I finished in fourth place, the highest result not invited to Wizards of the Coast headquarters for tour and interview. Two weeks later, I'm finally in a place where I can talk a bit about the contest and my feelings regarding it.
As stressful and eventually heartbreaking as the contest was, I'm very glad I took part. It did a lot for both my skills and confidence as a game designer, and certainly got my name out into certain areas of the industry.
In the end, I can't say that I disagree with the outcome. As passionate and knowledgeable as I am about Magic design, I don't have the professional or personal experience to do my dream job justice just yet. I have a ways to go as a person before I'm ready to make a creative passion my career. Some day I will design games for a living, but not today, and maybe not for a while.
In the mean time, I've been taking a break from Magic design and getting into some RPG system theory. I've got a huge post on RPG skills that will probably go up later tonight. I think my goal for the coming year is going to be getting a homebrew system into a shape where I can submit it to some publishers or just publish it myself online.
Finally, the GDS2 was a wonderful experience for just how much support I got from friends, family, and random strangers on the internet. One last time, thanks to you all.