Of Card Codes and Statistics

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Sun, 2010-08-08 12:57
Pichoro
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This is a thread created for transferring the ongoing discussion of card codes, statistics, and their use in designing inside of MSE to somewhere other than the request thread.

Fri, 2010-08-06 03:24
theonlyjett
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This is probably a lot to ask for.

I would like to see for Magic sets anyways is an additional field that I can put card codes into when creating a set using the design skeleton. An ability to have a field on the card be visible and then be hidden so that I can print out and play test cards seeing the card codes easily and then having it disappear but still be saved information when the set is complete.

I know that I have seen requests for editable fields in the card lists. I second that (or third or whatever). I think filling out the fields would help much in filling out the design skeleton that is shown to be used by Wizard's.

Fri, 2010-08-06 06:10
Jéské Couriano
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theonlyjett) There's a playtest template modeled off of WotC R&D cards; is that what you're aiming for?

Fri, 2010-08-06 14:51
A Tactical Waffle
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Or do what I do: Make 2 set files, a "finished" set file and the other one. The other one will have all the unmade cards, but as you finish a card in the unmade set, cut and paste it to the finished set file.

"If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be."
-Yogi Berra

For Those Starting A New Set - READ IT

Fri, 2010-08-06 21:23
sbq92
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@A Tactical Waffle: Wow, that is a brilliant idea! I ought to use it. I'm always running into the problem of having too many more or less random cards in my set. This way I could keep track of things better.

Check out the info on my set, Chronicles of Trinn.
Current Status: On hold, due to school.

Sat, 2010-08-07 03:59
theonlyjett
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Jeske - No, that's just a template that looks like the play test cards that they use, which I'm not sure what the purpose of said template is except for the heck of it, lol. At least I'm not sure why to use it when using MSE.

Pichoro - When using that design method, it would certainly render the statistics portion useless until the set is completed, but I think that it's only because that method has you decide your stats first, and then go from there. To me, this is much easier than trying to look at the stats and somewhat haphazardly fill in what I think I need with seemingly random cards. Many (lol, I guess all seeing how nobody gets paid) of the custom sets I see are made for fun, so I can see how it doesn't matter under most circumstances, but I would prefer the skeleton method, or a more top down approach to designing my own set. I feel like designing a larger set is much easier this way. I also feel like it may be easier for people to make larger sets with this method and not feel overwhelmed so much when they do. I don't say any of this to argue of course, I appreciate this program very much. I just want to make sure you know one of your user's feelings. A happy smile

Still, I understand if it's not a highly requested thing for most casual set makers.

ATW - Thanks for a useful solution! A happy smile

Sat, 2010-08-07 04:08
Pichoro
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theonlyjett wrote:
Jeske - No, that's just a template that looks like the play test cards that they use, which I'm not sure what the purpose of said template is except for the heck of it, lol. At least I'm not sure why to use it when using MSE.

Easy - to save on ink costs when you're still in testing phases.

theonlyjett wrote:
I would prefer the skeleton method, or a more top down approach to designing my own set.

The real issue is that you can't find what cards are "done" as easily. Yes, there are ways, but this isn't as easy as having cards that aren't just simply not existing. A happy smile

Anyway, I don't think the codes serve any real purpose. You're not the first user to request them, but I think users only *think* they would be useful. Really, what would those codes give you that you don't already have?

In exchange for a fairly useless piece of information, we would have one more set of scripts to update semi-regularly, and one more bit of scripting slowing things down.

Sat, 2010-08-07 04:34
theonlyjett
theonlyjett's picture

Haha, save on ink, duh. *headdesk*

It's not a huge deal. I mean, I have already thought of several ways to do what I need with probably far less work than what you guys would do to implement it anyhow.

Thanks for your replies. *Fonzie thumbs up* Big smile

Sat, 2010-08-07 14:02
innuendo
innuendo's picture

I'll be honest here pich. You keep saying, "he real issue is that you can't find what cards are "done" as easily. Yes, there are ways, but this isn't as easy as having cards that aren't just simply not existing." that exact thing, that is very much personal prefrence. I don't look at cards at "what haven't I done yet." Plus, even if the statistic screen isn't as useful, that's hardly a reason to remove the *option* of having one of these coded sets auto generate.

I think your honest and well thought out reasons for not using them are making you miss the point. There are a lot of things in mse that not widely used features, but are still good to have. I think this would be a great feature, and with the normal way I move through designing a set, would actually be really useful.

I don't think because one group of people find it un-useful is a large enough reason to not include it, a group of people would, at least in theory, find it useful, so why not include it?

Current Projects: Siege SCG

Sat, 2010-08-07 14:12
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

Innuendo, both you and theonlyjett didn't address my real concern, that is:

Quote:
Anyway, I don't think the codes serve any real purpose. You're not the first user to request them, but I think users only *think* they would be useful. Really, what would those codes give you that you don't already have?

In exchange for a fairly useless piece of information, we would have one more set of scripts to update semi-regularly, and one more bit of scripting slowing things down.

So, what's so useful about them again?

Sat, 2010-08-07 19:54
Jéské Couriano
Jéské Couriano's picture

Quote:
Haha, save on ink, duh. *headdesk*

It also makes creating a card to test out easier as it includes time of creation and edit and omits flavor aspects that would be on a full card (illustration and flavor text). They also, at least to my eye, look a bit slimmer than standard cards so printing on non-A4 paper will be easier.

Sat, 2010-08-07 19:59
The Figment

Actually, when I'm working on a set, I do create blank cards without names. I simply assign color and rarity to those cards. (I only do this as I get close to completing the set though.) Note that I don't assign names to the blank cards at all; I can easily see incomplete cards from the main list. I usually come up with a name (final or placeholder) as soon as I make the effect though.

Sat, 2010-08-07 20:37
Wavy
Wavy's picture

Quote:
Easy - to save on ink costs when you're still in testing phases.

oh. that's interesting.

In that case, question: wouldn't printing the normal template in B/W save just as much ink?
Also if you have a laser printer, it wouldn't really make a difference which template you print, right? (and they would come out B/W anyway)

Sat, 2010-08-07 20:56
Pichoro
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Wavy wrote:
In that case, question: wouldn't printing the normal template in B/W save just as much ink?

No, because the playtest template features no illustration and no textures. Fewer objects being printed == less ink being used.

Wavy wrote:
Also if you have a laser printer, it wouldn't really make a difference which template you print, right? (and they would come out B/W anyway)

I don't know enough about the differences between laser and inkjet printers to tell you anything about this.

Sun, 2010-08-08 04:36
theonlyjett
theonlyjett's picture

The card codes are more useful to the Wizard's design team because more than one person works on them and they can use the codes to refer to the cards amongst each other without needing names. I still used the skeleton system simply by numbering the card and assigning rarity and color and whatever else that way. I know that they're "done," because that's when I take the number out of the name.

While I am still in support of including card codes in theory, I know that it's more than likely not worth it from the perspective of the people who have to actually make it happen.

Pichoro, I didn't bother to address that particular concern cause I never disagreed with it, from your perspective. Winking smiley Besides, what I really want is the capability to easily share an online secure database with several different users working on the same set as a team. A happy smile When we have this, then I'm sure we can talk about card codes again, too, lol.

I actually started my set a week ago about and already have the blank cards done and everything seems to be flowing along very nicely. The statistics features, to me, are useless as I determine those from the outset, rather than just adding whatever random cards I have made and then trying to fill in the gaps. In fact, I have a set just with all the random ideas I get that I can go back to and mull over.

I personally feel like if you are just making a set from all the card ideas that you have, there's not much point in caring about what colors get represented. It is, after all, just a loose set of cards, not a cohesive set in the vein of WotC sets. To try to say it clearer, I prefer making a set into which I need cards to fit, rather than fitting all my cards into a set. Either way, I don't see the overwhelming need for the statistics features, myself.

Sun, 2010-08-08 05:46
Shiv2503
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A quick and dirty fix to be able to use the statistic tab is to give all uncompleted cards the tombstone as a card symbol (to the left of the name) and then have the second type be card symbol.

“Pomposity is when you always think you're right, arrogance is when you know.”
—Harvey Danger, Pike St./Park Slope
check out my forum card maker.

Sun, 2010-08-08 06:05
kiligir
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I posted an idea in this very thread about having a button that would toggle all of the row text of a card in the list to bold when you were done with it.

Right now, I just type "Finalized" if it's done, "Needs preview" if I need to post it up, "Needs feedback" if I have posted it up, or "Needs balancing" if I need to post it in the clinic. I just type "Needs flavor" in the flavor text to hold it there if it typesets better with flavor text. I might be the only person that cares about how the text wraps.

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Spirits of Giravost

Fri, 2010-08-06 13:12
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

theonlyjett - I know what you're asking for, and I can understand why. But I personally don't support following that part of Wizard's design philosophy when using MSE. Doing so renders many of MSE's statistical abilities useless. For example, you can no longer see how many blue card slots you have left to fill, because to MSE, you've made all the cards, even if you made them with no rules text.

I highly recommend making the cards as you go when using MSE, rather than creating them all before you even start on the set.

Sun, 2010-08-08 13:37
Pichoro
Pichoro's picture

All discussion about set codes, statistics, and their usefulness in set design has been moved here.

theonlyjett wrote:
Besides, what I really want is the capability to easily share an online secure database with several different users working on the same set as a team.

MSE already does this, but you have to do some other stuff to get it working. http://magicseteditor.sourceforge.net/node/1521

theonlyjett wrote:
The statistics features, to me, are useless as I determine those from the outset, rather than just adding whatever random cards I have made and then trying to fill in the gaps.

I do this too - but I don't make every blank card to begin with. I instead create a table of information in the Description field of the set tab (the table contains color and rarity distributions), and that is my goal. I then make cards until the set is finished. I know I'm finished by using the Statistics tab. I also use it for other things, such as making sure my mana curve is as nice as I can get it (on a color by color basis usually), making sure I've not been "ignoring" a certain card type (like not making enough creatures or forgetting to make sorceries), and starting with my next set, probably following Kiligir's 25/35/60 word method he outlined in his Spirits of Giravost thread.

There's more than one way to skin a cat, is my point. Yes, WotC uses the skeleton method. But you are not necessarily doing things haphazardly without it if you use the tools MSE has.

theonlyjett wrote:
In fact, I have a set just with all the random ideas I get that I can go back to and mull over.

I have that too.

theonlyjett wrote:
I personally feel like if you are just making a set from all the card ideas that you have, there's not much point in caring about what colors get represented. It is, after all, just a loose set of cards, not a cohesive set in the vein of WotC sets. To try to say it clearer, I prefer making a set into which I need cards to fit, rather than fitting all my cards into a set.

And as I said, not using the "Skeleton Method" does not necessarily equate with "haphazard design" or a "non-cohesive set".

Sun, 2010-08-08 14:12
innuendo
innuendo's picture

The codes themselves aren't what I'm looking for, but a system for creating and managing incomplete designs is much needed. I hate having two sets like you all propose, it's tedious and unnecessary. I've suggested before, to the right of the art icon in the statistics if there was a way to check a box that marks a card as "draft" and filters it from the statistics page that alone would help tremendously. Just some way to mark a card in a set as unfinished. Be that codes or otherwise.

You're right, the codes themselves are silly, if you want codes just change the card name to the code you want and done. I'm betting we could even draw up a quick blank set of a normal set with all codes included, this way players could download that. We could even include it in the releases as a "blank development set" or something. I think that's all anyone really wants.

But something program level, not style level would be so helpful to me, like the aforementioned draft toggle.

Current Projects: Siege SCG

Sun, 2010-08-08 14:28
Pichoro
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innuendo wrote:
I've suggested before, to the right of the art icon in the statistics if there was a way to check a box that marks a card as "draft" and filters it from the statistics page that alone would help tremendously. Just some way to mark a card in a set as unfinished. Be that codes or otherwise.

Yes, and you weren't the only one to request it. It was requested twice previously and independently. To that end, when I was translating bugs and requests into the new Trac system, I made a ticket for it. http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/magicseteditor/ticket/49

It's low priority - but then, all requests are lower priority than bugs.