You Make the Card 2 Wrap-up

Posted in ARTICLES on November 18, 2003

By Mark Rosewater

Working for Magic R&D since October, 1995, Mark Rosewater is currently the head designer. His hobbies include spending time with his family, talking about Magic on every known medium (including a daily blog and a weekly podcast), and writing about himself in the third person.

And that’s a wrap. After fourteen steps, all of you have created your second official Magic card. Here’s what you guys will see when Crucible of Worlds premieres in Fifth Dawn:

As I did with the first “You Make the Card”, I like to end the process by walking through how we got here.

Step 1

We started once again by letting you choose the card’s color. Because the last “You Make the Card” was green (Forgotten Ancient) we took away green as option. In it’s place we added artifact as a choice. (Land was still unavailable as a choice.) Here’s how the vote turned out:

Color Votes %
Artifact 2956 26.20%
Black 2431 21.54%
White 2394 21.22%
Blue 1860 16.48%
Red 1643 14.56%
Total 11284 100.00%

Artifacts edged out black and white to win.

Step 2

Next we asked you to decide whether or not you wanted the card to be a creature. Here’s how you voted:

Creature or Non-Creature?
Non-creature artifact 9484 68.1%
Artifact creature 4439 31.9%
Total 13923 100.0%

By a two to one margin, you decided to make “You Make the Card”’s first non-creature.

Step 3

For the third step, we offered you two different ways to approach the design. Designing through flavor would require picking a card concept first and then designing the mechanic to match. Designing through function would require creating the mechanic first and then designing the concept to match. Here’s how the vote went:

How should we design the card?
By function 6645 55.8%
By flavor 5263 44.2%
Total 11908 100%

In a pretty close vote, function squeaked a victory over flavor.

Step 4

Then it came time to send in mechanics. And boy did you all deliver. We received over six thousand submissions (and remember that everyone was limited to only one entry).

Step 5

After sifting through the thousand of entries, R&D presenting ten mechanics for you all to vote on. Here’s how the initial vote went:

Mechanic A 1399 15.20%
Mechanic B 368 4.00%
Mechanic C 418 4.54%
Mechanic D 1110 12.06%
Mechanic E 1301 14.14%
Mechanic F 1390 15.11%
Mechanic G 474 5.15%
Mechanic H 685 7.44%
Mechanic I 1346 14.63%
Mechanic J 711 7.73%
Total 9202 100.00%

In the end, four cards came with one percent of each other, with the top vote winning by only nine votes.

Step 6

Although we had stated there wouldn’t be a run-off, the vote was so close, we had one anyway. Here’s how the run-off went:

Mechanic A 2555 29.84%
Mechanic F 2233 26.08%
Mechanic I 2160 25.22%
Mechanic E 1615 18.86%
Total 8563 100.00%

The vote was once again close, but Mechanic A managed to stay on top. The winner of the mechanic, Ralph Tice, earned the right to give the card a working design name. He chose Gazarsgo’s Plow.

Step 7

With the mechanic selected, it was time to create a card concept for the card. In flavor terms, what kind of artifact were we making? We asked for submissions.

Step 8

As with mechanics, we narrowed down the submissions to a Top Ten list. The voting went as follows:

Letter Concept Submitted by Votes %
C Hourglass Hugo Carneiro 1412 22.10%
D Jewel Kalev Tait 1254 19.63%
J Mechanical Tree Alan Mills 829 12.98%
E Mirror Nate Hannon 751 11.76%
G Plow Dan Solow 651 10.19%
A Bag of Soil Peter Bradshaw 393 6.15%
F Painting Benjamin Wolf 322 5.04%
I Sundial Remus Shepherd 268 4.20%
B Puzzle Globe The_HounDs 261 4.09%
H Floating Pyramid Richie Procopio 247 3.87%
Total 6388 100.00%

Two concepts pulled away from the pack, but in the end, the winner was the hourglass.

Step 9

We had an art description. It was time to find an artist. Jeremy Cranford, Magic’s Art Director chose ten appropriate artists to choose from:

  • Daren Bader
  • Matt Cavotta
  • Dave Dorman
  • Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
  • Christopher Moeller
  • Paolo Parente
  • Ron Spencer
  • Justin Sweet
  • Arnie Swekel
  • Ben Thompson

In the end, Ron Spencer proved victorious.

Step 10

Now it was time to give Gazarsgo’s Plow a real name.

Step 11

While we were sorting through the thousands of name submissions, we got back three sketch options from Ron Spencer. Here’s what you all had to choose from:

And here’s how the vote went:

Sketch 1 2663 25.02%
Sketch 2 588 5.53%
Sketch 3 7391 69.45%
Total 10642 100.00%

Sketch 3 won handily.

Step 12

As with mechanics and card concepts, we narrowed the submissions down to a Top Ten list. Here’s how the voting went:

Aeonglass 1082 12.57%
Bowerglass 135 1.57%
Burgeoning Glass 194 2.25%
Crucible of Worlds 1798 20.88%
Epoch Timer 574 6.67%
Fallow Filter 444 5.16%
Genesis Timer 1336 15.52%
Geological Clock 503 5.84%
Glass of Seasons 1591 18.48%
Harvest Clock 953 11.07%
TOTAL 8610 100.00%

Crucible of Worlds walked away the victor.

Step 13

Next it was time for flavor text.

Step 14

And then yet another Top Ten list. Here’s how the voting went:

  1. Amidst the darkest ashes grow the strongest seeds.
  2. There was nothing until it came to pass; a thousand worlds in a tower of glass.
  3. Infinite resources; borrowed time.
  4. Alchemists use a crucible to refine pure minerals from crude slag; this differs only in scale. -Vedalken research notes
  5. Every grain a tree, every second a grove, every minute a forest, every hour a world.
  6. If a tree falls and rises again in the forest, but no one was there to see it, did it really ever die?
  7. Nature's favorite form of retaliation, regrowth.
  8. Unearthly whispers hang in the air around the Crucible, murmuring stories of long-forgotten heroes and long-faded worlds.
  9. It creates the world below from the world above. Some wonder if their own world is in such a clock, and in which half.
  10. It was built by a mage who feared the passing of time. His body was found, lifeless, amongst a lush and fertile forest.

And with that vote, our second card was officially finished.

Two Down, Many More To Go

I hope you all had fun creating this card. I’m happy to announce we are in the early stages of planning “You Make the Card #3”. We’re planning a little twist to keep things interesting. So stay tuned to MagictheGathering.com.

I’d like to end by thanking everyone who took time to participate in any part of “You Make the Card #2”. Without all of your involvement, this feature would never have taken on the life it has. You all have created a very interesting and subtle design. As a Magic designer, I’m honestly quite impressed. I can’t wait to see the many more player-made cards to come.

And with that, “You Make the Card #2” officially comes to a close. I look forward to Fifth Dawn so we can see what impact your card will make on the metagame (and unlike Forgotten Ancient, I predict this card will see some real tournament play).

So long, and thanks once again.

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