Month: June 2014

Cassette Tape

Avoiding the Mix Tape Mindset

There’s a song from the musical Avenue Q called “Mix Tape”. In it, one character, Kate Monster, receives a mix tape from her charming neighbor, Princeton, and agonizes over the meaning of its contents:

“You’ve Got A Friend”
“The Theme from ‘Friends'”
“That’s What Friends Are For”

…shit.

Oh, but look!

“A Whole New World!”
“Kiss the Girl!”
“My Cherie Amour!”

Oh, Princeton! He does like me!

“I Am The Walrus”
“Fat-Bottomed Girls”
“Yellow Submarine”

What does it mean?

This post’s not about Avenue Q (although if you haven’t seen Avenue Q, I strongly encourage you to check it out the next time the opportunity presents itself). Instead, I want to use this as an example of what I’d like to dub the “Mix Tape Mindset” about crushes, ’cause I think it’s a very silly cause of an unfortunately large amount of unhappiness.

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8 Lessons for Newbie Magic Designers

I’ve always been a customizer. As a kid, I actively searched for video games that had level editors, because I was so enamored with the idea of making a game myself. Sometime in college, I discovered Magic Set Editor, and very quickly set to making my own Magic: the Gathering cards for fun.

It’s been a long time now since I’ve played a game of Magic, and probably even longer since I tried to seriously design a card, but the design of Magic is still something I find fiercely interesting. I read Head Designer Mark Rosewater’s weekly columns about design, and subscribe to the /r/custommagic subreddit, where I see a dozen amateur designs a day.

After browsing /r/custommagic for so long, I’ve noticed some trends among newbie designers. Just like everyone falls a couple times as they’re learning to ride a bike, damn near everyone makes these mistakes when they first start designing their own Magic cards. There’s no shame in it, but if you’re actually interested in learning to be a better designer, it’s important to understand what these mistakes are, why they’re mistakes, and how you can avoid them.

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