HomeОбразованиеRelated VideosMore From: GDC

Magic: the Gathering: Twenty Years, Twenty Lessons Learned

15240 ratings | 537467 views
Magic the Gathering head designer Mark Rosewater shares twenty lessons learned over twenty years of designing one of the world's most popular collectible card games. Watch to learn lessons such as "Restrictions Breed Creativity", "Fighting Human Nature Is a Losing Battle" and "If Everyone Likes Your Game, But No One Loves It, It Will Fail". GDC talks cover a range of developmental topics including game design, programming, audio, visual arts, business management, production, online games, and much more. We post a fresh GDC video every weekday. Subscribe to the channel to stay on top of regular updates, and check out GDC Vault for thousands of more in-depth talks from our archives. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/Official_GDC Checkout our Facebook page for GDC exclusives https://www.facebook.com/GameDevelopersConference http://www.gdconf.com/
Html code for embedding videos on your blog
Text Comments (902)
Ed (1 day ago)
22:16 I call that sweet grapes.
Ed (1 day ago)
Great talk by the way.
DragonKitty (1 day ago)
reminds me of powerpoints from highschool, the one that was made by someone who really liked the subject and cared for it, but didnt really know how to make a powerpoint
William Jennings (5 days ago)
This talk should be required watching for anyone over the age of 18: whom still play "Magic the Gathering".
Travelling Spud (7 days ago)
Dude! Its Maro! That giant green dude that stomps my friends :D
David M (9 days ago)
Terese Nielsen needs to be banned from the game.
beansnrice321 (10 days ago)
Lol, Blogatog XD
Ember Storm (11 days ago)
Also, Tibalt was not reviled because he was "weak" for no reason. He was reviled because his +1 ability had you discard at random. This was counterintuitive to how the mechanics he was designed to work with played, and that led to dislike.
Ember Storm (11 days ago)
Totally Lost was reprinted with Fblthp and he got his own card now!
Kyle Nelson (11 days ago)
Magic stopped being fun for me several years ago.Too many exploits, erp, I mean “synergies” kept cropping up as they expanded the card set. If I try to play edh against my friends now, they dont even have basic lands in their decks anymore. Just a bunch of artifacts that act as 2 or 3 mana each. They always have like 3 summoned by turn 5 by some wizardry and I lose every time. I’d rathet not spend $1k on a deck just to compete to have “fun.” The game is broken.
BlacKcuD (11 days ago)
"Your audience is good at recognizing problems and bad at solving them" this is truth right there.
Shy Kaiman (13 days ago)
I really liked the video, but he don't explain how fun is a Mono Red Deck in Magic Arena and his Real versions of the game expansion . Now not only it has this deck like it has another Op deck Izzet Rahal infinite combo...wtf, how this is fun? This genious can explain? Cause it's not fun and it's not intellectual too.
Gr33nsurfer (13 days ago)
Regarding to #7 So control decks are basically misconcepted because one player can not choose anymore :-)
James Flames (13 days ago)
Lesson #21: It is possible to trick people into paying $100s of dollars to play a card game.
Keiya (14 days ago)
31:58 before Rosanne comes up. Pretty good, over half-way!
Neven (14 days ago)
Flawless. Awesome lesson. And Imo - the best designed game of all time
Kalenz (16 days ago)
2001 lesson learned: Do not confuse interesting with fun. Make cards fun to play and to play against. 2019: Nexus of Fate. Wizards of the Coast: You mad?
Blind Beholder (16 days ago)
#7 What's that about functions?
noisyturtle (17 days ago)
"Lessons learned" WotC for the next 2 years: "Hold my beer..."
A.E. W. (18 days ago)
I have to say skipping through the extraneous stuff and seeing the tidbits on the historical creations was worth the watching. If the presenter just focused on game mechanics and card creations that had the most impact on the MTG culture it would have been a great presentation.
dead inside (18 days ago)
Lesson 16 really rings true with me; I made about 10-15 decks within a year and nobody from my group did that. I was in the process of building another deck and realized that I generally already knew how the games would play out against my group. I got up from the table and left that deck as it was for almost six months because I was so burnt out and bored that I didn't want to play Magic anymore. I didn't touch my cards for over a year. My best bud recently got into deckbuilding and it feels so good to get back into Magic with a new group because I'm finally seeing new decks and having fun again.
Stanislav Serbezov (19 days ago)
One of the best videos!
bh617 (20 days ago)
One of the few actual design geniuses in the world
Comrade Feathers (21 days ago)
*I can now make a card game*
Miles Greb (22 days ago)
#1 don't let people play things for free.
Daniel Palmer (23 days ago)
I was always confused on why the Akroan Horse was actually of the "Horse" type... it's not a horse, it's just a sculpture xD
stevo728822 (24 days ago)
All this personalisation costs a fortune to implement.
Phoenix Franks (24 days ago)
This guy is a spaz. He uses a lot of non-technical terms to describe ideas and concepts, and this thought process is all over the place. I'm beginning to see why some card designers design such shitty game mechanics, because they don't think in technical terms.
Bigb671 (24 days ago)
"Allow the players the ability to make the game personal" is probably the most important. If you give players many tools, they will spend insane amounts of time exploring and creating. It also allows them to show others their creations.
Charles Beavers (24 days ago)
Rosewater shit I thought that was Eileen and was excited to see what she had to say.
Ernest Ankrom (25 days ago)
This is more like a phycological lesson then a magic convention.
Rewston (25 days ago)
Watching this, I feel like Activision Blizzard and many other game companies should watch this and could learn a thing or two.
VedranPrema (25 days ago)
I still don't understand why there were so many complaints about Griselbrand
SerLaama (25 days ago)
Kinda telling of his ego that he paints the players as babies.
Jordan Winslow (28 days ago)
Well I guess the guys over at Magic these days didn't learn much from LESSON 1 and the Griselbrand issue because they're doing it all over again with "Enter the God-Eternals" in the new War of the Spark set. This message sponsored by Jordan Winslow Electronic Music Producer, Composer & Magic The Gathering Arena Player.
Abben Hung (28 days ago)
"make sure they find the fun part" 41:14 . . also puts static orb, winter orb, and smokestack into the game
Taeerom (24 days ago)
But that IS fun. There are many ways to play magic, and disrupting mana is one of those ways.
RiverSiege (29 days ago)
Fantastic talk, I'm a D&D player and many of these lessons were so applicable to my running of games.
Duarte Faria (29 days ago)
Me, me, me, me , me , me, me , me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me...
Rodrigo Dal Moro (1 month ago)
uuuupppp in the walll nice talk, good job
Velexia Ombra (1 month ago)
Lesson 21: Don't break the balance of your game just for aesthetics or people will slowly stop playing and your game will die.
Cayo de Araújo (1 month ago)
Fucking Griselbrand should have been 7 mana.
Imogen S (1 month ago)
Lesson 8: One reason why "The Room", for all its flaws, became a cult classic. Say what you like about Wiseau's writer/directorial vision - he had specificity in aces. Where else can you go for pictures of spoons?
Naté Slough (1 month ago)
I saw the title of this video, said eh. Saw the screenshot, Maro made me want to watch it.
DXTb0nEXD (1 month ago)
Terrific lecture
Eddie (1 month ago)
The fact that business and fun are packaged in such a unique product is amazing. Personally I don't play but am very interested in the online trading card community. I do hope that one day they have an efficient, deeply liquid market that will allow the easy purchase and sale of digital cards as well as offer ability to enter, limit entry orders and stops as well as being able to view crisp clear and pure price chart data that can connect to some charting software via an API like for example Sierra Chart with a brokerage service like E-Trade. I think that Wizards doesn't realize that Bitcoin has shown that if you have a product that not only has relevance but is also a form of trading and investing, its a very unique combination that people love to believe in and buy. Gosh I could easily see an official exchange that allows you to enter and exit trades in a particular card quickly and easily and just be a massive money maker to not only Wzards but also traders interested in providing liquidity and get speculative reward. I would have no qualms in doing KYC type documentation with Wizards if it mean being able to trade in real time the hottest cards in the digital world. Can you imagine if we could short digital cards too!? Or at least provide a derivative product that could indirectly bet on a card going down in price. I really hope Wizards calls someone on WallStreet and tells them how this could be done or better yet contact Issac Arthur from Bitmex over in Hong Kong on how to do it from ground 0. It's a regulatory hassle but my goodness well worth it once it's all said and done. Wizards would go from pure game speculation to allowing monetary speculation on a wide scale. It would introduce more people to MTG without having to play the game but if they want to speculate they can do so on an official or sanctioned Wizards exchange.
imax digital (1 month ago)
He was expecting way more applause at 0:09 hahaha Cool guy though
foolbackwards (1 month ago)
Lesson not mentioned: don't sack ur fan favorite artists.
Fenriall55 (1 month ago)
Lesson #11 explains why Nexus of Fate is a thing
JoySynthesis (1 month ago)
Hey MaRo, reprint Necro
Shaun Thompson (1 month ago)
Best 20 Lessons ever. These are significant in so many more ways than just gaming. I wish I had seen this years ago!
Jacob Hook (1 month ago)
45:00 - oh that's funny. I read that card and thought "That's horrible, I'd never play that." Then he immediately removed the Johnny player.
NEWSMAN SUPER (1 month ago)
mtgox. The most significant thing you did.
lovetownsend (1 month ago)
IM such a timmy lol i love all those things,
lovetownsend (1 month ago)
37:42 The director of The Last Jedi could learn a lesson here....
Hijacked TARDIS (1 month ago)
Number 21: don't create Jace the Mind Sculptor
Marchitect (1 month ago)
I love comparing these strategies to what hearthstone is doing, and how far hearthstone is from what it could be
Random Ashe (1 month ago)
It's making a billion dollars a year, I think they're just doing just fine.
DerFreiegedanke (1 month ago)
46:08 HERESY Everything should be for everyone so everything is for no one.
Whyx Nowx (1 month ago)
please reduce booster costs, also reduce bulk cards and reduce new rules
Tiagorpg mendes (2 months ago)
so blue decks are gotcha decks? because they make me not want to play cards, as they are never activated anyway, it is shame that it is cheaper to cancel an effect than it is to activate it
Goon Renegade (2 months ago)
34:28 "For you see..." "Marriage is a lot like an orange: first you have the skin; then the sweet, sweet inner-" *munch* *munch* *slurp* *slurp*
Goon Renegade (2 months ago)
Real talk tho. Weird to hear a representative of a huge game developer admitting you want people to hate your shit.
ihavetubes (2 months ago)
Video game developers need to learn this.
Emile Nunyez (2 months ago)
"If you do what the game tells you to do, you will have an enjoyable experience" ... has Mark ever played magic with other magic players; because that's absolutely not the case. The vast majority of you M:TG players are cynical, angry, little people who are almost certainly miserable to your core. As someone who has spent plenty of time playing more collaborative games (RPG's, Boardgames, Co-op Video Games, etc) the behavior I have witnessed at almost every con and FLGCS is reprehensible. I personally witnessed three players (grown ass men) on a lark, buy a bunch of Magi Nation cards slap together a deck just to jump into a tournament and "Wreck a bunch of kids" - which they did. I've witnessed absolute tantrums at even small scale tournaments. I've personally had to go and reclaim cards from predatory trades where younger players made completely disadvantageous trades with older players who outright bullied them out of their property. I personally organized a number of folks my generation to require the owner of the local shop to review any trades that happened with minors - an endeavor we weren't successful in. Should have done a talk on how to be a decent human being.
tai ji (2 months ago)
I am glad I missed out. A couple friends and I got into MTG in the early 90s at the time of the Antiquities expansion. We played a lot for about six months, and then sold our cards, and moved on. We had a rule, only play after we were completely stoned. We'd meet up after work. Smoke up in my car. Go inside and play for a couple hours. All I remember is how funny it was. Laughing so hard our faces turned red and tears ran down our cheeks with only the occasional "Ah, fuck you" for using blue cards like Counterspell, or white or black cards that let you take control of another person's summon. All good fun. We were all 18, 19 and 20, so, right on the edge of being a kid and a grown ass adult. Nothing but good memories of good times with good friends.
Ryusei1986 (2 months ago)
Uhm ... I kinda fell in love with the detail a bit TOO MUCH maybe ... :D I've been using the card art and a derivative of the name as my online persona ever since I held the card in my hands, when I bought the Kamigawa Starter Set with him and the book in it. :D
Bum Pickle (2 months ago)
See, this is what i love about magic. Its not about pushing a product, its about making something special that people will actually care about.
Mad Machanicest (2 months ago)
I have always hated magic but i love this video and know understand why.
Adam Jorgensen (2 months ago)
I would imagine players hated Krosan Beast because unlike other card games that see play (Android: NetRunner, DoomTown: Reloaded, Vampire, Keyforge, etc) Magic doesn't have a proper draw mechanism (you have to build a deck around drawing otherwise you're largely limited to a 1-card-a-turn drip-feed).
Jas Bataille (2 months ago)
Pardon me, but your comment doesn't make much sense to me. Magic does have a very proper draw mechanism, and many cards (way too many to name) can make you draw more cards per turn. Also, as Mark mentioned, card advantage in Magic is not such a big deal, since you can gain advantage discarding cards. Heck you even have a card called "One with nothing" (I dunno why he didn't talked about it) which would let you discard your entire hand. And yet, some players found combos that could make you win with it. Also, it doesn't matter at all that you're limited to a 1 card-a-turn draw most of the time, because you don't need to draw more than one card per turn to make any potent deck totally playable. And if you wanna play with the card advantage mechanics, plenty of cards allow you to do so. Come to think of it, Krosan Beast and One with Nothing is a crazy combo :O I think I'll actually build a deck around it right now. See? Magic is different than any of those games because the possibilities are almost endless. You can take two hated cards and make something surprisingly great. Finally, I don't know why you would have to surcharge your card drawing when the creature is about you discarding the cards. The reason why it wasn't popular as he said, is that players would rather prefer playing the cards than discarding them. If not, trust me, you can have plenty of combos that will let you draw a shit ton of cards and discard that shit ton of cards. But is it a fun way to win? Heck no. It's not fun!!
Art L (2 months ago)
lesson #5 isnt rlly true anymore tho ppl are constantly looting and discarding their hand to put high toughness creatures or doing broken things early. Consider basically all the modern b/r decks. Maybe it just took the playerbase a bit to catchup or for the power level of discarding to be so high that it's ultra competitive.
double0bigby (2 months ago)
great video. wish he didnt have to take all the crap from hasbro!!!
M P (2 months ago)
He kinda sounds like daffy duck
Deus69xxx1 (2 months ago)
Stop That was one of the best cards ever invented. in fact, they should bring it back, under a new name, that just triggers when flicking happens form the opponent, with a 0 mana cost, and instant speed. and untargettable while in your hand, graveyard or library, uncounterable, and is placed back in your hand when exiled.
Isaac Young (2 months ago)
does anyone know a timestamp when he talks about the dark times? I mean mirrodin block.. of course.. >.<
H Oli. polimathemagician (2 months ago)
One of the greatest design guidance videos I've ever seen. I'll be watching and rewatching MANY times!
Tony Quigley (2 months ago)
Guys, when is this fad of people having to put a stock photo of something to represent in soe ironic or "Funny" way every second word they say gonna end??
Jolly Joel (2 months ago)
I think this guy can do better at explaining this because it's a harder field to make a continuing collectible card games that is actually successful than a video game.
Jeremy Cline (2 months ago)
This talk has a lot of applications: in my case I study mobbing and bullying as a kind of game; a lot of what he says is very valid to my observations, especially the part about "details, choices, customization"!
Rock Balancer (2 months ago)
can i have a ham and cheese sandwich?
Tyler Brown (2 months ago)
Mark, thank you so much for this talk.
nanoacido (3 months ago)
Very interesting
mindustrial (3 months ago)
In 2019 the Lesson 21 would be "Do not let 'social justice' take control of your creative decisions".
Danger Bay (3 months ago)
oh god that font
Sea-Jong Park (3 months ago)
god awful presentation slides.
Matthew P. (3 months ago)
Lesson #1 is effectively "get woke go broke"
Ben R4m-Z (3 months ago)
Riot needs to watch this.....
Funny seems like MaRo needs to listen to his own advice.
Mikhail Gromov (3 months ago)
40:10 Hey, but Eclipse is actually good!
Obbliteration (3 months ago)
What a terrible presentation. Waaaay to many slides. He can drop 75% of those
Zak R (3 months ago)
Trash talk by a trash person.
Singh (3 months ago)
Wish the Artifact dev team took these points into consideration
ZapOKill (3 months ago)
30 minutes into the video and I feel the urge to play hearthstone
Ahivalaostia88 (3 months ago)
Card quality nowdays is shit.
Alessandro Valcepina (3 months ago)
Lesson number 12 was not learned very well judging by Kaya's design...
Goroto Jr. (3 months ago)
He sounds like he inhaled helium.
benjamin mcmichael (3 months ago)
This should be a TED talk, not stuffy, not just a bunch of inspirational buzzwords; just experience, condensed into a short lecture. Table Toppers got a few things the TEDers could learn.
Graf Zorba (3 months ago)
06:50 loooooool magic and high aesthetic quality! fuck you!! the first editins were beautiful but ever since then your art is inconsistent and most often outright horrible, creatures look like a transformer fucked a warhammer orc and terrible font+graphic design.
Zerfsun (3 months ago)
Whenever I'm feeling sad, I watch this video and it makes everything better
- - (3 months ago)
Lesson #11 is why blue was created in Magic.
Manuel Ceriale (3 months ago)
Make the game fun..................Teferi and mono red really fun, much fun
Jonathan (3 months ago)
he does never really get to the point.
Sdesser (3 months ago)
Amazing lecture. No doubt I'll refer to this over and over in the future.
werst9 (3 months ago)
No love for the sole survivor of the iInnistrad trio. Sigarda Host of Herons AKA siggy stardust is the whole package. Hexproof, sacproof and flying with easily the best translation of lore to card effects i've ever seen in magic. Goes from not being affected to by Emrakul cause shes got hexproof to being the last shield of men giving them hexproof instead and rallying the humans against their eldritch foe. I dont need a third innistrad block but finding out how she does as the new big angel of Innistrad would be awesome.
Anthoux (3 months ago)
Lesson #10 is great DM advice lol

Would you like to comment?

Join YouTube for a free account, or sign in if you are already a member.