Design Challenge #3: "Trading Places"

Posted in Feature on December 8, 2010

By Mark Rosewater

Working in R&D since '95, Mark became Magic head designer in '03. His hobbies: spending time with family, writing about Magic in all mediums, and creating short bios.

One of the popular tropes of reality shows is to bring back design challenges from previous seasons but with a twist. That is exactly what we're doing today. During GDS1 the very first Design Challenge was called "Gimme Five" In it, I made the designers design three cycles, one of each rarity (there was no mythic rare back then). So today's Challenge is going to bring back this assignment, but with a twist.

For almost two months, our six designers have been working on their worlds. They've spent a great deal of time giving it its own identity both mechanically and flavorfully. For this week's Design Challenge, I am going to put the designers into pairs and each designer is going to design in his partner's world. Your partner will be there to give you advice but he or she is not to do any designing for his own world this week. You will be judged on the quality of the design work you do for your partner's world.

The pairings will be as such:

Ethan Flesicher will be paired with Jonathon Loucks
Shawn Main will be paired with Scott Van Essen
Devon Rule will be paired with Jonathan Woodward

Design three cycles with the following restrictions:

  1. Each cycle must be a horizontal cycle in all five colors. This means no artifact or land cycles. One cycle must be common, one uncommon and one either rare or mythic rare.
  2. All five cards in each cycle need to be the same card type. Each cycle must use a different card type.
  3. Each cycle must represent the world it is in. These cycles should not be something we could just put into any set, they have to be something that makes sense in the world you're assigned to.
  4. No repeats.
  5. You must design at least five cards. At least five cards must come from outside design. In each case, the five do not have to come from the same cycle. The idea for at least one of the three cycle designs must come from an outside card.
  6. You are not allowed to design cards for your partner. You may give him feedback and advice but you may not design cards for him.
  7. You will be judged on the quality of the cards you designed and how well they fit into the world assigned to you.

The cards should be submitted as follows:

Name of set:

Logline: (you are taking an attempt at writing the logline for the world you're designing for)

Common cycle:
CW01 –
CU01 –
CB01 –
CR01 –
CG01 –

Uncommon Cycle:
UW01 –
UU01 –
UB01 –
UR01 –
UG01 –

Rare/Mythic Rare Cycle:
RW01 –
RU01 –
RB01 –
RR01 –
RG01 –

Commentary: (restricted to 250 words)

Use the same layout you have used for previous challenges. If you want to have a multicolored or hybrid cycle, you will need to use the following: (the example is rare but change accordingly)

RZ01 –
RZ02 –
RZ03 –
RZ04 –
RZ05 –

Look at the most recent expansion's card codes to figure out the order of your cards. (You can write me if you need help.)

The deadline for your submission is 11:59 EST, Sunday, December 12. Please submit them to both emails you have. Good luck!

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