Magic: the Gathering: Twenty Years, Twenty Lessons Learned
Magic the Gathering head designer Mark Rosewater shares twenty lessons learned over twenty years of designing one of the world’s most popular collectible card games.
- Fighting against human nature is a losing battle
- Aesthetics matter
- Resonance is important
- Make use of piggybacking
- Don’t confuse “interesting” with “fun”
- Understand what emotion your game is trying to evoke
- Allow the player to make the game personal
- The details are where the players fall in love with the game
- Allow your players to have a sense of ownership
- Leave room for the player to explore
- If everyone likes your game, but no one loves it, it will fail
- Don’t design to prove you can do something
- Make the fun part also the correct strategy to win
- Don’t be afraid to be blunt
- Design the component for the audience it’s intended for
- Be more afraid of boring your players than challenging them
- You don’t have to change much to change everything
- Restrictions breed creativity
- Your audience is good at recognising problems and bad at solving them
- All the lessons connect
- Making Magic — Mark Rosewater’s Magic design blog, which includes the written version of this talk (part 2, part 3).
- Blogatog — And Mark’s Tumblr blog where he answers questions.
- The Mystical Universe of Magic: The Gathering
One thought on “Twenty lessons learned over twenty years of designing Magic: the Gathering”
He knows what he’s doing to keep it going for as long as it has!