3/3/2014 MM: "Nuts & Bolts: Iteration"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.

The title made me think there wasn't going to be much new information, but there are actually a lot of good tips here.

Indeed, lots of good stuff here.

Unfortunately it seems that most of the custom sets I see get stuck around article 5, "initial playtesting". (Well, either that or much earlier, maybe around "filling in the skeleton".) It's just Hard to get enough people together who're interested in playing a custom cardset. People might manage to get one or two playtests in, either face-to-face or over the internet, but it's a laborious process. Which sadly means that most custom sets aren't going to get as far as the Iteration described in this article.

 

Of course, having observed the problem here, the natural thing to do would be to fix it. That's what I did when I wanted somewhere to store custom cardsets, and Magic Multiverse was born. Then when Mark introduced us to skeletons for the first time, I added skeleton support to Multiverse. Now I clearly just need to make a way for people to playtest their custom cardsets against each other.

 

Thing is, that's a heck of a lot of work; and I also need to be careful to avoid stepping on MTGO's toes to avoid getting Cease-and-Desist-ed. Naturally I'd only be allowing playtests of cardsets containing at least, say, 50% new cards rather than reprints, but even so, people could circumvent such things if they really wanted to. 

 

Nonetheless, designing custom cardsets is an absolute blast, so I think I do need to take Multiverse to the next stage of being a gaming table for custom cards in order to let it fulful its mission.

These articles are incredibly useful for aspiring designers. Thank you, Mark!

 

Goblin Artisans
a Magic: the Gathering design blog

alextfish wrote:

Indeed, lots of good stuff here.

Unfortunately it seems that most of the custom sets I see get stuck around article 5, "initial playtesting". (Well, either that or much earlier, maybe around "filling in the skeleton".) It's just Hard to get enough people together who're interested in playing a custom cardset. People might manage to get one or two playtests in, either face-to-face or over the internet, but it's a laborious process. Which sadly means that most custom sets aren't going to get as far as the Iteration described in this article.

 

Of course, having observed the problem here, the natural thing to do would be to fix it. That's what I did when I wanted somewhere to store custom cardsets, and Magic Multiverse was born. Then when Mark introduced us to skeletons for the first time, I added skeleton support to Multiverse. Now I clearly just need to make a way for people to playtest their custom cardsets against each other.

 

Thing is, that's a heck of a lot of work; and I also need to be careful to avoid stepping on MTGO's toes to avoid getting Cease-and-Desist-ed. Naturally I'd only be allowing playtests of cardsets containing at least, say, 50% new cards rather than reprints, but even so, people could circumvent such things if they really wanted to. 

 

Nonetheless, designing custom cardsets is an absolute blast, so I think I do need to take Multiverse to the next stage of being a gaming table for custom cards in order to let it fulful its mission.

Software to playtest custom sets may not be that necessary. You can always print / mock-up your cards in real life, or use that program that lets you play cards online for free.

 

If anything, I think the need here is software that lets you flag playtest notes (such as the "yes", "no", "don't know" or the "combo" thing) to have easy access to the information that lets you make decisions. Hopefully, something like that could be integrated much more easily to something like Magic Set Editor or your own Multiverse.

For those who'd like some further ideas on the concept of iterations; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDjrOaoHz9s (Extra Credits; "Fail Faster")

I really appreciate this series. Last year, this was my favourite of the year, with the 'year in review' coming 2nd.

I've given up my ambitions of making my own MtG set for now, but this series really has a lot of information that can help inform how to go about creating ANY game.

I really appreciate that.

Having said all that, it'd also be interesting to go back to what the first episode was - a look at the smaller things that usually get overlooked in the 'glamorous' writings.

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