Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 21: Mechanics Web

One Shadowmoor Time

Shadowmoor: I'm out! I'm released! Players are playing spells and not yet casting them!
Devin Low: Well, you know what the next step would be?
Shadowmoor: You're going to let Eventide out, too, so we can play together?
Devin Low: Not yet. It's still gotta cook in the oven. No, what I'm talking about is writing an article about all your various insides: themes, mechanics, cycles, etc.
Shadowmoor: Don't! I'd be so embarrassed!
Devin Low: Too late -- by about two-and-a-half years. It's right here.
Shadowmoor: I hate you!
Devin Low: I love you.

Shadowmoor: So, what's the deal, anyway? What'd you write?
Devin Low: Well, I made a web diagram (or had someone make for me) that showed the connections among all the different parts of you, Shadowmoor. It's to show all my readers how there's so much synergy going on in you. You're awesome. Not like Homelands.
Shadowmoor: That doesn't exactly prove how awesome I was. Everybody's more awesome than Homelands. But, you're right. I've got some sweet stuff.

Me: Man, people keep bagging on Homelands when it comes to the subject of "sets that weren't so good." Let's get off its back.
Homelands: It's true. It makes me wish I was never born. ;_;
Shadowmoor: Whoa, hey, what's going on here? Who do you think you are, bustin' all up in here?
Me: Well, I was designing a set, and I remembered Devin Low's mechanics web of you. It helps to visualize just how much synergy there is going on in the set. Synergy among the set's various mechanics is very important in modern Magic design.
Devin Low: My goodness! I'm glad the article was put to good use.
Me: Yeah. ...And, by the way, Shadowmoor: I really like you.
Homelands: I... I thought we had something special, Brad.
Shadowmoor: This is way too weird. I'm getting creeped out.
Devin Low: Don't worry, Shadowmoor. I still love you.

Would You Like Theme with That?

Mark Rosewater: And for everybody in The Great Designer Search 2, you might want to read this column.
Me: Awesome! This describes how I'm starting with the flavor begetting design approach.
Mark Rosewater: I'm always excited to see what you designers have come up with. Though, I'm going to have to not look at what you've got. The lawyers speak of potential lawsuits as people say, "YOU STOLE MY IDEA!" Stuff like that.
Me: Oh, don't worry! You're not the REAL Rosewater! You're just an extension of my mind!
Mark Rosewater: Oh! I'm excited! I could even tell you about all the great Magic product we've designed that's coming up! Though, ...YOU don't know about them. And I'm part of your mind. Therefore, I've got nothing that would delightfully surprise you.
Me: Yeah, I know. Anyway, my world. I'm doing a plane created by and residing within a planeswalker's mind. So, I was thinking of themes, and I was, like, "Hey! The library's like a representation of what spells a player knows." So, a "library" theme.
Mark Rosewater: A library theme? Well, you know that some aspects of the library, like shuffling and searching, slow down the game?
Me: Yeah, I know. But, there's gotta be untapped potential with libraries!
Mark Rosewater: That's what I like to hear. Tell me more.


*Aaron Forsythe eats Mark Rosewater
*It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by an AaFo.

use lamp

*You see Devin Low, Shadowmoor, and Homelands

Me: Oh, my goodness.
Mark Rosewater: Hey-o!
Everyone: Whaaat?!
Mark Rosewater: You guys all know, too. We're part of Brad's mind. Anything could happen.
Shadowmoor: Wait, so that means...

*Aaron Forsythe appears even when it is not pitch black.
*Aaron Forsythe unmasks himself. Aaron Forsythe is actually...

Homelands: Mark Gottlieb!
Everyone: *gasp*
Mark Gottlieb: Shut up, Homelands.
Me: Great. My imagination comes up with a MaGo jerk. Well, anyway, as I was saying... In addition to the library theme, I also came up with the "subtype matters" theme. I won't go into detail of how that came to be, but then I took those themes and fleshed out some mechanics! I didn't go so far as to list all the cycles and whatnot for the set like you did with yours, Devin, but yeah, check it out:

Homelands: I can only wish I looked this impressive.
Me: You ARE special, Homelands. In a different way. Look, you're even in this blog post!
Shadowmoor: Yeah, you're not half bad. You're not as bad as Mark Gottlieb's very existence.
Me: You know, I don't actually think this way about Gottlieb.
Mark Gottlieb: Oh, yeah, Shadowmoor? Aura-enhanced wombats, attack!
Devin Low: Noooo! I love Shadowmoor!
Mark Rosewater: Noooo! I love Shadowmoor more!
Homelands: I'm going to fashion a noose around my neck over here.

Familiarity Matters

Me: So, for the subtype matters theme, I've decided to focus only on creature types and basic land types for the first set. Later sets can explore Equipment and Auras as well as any new subtypes, whatever is decided. The important part for Great Designer Search 2 is the first set. For creature types, I brought back Tribal. This will make non-creature cards be able to count as the appropriate creature. 
Homelands: What about the basic land types, then? Do they get anything special?
Me: For sure! For land types, I created a new card type called Terrain. Terrain works just like Tribal does when associating a land type to a non-land card.
Shadowmoor: Terrain? That's not too exciting, man.
Me: Yeah, I know. I don't really like it, either, but I had to choose SOMETHING for sending in with the design test. The three choices I was choosing from were: Terrain, Terra, and Turf.
Shadowmoor: Do better at being creative, man.
Mark Rosewater: I recommend reading my favorite book "A Whack on the Side of the Head." It'll help!
Me: I got it right next to me. Finished it. Once I've read "A Kick in the Seat of the Pants," I'll let you know what I thought of 'em. We should move on to my next point, though.

Me: For the creature types, I chose to do races that would match up to each of the pair of enemy colors. 
Shadowmoor: Why enemy colors? 
Me: Just a personal decision. Here's how it's laid out:
  • White/Black: Bird
  • Blue/Red: Gnome
  • Black/Green: Crocodile
  • Red/White: Dwarf
  • Green/Blue: Frog
Homelands: So, what if I want to play a pair of ally colors in this set?
Me: Ah! Good question, Homelands.
Homelands: *blushes*
Me: So, for ally color pairs, there would be five prevalent classes for creature types, like in Morningtide. I haven't yet figured that out which ones, though. But, I'm thinking of spreading them out over three colors. For example, there will be a White/Blue/Black class featured prominently, which enables either White/Blue or Blue/Black decks of this class type. And, of course, White/Black decks focused on that type which could also 

Mark Gottlieb: Is that the best you can do for your "Subtype Matters" theme? I'm leaving to do more productive things like sit in a chair and be an arch-nemesis while being an Ex-Rules Manager at the same time. 

*MaGo leaves.

Me: I was just getting to my mechanic... Anyway, for the rest of you, as you've seen from the web diagram above, the ability word Familiarity rewards those for casting spells that share a subtype with a permanent they have on the battlefield with this mechanic. It's like landfall, except for specific spells and basic land. It goes like this:

Familiarity -- Whenever you cast a spell sharing a subtype with CARDNAME, DO THIS.

Me: DO THIS means any effect chosen for that specific card.
Devin Low: I really do love you, Shadowmoor.

Traumatize Me Cap'n!

Me: Next, for the "Library" theme, I used Evan Erwin's Erode mechanic, except I didn't. Here's how it was in its original form:

Erode (This permanent deals damage to players in the form of putting the top card of that player’s library into their graveyard.)

Me: The problem is that the a player's life is 20 and a player's deck is at least 53, to start with. And, of course, over the course of the game, it'll reduce by 1 for each turn you draw a card, so let's assume you gotta mill 40 cards. This means it'd be a viable strategy if you doubled the power of Erode creatures.
Devin Low: But, then, you'd have creatures that completely overpower non-Erode creatures.
Evan Erwin: Yeah, but letting an Erode creature through without blocking would balance this out. At least, not every Erode creature is going to be a 2/2 for U. Not that this was my line of thinking. You're putting words in my mouth, Brad!
Me: Yeah, I know. Anyway, I'm still hesitant. I think playtesting would help solve this problem. But, I just decided to tweak it anyway.
Alexis Janson: Really? Just proxy up a theme deck and test it!
Me: I have a confession... I don't actually have any Magic cards where I'm staying at right now. Let's just say it might be related to this article by Geordie Tait.

Me: Well, anyway, here's my version:

Trauma X (Whenever this creature would deal damage to a player, that player mills NUMBER cards instead.)

Me: NUMBER is just the word version of X (eg. 2 and two). This way, the amount milled can be controlled and not have to be tied with the power of a creature. You could create more interesting creatures like a big creature that does Trauma 1.
Mark Gottlieb: Dude, you can't say "mills". That's slang, not the proper formatting.
Me: Yes, you're right. Except, I'm actually making "mill" a keyword action. Now, instead of "Target player puts X cards from the top of his or her library into his or her graveyard," it is "Target player mills X cards."
Mark Rosewater: Gutsy.
Me: Yeah, I know. I figured that proposing this along with my submission, if it goes over well, then it'd be helpful for deciding me in as a finalist.
Mark Rosewater: Hahaha. ...O.K., I don't know. I'm not the real Rosewater.

You're Outta Focus

Devin Low: Yeah, but Trauma isn't interacting with Familiarity.
Me: I'm getting there. Next, I wanted some mechanic that interacted with Trauma. So, I came up with Focus. You want to keep a card with Focus on top all the time and Trauma messes with that. Here's how it's worded:

Focus (Play with the top card of your library revealed. Whenever you would draw a card, you may draw the second card from the top of your library.)

Mark Gottlieb: Again, it's not technically drawing a card since drawing is putting the top card of your library into your hand.
Me: Hey, I was shortening "put the second card from the top of your library into your hand" to "draw the second card from the top of your library". The mechanic's reminder text was already getting wordy. I needed to fit in a second ability that cared about the top card of your library.
Mark Gottlieb: You're just challenging rules left and right. Do you ever just FOLLOW them? And why do I sound like this? This is very un-Dr. Wombat-like. I'm leaving. Again.

*Mark Gottlieb leaves. Again.

Turn on the Flashback

Devin Low: Besides that, about any time, you should be making the bridge between the "Library" theme and "Subtype Matters" theme.
Me: Right. And that brings me to returning Flashback. Flashback is like this super glue for the set.
Shadowmoor: Oh, I see. With Flashback, you can cast twice as much, thus, synergy with Familiarity.
Homelands: And Flashback also provides a way to combat Trauma. Being milled isn't so bad, anymore! Nice one.
Me: But, another important function of Flashback is that it helps smooth the mana curve in Limited. Like Kicker does for Zendikar and Cycling does for Alara.

Aaron Forsythe: Hey, guys, what's going on?
Everyone Else: Gah, he's gonna eat us! Run!
Devin Low: Whatever happens, Shadowmoor, I will always love you.
*Everyone leaves except Me, Aaron Forsythe, and Homelands
Homelands: What's the point to living when you're me? Eat me, Aaron.

Me: Cheers,

Me: Brad

*Me leaves and drags Homelands away

Aaron Forsythe: ...Guys? I just wanted to see if anyone was up for karaoke.
Lee Sharpe: Let's do this!
*AaFo eats Lee Sharpe

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 19: Design Test Submission

Mopey, the Eighth One

Some of you have certainly noticed my lamentation regarding the highly-likely possibility of me being out of the running for The Great Designer Search 2. If you haven't, well, now you know. And you'll get to know why because I'm posting my design test submission publicly down below. 

What I sent in was not the best that I could have done because I ran out of time. This was my own fault, of course. However, it wasn't a matter of not spending enough time on this third design test -- far from it. This test was the only thing I focused on whenever I could leading up until the time I needed to send my e-mail in. The problem was that I didn't set up milestones for myself for the different requirements. I even let myself focus on parts of design that didn't matter so much for this task (Like constructing a design skeleton with the appropriate card codes. Far from necessary.)

Lesson Than Three

So, what did I learn?

1) When a project is needing to meet a deadline, make a plan with milestones. This will break down a complex task into several simpler tasks. Once this is done, you can divide up the time you have until the deadline among the simpler tasks. So, if you ever find yourself behind in terms of your mini-deadlines for your various tasks, you'll know you won't make it in the end unless you pick up the pace.

(You know, I already know this. I took a Project Management class while I attended DeVry University. Project management skills totally could have been applied here.)

2) Stay focused on what's important to complete your task. As I mentioned with the card skeleton activity before, I was doing things that were related, but they weren't really helping getting my task completed. So, figure out what you need to complete the next part you need to work on, then do that. Don't get distracted. It's easy to get the false sense of being productive by just doing things. But, if it doesn't contribute toward the bigger picture, it's just a distraction.

You can have all the design skills in the world, but if you, personally, aren't able to take a design assignment and do what's necessary to complete it all the way through and on time, then it wouldn't matter much. Sure, designing Magic itself requires various teams of people to care about all the extra "stuff" (But, what do I know? I haven't worked at Wizards.) to ensure success, but this was a condensed soup of ten cards and a description of a world/block.

And that's that. ...I'm no expert on project management and such, though. I could be steering you wrong. I don't want to steer you wrong. So, if you decide to do anything as a result of what I wrote, take caution. For anything. Just to be safe and so my conscience won't bug me as much when I try to sleep tonight.

First Track of Daft Punk's Discovery (2001) Album

One more thing -- I realize I didn't squeeze in humor into this article. Humor can spice up writing, but I don't think it's one of my strong points. I love to laugh, and I'm an easy-going person; but  I couldn't do stand-up comedy. Perhaps I'll learn about comedy from some source sometime. Once I've become funnier, it might help me gain some regular readers, which just helps toward my goal of landing a job in R&D.

Then again, I wonder how many great Magic writers there are that aren't funny. I won't type anything here because one, I don't want to hurt their feelings, and two, I don't remember who hasn't slung some witticisms regularly in their writing. 

Maybe that's a sign of how good they are. That reading their articles or whatnot was just a smooth ride of goodness that you didn't notice anything besides having a great experience. It's kinda like with video game controllers. You should be designing the player input, so that the player doesn't notice the controller during their gameplay experience. Well, except, when it IS part of the experience (Like the Wii controller or playing Mario Party so competitively that you should wear gloves to do your efficient, self-damaging strategy.) But, you catch my drift, right?

I'm getting off track! The text below is what I sent in. Enjoy laughing.




Part I - The World

A. Immovale

B. An imaginative plane created by and residing within the mind of a planeswalker.

C. Planeswalker Reena Mreez crafted the world she calls Immovale whose environment and its inhabitants are subject to the memories, thoughts, and stability of her mind. In the mind, the lines of distinction among person, place, and magic are blurred, especially while she dreams. Despite her frequent visits to the plane, its inhabitants do not know of their own origin or their creator -- for the most part.

Immovale consists of an endless ocean and is populated with bobbing islands of forestry and larger pieces of earth known as mount-plateaus. At the top of these amazingly tall mountains are flat stretches of land with kingdoms built upon it. There are wonderful black stream-passages leading away from these plateaus and toward one location. They lead to one murky part of the ocean overgrown with an amalgamation of dead vegetation, live weed-like plants, and a tainted aura.

The vulture tribe, the scavor, is suspicious of the irregularity of these swamps, which they frequent to trade with the gromp. The gromp, a crocodile species, seemingly know of a secret they're protecting from the other inhabitants. Meanwhile, the wibblies, a frog-like people, have long studied the nature of their world and its peculiar behavior and have noticed some patterns. The dwarves, on the other hand, care less about thinking and more about expanding their cities within the bobbing mount-plateaus. The curious and playful gnomes simply live as they wish: living within the moment, exploring unknown regions, and… pulling pranks.

D. The plane is tied to Reena's mind. The world and people blend identities sometimes. She experiences trauma, has flashbacks, has familiar thoughts, and focuses on ideas in her mind.

Themes: library and subtype matters. Mechanics: Trauma, Flashback, Familiarity, Focus. Also, Tribal and land-equivalent Terrain appear.

Trauma X (Whenever this creature would deal damage to a player, that player mills NUMBER cards instead.)

Yes, Trauma is using the word "mill". It's a keyword action now, like scry.

Flashback COST (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. If you do, exile it.)

This mechanic combats the Trauma mechanic. The twist in the large set is that it is also used on creatures with "When you cast CARDNAME" triggered effects.

Familiarity -- Whenever you play a card sharing a subtype with this, DO THIS.

Further supported by flashback's "cast twice" nature, this mechanic rewards those who play a single subtype. For the first set, that means creature types and basic land types. Tribal and Terrain support this by having types on non-creatures and non-lands.

Focus (Play with the top card of your library revealed. Whenever you would draw a card, you may draw the second card from the top of your library instead.)

This keeps a card on top of your library and is further supported by a secondary ability of any kind that cares about the top card of the library. Trauma disrupts this strategy.

Part II - The Cards

1. Chanker, Gromp Spawner (Rare)


Legendary Creature - Crocodile Shaman


When Chanker enters the battlefield, put a 1/1 green Crocodile creature token onto the battlefield for each Crocodile card in your graveyard.

B, Exile a Crocodile card from your graveyard: Target Crocodile gains deathtouch until end of turn.

2. Dream Swallower (Mythic Rare)


Creature - Nightmare


Flying, Trauma 5

Whenever a player mills a nonland card, you may search that player's library for any number of cards with the same name and put them into his or her graveyard. Then that player shuffles his or her library.

3. Gnome Trickery-Pull (Rare)


Tribal Instant - Gnome

Until end of turn, you may cast exiled cards you own with a flashback cost without paying its mana cost. Whenever you cast a spell this way this turn, each other player may cast an exiled card without paying its mana cost. (Each spell cast this way is put into the graveyard when it resolves.)

4. Good Dream (Common)


Creature - Dream


When you cast Good Dream, you gain 2 life.

Focus (Play with the top card of your library revealed. Whenever you would draw a card, you may draw the second card from the top of your library instead.)

As long as the top card of your library is white, Good Dream has flying.

Flashback W

5. Reena Mreez (Mythic Rare)


Planeswalker - Reena

3 Loyalty

[0]: Choose a subtype. Whenever you cast a card with the chosen subtype, put two loyalty counters on Reena.

[-5] : Choose a subtype. Return all permanents of the chosen subtype to their owners' hands.

[-11]: Choose a subtype. Search your library for any number of cards with the chosen subtype and put them into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

6. Wibblie Forestation (Uncommon)


Terrain Creature - Frog Forest



Familiarity - Whenever you play a card sharing a subtype with Wibblie Forestation, Wibblie Forestation gets +2/+2 until end of turn.

7. Blessing of the Scavor (Rare)


Tribal Sorcery - Bird

Reveal the top card of your library. Creatures you control that share a creature type with the revealed card get +2/+2 and gain lifelink until end of turn. 

8. Recurring Nightmares (Rare)


Tribal Enchantment - Nightmare

Whenever a creature card is put into a graveyard from anywhere, exile that card and put a 1/1 black Nightmare creature token onto the battlefield under your control.

9. Dwarven Waraxe (Uncommon)


Tribal Artifact - Dwarf Equipment

Equipped creature gets +2/+0. If equipped creature shares a subtype with Dwarven Waraxe, equipped creature and each creature sharing a subtype with equipped creature gets +2/+2 instead.

Equip 2

10. Plateau Murkways (Rare)

Land - Plains Swamp

Plateau Murkways enters the battlefield tapped.

Plateau Murkways doesn't untap during your untap step.

T: Add W or B to your mana pool.

Familiarity - Whenever you play a card sharing a subtype with Plateau Murkways, untap it.

Write-up: All the cards in the set have a subtype.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 18: Looking for Ursula

'Round and 'Round We Go

I've just sent in my design submission for the Round 3 Design Test. I know for sure that I'm not satisfied with what I turned in. At least three cards I can think just made me groan. And that's a bad sign when you, as the designer, do that, let alone the audience (in this case, the judges). If there were ten cards to submit, and I gotta make top 8 of 101 people, that means I'd only have room for one bad card. Maybe. I'm accounting for that extra odd 2% as the Part I of the World. But, hey, the heavier the weight is for Part I, the better of I'll be.

The reason why I turned in work that I'm not satisfied with is because I ran out of time at the end. While I was spending almost all of my free time working on this task, I should have made sure to not let myself spend too much time on one thing or to veer off in territory that didn't matter. If I had just stopped and evaluated where I was on, say, Saturday night, and planned deadlines accordingly, I would've been better off. But, nay, I have this nice spreadsheet I'm...

Sleep break. (Hours later.)


Hey-o, I'm back. Still kinda tired, but a toddler was "calling" from their recent rousing from sleep. Not my toddler, but still, nonetheless, I needed to aid the situation. Some Kix and juice later, and now she's trying to fin a VHS tape and the father's up with the second child. Good to go. At least, enough to get back to this post.

I wonder whether it'd be better to write a short post rather than a long one. I was thinking, "The better I am at writing, the more you'd want to read my stuff." So, if it's short and sweet, you could have a greater tolerance for lesser skill in writing to "enjoy." ...On the other hand, I could just write however many words I like (to the point where a normal-sized article would stop) and let the reader stop reading if they so choose to stop reading. The downside would be that those who stop early would miss the latter parts of what I would say.

O.K., I could just have a strategy, then. I could write about the most important parts first then--

Hold the phone! This is exactly the technique used in newspapers. Er, I believe so. I dunno, I never was a communications major, *cough* Mark Rosewater */cough*

Searching for Voice Fischer

Speaking of Mark Rosewater, I was reading this two-part article interview that Ted Knutson (Am I linking unnecessarily?) gave MaRo, and it made me want to write. I never did fancy myself a writer. I would even tell people specifically that "I'm no writer." However, I want to write because, well, if I write enough, I'll get better. That's provided I find my "voice", among other things.

MaRo mentioned finding your voice. Once you're able to do that, writing becomes easier. But, getting to that voice part is a difficult process. Another thing he mentioned was -- Wait, did I mention that this was for becoming a regular Magic writer? As in, exactly what I'm doing now. Except, others may get paid and write for more prestigious websites (and not just blog). -- Anyway, as I was saying... He mentioned "putting yourself into your writing". I may or may not be paraphrasing. So, that's what I'm doing now. Maybe I'm not doing it enough. This next paragraph will be an attempt at "more" of me.

Look at Me, I'm...

Over the past month and then some, ever since Mark Rosewater's announcement of The Great Designer Search 2 at the end of August, I've been focusing a lot of time and energy on preparing for this competition and actually competing in it. This was my chance to get the internship which would most likely lead to a permanent position of my dream job. I'd be set. So, what the heck am I talking about? I'm not sure. I was about to mention something I imagine is true for so many others. They've also invested their time, energy, and emotion into it.

I guess I could say that, at least, from my end, there was doubt of my abilities as a designer. In the beginning, before the actual article detailing how the contest was going to go down, I was getting more and more of the feeling that I didn't have a chance. The first Great Designer Search had competitors who were software engineers and other such impressive titles. Sure, I had a degree in game programming, but that may have made it worse since I don't actually hold a job related to my degree right now. If I make it as a finalist for GDS2, my title will read "Target employee" or something like that. Which, by now, is fine with me. It'd actually might make people root for me, as I would probably be, seemingly, "the underdog" alongside the other listings of occupation. But, this is a round-about way of saying that it didn't help my doubting to see that I've been floating around jobless up until I just got a job at Target a month ago.

Right. So, while I was preparing for GDS2, I was completing challenges from GDS1. And while I was trying to do these challenges, it felt like it was more difficult for me than it should have been for an aspiring designer. I just stared blankly at the computer screen as I was firing blanks on designing. Perhaps I had some mental locks in my head (speaking of which, of A Whack on the Side of the Head is, as Mark Rosewater put it (at least, I think), the best book on creative thinking. It's O.K. I checked it out. Well, literally. I borrowed it from my library, and it's right next to me as I type this. It's a good one. Anyway, this book talks about mental locks. ...Wait a minute. Does this count as one of those asides that MaRo does every now and then? In that case, maybe I should have made this its own paragraph). Like I was saying, perhaps I had mental locks in my head. Whatever the case was, I wasn't churning out designing. Was I fit for this internship? I felt like I was doomed from the beginning.

But, nonetheless, I should do my best, anyway. The worst that could happen is that I fail. I might be wrong about myself, and I could be a great designer. I mean, I did win a previous design contest held by Bragster and Wizards to "Design Your Own Card". I have to be made of something, right? It also helped that others that have been around me described how creative I am. Though, they haven't seen my work put into action. I didn't make anything creative of note with my degree, but it could just be in the way that I communicate with people. My current roommate does tell me that my line of thinking is different. So, I'm weird. And Weirds are red/blue. And red/blue is associated with creativity. So, maybe that's why (Go, go, illogical logic.).

But, as I progressed through the rounds, I felt more confident. This was a test of my abilities. And I was passing. Well, the first round's test may not have been evaluated just yet and only based on whether each of my essays were between 250 and 350 words. There would be evaluation for sure when it came to Round 3. So, that didn't really tell me whether or not I rocked at Magic design. However, Round 2 came, and I had to pass a multiple-choice test that tested my ability on modern design principles. And I passed. This was where it all turned around for me. I knew what I was doing, for the most part. So, Round 3's design test was the real deal. This is what it's all about. If I passed, then I was just pure awesome.

...And then I let myself run out of time for a quality submission. Frick. I'm so disappointed in myself. I can do better at design, but I ran out of time. I didn't set deadlines for myself properly, even though I was spending all my free time doing the assignment. During the last couple hours, I had to frantically design a few cards on the fly just to meet the requirements of the email I needed to send. I sent it at the last minute, and I just. Could. Have. Done. Better. ...But, Life just happens. If I were to be in the Top 8 of 101 people, every single card needed to rock. But, they don't. I know, because I groan whenever I look at a few of those cards I sent.

...And 'Round and 'Round

And that brings me full circle to why I'm writing in the first place (Did I go in a circle? I'm not sure. It felt more like a rollercoaster ride). I feel like I've got no chance for making it as a finalist. So, what do I do now? Well, I keep trying to get that dream job, regardless of whether or not there's a Great Designer Search 2. One way is to get noticed as a Magic writer writing about Magic in a way that shows my aptitude of being able to be in Magic R&D. In the past, I would have just stopped there. Because I was "no writer." But, now, I feel empowered. I can write if I really want to. I just need to write. And write. And write some more (among other things). The same is true for design.

So, I can just keep pushing along with my Magic designing, anyway. Ddsign sets and playtest them and such. And I could even write about that, too. That's more of a reason for me to write. I could also construct cubes, which could show off my development skills, being able to put together a balanced set, and all (let alone balancing my own designed sets). So, I'll just keep pushing.

...One last thing: This blog post was written with some experimentation. I'm trying to find that voice of mine, and I'm trying out these sectioning my post with headers. Whatever. This is a good thing. Hopefully, I'll keep doing this. It'll feel weird, since I haven't yet accepted that I do write. Some day, though. 

...I'll get that dream job.