Design Class – Colorless Hybrid is an Oxymoron

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Editor’s Note: As with anything that I’ve written on this blog, I give Wizards of the Coast full use of these ideas and I won’t get mad. I mean, I suggested Memnite to see print at the same time Scars of Mirrodin was being designed. We’re cool Wizards, just send over some lawyers if you want me to sign some stuff if it makes you feel better (fist bump).

When I was flying down to Texas for the Magic Cruise 3, I had a few hours on the plane with no internet and a wife that was enthralled in Suduko (I have cards, she has numbers). Out came my paper notebook that I brought with me just in case I had some ideas for card design. Who am I kidding, I always have ideas for cards (and if you’ve got the same fever, you know what I’m talking about). My mind wondered to my GDS2 world that I half-heartly designed. It had been gestating in my mind for a while wondering if I should continue to work on it for fun. My pen connected with paper and out expressed all these ideas that I wish I had thought of the first time.

Time away from a project does bring focus.

Suddenly, I was coming across story and world ideas that I didn’t consider in the first place which would’ve made the whole thing (personally) much more interesting. If only I had thought of them in the first place…

Let’s not dwell on the past.

Anyway, besides the awesomeness of the story/world I was cooking up, I wanted to see if I could complete the cycle I was working on. You might remember it:

While I mainly focus on real world design instead of player created ones, I’m going to be a little egotistical here and show my process it about this cycle. For those that like to design their own cards in a serious manner, hopefully this will shed some light into what I was thinking. This is not a “You have to do it this way,” but just how my mind came up with this. After revisiting the world, I wanted to see if it could be done.

But before I create the future, I had to revisit the past.

Continue reading “Design Class – Colorless Hybrid is an Oxymoron”

Design Class – All of These Things Are Just Like Each Other

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I have an unhealthy obsession with card cycles.

Like really, really bad.

For my GDS2 entry, four of the ten cards I submitted were part of cycles:


And since this week’s GDS2 contest dealt with cycles, I’d thought I’d talk about them. Seems logical, right?

Continue reading “Design Class – All of These Things Are Just Like Each Other”

Inside a Johnny’s Mind – Sygg EDH

Sygg-Guest
Your work is like poetry...

Whenever someone asks me to explain Magic I tell them it’s like Chess with cards, but like Mousetrap, where it’s a puzzle and not everyone has the same pieces as you. After I show them a couple of cards and how they work off of each other, then they understand it.

But not everyone’s mind works the same way as mine, the world would be really scary. Everyone’s mind works differently at the game of Magic, which is why it’s so many thing to so many people. I am a Johnny/Spike/Melvin meaning I like opened ended good cards that make sense flavorly. Cards I like are: Undead Gladiator, Eternal Witness, Oblivion Ring, etc.

How does that relate to designing cards? Imagine what most of my card designs are: Opened ended good cards that make sense flavorly. People design what they know and love. You get a player who is a Timmy profile and they’ll design Timmy type cards. Keep this in mind when you’re designing a set, not everyone loves big creatures and not everyone loves proficient spells, you need to have a wide variety to make it a really good set (which is why I personally believe that once person can’t design a whole set and make it work beautifully. But that’s another topic for another post).

So, while putting together a new EDH deck, I noticed that most of the parts were interconnected in one way or another. Does that mean that every deck should have such synergies? No, but it amazed me how alot of the deck works together. This is just to give you non-Johnny’s what someone with this frame of mind thinks when they put together a deck. If you don’t know how EDH works, then please read this and come back. Continue reading “Inside a Johnny’s Mind – Sygg EDH”

After MaRo – The 2008 State of Design Response 2: Electric Boogaloo

If I mention Politics, her pic goes up
If I mention politics, her pic goes up

Editor’s Note: Other possible titles of this post include: After MaRo – The 2008 State of Design Response 2: Electric Boogaloo or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love WotC, Take 2, and Stop Me If You’ve Heard this Before.  If you don’t get this reference to the actual title, see here.

Just like in MaRo’s Type 1, Take 2 article (the Take 2 Link in the above aside) I want another shot at this article.  What happened the first time was that I read MaRo’s State of Design and wanted to throw some stuff that I had been thinking about or things that were bothering me, mostly about the number of cards being printed at a time.  Sure, I love creating different decks, but I made my point last time and I’m not going to do it this time again.  I felt I was a little too political with how things should be handled (though being political got me to put Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin’s picture on this site because we need to beautify it here) and I didn’t really focus on the design of the past year (Note: I’m not supporting any ticket, only that Palin is the most attractive VP in the past 20 years (With apologies to Dan Quayle)).

Keep in mind that with my suggestion (and with the hard working people at Organized Play, alright, mostly their work), States/Champs are coming back.  I am excited and now if Wizards would continue to include things that I talk about, maybe then I’ll get an overinflated ego that I think I’m making a difference.

Now, to the bulk of this post (again,a long post, but I’ll make it up to you).

Magic R&D: You guys are doing an awesome job.  I like the cards that are seeing print, and except for a few of them, couldn’t be happier.  Bringing us back to a tribal block and making it feel different was a great success.  Thoug it isn’t being run by Goblins is a great feeling, but only to have them be run by Faeries is meh.  When I was gunslinging at PAX last weekend, I played against Aaron Forsythe.  He just sat down and played against me: his being a Greater Gargadon while mine was a Zur the Enchanter that just didn’t get going (Yes Aaron, that’s what I was playing).  As I sat and looked at his suspended Gargadon while playing a Sower of Temptation to steal one of his tokens, I joked that I wish it had flash in hopes of taking said Gargadon.  Aaron looked at me and said, “Well, in testing it did.”  Maybe because I was being beaten horribly or just because I was a smart ass, I replied, “Oh, good thing it didn’t, because you didn’t want to make Faeries too good, did you?” Continue reading “After MaRo – The 2008 State of Design Response 2: Electric Boogaloo”

After MaRo – The 2008 State of Design Response

Lady(ies?) and gentlemen, the great master MaRo talked to us yesterday about his thoughts and opinions about the past year in Magic design. He told his his highs, his lows, and what he wants to do in the next year. Most of us play the game as well as junior designing, so some of their non-design decisions have been on our minds rather then if the past block worked well together. We’ll get to that in due time while some of that will be sprinkled in as well (this is a long post, be prepared).

(MaRo art by UGMadness.net (I don’t think I use that much bandwidth, though WordPress helps me out there)).

Lady(ies?) and gentlemen, the great master MaRo talked to us yesterday about his thoughts and opinions about the past year in Magic design.  He told his his highs, his lows, and what he wants to do in the next year.  Most of us play the game as well as junior designing, so some of their non-design decisions have been on our minds rather then if the past block worked well together.  We’ll get to that in due time while some of that will be sprinkled in as well (this is a long post, be prepared).

Highlights of 2008

The Planeswalkers. Players were really worried when there was an announcement of a new card type, especially one that could break the game in half.  Using the hybrid of a creature and an enchantment, cries were heard that they wouldn’t be different enough to see print.

Yeah, we players were wrong. Continue reading “After MaRo – The 2008 State of Design Response”

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