Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Worst Executive Decision Thus Far...

Darn, I never wanted to have a 6-week delay between updates, especially during set development! But the reality is that it's taken every ounce of my free time to keep pushing the set through design, never mind chronicling the whole process.

But here's a quick summary:
  1. I did lots of design work to get the planned 289 cards into the set.
  2. Printed all cards for use in playtest 3. (I was editing the set right up until the print-shop store closed; I snuck in with 2 mins to spare the night before the playtest.)
  3. After printing, but before playing, I found a bunch of issues in the set (too many uncommon/rares, not enough commons; etc.)
  4. Corrected as many errors as possible (staying up til 4AM to do so; this comes at a great cost to me as I have a toddler and a newborn!)
  5. Reprinted about 30% of the set (printing 3.5)
  6. Tried to have playtest 3...

Unfortunately, I made a huge strategic error: I decided we should try to reuse whatever cards we could from existing printruns 2 and 3. I figured we could simply sift through the existing cards from print 2, swap in any card that was changed in 3, then swap in any card that was changed in 3.5 And by "existing cards" I mean "little squares of printer paper cut up into 600 Magic card-shaped pieces and printed in Draft quality".

I totally underestimated how time-consuming and confusing this process would be, and absolutely failed at organizing it. This error cost us 2 of our 5 playtesting hours and most of my playtesters' sanity...And then I realized that this process hadn't accounted for any cards that had been deleted at any time after print 2 or 3 (i.e. more than 80 cards...)

When we finally did get to draft, it was with a horrible abomination of a set that included several versions of many cards. If Magic sets were movie scenes, then this was the transporter-malfunction from Star Trek 1 (or possibly a post-accident Goldblum in The Fly...)

The worst in-game moment was when Luke played a printrun2 Advanced Mindfly common at 3U for 2/2 Flying with an ability, and then on my next turn I played a printrun3.5 Advanced Mindfly rare at 3U for 2/3 Flying with the same ability :(

The one positive note is that despite all of the above, the team claims to have enjoyed themselves :) Thanks guys!!!!! (Mike N, Mike P, Luke, Trevor)

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