11/07/2011 MM: "Ten Things Every Game Needs, Part 2"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Since I'm planning on taking game design at some point in college this has been a great read. Thanks for the quick lesson :D
#11) Rewarding Organized Play

Blink, blink.
Given that I got into Magic in 5th grade and part of what pulled me into this vs Yu-Gi-Oh or Pokémon was actually the articles on the website, (Including Mark's) I have to say that having MaRo come talk to my fifth grade class would have been a dream come true. Some people have all the luck. Especially any of those kids that played Magic.

I'm definitely saving this article somewhere to find when I finally get done procrastinating and get back to actually making all those video games I keep planning to build. 
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)


LOL at the second taboo word.  Pretty cheeky for a 5th grader!
I'm definitely saving this article somewhere to find when I finally get done procrastinating and get back to actually making all those video games I keep planning to build. 

This is a pretty good commentary on videogame design:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FpigqfcvlM

Any grade 5 teacher who's willing to use terms like 'metacognition' is clearly awesome.
Wow, MaRo didn't charge an appearance fee?!  But he wrote sparingly for Roseanne!

Thanks for the reminder of how awesome Innistrad's flavor is.  It's yet another silent concession that the only market this company accommodates at all is the United States.  Oh, and the flavor of the set is pointless, because none of it holds together in any cohesive way.  Yay, you made werewolves!  Yay, you made Vampires!  Yay, you made Zombies!  Basically, you've assembled a haunted house ride at an amusement park.  That, and it's not appropriate, because the horror genre thrives on creepiness and being legitimately scary.  Sure, the art for Village Cannibals fits this, but you will never hear about the player who opened a booster pack, screamed upon seeing a werewolf, and then extoll the virtues of the cards' horror flavor.

I may not know a ton of players, but I don't know a single one who cares more about flavor than playability.  However, with this set, they focused on the former first.
I can only assume that you don't read Savor the Flavor, Guest. Or flavour text. Or even just spend a bit of time looking at the art, reflecting on the name and letting it all under your skin. Obviously, the only true measure of a horror set's success is if a customer actually craps their pants in a store.  Because the best measure of how effective a Gothic horror set's flavour is, is when it excites a slasher movie reaction.

Your point puts me in mind of someone who, knowing that they are about to watch a clown perform, has decided that clowns are not funny. No matter how good the clown's act is, that person wont laugh; irrespective of the evidence before them, they know that clowns aren't funny.

Demanding that each individual rectangle of cardboard horrifies you as much as a 2-hour movie or a novel is a good way to ensure disappointment.
Wait, Americans don't use A4?

You guys are animals. Animals! 
Also I think it's funny that his daughter basically just used somebody else's entire concept without alteration but to say so would be cruel.

Oops! 
"President of the 2nd Continental Congress" Smile

Sounds like an awesome game!

I agree with Dragon_Nut above, these articles about not only the making of the game but the theories behind it, are a big part of what pulled me into Magic. I have actually been on an extended hiatus, I'm away at college in a foreign country and have not sat down to sling spells in several months, but I still keep up with almost every article on this website.

Please keep it up. We enjoy reading.
Regarding #6:

It's interesting that the only widespread games of perfect information (Chess, Go, Tic-tac-toe, Checkers) are all centuries old.  Perhaps surprise was a less important element of game design back in the day?  Or is it because chess has a decision tree so huge that one can still be surprised without hidden information?

 

Goblin Artisans
a Magic: the Gathering design blog
I can only assume that you don't read Savor the Flavor, Guest. Or flavour text. Or even just spend a bit of time looking at the art, reflecting on the name and letting it all under your skin. Obviously, the only true measure of a horror set's success is if a customer actually craps their pants in a store.  Because the best measure of how effective a Gothic horror set's flavour is, is when it excites a slasher movie reaction.

Your point puts me in mind of someone who, knowing that they are about to watch a clown perform, has decided that clowns are not funny. No matter how good the clown's act is, that person wont laugh; irrespective of the evidence before them, they know that clowns aren't funny.

Demanding that each individual rectangle of cardboard horrifies you as much as a 2-hour movie or a novel is a good way to ensure disappointment.



Thanks for the close reading, Dave.  It's clear you are quite skilled at hyperbole, so maybe you should apply for a position at Hasbro writing press releases.

The problem is that the set has been billed as using horror tropes.  Horror is meant to horrify, and the genre is dependant on cohesion and character buy in for it to be successful.  I'm not an idiot; I'm not literally expecting kids to scream at their cards, but thanks for taking that drop of sarcasm and running with it; it really helps you make your point.  The problem is that nothing in the actual gameplay of the set feels thematic or flavorful, and there's no unifying element aside from the theme.  Instead of a unifying collection of ideas, we instead have a smorgasbord of quasi-similar concepts.  As I said, this is more reminiscent of a child's version of a haunted house.

Parent: "So, Billy, what should we put in our haunted house?"
Child: "Werewolves!  Zombies!  Ooh, vampires are scary too, I think I saw a movie about them!  Oh, and don't forget the cellar door or Frankenstein, those are creepy too!"

Wizards has had success creating narratives around their planes, but only occasionally have they tried to tie the flavor so strictly into the card design.  Ravnica and Time Spiral blocks are great examples of this.  In Ravnica, playing with the Golgari really did feel a bit like necromancy due to the use of Dredge, and Rakdos felt crazy and reckless in the name of power due to the design of Hellbent.  In Time Spiral, it really felt like you were playing with time and returning to the past early on in the block and diving into the future by the end.  Both of these blocks felt the way the flavor promised during gameplay, regardless of whether the player read the novels associated with them.  Innistrad just feels like a mish-mash of ideas that all fit within a genre, and the gameplay doesn't feel gothic, horrifying, or even flavorful in the least to me.

Oh, and I think clowns are appropriate for the crowds they entertain, and I'm not in that crowd.  As such, I don't watch their acts, as showing up at random 4 year olds' birthday parties isn't my scene and would likely get anyone over the age of 20 into trouble.  However, I love suspenseful movies, and if I watch one that fails to deliver, I'll criticize it as such.  According to your post, I can surmise that you're the kind of person who will laugh at any comedy because that's what you're supposed to do.  Call me crazy, but I find it decidedly human to skeptically approach the content I consume.
I may not know a ton of players, but I don't know a single one who cares more about flavor than playability.  However, with this set, they focused on the former first.



Then you indeed not know even a single Vorthos =D 

I agree with you that horror doesn't translate well to a block theme because it is indeed more 'haunted house ride', but that doesn't mean it doesn't work as block theme. It just works as something else. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to excite players.  It seems many players simply dig 'haunted ride block'.
I may not know a ton of players, but I don't know a single one who cares more about flavor than playability.  However, with this set, they focused on the former first.



Then you indeed not know even a single Vorthos =D 

I agree with you that horror doesn't translate well to a block theme because it is indeed more 'haunted house ride', but that doesn't mean it doesn't work as block theme. It just works as something else. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to excite players.  It seems many players simply dig 'haunted ride block'.



Fair enough, although I do know some who enjoy the flavor of cards in general and who don't really see the connection between how cool some of the cards look and how they actually play.  That's what I was trying to explain in the paragraph contrasting Innistrad with Ravnica and Time Spiral blocks.

I guess my issue is that Magic is a game first and foremost, and while the flavor is important, how well it plays is paramount.  I actually like how Innistrad plays in limited, so that's fine.  The issue is that the talking heads on the mothership continue to puff out their chests about how successful they were in creating a set that completely captures the horror/gothic tropes they used, and I am incredibly unimpressed with how disconnected the gameplay feels from the card flavor.  Sure, looking at the cards and seeing the creepy artwork and admiring the interesting names works fine in this vein, but during limited gameplay (we'll have to see about block constructed when that rolls around), when the set is played in isolation, nothing about the way the cards play and interact with one another feels thematic in the least, save maybe the Stitched/Skaab creatures being created using dead creature parts. 
Well, I did a technical deconstruction of part 1, so I feel like I should do a technical deconstruction of part 2 (for completion!)

#6: Surprise

Sure, this sounds like a decent goal.  But this is an interesting inclusion, because it's not a specific gameplay element, it's an emotion.  And...there's a lot of ways you can get to this emotion.

I've surprised people in tic-tac-toe (like...10-year-olds; people who aren't familiar with corner-first openings).  And obviously the same can happen with other deterministic no-hidden-information games like Chess and Go (I still remember being young and losing to my father at Chess in three moves; I was shocked.  I had only played kids--I didn't know you could lose that fast).

You can surprise people (at least once) without any player choice or luck or hidden information.  Look at the scripted sequences in the uncharted games.  For that matter, there have been GDC talks on the game design of Disney World. Disney World rides are the same every time, but the first time (or even first few times) they will surprise you.

So...to some degree...I'm not sure in what way "you need surprise" actually limits me as a game designer.  I guess it means that I can't make the "DMV game" where you wait in line for half an hour, get your picture taken, sign your signature, get a temporary piece of paper, walk out the door, and then the game ends.  (Although in that case, I think the fact that there are no surprises would still surprise people, because people are so conditioned to expect surprises in a game).

Unless the argument is that there should always be more surprises...in which case I'm not sure if I agree.  Did Tetris get worse when it went from showing you zero next pieces to one next piece to five next pieces? 

#7: Strategy

Counterexample: Farmville

There is literally no strategy in Farmville.  Every crop is identical in terms of strategic value.

Personally, this doesn't appeal to me at all (as a Melvin-Johnny-Spike).  But I also think Farmville does do a good job of reaching its target audience.  Chris Trottier gave an excellent talk on this at GDC 2011, describing mothers who have a lot of hard decisions to make and stressful moments taking care of a newborn baby, when naptime hits want to unwind with something relaxing like a bubble bath.

There's good arguments for people just running out of the ability or desire to make more tricky decisions. See:

www.gamedevblog.com/2004/12/emotion_in_g...
www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-y...

 Although sure: for a fifth grader who might make all their daily hard decisions in a game world, by all means ratchet up the strategy component of your game to 11.

#8 Fun

I hate when game designers do this.  "Fun.  It's mysterious.  I don't know what it is."  It's 2011; Nicole Lazzaro's research recording of human emotion in the lab claiming "four kinds of fun" was...five years ago now?  Not to mention:

www.amazon.com/Theory-Fun-Game-Design/dp...

This book came out over seven years ago now, and is used in plenty of University classrooms teaching Game Design.

I'll give you the synopsis of Raph's book.  Give someone who hasn't played Mario before a controller.  Eventually they'll press the jump button.  And then they'll typically start jumping aimlessly all over the place.  This is an experimental mindset known as the psychological state of play.  If they find they can't do anything useful with this new tool, they typically discard it.  If they find they can do something useful, like in their random jumping they jump on top of a platform, then they get extremely excited.  This is the human learning process.  Games that give players lots and lots of new toys to experiment with and learn (see: Super Mario Galaxy 2) are usually described as very fun.

But what you're describing in the body of the text--whether they would play your game again--whether they would keep playing your game after 10 hours--isn't actually "fun" per se, it's intrinsic motivation.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-determination...


I'll use Farmville as an example again.  Farmville isn't "fun" in the Raph Koster sense of the word--in that it doesn't induce the psychological state of play; there is basically nothing to learn, no tools to experiment with.  And yet people would play it again, and do play it again (and again, and again).  It must be doing something right...and it is.  It's very good at giving people their psychological needs (Autonomy, Competence, Relatedness).

#9 Flavour 

It can help, but there's a whole genre that has shown it doesn't need flavour (puzzle games).  What's the flavour of Tic-Tac-Toe?  Of Sudoku? Of Tetris?  Of Bejewelled?  Of Bridge?  Of Poker?  They could add some minimal flavour assumptions the way Chess and Go have knights and queens and breathing holes.  But they don't, and I'm not sure they need to.

Now, in order to be this kind of flavourless game, your game design needs to be very good....

#10 A Hook

You're arguing that you need to be good at marketing (at least if you want your game played).  I agree.

Cats land on their feet. Toast lands peanut butter side down. A cat with toast strapped to its back will hover above the ground in a state of quantum indecision.

Honestly, although I like Innistrad, I'll agree that the setting doesn't seem any more horrifying than other Magic settings. Given that we just got done having half organic machines taking over an entire plane, and before that we had otherworldly abominations breaking free from their prison and destroying the world I don't think a bunch of assorted horror creatures is terribly frightening. Admittedly, that's mainly because they lack context. A werewolf isn't frightening because it's a werewolf, it's frightening because of the context in which it's encountered. Usually in Magic that context is right in front of a Doom Blade.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
Love these two articles.

It was interesting on his Tumblr, Maro commented that the ordering was organic, not planned.

I wrote a commentary on this thinking about educational games: t.co/zTRo2L1j

@metroidcomposite - good take in general, and insightful on Fun.
#6: Surprise

[...]

I've surprised people in tic-tac-toe (like...10-year-olds; people who aren't familiar with corner-first openings).  And obviously the same can happen with other deterministic no-hidden-information games like Chess and Go (I still remember being young and losing to my father at Chess in three moves; I was shocked.  I had only played kids--I didn't know you could lose that fast).

[...]

Unless the argument is that there should always be more surprises...in which case I'm not sure if I agree.  Did Tetris get worse when it went from showing you zero next pieces to one next piece to five next pieces?



As long as the 6th piece is still a surprise that game has surprises =)

I think what MaRo is saying here is that deterministic no-hidden-information games are a rare exception.
And the scripted sequences in uncharted are hidden information, even if only for the first time.


LOL at the second taboo word.  Pretty cheeky for a 5th grader!



You do understand why that's not cheeky, right?


I'm much more disappointed with the second kid's game:  Britain vs the 15 1/2 Colonies.

4. Don't speak dumb, or you'll be struck dumb. Remember, the name of the game is heads I win, tails you lose.
Thanks for the reminder of how awesome Innistrad's flavor is.  It's yet another silent concession that the only market this company accommodates at all is the United States.


I have no idea what the connection is between those two points.

First of all, Innistrad's flavor is based on Gothic horror, which, if you don't know, originated in Europe.  Second, how do you explain Kamigawa and Ravnica blocks?
Second, how do you explain Kamigawa and Ravnica blocks?

Much the same way Kamigawa was inexplicably linked to anime, Innistrad is somehow just Universal Studios Monsters and/or Twilight Saga.

Really, the 16th-ish century setting would have been good on its own, without the horror bits.  However, the need for antagonism means there's never going to be a "neutral" setting.
I'm much more disappointed with the second kid's game:  Britain vs the 15 1/2 Colonies.

I like the second game better because it looks like it might actually have some originality to it. I have no idea if it actually does but I can dream.
Seeing the Kor Hookmaster after that subheading I finally realize MaRo uses card arts that synonymously relate to each heading xD.
Thanks for the close reading, Dave.  It's clear you are quite skilled at hyperbole, so maybe you should apply for a position at Hasbro writing press releases.

Thank you. Hasbro would also appreciate my talents at shilling, creatively misrepresenting criticism of previous decisions, and all-upside presentation.

I'm not an idiot; I'm not literally expecting kids to scream at their cards, but thanks for taking that drop of sarcasm and running with it; it really helps you make your point.

Oh, so that was sarcasm, not hyperbole about a piece of cardboard not being "legitimately scary". Now that you've clarified the grounds of your criticism of Innistrad's flavour, lets get to the meat of the matter...

The problem is that the set has been billed as using horror tropes.  Horror is meant to horrify, and the genre is dependant on cohesion and character buy in for it to be successful...

Wizards has had success creating narratives around their planes, but only occasionally have they tried to tie the flavor so strictly into the card design.  Ravnica and Time Spiral blocks are great examples of this... Both of these blocks felt the way the flavor promised during gameplay, regardless of whether the player read the novels associated with them.  Innistrad just feels like a mish-mash of ideas that all fit within a genre, and the gameplay doesn't feel gothic, horrifying, or even flavorful in the least to me.
Show
The editing is for readability - I don't think I've trimmed and changed your meaning, and that's definitely not my intention

 When you said in your OP that you didn't find the flavour cohesive I thought you meant from a world-building perspective, not at the level of mechanical implementation and gameplay. 

How do you make gameplay that 'feels' horrific? One way is to give players cards that represent horrifying things, and create a world in which those things remain horrifying. Innistrad does both of these things and in this sense is cohesive (aside from the top-down designs and creative skins, you have the loose tribal and graveyard mechanical identities). Where it falls down, and fails to transmit the horror to the player, is in not having a character that the player can associate with.

Outside the cards, on the website, you can look at the big art and read articles that put you into the world. The Cursed Blade story did that particularly well - that story and the art are two of the major reasons why I like the set. But the Innistrad set lacks a vector through which the player can experience horror. I agree that the gameplay doesn't excite a sensation of horror, but I don't think it lacks flavour or is simply a mish-mash, the problem is that the player feels disconnected from the world.

Is anyone surprised that MaRo said yes to giving a presentation again next year? :P
How do you make gameplay that 'feels' horrific? One way is to give players cards that represent horrifying things, and create a world in which those things remain horrifying. Innistrad does both of these things and in this sense is cohesive (aside from the top-down designs and creative skins, you have the loose tribal and graveyard mechanical identities). Where it falls down, and fails to transmit the horror to the player, is in not having a character that the player can associate with.



That does not make the gameplay horrific though. Horror is about suspense, surprise, fear of the unknown, foreshadowing. Morph would've worked as a horror mechanic. A large number of instants & flash too. Suspend maybe. The werewolf mechanic works. Morbid a bit.

I agree with what Guest1745557868 is saying, but he just had the wrong expectations about the block. It always was supposed to be more of a 'horror tropes block' than a 'horror block'.
I'm becoming more and more convinced that this is a Vorthos - Melvin issue. If you feel that the world is an appropriate environment in which horrific things can happen then you will experience moments of suspense etc during gameplay. Whereas if you feel that the set lacks a mechanic that represents and creates suspense then those things aren't there, irrespective of how the non-mechanical flavour of cards is communicating a horrifying environment.

Tobyornottoby, Guest you're right - building the world in this way gives the players the imaginative tools with which to build a narrative of suspense, surprise etc into the game, but those things don't have strong mechanical themes. If your mechanics aren't strongly transmitting those things into the gameplay then the set needs to make it as easy as possible for players to intuit them, hence my following up Guest's point about the set being weakened by an abscence of characters. Horror in gameplay is a matter of perception; I don't think you can go from "Innistrad is lacking a coherent mechanical expression of horrific suspense" to "Innistrad's gameplay is lacking flavour". Clearly that is the case for Guest, not so for me.

Guest sees tribes of monsters with disparate mechanical identites that don't evoke the emotions of a horror story: Halloween not Walpurgis. I see the tools to imagine my own Walpurgis, so I don't feel that the different mechanical identities result in an incoherent and unhorrifying world/play experience. I accept that the existence of a unifying suspense/horror mechanic would make the gameplay more flavourful.

Part of the problem is that horror needs an element of the unknown, yet none of the smaller elements used to create suspense/surprise, e.g. returning random cards from your graveyard, what will I mill? the black zombie 'horde' cards, stitched (what will those dead creatures become?), is partiularly surprising in the context of a game of Magic. It's stuff that players have seen before, in fairly small quantities. This is reinforced by the decision to use transform instead of morph, as transform does create some tension but it absolutely lacks a fear of the unknown.

I'd be wary of comaprisons to Ravnica's guilds, because each guild only existed in one set and didn't have to develop its identity through the block. Innistrad has to introduce more ideas, with correspondingly less depth to each as it will (hopefully) be fleshed out through the block. I hope that this will include the development of more 'horrific' feel to gameplay, as generated by interactions of mechanics in play as well as 'ooh, look, monsters'.
Hmm ten things.
1, A game shouldnt screw its players up.
2,A.game.manufacturer should be honest with its players.
3,A game should ensure its contents reflects the feelings of its players and not write drivelous rubbish
4, It should realise its players ca leave at any.time
5, notice when every communication is.negative and.realise the rules of the game are flawed.
6, Listen occasionally
7,not remove the purpose or love from the game.
8, not produce pointless articles, i may have said that already.
9, to the aand1
9 , to the author grow some and realise the St storm you have created
10, repeat.
Thanks for the reminder of how awesome Innistrad's flavor is.  It's yet another silent concession that the only market this company accommodates at all is the United States.


I have no idea what the connection is between those two points.

First of all, Innistrad's flavor is based on Gothic horror, which, if you don't know, originated in Europe.  Second, how do you explain Kamigawa and Ravnica blocks?



I'm sorry Orcish, but in case it wasn't apparent, "gothic horror" while originally European, is not the only aspect of flavor of Innistrad. It may have been the original point, but as soon as they began integrating Romero's Dead series into it (zombies do not figure in European or Eurasian gothic horror), they stepped off the deep end. In this sense, the concept of the dead and the unliving (including Vampires) have taken over the sense of the impaired and beguilded human fancy that was the origin of Gothic Horror in it's wholeness. This is no longer Poe, Lovecraft, the Brontes, Shelley, Stoker or whom-have-you. This is not the trend that has given us Gaiman, who, despite living in America, seems to write Gothic Horror quite a bit. It's a fair judgement that the zombie slasher flick has become more of a relevant comparison for Innistrad than has the literary works it pulls the occasional card from.

Gothic Horror was the original point, but the topic did not stay there, and in many respects it left it utterly behind. Now it's Raimy and Romero and Shyamalan and Craven, devolving to the essence of "Horror," and no longer "Gothic Horror," possibly because the flavor writers felt that the serene expanses of the German Black Forest and the wonder and awe in the Tales Grimm (which compares in many ways to Christiansen and other collectors of lore) or the desolate feeling of loneliness on the British Moorlands was not flavorful enough.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
Honestly, although I like Innistrad, I'll agree that the setting doesn't seem any more horrifying than other Magic settings. Given that we just got done having half organic machines taking over an entire plane, and before that we had otherworldly abominations breaking free from their prison and destroying the world I don't think a bunch of assorted horror creatures is terribly frightening. Admittedly, that's mainly because they lack context. A werewolf isn't frightening because it's a werewolf, it's frightening because of the context in which it's encountered. Usually in Magic that context is right in front of a Doom Blade.


I agree. I don't get a horror vibe from playing Innistrad at all. Let's look at the races:

Vampires are an interesting fantasy race like dwarves, but horrifying? Nope. In Innistrad they're Sliths with corsets. Rocky Horror Show, perhaps, but I assume "comedy horror farce" wasn't quite what Wizards were going for.

Zombies are a deathly dull, overdone fantasy trope. Horrifying? Well, only in the sense of "Oh no, I can't believe we've got more zombies!" The blue skaabs are mechanically interesting, but the flavour is just odd, not scary. Zombie Butcher is trying to be horror-film, but I don't get a horror vibe any more than from any of the previous million sets starring zombies. I just roll my eyes, avert them from the gore, and move on.

Spirits can be interesting, and perhaps creepy, but the Innistrad spirits aren't creepy. They're mostly benevolent, and the blue ones are just odd.

Werewolves... if the flavour (and mechanics) really played up the terrified hunt for which of your co-villagers are secretly murderous beasts, that could be scary. But instead we've got "Every morning he repairs the front door" and "the bullies get their just deserts". 

And let's not forget Cellar Door, a name with the horrifying potential of Kitchen Sink, Laundry Basket, Doorbell or Wine Rack.

There's one card art I find deeply horrible, Sensory Deprivation, and I always avoid looking at that wherever possible. It squicks me out the way that Macabre Waltz did but more so. But that's "yuck", not horror.

If anything, the Innistrad cards which most evoke horror are the mechanically-forgettable commons. Bump in the Night: utterly unplayable, but quite nicely creepy. Feeling of Dread: there's suspense and nervousness building. 

But I think what I'll remember about the flavour of Innistrad in a few years' time will be the valiant heroic Humans, given mechanical tribal synergy for the first time. Not really a triumph of horror worldbuilding.


Now New Phyrexia, on the other hand... that was a creepy set. Utterly disgusting, dehumanising, monstrous creatures taking and perverting creatures and an entire world. Yick.
Yeah, well, in poker, you have gambling instead of flavor. Poker is interactive, making it more exciting than, say, a slot machine or a raffle (to stick to gambling games), but it's interactive still. With surprise. (The good news is, there's a rube that calls everything or two on every table. But if you think you can't lose, you are said rube.)

In Magic, even before Wizards got rid of ante, or started organizing tournaments, players hated it. You could say we were anti-ante. And for good reason. What good is having a Black Lotus if it's in the ante zone? And what if your opponent wins because you believed you would have more ramp than you actually did? You're out one Lotus.

"Fun" is an interesting concept. In addition to the aforementioned ante concept, the following Magic mechanics are not fun. Well, they are to the player, but not to his opponent.

Land destruction
Discard
Stealing
Cards like Arcane Laboratory, Meddling Mage, and Winter Orb that, while not common enough to have their own name, fit here because of what they are.
Combo decks, just for the lack of interaction. It's pretty much (to use a Standard-legal example) Blighted Agent, Assault Strobe, Titanic Growth, induce phyresis. (Though I can, of course, Doom Blade the poor Phyrexian at any point, or Shock him in response to the Growth, or counter any of those spells, ending the combo.)
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
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