Nerd Reactor's Interview with Magic: Puzzle Quest Designer, JC Frenette

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Comments

  • khurram
    khurram Posts: 1,024 Chairperson of the Boards
    Regarding the interview, its not a problem if an hour or 5 minutes were spent designing a card... 
    I am more interested to know the process after the initial design... How much play testing is involved to get a feel of how the card plays with others? To see if its too strong or too weak? Also have there ever been cards that were changed from the initial design after play testing?
    @Hibernum_JC maybe you should shed a little bit more light on the process.
  • shteev
    shteev Posts: 2,031 Chairperson of the Boards
    Ohboy said:
    EDHdad said:
    Or possibly Shteev and the interviewee are the same person. 

    Shteev being JC makes a lot of sense suddenly.
    He was looking for a way to change his life. He could not do this on his own. All the ways he wishes he could be? That's me.

    I'm smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways that he is not.
  • THEMAGICkMAN
    THEMAGICkMAN Posts: 697 Critical Contributor
    This is... So just... I can't even. I have had a hobby of designing cards for several years now, and this is just absurd. How in the world do you think the feeling of -1/-1 counters will translate well and have the similar feeling and intent as in paper? The whole bit about intent is great! In theory at least. I'm sire if someone knew what they were doing and actually cared it'd turn out great in practice. I'm sure literally every member in the community could do better. 
  • shteev
    shteev Posts: 2,031 Chairperson of the Boards
    I'm imagining what would happen in paper if Mark Rosewater released an interview like that.
  • Ohboy
    Ohboy Posts: 1,766 Chairperson of the Boards
    shteev said:
    Ohboy said:
    EDHdad said:
    Or possibly Shteev and the interviewee are the same person. 

    Shteev being JC makes a lot of sense suddenly.
    He was looking for a way to change his life. He could not do this on his own. All the ways he wishes he could be? That's me.

    I'm smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways that he is not.

    You forgot humble. 

    You're a million times more humble than he is. That arrogant ****. 
  • babar3355
    babar3355 Posts: 1,128 Chairperson of the Boards
    The most disturbing thing that has not been mentioned is that he literally took all of the credit himself.  "I design cards...", "how I believe they translate...". etc.  I mean honestly, if the process is that this highly casual player is the stand alone designer then Hibernum should be fired.  If he is part of a team, then perhaps he shouldn't be such an "arrogant ****" and actually talk about how the team designs cards.  Even if he is on an island he would serve himself well to talk as if he were part of a team effort.  . 
  • Steeme
    Steeme Posts: 784 Critical Contributor
    babar3355 said:
    The most disturbing thing that has not been mentioned is that he literally took all of the credit himself.  "I design cards...", "how I believe they translate...". etc.  I mean honestly, if the process is that this highly casual player is the stand alone designer then Hibernum should be fired.  If he is part of a team, then perhaps he shouldn't be such an "arrogant ****" and actually talk about how the team designs cards.  Even if he is on an island he would serve himself well to talk as if he were part of a team effort.  . 

    Whoa! No need for indirect attacks.  A quick review of his linkedin shows he has a decent amount of experience in the industry, and he likely does exactly what he says in the interview (why lie?).  Also, he has shown a decent amount of character whenever he pops in the forums, so why all the hate?
  • madwren
    madwren Posts: 2,188 Chairperson of the Boards
    A flawed process does not mean a flawed person. I'm as critical as any non-Shteev around here, but there's no need to spew venom. 
  • toastie
    toastie Posts: 119 Tile Toppler
    I also want to point out that Shaharazad is an absolutely miserable card to actually play with / against. Sure it is cute the first time or two, but after that it becomes onerous. It is exactly the sort of "too clever, designer self pleasuring" thing that should be avoided at all costs if you want to make a game that people actually enjoy playing.

    Basically this entire interview leaves me concerned that @Hibernum_JC is completely out of touch with both the playerbase of the game he is designing and paper magic, though it does explain most of the questionable decisions that have been made recently.

    It really feels at this point that MTGPQ is mostly being propped up by the brilliant design work of WotC, but even then is being poorly translated over.
  • Azerack
    Azerack Posts: 501 Critical Contributor
    edited May 2017
    khurram said:
    @Azerack Sky sovereign and Heart of Kiran aren't OP. It may appear that way because the PvE events using them have tons of Mana which makes it seem like casting them is a piece of cake. Gonti and Baral have been reworked.
    The first two aren't so underpowered when you have AI cascades - but agreed they aren't like - the latter two, it took a few weeks before they changed them, which meant either they didn't playtest them (though the good veteran forum posters warned them about Baral) and/or they didn't understand why the mechanics of those cards were so OP at the start and just let them in.

    I'm just saying that the current release plan seems a tad flawed if they aren't being playtested before or during the forum responses to the card preview sheet. Veteran players called these long before they went into Live game and yet nothing was done about them until well AFTER they went live.
  • Laeuftbeidir
    Laeuftbeidir Posts: 1,840 Chairperson of the Boards
    I just want to add - what he does might have led to some problems, but most cards actually come out well / okay designed. Like the Lone Rider, in my opinion one of the most interesting and best designed cards (should maybe be rare, tbh).
    Also thanks to @Sarahschmara to point out the issue in a very constructive way!
  • Corn_Noodles
    Corn_Noodles Posts: 477 Mover and Shaker
    JC's previous interview regarding Aether Revolt can be found here and his interview regarding Battle for Zendikar is here.
  • shteev
    shteev Posts: 2,031 Chairperson of the Boards
    Steeme said:
    babar3355 said:
    The most disturbing thing that has not been mentioned is that he literally took all of the credit himself.  "I design cards...", "how I believe they translate...". etc.  I mean honestly, if the process is that this highly casual player is the stand alone designer then Hibernum should be fired.  If he is part of a team, then perhaps he shouldn't be such an "arrogant ****" and actually talk about how the team designs cards.  Even if he is on an island he would serve himself well to talk as if he were part of a team effort.  . 

    Whoa! No need for indirect attacks.  A quick review of his linkedin shows he has a decent amount of experience in the industry, and he likely does exactly what he says in the interview (why lie?).  Also, he has shown a decent amount of character whenever he pops in the forums, so why all the hate?
    "Arrogant ****" were Ohboy's words, remember. babar3355 is using them here in quotes.
  • Matthew
    Matthew Posts: 605 Critical Contributor
    shteev said:
    Steeme said:
    babar3355 said:
    The most disturbing thing that has not been mentioned is that he literally took all of the credit himself.  "I design cards...", "how I believe they translate...". etc.  I mean honestly, if the process is that this highly casual player is the stand alone designer then Hibernum should be fired.  If he is part of a team, then perhaps he shouldn't be such an "arrogant ****" and actually talk about how the team designs cards.  Even if he is on an island he would serve himself well to talk as if he were part of a team effort.  . 

    Whoa! No need for indirect attacks.  A quick review of his linkedin shows he has a decent amount of experience in the industry, and he likely does exactly what he says in the interview (why lie?).  Also, he has shown a decent amount of character whenever he pops in the forums, so why all the hate?
    "Arrogant ****" were Ohboy's words, remember. babar3355 is using them here in quotes.
    Also important to note that it was used with a hefty dose of facetious sarcasm.
  • shteev
    shteev Posts: 2,031 Chairperson of the Boards
    Matthew said:
    shteev said:
    Steeme said:
    babar3355 said:
    The most disturbing thing that has not been mentioned is that he literally took all of the credit himself.  "I design cards...", "how I believe they translate...". etc.  I mean honestly, if the process is that this highly casual player is the stand alone designer then Hibernum should be fired.  If he is part of a team, then perhaps he shouldn't be such an "arrogant ****" and actually talk about how the team designs cards.  Even if he is on an island he would serve himself well to talk as if he were part of a team effort.  . 

    Whoa! No need for indirect attacks.  A quick review of his linkedin shows he has a decent amount of experience in the industry, and he likely does exactly what he says in the interview (why lie?).  Also, he has shown a decent amount of character whenever he pops in the forums, so why all the hate?
    "Arrogant ****" were Ohboy's words, remember. babar3355 is using them here in quotes.
    Also important to note that it was used with a hefty dose of facetious sarcasm.
    Actually it read more to me like he was trying to attribute those words to someone else.
  • toastie
    toastie Posts: 119 Tile Toppler
    Thuran said:
    The pros:

    - Very interesting to hear about the design proces, and whilst we might not like it, It does make sense to "budget" cards based on their rarity to ensue comparable power. 

    It is actually not that different from how paper magic is designed, if they are making a common 3/3, the base cost is 2G for instance. Add on flying and the cost should be 3G. That is their starting point, afterwards costs are adjusted, and likewise cards of a higher rarity has more leeway in how they are budgetted. You will almost never see a 3/3 flier for 2G at common, but a rare 3/3 flier for 2G would not be out of the ordinary. So in that respect it quite fits. Also it is a good starting point for comparing cards and for trying to determine apropriate mana costs.

    Lets say the same flier draws a card when it enter the battlefield. That effect costs 1½ mana, so the designer of the card knows the correct cost is likely to add 1 coloured mana for a rare, or 2 colourless mana for a common/uncommon. The end result would be a 3/3 flier that draws a card when it enters the battlefield, for 2GU. (Would be a really good card actually! At uncommon a 3GU with same stats is also really really solid) 

    Rarity = power is actually a completely different argument in MtG vs. MTGPQ.

    In paper magic the main reason for this is for limited (which is completely absent from MTGPQ). Commons can be (and have to be) lower power in general because they make up  ~70% of the cards in a limited pool, and probably about 50% of the cards in your deck. Commons that are total garbage for constructed are limited staples (or even powerhouses). There are very few commons / uncommons that are actually intended to be playable in constructed and those tend to be spot removal, counters, utility spells, and cards that have good synergy with the rares / mythics. On the other side of this, the reason that rares and mythics can be significantly above the general power curve (and masterpieces can be in packs despite being broken good) is because they are only a small part of limited. On average you will get 3 rares in draft, and 6 in sealed. And they may not even fit in your deck. Many games of limited are played without you ever seeing a rare.

    In MTGPQ there is no limited. Garbage commons are just that, garbage. They are only usable when you are a new player, once you get some good cards, you will never touch more than half of the cards in the game again. When a new set comes out, you will not ever use more than half the cards in it. Well, you may use it for the mastery points, but then you won't use it again. Cards like Festering Mummy, Giant Spider, In Oketra's Name, Scribe of the Mindful, Sunscorched Desert, and Tah-Crop Skirmisher (to name a few) contribute nothing to the game for enfranchised players. Could they be better balanced to actually be useful in niche decks or for objectives, or at least have reasonable costs for what little they do? Absolutely! But they wont be, because the point "rarity = power" isn't about balance in MTGPQ, it's about money. The more garbage they include in the sets, the more money you have to spend to get anything good out of it.

    The rarity budget is also a completely different way of balancing for rarity than MtG. In MtG, for 1R at common you will get a 2/1 creature. At uncommon you will get a 2/1 creature. At rare you will probably get a 2/1 creature, maybe a 2/2. At mythic you will get a 2/1 or a 2/2. You will get varying abilitied on those creatures, but the cost to stats ratio is very tightly fixed, and it's rare to see cards wander outside of that by more than 1 point without some sort of downside or condition (though it will happen occasionally, especially on multicolor cards). If you look at the most efficient creatures ever printed in older formats, there are some commons (Delver of Secrets, Gurmag Angler), and uncommons (Young Pyromancer, Monastery Swiftspear) among them.
  • Ohboy
    Ohboy Posts: 1,766 Chairperson of the Boards
    shteev said:
    Matthew said:
    shteev said:
    Steeme said:
    babar3355 said:
    The most disturbing thing that has not been mentioned is that he literally took all of the credit himself.  "I design cards...", "how I believe they translate...". etc.  I mean honestly, if the process is that this highly casual player is the stand alone designer then Hibernum should be fired.  If he is part of a team, then perhaps he shouldn't be such an "arrogant ****" and actually talk about how the team designs cards.  Even if he is on an island he would serve himself well to talk as if he were part of a team effort.  . 

    Whoa! No need for indirect attacks.  A quick review of his linkedin shows he has a decent amount of experience in the industry, and he likely does exactly what he says in the interview (why lie?).  Also, he has shown a decent amount of character whenever he pops in the forums, so why all the hate?
    "Arrogant ****" were Ohboy's words, remember. babar3355 is using them here in quotes.
    Also important to note that it was used with a hefty dose of facetious sarcasm.
    Actually it read more to me like he was trying to attribute those words to someone else.

    I learnt from the barely adequate. 
  • Steeme
    Steeme Posts: 784 Critical Contributor
    shteev said:
    Steeme said:
    babar3355 said:
    The most disturbing thing that has not been mentioned is that he literally took all of the credit himself.  "I design cards...", "how I believe they translate...". etc.  I mean honestly, if the process is that this highly casual player is the stand alone designer then Hibernum should be fired.  If he is part of a team, then perhaps he shouldn't be such an "arrogant ****" and actually talk about how the team designs cards.  Even if he is on an island he would serve himself well to talk as if he were part of a team effort.  . 

    Whoa! No need for indirect attacks.  A quick review of his linkedin shows he has a decent amount of experience in the industry, and he likely does exactly what he says in the interview (why lie?).  Also, he has shown a decent amount of character whenever he pops in the forums, so why all the hate?
    "Arrogant ****" were Ohboy's words, remember. babar3355 is using them here in quotes.

    It's apparent you take me for a nitwit.  That's fine, I suppose you are entitled to your "beliefs".

    But let it be known, it's quite clear which posts are inflammatory and which ones are genuine.  I'll just leave it at that.