Alpha/ Beta playtest cards, etc.

Information about new Magic items and events.

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mwagee
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Post by mwagee » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:26 am

Forest
Horror of Horrors
Skeleton

ptest cards are being auctioned on the bay

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magic-belgium
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Post by magic-belgium » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:39 am

where please ?

mwagee
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Post by mwagee » Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:01 am

auctions thread

the swiss
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Post by the swiss » Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:59 pm

Notes from Richard Garfield:

From Alpha to Gamma

Exept for the card mix, little has changed about Magic since Alpha. In Alpha, walls could attack and losing all your lands of a particular color destroyed the associated spells in play, but otherwise the rules are much the same now as they were in the early stages of playtesting.

Moving from Alpha to the Beta version was like releasing a wild animal. The enjoyable game that was Alpha now burst the confines of the duel to invade the lives of the participants. Players were free to trade cards between games and to hunt down weaker players and challenge them to duels, all the while gamely facing or cravenly avoiding those who were more powerful. Reputations were forged-reputations built on anything from consistently strong play to a few lucky wins to good bluffing. The players didn't know the card mix, so they learned to stay on their toes during duels. Even the most alert players would occasionally meet with nasty surprises. This constant discovery of unknown realms in an uncharted world gave the game a feeling of infinite size and possibility.

For the Gamma version, new cards were added and many of the creature costs were increased. We also doubled the pool of playtesters, adding in a group with Strat-o-matic Baseball experience. We were particulary anxious to find out if Magic could be adapted to league play. Gamma was also the first version which was fully illustrated. Skaff Elias was my art dirctor; he and others spent days poring over old graphic magazines, comic books, and game books, searching for art for the cards. These playtest decks were fairly attreactive for crummy black-and-white cardstock photocopies. For the most part, the cards were illustrated with serious pictures, but there were a lot of humorous ones as well.Heal was illustrated by Skaff's fppt. Power Sink showed Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes) in a toilet; after all, what is a toilet but a power sink? Berserk was John Travolta dancing in Saturday Night Fever. Righteousness pictured Captain Kirk, and Blessing showed Spock doing his "live long and prosper" gesture. An old comic book provided a Charles Atlas picture for Holy Strenght, and a ninety-eight-pound weakling gwtting sand kicked in his face for Weakness. Instill Energy was Richard Simmons. The infamous Glasses of Urza were some X-ray glasses we found in a catalog. Ruthy Kantorovitz constructed a darling flame-belching baby for Firebreathing. I myself had the honor of being the Goblins. The pictures and additional players greatly added to the game atmosphere. It became clear that while the duels were for two players, the more players playing, the better the game was. In some sense, the individual duels were duels a part of a single, larger game.

Striking the Balance

Each playtest set saw the expulsion of certain cards. One type of card was common in Alpha and Beta, rare in Gamma, and is now nonexistent: the type that made one of our rival's cards yours. Yes, Control Magic used to permanently steal a creature from your opponent. Similarly, Steal Artifact really took an artifact. Copper Tablet no longer even remotely resembles its original purpose, which was to swap two creatures in play. ("Yes, I'll swap my Merfolk for your Dragon. On second thought, make that my Goblins-they're uglier."). There was a spell, Planeshift, which stole a land, and another, Ecoshift, which collected all the lands, shuffled them, and redealt them-really nice for the user of four or five colors of magic. Pixies used to be a real pain-if they hit you, you swapped a random card from your hand with your opponent. These cards added something to the game, often in the form of players trying to destroy their own creatures before theit opponents took them for good or even trying to take their own lives to preserve the last shreds of theit decks. In the end, however, it was pretty clear that the nastiness this added to the game environment wasn't worth the trouble, and no card should ever be at risk unless players choose to play for ante.

It was around this time that I began tp realize that almost any decision made about the game would be opposed, often vehemently, by some players. The huge amount of dissent about what should and what should not be part of the card mix led players to make their own versions for playtesting-a significant task that involved designing, constructing, shuffling, and distributing about 4'000 cards. Each of these games had its merits, and the playtesters enjoyed discovering the quirks and secrets of each new environment. The results of these efforts will form the basis for future Deckmaster games that use the structure of Magic: The Gathering while containing mostly new cards.

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magic-belgium
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Post by magic-belgium » Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:11 pm

Interesting. Where did you find this ?

Tha_Gunslinga
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Post by Tha_Gunslinga » Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:21 pm

Link to google book

Edit Please short links! ppmtg

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magic-belgium
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Post by magic-belgium » Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:08 pm

Thanks ! Looks like an interesting book.

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sk1
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Post by sk1 » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:33 am

So it appears from what Richard Garfield is saying, is that the Alpha and beta versions weren't illustrated -- the illustrating of the cards started with Gamma. So the Alpha and Beta versions were just text and no pictures?

the swiss
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Post by the swiss » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:52 am

Gamma (Richard Garfield says: first version which was fully illustrated)


Alpha/Beta (non illustrated and/or illustrated)

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fvzappa
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Post by fvzappa » Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:40 pm

sk1 wrote:So it appears from what Richard Garfield is saying, is that the Alpha and beta versions weren't illustrated -- the illustrating of the cards started with Gamma. So the Alpha and Beta versions were just text and no pictures?
The first & second (alpha & beta) printings are either a copy of something, a hand-drawn illustration, or nothing at all. In a few cases, the entire card is hand written.

The final version (gamma) is, with very few exceptions, complete with illustrations, casting costs, & text. There are many clarifications in this version as well. It is, naturally, the closest version to the actual printed set. These are the only ones that WOTC has shown off on their site (with one exception, a hand-done card by R. Garfield).

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mystical_tutor
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Post by mystical_tutor » Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:10 am

Very interesting, My son will be here for Thanksgiving. If I remember, I'll ask him to look at them and tell me anything he can about them. The ones I have are blank except the title and needed info. The first ones I ever saw were pencil on pasteboard and had hand drawn sketches or nothing at all.
Gary Adkison
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Knowledge is proud because it thinks it knows so much; wisdom is humble because it realizes it knows so little.

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equi-nox76
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Short

Post by equi-nox76 » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:34 pm

Tha_Gunslinga wrote:Edit Please short links! ppmtg
I would like to, but honestly don't know how 8-[
Chris
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke

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pp
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Re: Short

Post by pp » Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:24 pm

equi-nox76 wrote:
Tha_Gunslinga wrote:Edit Please short links! ppmtg
I would like to, but honestly don't know how 8-[
Chris
use the [url] option:

Code: Select all

[url=http://www.magiclibrarities.net/]This is my link[url]
looks like this:
This is my link

I had to edit because like to big photos, long urls make the forum page very large so that you have to scroll to the right to read everything.

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equi-nox76
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THX

Post by equi-nox76 » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:58 pm

Nice :-)
Thanks Patrick!
Chris
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke

ritnecrowin
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Post by ritnecrowin » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:27 pm

Does anyone have or know anyone that has either Scathe Zombie or Merfolk of the Pearl Trident playtest for sale or trade? I'd love to add 1 to my globals-prefer the merfolk!

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