Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Community Expansion: Design Guidelines

I've started talking with some of the podcasts about a community-created expansion for the Booze Cube. There will also probably be a contest involved, where the winners will get some custom foil Booze Cube cards. I don't have all the details for y'all yet, but if you want to start designing cards, here are some guidelines:
  1. Pay attention to the Color Pie. It's the core of the entire fucking game. There's a whole series of classic articles by MaRo on each color's design philosphy (links at the bottom of the wiki page here), and I've written a short post about how I approached incorporating drinking into each color.
    • Intoxicated is mostly centered in red and green.  Since intoxicated creatures can't normally kill players (unless they concede rather than drink a shitload), these creatures can often be costed quite aggressively.
    • White likes to make everybody drink together. White also likes creating "rules."
    • Black has powerful effects with high drinking costs (and is the color most willing to take shots)
    • Blue has lots of abilities that trigger on drinking and likes to make other players drink.
    • Red likes making random players drink or gambling with coin flips.
    • Green likes drinking to create mana, creatures, and other resources.
    • Reanimator cards should be mostly in black and green (with white as a tertiary color)
    • White has a heavy enchantment theme, with green/blue as secondary colors .
    • Esper (WUB) has a minor artifacts-matter theme.
    • Tribal themes:
      • Fratboy (White)
      • Pirates (Blue, Blue/X)
      • Zombie, Vampire (Black)
      • Dwarf (Red, Red/X)
      • Bottle (Artifact, colored artifacts)
  2. Cards with abilities that scale the more you drink are extremely powerful and need to be approached with caution.  The drink-to-ability ratio really comes into play here.  This is especially true when the card is capable of winning the game on its own if the player is willing to drink enough. For example, Bad Trip is, in principle, capable of dealing 20 for 2BB - but a player would have to drink 60 to do it (and 80 flashed back). 
  3. When designing a permanent with repeatably activatable abilities, you need either a mana cost and/or an appropriate drink-to-activation ratio.  
  4. Powerful is fun. Unbalanced isn't. Ask yourself whether you'd rage quit if an opponent was playing it against you.  If so, it might be time to rethink your design.
  5. Drink X is the norm. Shots and chugging should be reserved for particularly powerful effects, usually as a cost. Multiple shots per turn should be used in only the rarest circumstances (i.e. Necropotent).
  6. Parodies of real cards can be awesome, as long as they make sense as a drinking card.
  7. Not all cards have to directly involve drinking. Cards that would be fun/hilarious to play while drinking are also good. For example, Feats of Strength has high-stakes arm wrestling and Negligent Homicide lets the controller of the creature you just killed punch you in the arm. Cards can also just be funny, provided they're mechanically sound (Borat) or mechanically irrelevant (Sparkling Vampire).
  8. I'm not really looking for new keywords. If think that you've come up with a really good one, feel free to submit it, but odds are that I won't use it.
  9. Any existing keyword mechanic is fair game, as is using drinking as a cost for that mechanic (i.e. drinking for flashback, kicker, etc.)
Cube Needs
  1. Creatures, especially midrange and utility creatures
  2. Removal
  3. Equipment
  4. Utility lands
  5. Cards to support the following archetypes:
    1. Mono-Black
    2. Enchantress
    3. Reanimator
    4. Aggro (especially in colors other than R/G)
    5. Tribal
    6. U/x Control
    7. Artifacts
    8. Burn
    9. Group Hug
  6. I'm not looking for more planeswalkers at this point.

You can submit card images created with Magic Set Editor. In addition, please include the following as text:

Card Name
Card Type
Rules Text
Flavor Text

If you want to submit artwork, please include the original as an attachment.

Anyway, that's about it for now.  Send your designs to theboozecube@gmail.com with the subject "Community Expansion Submission."  If you have any questions, feel free to email me or hit me up on Twitter (@theboozecube).

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