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.

The lessons

Totally Lost

  1. Fighting against human nature is a losing battle
  2. Aesthetics matter
  3. Resonance is important
  4. Make use of piggybacking
  5. Don’t confuse “interesting” with “fun”
  6. Understand what emotion your game is trying to evoke
  7. Allow the player to make the game personal
  8. The details are where the players fall in love with the game
  9. Allow your players to have a sense of ownership
  10. Leave room for the player to explore
  11. If everyone likes your game, but no one loves it, it will fail
  12. Don’t design to prove you can do something
  13. Make the fun part also the correct strategy to win
  14. Don’t be afraid to be blunt
  15. Design the component for the audience it’s intended for
  16. Be more afraid of boring your players than challenging them
  17. You don’t have to change much to change everything
  18. Restrictions breed creativity
  19. Your audience is good at recognising problems and bad at solving them
  20. All the lessons connect


See also

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