesting Slivers (Part 2)

Yesterday I showed off some more off-beat sliver designs for white, blue and black. Today I'll cover red and green, and maybe talk about some more color interactions.

For those looking for Valentines Day content, rest assured that Slivers are very near and dear to my heart.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

CCDD 021319 - Some More Interesting Slivers (Part 1)

Last week I gave myself the challenge of making a cycle of slivers that incorporated the five clan mechanics from Khans of Tarkir into their designs. I had fairly strict design parameters for myself - the mechanics had to be the Khans ones, not the Fate Reforged or Dragons of Tarkir ones. I wanted to get the execution as clean as I could, and not gunk up the individual slivers with additional rules beyond the core of the clan mechanic. Unfortunately, as Nich Grayson rightfully pointed out, this resulted in some relatively unexciting Sliver designs.

Monday, February 11, 2019

The 8 Kinds of Fun

Understanding our audience is one of the holiest grails of game design. Mark Rosewater's psychographics are famous in this community, but he's not the only one thinking about this. A couple years ago, BGG users will remember Quantic Foundry's motivation profile going around. There's the Bartle taxonomy of players types. And I recently encountered another older analysis called The 8 Kinds of Fun.

Here's the oldest post I've found about it, the firstest, and the bestest.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Weekend Design Challenge 020819 - Faction Ascendency

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. I haven't been the best about reviewing recently, but I will attempt to review the most recent submission from each designer sometime at the beginning of next week.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Of Other Multiverses

By lpaulsen

Hi everyone! I'm Luke. I comment on Goblin Artisans as lpaulsen and occasionally post my own custom Magic design projects at

Here's a little known fact about me, though: I have a fictional alter ego who's a planeswalker.

CCDD 020719 - Slivers of Tarkir

It looks like I may have inadvertently backed myself into a tribal theme this week. Oops. Anyway, here's the very beginnings of an idea I had last night. May I present, the Slivers of Tarkir:

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

CCDD 020519 - Distortion Sentinel and Eldrazi Design Principles

Good morning, Artisans. I was thinking about Eldrazi today, so I decided to come up with one. Unfortunately, I've internalized a number of Eldrazi design principles, some of which I extrapolated from Rise/Battle for/Oath/Eldritch, some of which I just made up, but they do make our friendly unfathomable extraplaner weirdos difficult to make.

Monday, February 4, 2019

CCDD 020419 - Goblin Mail Carrier

So we did the Goblin Game a couple weeks ago on Twitter. The first round every year is to design a common Goblin, and this year I offered up this art:

Friday, February 1, 2019

Eternal Analysis 016—Spark

Spark is Eternal's bloodthirst/spectacle mechanic, opened up to do anything when your opponent has taken damage. What it does most often is suck.