On Magic and Models 5
Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“Can you give an example?”
“One of the things I love about Magic is its modularity. This is an essential feature of the Magic-model.
Structurally, Magic can be broken down into two phases: deck-building and play.
Think of Poker. You have a fixed deck of cards, which are shuffled together, and cards are extracted from it in random order according to a specific set of rules.
Unlike Poker, decks in Magic are customizable. Magic cards can be combined in a myriad ways.
The Designer that I am, I’m constantly optimizing the many systems of my life. In fact I think of optimization itself as a system to optimize.
A (not that long a) while ago, I asked myself:
How can I optimize Optimization?
The answer opened up a beautiful design-space: Magic.
What if I created physical optimization cards, similar to Magic cards?
I started playing with the idea, did a little prototype, and loved it. So I started building on it, optimizing with each iteration.
Magic has a number of card types distinguishing different types of spells (creatures, instants, sorceries, enchantments, and artifacts). At some point I asked myself:
What if I created different types of cards?
I tested it, and loved it.”
“What types of cards did you create so far?”
“Optimization cards – How can you optimize x ?
Implementation cards – How can you implement x ?
Questioning cards – various questions
Learning cards – refreshers on the things I’ve learned
Priming cards – cards with a priming effect
What’s beautiful about the system is that, since all the cards have the same size, they can be combined to form decks, which allows for deck-building.
They’re not as as pretty as Magic cards, but they get the job done, and are a joy to play with.”