Making <strike>Manaclash</strike> Magic
October 28, 2009 10:09 AM Subscribe
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Sixteen years ago, Dungeons and Dragons aficionado Dr. Richard Garfield
had an idea for a game. He mocked up a few black and white cards and then he and a friend played the very first game of Magic: The Gathering
. The first modern collectible card game, Magic was a runaway success and within five years Wizards of the Coast
, a company with Magic as almost its sole product, purchased TSR Inc
, the publisher of Dungeons and Dragons.
is still a tremendously popular game with an active community
, a robust online offering
and a highly competitive Pro Tour
. This longevity can be attributed in no small part to the fact the Magic is one of the most heavily and meticulously designed
games ever made. No new card gets added to the game without careful consideration of it's interactions with the more than 10,000 previously printed cards
. In fact, the card commonly considered to be the most powerful ever printed
(selling on eBay for over $500
) hardly seems impressive at all until you know the game well enough to understand the way it wreaks havoc on game balance.
All of this is by way of introduction to the fact that Magic Head Designer Mark Rosewater
has been posting a column a week on the subject of game design since January 2, 2002
. Mark's columns almost always deal to some degree with Magic, but the observations and lessons contained within them are of universal application in not only game design, but any creative endeavor. Some gems: The Space Between the Notes
| As Good as It Gets
| Timmy, Johnny and Spike
| If I Had a Nicol...
| and a comprehensive self-rated look at his first four hundred columns