Mark Rosewater's Design Notes

Posted in Arcana on September 30, 2004

By Wizards of the Coast

Mark Rosewater

Magic Head Designer Mark Rosewater doesn't wait to sit down at his desk at Wizards to start designing cards. He carries with him a piece of paper so he can jot down a Magic card or mechanic idea whenever it occurs to him.

We thought it might be fun to show a fragment of some of Mark's design notes. Keep in mind that these pages are covered front and back with notes, and that Mark has piles of these stored away -- he's been jotting ideas this way since before he was hired at Wizards of the Coast! Here's a shot of one side of one of the pages, with some of the image blurred out (since some of the ideas haven't seen print yet!).


A sample of Mark Rosewater's design notes

Here's a zoomed-in view of part of that page. See if you can identify the cards that grew out of these ideas! (This is a great demonstration of how long it takes some good ideas to make it onto cards: Mark estimates that this particular page was written in 1997, around the time of the design of Tempest.)


Design notes sample, detail view

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