John-Michael Gariepy

Archive for the tag “Not Designing Magic: The Gathering”

Spambots, and the evolution of modern writing.

We’ve had some… strangeness with the bots on Multiverse. Wait.  Let me step back.

Multiverse is a website where you create Magic cards, and each card is given a discussion thread.  It’s a bit like making a forum out of the custom Magic: the Gathering set you were designing.  I was skeptical at first – I’ve been looking for a way to store my cards ‘in the cloud’, but wasn’t sure about letting other people comment on what I was working on, while I was working on.  Turns out, it rocks.  Immediate reaction to your work lets you understand what is good, and what only you think is good.  Immediately writing about your design allows you to focus on what you are creating, and chisels your theories into a sharp edge.  For Alex Churchill, I give three cheers.  If he didn’t live across the pond from me, I’d take him out for drinks on me.  Excellent stuff.

Enough background.  The thing I wanted to talk about is spambots.  Multiverse gets a fair share of traffic, and a very important part of Multiverse is the discussion threads.  Spambots see this, and the open nature of the message board, and harass us with inappropriate responses.  Someone will design a card, and a spambot will respond with “i lik yur articels.  they really make me think.”  It’s the sort of stuff that would go unnoticed on other message boards, but sticks out in a card design website.  Alex has done a fair job of sweeping up after them, but occasionally leaves funny, oddly prescient ones alone.  Like the spambot responses for the card Euphoric Confidence. The card itself is perfectly fine common filler.  Pay 4W, gain 7 life and draw a card.  Nice artwork, nice flavor, normal common… nothing crazy.  Then this popped up: Read more…


Why I’ll be talking about designing Magic cards in the future (and a promise that I’ll make it interesting for the casual non-crazy readers).

I’ve got a strange hobby.  It’s called ‘designing Magic: the Gathering cards.  When I explain this hobby to other people, the conversation goes like this:

Me:  Well, I design cards for the game Magic: the Gathering.  Of course, one can only entertain oneself for so long making individual cards with no relationship to other cards.  How can a card be perceived as good if it has no peers?  So, I hunker down and sketch out whole sets of cards… somewhere in the range of 300 cards at a time.  It’s a lot of fun, and I…

Confused Person:  Wait, wait… are you saying you work for Wizards of the Coast?

Me:  Oh, no.  Nothing like that.  This is a pastime.

Confused Person:  So, you design whole sets of Magic cards in your spare time?

Me:  Well, in what spare time I have, I suppose.  I keep myself busy.

Confused Person:  So, when you’re done with this set of cards, you what?  You can’t sell it, right.

Me:  Oh, no!  That would be insanely against the law.  If I started making any amount of money doing that, I’d have Wizards lawyers jumping through every opening in my body. Read more…

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