Friday, July 30, 2021

Weekend Design Challenge 073021 - Online Mechanics

Hey Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Your mission is to design a custom Magic card that follows the guidelines. Over the course of the weekend, give feedback to your fellow designers on their designs and incorporate their feedback to iterate on your own. I'll try to offer some feedback of my own starting on Monday.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Weekend Design Challenge 072321 - Tribal God

Happy Friday Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Your mission is to design a custom Magic card that follows the guidelines. Over the course of the weekend, give feedback to your fellow designers on their designs and incorporate their feedback to iterate on your own. I'll try to offer some feedback of my own starting on Monday.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

CCDD 20210721 - Feigned Death

Looking at other potential keywords to bring back. Purely in terms of name, Conspire is a great fit for the flavor of the set. Mechanically it was kind of a whiff. It's just difficult enough to pull off that you can't reliably do it often, but it reads like it would be easier to do. This results in a lot of feel-bad plays, even when the effect is perfectly serviceable without the copy. I could image a 5-10 card cycle of hybrid common spells carrying it.

CCDD 20210720 - Promising Swindler and Bounty Bolt

Starting to think about which mechanics would be useful to include as a returning mechanic for my Heist Movie set. Renown seems like it might be a good place to start - thieves and charlatans can gain a bit of notoriety. The biggest strike against it is that, to play in the trope space, being recognizable in the heist world is a bit of double edged sword, as you have people paying attention to you when you need to be inconspicuous. Translating that into mechanics means finding ways to punish renown, which is not a great recipe for a mechanic like that.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Weekend Design Challenge 071721 - Seal

Hey Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Your mission is to design a custom Magic card that follows the guidelines. Over the course of the weekend, give feedback to your fellow designers on their designs and incorporate their feedback to iterate on your own. I'll try to offer some feedback of my own starting on Monday.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Weekend Design Challenge 070921 - Non-D&D Classes

Happy Friday Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Once you've gone and made your own card for submission, go ahead and offer some feedback on your fellow Artisans' cards. Throughout next week I'll try to offer some feedback of my own.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Weekend Design Challenge 070221 - Dragon

Happy Friday Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Your mission is to design a custom Magic card that follows the guidelines. Over the course of the weekend, give feedback to your fellow designers on their designs and incorporate their feedback to iterate on your own. I'll try to offer some feedback of my own starting on Monday. (I know the feedback has been slow lately-- sorry! But I do get to it eventually.)

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Monday, June 28, 2021

CCDD 20210628 - Veteran Thief

This one started out as a common 1/1 lifelink, shadow, vanishing 5 for B. I vacillated between vanishing and cumulative upkeep 1 for the downside/inevitable demise element of the concept, but downside mechanics suck and there's no way I'm actually using them in Cornea. I ended up with a pseudo-cumulative upkeep instead, but it made the life swings big enough that this needed to be bumped up to uncommon (maybe even rare) and I had to tack on at least one more to the mana value.

 

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Weekend Design Challenge 062621 - Dungeon

Hey Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Your mission is to design a custom Magic card that follows the guidelines. Over the course of the weekend, give feedback to your fellow designers on their designs and incorporate their feedback to iterate on your own. I'll try to offer some feedback of my own starting on Monday.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

CCDD 20210623 - Invisibility Field

I feel like the top-down Invisibility I was going for here may have gotten away from me a little bit. I'm not sure being able to target it with creatures (and stapling on the Illusion ability) is enough of a window for this to feel different enough from Whispersilk Cloak.

 

Monday, June 21, 2021

CCDD 20210621 - Harmonic Coordination

There is surprisingly little mono-G top-down design space in a Heist Movie theme. I put the clockwork maneuvering of the squad in the Common Bond/Seeds of Strength space, but I wonder if I forced it to be different targets if it would be a better design.



Friday, June 18, 2021

Weekend Design Challenge 061821 - Two Cards

Hey Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Your mission is to design a custom Magic card that follows the guidelines. Over the course of the weekend, give feedback to your fellow designers on their designs and incorporate their feedback to iterate on your own. I'll try to offer some feedback of my own starting on Monday.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

The Many Faces of +1/+1 Counters

There are a number of evergreen archetypes that Wizards goes back to when a color pair doesn't have anything in particular it wants to do in a set. These are especially visible in core set Limited environments, which are designed to both teach new players what color combinations usually do and to "reset" enfranchised players back to basics, so to speak. While there are a number of these with enough history to write about – U/R spells, W/B lifegain, and so on – what I wanted to focus on in this article is the +1/+1 counter archetype, which sets itself apart from its coworkers by its flexibility. What we think of as a "counter theme" is actually several themes that happen to use +1/+1 counters, each of which is worth exploring in some depth.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Weekend Design Challenge 061121 - Young Planeswalker Fan


Happy Friday Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Your mission is to design a custom Magic card that follows the guidelines. Over the course of the weekend, give feedback to your fellow designers on their designs and incorporate their feedback to iterate on your own. I'll try to offer some feedback of my own starting on Monday.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Weekend Design Challenge 060521 - Iconic Slayer

Hey Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Your mission is to design a custom Magic card that follows the guidelines. Over the course of the weekend, give feedback to your fellow designers on their designs and incorporate their feedback to iterate on your own. I'll try to offer some feedback of my own starting on Monday.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Trading Card Games and the Paradox of Choice

Magic brought with it an enormous boom in the then-new trading card game genre, with dozens of competitors beginning and ending in the 1990s alone. As the genre's solidified, we've seen the benefits (creative) and downsides (largely financial) of having random components and uneven player access to your game. One benefit that I haven't seen talked about, I think because it's subtle, also has something to do with how Magic has an enormous player population for a game of its complexity level – that incomplete
access to components helps dodge the Paradox of Choice.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Weekend Design Challenge 052121 - Modern Horizons 2 Text

Hey Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Your mission is to design a custom Magic card that follows the guidelines. Over the course of the weekend, give feedback to your fellow designers on their designs and incorporate their feedback to iterate on your own. I'll try to offer some feedback of my own starting on Monday.

Monday, May 10, 2021

The Perfect Storm: Vanishing, Allies, Ferocious, and Monarch

 Welcome to the next installment of "The Perfect Storm", a recurring article series where I randomly choose four mechanics rated between 5 and 7 on Mark Rosewater's Storm Scale and write about what environment those mechanics would need to return. This week: Vanishing, Allies, ferocious, and monarch. Check out the first installment of The Perfect Storm here.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Weekend Design Challenge 050721 - Dungeons and Dragons

Happy Friday Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Your mission is to design a custom Magic card that follows the guidelines. Over the course of the weekend, give feedback to your fellow designers on their designs and incorporate their feedback to iterate on your own. I'll try to offer some feedback of my own starting on Monday.

Monday, April 26, 2021

The Usual Suspects: The Tapper

Welcome to a new installment in my series, The Usual Suspects. For those who haven't seen the first edition, in The Usual Suspects I take a deep dive into a card archetype that has seen repeated designs across Magic's history and analyze its purpose, its variants, and what makes it good (or bad). This week: One of the most archetypal white effects, the tapper – a creature that can tap itself to tap one of your opponent's creatures.



Saturday, April 24, 2021

Weekend Design Challenge 042421 - Demon

Hey Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Your mission is to design a custom Magic card that follows the guidelines. Over the course of the weekend, give feedback to your fellow designers on their designs and incorporate their feedback to iterate on your own. I'll try to offer some feedback of my own starting on Monday.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Weekend Design Challenge 041721 - If X Is

Hey Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Your mission is to design a custom Magic card that follows the guidelines. Over the course of the weekend, give feedback to your fellow designers on their designs and incorporate their feedback to iterate on your own. I'll try to offer some feedback of my own starting on Monday.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Don't Make Me Think

Part of being a good game designer involves knowing when to do things your players don't like. Sometimes this is because your responsibility is to give players enough challenges that they have fun while suffering at the same time; sometimes this is because you genuinely know better than your players in how to give them a fun time. There are many cases where you can't give players what they say they want because it will make the game worse for them in practice: In this article, I argue that although people say they want more control and decision points in Magic, Magic's lack of them compared to other trading card games is what has made the game both highly accessible and long-lasting.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Weekend Design Challenge 040921 - Strixhaven Cycle

Happy Friday Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Your mission is to design a custom Magic card that follows the guidelines. Over the course of the weekend, give feedback to your fellow designers on their designs and incorporate their feedback to iterate on your own. I'll try to offer some feedback of my own starting on Monday.