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Phase II: The Xavier Project

by Charlie Plaine, Chairman

8th March 2010

During the first phase of Make It So, teams were given just a taste of the design experience. We wanted to introduce them to some of the fundamentals of design: cycles, themes, meta knowledge and understanding of the card types. Now, the two newly-merged teams must prepare for the largest challenge yet: the design of their own 45-card virtual expansions.

Over the course of the next six challenges, the teams will design and develop different pieces of the puzzle. At the end of this phase, the teams will have completed the design of a Virtual Expansion and it will be presented to the judges and the public for a final review.

This week, we're giving the teams some time to get organized and get some initial ideas down on paper. We're not going to give the teams all the details now (they will be rolled out via the challenges), so the teams need to be adaptable and have a plan to deal with changes.

Here is just a taste of what the teams will be given, and what they must ultimately include in their final presentations of their expansions:

Teams will be given challenges directly from the Art Department, the Rules Committee and the Play Test Teams during the course of Phase II. Each challenge will require them to complete just a small sub-set of the total cards in the expansion.

In preparation for the first challenge of Phase II (which will make its appearance some time in the next seven (7) days), teams should spend some time planning and researching. Brad suggests that teams take some hard looks at the previous expansions - both physical and virtual - and that they focus their attention on the non-boutique-style expansions. Also, teams should think about the make up of the expansions in terms of percentages, card types, themes, mechanics, and try to figure out how they want to structure their own.

Teams should focus on the cards they need for the current challenge, but should always be looking to refine their ideas in their down time. Cards from previous challenges can be developed and adjusted prior to their final delivery, and ideas for future cards can be generated as speculation. The judges highly recommend that teams don't waste a minute of their time, as they're going to need it!

Some guidelines for the teams (and anyone playing along at home):

So, you have some of the building blocks. You know a little bit about what you're going to have to do. It's time to get started. Get your teams organized, start putting ideas on paper and seeing what your team likes and doesn't like. The fifth challenge will soon be upon you - be prepared!

-djl-


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