The Secret Lab (Shadowfist Design Notes)
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[posted 10 Sep 2002; updated 14 Nov 2004]
So what was it like on the inside of the Shadowfist design team? A lot more mundane than you might imagine :) But I got a view of the creation, testing, and production process that very few people get, and I thought players might like to read about it. So that's where The Secret Lab comes ina place for me to share some of those stories, or at least as much as I can without violating my non-disclosure agreement.
From the Ground Up - coming up with foundation characters that are more interesting than Swordsman, but not as overly useful as Hacker. Then applying these ideas to design a 1 cost Jammer foundation that provides (the holy grail of Jammer players, it seems). File available for download if you want to try it out! [note: the holy grail has been found as of 2003, in the form of Mad Scientist appearing in the Red Wedding expansion, but I've left the article intact anyway]
How Art Influences Card Design - art is supposed to follow card design, but it doesn't always work that way. See how some cards were dropped and others altered because of their art...
The Making of a Hitter - how to design playable and effective hitters that don't break the game [in work...]
"We'll never do that, and if we do, we'll worry about it then." - Zev Shlasinger, 9 Oct 1999, while we were discussing timing in general, and specifically if we should allow for "start of game" effects.