Tricks of the Trade - Week 5 - Making the CutLogin or register to post comments
|Thu, 2012-03-08 08:36|
Creative Direction Award
From here, the next step is to think of variations upon the design. Here are the the most commons ways we create variation...
1. Change the CMC (up or down) - If you can create multiple versions of a slot with different CMC's than you are very flexible if you end up too heavy in one cost, or lacking in another. Creating the proper mix of CMC's in each color and rarity is more of a development issue (AKA a whole new article), but if you map out what cards would look like at different CMC's during the initial design step, you can catch and correct yourself before you realize you are off.
2. Change the creature type - try one or two other types for the card, and let the flavor follow that type. For example, a Elemental version of the card might look like this...
An elemental would resonate with the accumalation of gold more than being given it. By working with different creature types, you can often find new ways to use your abilities, and create interesting subthemes.
3. Try a different angle on the effect - It's worth trying new ways to work with an ability, and test the waters with "arthouse" designs. The whole point of creating multiple cards for one slot is to find as many ways to work with your topic/message inside the card code as possible. You may learn a valuable lesson from your creation, even if it fails...
In that case, I realized that I was punishing players for not aquiring gold quickly enough. The text certainly resonates well with the mercenary ideal, but because of the way gold is aquired (it takes some time, but comes steadily through workers), I knew it would be very difficult to play this for full value on turn two. From this design, I created the idea of until end of turn gold spending, which both works better with the way gold is aquired (players aren't punished for dropping the first version on turn one, they can pump it later if they get gold), and resonates more powerfully with the flavor of the world (the goblin only cares about what you gave him recently, he will only work hard for you when he gets payed, and every turn is a new day where he shrugs off the loyalty bought from him yesterday).
4. Incorporate an element of the flavor if is not already present - Try creating versions of less flavorful cards (vanillas and french vanillas usually) that do include a theme, or at least hint at one. You might find a real gem by combining a theme with a "trope" card, and that is always more interesting to see in a set file than a vanilla/french vanilla (though they do have their place). In my skeleton, CR05 codes for Creature,small, firebreathing...
By adding the "any player can pay" effect to the card, I both include the mercantile "trading" feel of the set, and make a design that shines in multiplayer politics. It should be noted that a certain number of cards in a set do need to be less flavorful to provide a baseline for newer players, but at least try creating the designs, and if you do want to include them, you can always create a less flavorful version of another card to maintain the baseline.
As for CR01 version two, he might slide in entirely in tact, just not at common. A lot of your common designs will not fit in your set for both flavor and space reasons. However you can fit them in at uncommon sometimes, because the cards will show up less than commons (though they will affect draft much more than a rare would), and because higher complexity and "arthouse" designs are more acceptable at uncommon.
The topic for next week's article hasn't been selected yet, no one actually submitted any ideas for what they would like to see...
Until then, may you have the honesty with yourself to be able to call your creations ugly.