Tuesday, January 11, 2011

GDS2 Chronicles: The Final Challenge

Tonight the fifth and final Great Designer Search 2 challenge begins. Of the four remaining contestants, one will get eliminated and three will get flown up to Renton for a job interview.

I'm currently sitting at the bottom of the four, so this is the round that I really need to make count. Mark Rosewater has emphasized that my card design skills are top notch, but I'm failing to present a clear and cohesive vision for my set.

I've been working on how best to do this, and here's what I've come up with for my write-up so far:

I think that "a peaceful world converting tools into weapons" is a good thematic concept for Utopia in the same way that "a world where destructive natural forces have made civilization impossible" was a good concept for Zendikar. But Zendikar wasn't known for its complex societal ideas - it was known as "Adventure World."

I need a simple, resonant, saleable theme for Utopia to complement its more complicated ideas. My answer is to make Utopia the "City Set." Ravnica used a city as its flavor backdrop, but it was too full of multicolor and guild themes to represent idea of a "City World" in gameplay.

The final challenge's assignment is to design an intro deck for our set. On the one hand, I think it really plays to my strengths - I can design a fun deck made of interesting cards as well as anyone. On the other hand, they already know my strengths: I need to show the Vision that I have so far failed to demonstrate.