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If It Were A Game - Magic The Gathering

Posted by Jason Rhoades on October 5, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Welcome to the first issue of "If It Were A Game."  A column where our writers get to stretch their imagination and fantasize about their favorite works as an awesome video game.  This issue is all about the ever popular Magic: The Gathering card game.  Magic started back in 1993 and is still going strong today with tournaments at hobby shops all over the world every week and people making 6 figures at world tour competitions.  The game has a massive story behind it that some of the most creative people spend months creating.  Novels upon novels upon art pieces upon art pieces make this an illustrious and highly detailed universe.  There are a few video game spin offs here and there, but nothing that ever did the card game justice or translated into an overall great video game. 


I myself play the card game almost as much as I play video games and have always watched interestingly at any Magic video game that comes to pass.  So far I, along with many other fans, have not been satisfied.  Duels of the Planeswalkers is a good virtual version of the card game, but I'm wishing for something more.  I want a full fledged adventure similar to what the heroes of the Magic universe do.  Here's a rundown of what we think would be an awesome Magic The Gathering Game. 


The card game is beyond epic. Why haven't the video games been? 


Genre:  Action/RPG. This would help establish the combat heaviness of the game along with all the stats and systems to govern the attacks, magic and items.


World Style:  Open Stages, Linear World - A single story of magic takes place on a fully fleshed out world.  Since it encapsulates an entire globe, full open world would mean restricting the setting. Having fairly large levels in each area of the globe would be the best bet. 


Best developer for the job - The Final Fantasy Team at Square Enix.  They are great at delivering a great narrative along with complex combat systems that would translate into an in depth magic themed combat mechanic.  They are also good at crafting entire planets for their setting.  Bethesda would also be good, but they are a slightly different style and one that would translate a little roughly into Magic. 


Series or one game? - It would have to be a series or else risk sacrificing tons of material.  There is enough there to make a video game off of each block (3 sets of cards that are part of the same story.  That means there is enough amazing storyline and worlds to go through for over 10 games.  Another reason the final fantasy team fits is because they are good at making every game in the series different from the last yet related on certain themes, similar to Magic. 


Camera View: 3rd Person - the combat would be much to deep and fast paced for a first person camera view to work. 


So there's the basic rundown, now let's give a detailed example.  We will base ours off the world of Mirrodin a very popular block in the Magic series.  You would control Glissa, who is an Elf, and everyone else who joins her party.  Of course we have to have Slobad the Goblin and Bosh the Golem.  Everyone would have certain magic only they can learn because of the color of mana in the game.  We would have to make changes to some characters, mainly adding some just to get one of each color so the player could experience every style. 



Glissa, the heroine of the Mirrodin Block.  She would be the main character the story revolves around.


Instances, Enchantments and Sorceries would be spells that your players can use while artifacts are possessions that they equip or send onto the battlefield.  Creatures that aren't legendary would simply be summoned.  The main goal is to get every card represented into the game in some form. The cards that created combos would try to be kept as well.  2 types of cards will be a challenge to get over, which are land cards, and cards that deal with drawing and discarding, but there should be some simple mechanic to work out. 



Summoning creatures like this Masticore, that would just be awesome. 


The story would progress chronologically as you travel through the world experiencing the story as close to possible as the novels based on the same sets.  There will be a large amount of cutscenes to introduce all the areas and characters in the game.  Mirrodin had a fantastic story that actually became my favorite story in the entire card game. There wouldn't be any alternate endings or anything like that, just one story with characters who do what they did in the novels. 



Be able to traverse the plane of Mirrodin and meet the legendary Blight Dragon, Skithiryx


There would be some unique mechanics in this game based on the whole world being made of metal.  Things that will differentiate each game in the series gameplay wise as well as story wise.  Something the Magic cards do also between blocks. We would also have sidequests that lead to the more powerful cards of the sets. This would significantly add to gameplay time. 



The entire world is made of metal and Darksteel would be an interesting gameplay mechanic


The combat will probably be turn based simply because you will have alot of abilites at your disposal and strategy is something important in the game that we wouldn't want to rush.  We would want the game to look pretty too.  We would have Magic artists working with us along with square enix's strong engine delivering life like worlds and characters.  The whole world will glimmer as if it was made of metal and so would the characters with metal infused in their bodies. 


Doing combat against giant demons like this one would provide very epic boss fights.


In the end we would have a fantastic journey across a magnificent world with intriguing characters, a deep plot, strategic and colorful combat, and a thrist for more that would expand into a massive franchise. If only Magic The Gathering were a game. 



Angels, answer our prayers.  Make Magic an awesome video game!



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1 Comment

Reply Joel
5:25 PM on February 7, 2011 
The magic The Gathering multiple universes would be perfect settings for some games... my favorite is the Weatherlight saga, from Weatherlight to the Invasion Block. Gerrard and his companions are a great cast for a videogame.

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