Posted in Making Magic on February 10, 2003

By Wizards of the Coast

Card designOne of the most important parts of being a designer is (surprise, surprise) making Magic cards. There are numerous ways to accomplish the task:

  1. You can create cards to fill specific design holes.
  2. You can create cards that fulfill a need in the current tournament metagame.
  3. You can do top-down design where you create a card to match a concept of what the card represents.
  4. You can create variations of older cards.
  5. You can extrapolate new ideas from old cards.
  6. You can create cards by free association.
  7. You can create cards organically (these are the ones that pop in your head in the shower).
  8. You can create cards by doing riffs of cards created by other designers.
  9. You can create cards by experimenting with breaking certain rules.
  10. You can create cards by mixing and matching old cards.

The list doesn’t stop there. There are as almost as many ways to design Magic cards as there are cards to design. That’s the fun thing about a creative job: there are endless ways to do the job.

As you design cards, you either type them into a Word document or into the database. Whenever you are unsure about costing, you yell to one of the nearby developers. Whenever you are unsure about a rule, you yell to one of the nearby members of the rules team.

Ideas come fast but very few of the cards you will create will ever see the light of day. For every twenty cards you create, maybe one will get printed.

Review current card list.
Do something else.

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