"You Make The Card"

Posted in Feature on January 16, 2002

By Mark Rosewater, R&D senior designer

You Make The Card

In my intro to this site two weeks ago, I promised you all that MagictheGathering.com would give you a chance to take an active role in the game of Magic. This feature is the first step in giving all of you a little hands-on experience in influencing the game you love. In case you haven’t been paying attention to all the little clues we’ve been dropping or you just don’t take the title literally enough, “You Make The Card” is, in fact, a chance for you, the MagictheGathering.com community, to make a Magic card which will appear in a future expansion.

I’m sure a number of question are buzzing around in your head right now so let me try to answer as many as I can:

So how exactly is this going to work? Do we just send card ideas in?

For starters, “You Make The Card” is going to be a community project which means that we’ve created a way to allow the entire web site (or at least all those of you that wish to participate) a chance to have an influence on the card. Here’s how it’s going to work. Every couple of weeks, we are going to ask all of you to make a key decision. Each of you will get one vote and whatever the majority votes for wins.

Whenever we need some creative input, we will have the proper person from Wizards explain to you what we need and give you some basic tips. Then all of you will have a chance to send your ideas in. Do not send anything in until we ask for it. Once we have received all of your ideas, the appropriate persons at Wizards will select what they feel are the best entries and then all of you will get a chance to vote for which one we use.

What parts of the card will we be making?

You will be doing it all. Everything. And I mean everything. Let’s go down the card: card title, card type, card ability, flavor text, power and toughness (if it’s a creature). Everything. The only exception is that we will be using a Magic artist to illustrate the card. But even there, you will have a chance to create the card concept, write the art description, and pick the artist.

What expansion will it come out in?

I’ll be honest. We don’t know yet. We’ve never done this before, so we have no idea how long the process will take. I can promise that it will be put into the earliest set possible, but we do work a year ahead so it probably will not see print until 2003.

How long will this whole process take?

Just checking to see if you’re actually reading my answers since this one is covered in the last paragraph. For those that demand a better answer than “I don’t know," my best guess is that it will take a minimum of six months. The good news though is that this feature will give you a chance to see first hand all the decision making that goes into creating a card. I think you will be quite surprised to see how many decisions are necessary.

So, how do we start?

The first thing we need to decide is what color card are we making. As a designer, I feel I need to point out that no decision will have more ramifications for the card than this one. The color of the card will determine what mechanics we can use as well as what flavor we have to play with. Each color has a wealth of cool elements, so there is no wrong choice, simply a matter of taste.

Mana symbols

Since I’m sure to get mail on this, let me explain why we are not letting you choose to make an artifact, land or multi-colored card. Each of the three have many extra rules governing them so we decided for the first time out we’d exclude them as we wanted to start with a more basic card. (Yes, I said “first time out” so read into that what you will.)

Back to the colors:

So are you feeling noble and protective? Sneaky and manipulative? Cruel and selfish? Impulsive and emotional? Instinctual and feral?

Are you for order or chaos? Intellect or emotion? Reality or illusion? Life or death? Light or dark?

What kind of card do you want to see?

The poll for Phase 1 is will begin on Wednesday, January 23st (one week from today), and run through midnight of February 4th. We will announce the winning color on Wednesday, February 6th.

Not sure what color you want, or know what color you want and wish to influence others? Check out our “You Make the Card” bulletin board.

Until next week,

Mark Rosewater

Mark may be reached at makingmagic@wizards.com.

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