I need help determining my MTGC playmat, contest theme! (Major updates.)

edited June 1 in Off-topic Chat
Hello fellow cardsmiths, I'm starting a contest within the next two months that'll have a MTGC playmat as the prize. (The playmat is of the winner's choice!) So I need help determining what the community is most interested in.

Here are the current playmats: https://mtgcardsmith.com/store/

I want this contest to be thought provoking, yet easy to enter. So there won't be any lore/write-ups required for this one.

I will post some ideas below to get some ideas rolling. The sooner I determine the contest theme, the sooner it will likely start. So without further adieu, here we go!

Initially Proposed Contest Ideas: (These themes can be elaborated on further in the comments.)
1) Cards with abstract artwork.
2) Cards themed on moral principles.
3) Cards themed on the seven deadly sins.
4) Cards themed on a poem or poem excerpt. (Mention the poem/excerpt with the card so we can read it!)
5) Cards themed on a movie or TV show. (Mention the name of the movie/show for reference!)

But most importantly, I want to hear your ideas as myself had a difficult time coming up with the ones listed. So they may not be favorites of the community.

Happy smithing!


  • For me, I'll vote on number 5.
  • I think a good challenge would be creating the poems, but I want to do number 2 on your list. I have a few chalange ideas I’m using for my After the War competition that can be shared for ideas. If you do want them, I will do a private message.
  • I would like #5.
  • Number 5, also, I feel like the "grove" playmat is kind of like the flag of mtgcs, since it's on the front page.
  • A card using the art of one of the three play mats.

    The art you choose is the play mat you'll get if you win.
  • edited May 21
    @Suicidal_Deity that would be my vote for sure. My second place is probably #1 on your list. Alternately, some sort of contest that would give me an advantage, such as "cards named Krenko's Lieutenant created for the GDS/2 part 6."
  • @Suicidal_Deity
    Yes yours wins! End of story. The best one
  • XD

    So far the Movies/TV theme wins, so if anyone wants something else make sure to comment.
  • I dislike the movie/TV theme because
    1: it makes so if anyone isn't familiar with a franchise, they have no real idea if the card does a good job at depicting it.
    2: It doesn't encourage a ton of creativity. If I'm making the Thor from the Avengers, there's only so much I can really do with it, and I don't have to think about it too hard.
    3: It encourages bad/overpowered card design. This is something I've seen on the site for years. Not that it can't be done well, but generally speaking that's what I've tended to see.
    4: Good art for a lot of it will be hard to find without just having a bunch of live-action pictures. This is more of a personal preference, but I enjoy my fake magic cards to still have art on them. I know I've seen interesting art on someone's cards before and gone and checked out other art from the artist.

    As for what I think would work well is options 1, 2 and 4, with a personal preference for 1 and 4.
  • I like @Suicidal_Deity's idea the most.
  • So it seems #1 and #4 are the top ones right now due to Red_Tower's elaboration. I like Suicidal_Deity's idea, but feel it would make all the cards feel the same. So I can't do that one.

    If we have any new ideas, I'll consider them as well.
  • Not trying to push my idea, it's your contest and ultimately your decision. I feel like I should just elaborate a little.

    So, your hope behind this was to create an easy to enter contest. There in lies the reason for predetermining the artwork. You have three choices, pretty easy to enter.

    You also wanted it to be thought provoking. And that is easy to weed out the generic or basic cards created from the artwork. People will need to think outside the realm of obvious when creating their cards, or else they risk not standing out when judgement comes.

    So, by using only three pieces of art you check all the boxes, easy to enter and thought provoking.

    My other thought was for you as a judge. Not only are you offering a substantial prize for this contest, you're giving a heads up to it for people to lead into the release of the contest. This will create a large number of entries. This can create a couple of problems. One issue is this causes a ton of specific judging that will eat up a lot of time for yourself, the other issue is not giving enough thought to a card for appropriate judgement. Both of these scenarios are not optimal. So by having three pictures, you eliminate a fairly large potential issue. Not only that, the artwork is fairly accurate for a real MtG card, professionally made, and the artist's name will be a guarantee (no excuses). And when you remove several points to judge, it means you can focus a lot of attention on the substance of the card.

    One of my thoughts with the suggestion I made though, was for the winner. Whenever they use their mat, whenever they roll it out, not only will they be proud that it was something they won, the card they made would be permanently ingrain into that art for them. It's kind of cheesy, but that was just what I thought. Ha ha.

    Again, i hope you don't feel pressured into doing something you don't want to do, I just felt like I should explain my thought process, kind of with the hope you don't worry too much about "If the art is the same, the cards will be the same."

    Peace oot!
  • Either the fifth option, or, preferably, @Suicidal_Deity’s proposition.
  • Though I've already got them, I'd recommend @Suicidal_Deity's idea simply because a constraint of limits while people battle for their playmat of choice is an excellent way to encourage creative thinking. A no limits card brawl is nice and all, but the use of playmat arts seems like an excellent and on-theme way to present such a contest.
  • Coming back from my trip in around 5 hours. Woohoo!
  • @Everybody
    To start this thread back up again, I'm offering a gift to one random participant of this thread. This is mostly to say thanks for the engagement so far.

    - 1 month of premium subscription.
    - 2 Favorites.
    - A follow.
  • My votes are with #5 and @Suicidal_Deity's proposal, especially with the latter.

    And I totally did not just show up here because of a potential 1 month premium subscription!
  • Honestly, I think 2 or 3, but @Suicidal_Deity's idea seems good too.
  • NUMBER 3!!!
  • Actually... any of them are good... I like the first 4 best.
  • @sorinjace @CrafterofTruths @Dechujoh64 @Bowler218 @Suicidal_Deity @Je_Suis_Oluwa @Red_Tower @Temurzoa @Faiths_Guide @Lujikul @TenebrisNemo @TigerFang8 @Ranshi922

    Okay, so I'm thinking that we'll go with at least one of the first four. By that I mean, I think I'm gonna go overboard and give away three playmats in a three part contest lasting six weeks. 2 weeks for each given theme!

    The themes will be the following in this order.
    3) Cards themed on the seven deadly sins.
    5) Cards themed on a movie or TV show. (Mention the name of the movie/show for reference!)
    4) Cards themed on a poem or poem excerpt. (Mention the poem/excerpt with the card so we can read it!)

    The contest will begin as soon as I have drafted the main post.


    Also, I need help discovering what this GIF is from. Please, I'm desperate!
  • edited June 1
    @murkletins took me a minute but it looks like it's from this film
    Neo Tokyo or Manie-Manie
  • I like number 3
  • Thank you @Red_Tower. I'll watch it later and see if I can find the scene.
  • Let’s do it
  • @murkletins it's Neo-Tokyo. I recommend you watch the entire anthology series of the anime, it's pure art.

    I will not be able to get the playmat since I'm international. Can I submit cards even if I can't win?
  • @ArmisJoe
    Yes, you may still enter. Just mention if you're international, so I can offer you another prize if you would be a winner.
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