Contest ideas.

I just wanted to make a thread where people could post ideas they thought of for contests.

I am finding that contests are sometimes lacking in originality, so if you have a full idea or a possible, or even just a small potential that needs expansion or discussion.

@Tomigon, @MrRansom, @Corwinnn, @CrucibleOfHate, @Grimshac, @Cryptonight, @Austinsmith, @Faiths_Guide, @Beeswax

If ya want, toss other names in here to get the discussion going further. Just grabbed a couple chatty people I thought could get the ball rolling.

I want as many people as possible discussing this, to really find out what people think would make good contests.


  • edited February 2016
    Some sort of contest to whittle down all the mechanics in the forums's Mechanics Encyclopedia to a pool of to "top" or "best" mechanics.

    I have no idea how to do this. Some sort of bracket-based tournament with voting and card design? I don't really know, but it's something I have thought about from time to time.

    There are so many user-mechanics on this site, it would be cool to have a "definitive" list of the gems with some of the "top" cards featuring those mechanics as examples.

    Again, I have no clue how one would do this, especially since I think it would be a large and time consuming undertaking-- on par with @Grimshac's circuit contest.
    Like Grimshac's circuit, it would need to be broken into several smaller contests, because going through all the mechanics at once is too much to ask of any participant.
  • @MrRansom

    I think it would need to have separated into the types of abilities. Like static, triggered, activated. Find the best within the confines of their respected areas and then maybe once the upper echelon of abilities was determined, have a championship of pitting them against each other just to see what one prevails.
  • @MrRansom

    I think that what you are suggesting is a good idea, actually. It is quite the undertaking indeed.
    We should ask ourselves; what is the purpose of a custom MtG-card site?
    There are many answers, and they are all correct, but the core of the matter is that the site is about making _custom_ magic elements. Nothing is more "custom" than mechanics properly thought out that look real and are *properly* applied.
    What I am getting at is the contest you're suggesting is something that we need to do along the line - Don't have to be now, doesn't have to be in a month, but at some point.
    It will require some manpower, though, as you mentioned, and it would require an actual infrastructure, which I don't quite know how we would provide in a proper fashion...
  • edited February 2016
    @Suicidal_Deity, fortunately, Mechanix set has already broken the mechanics into their respective categories, and listed each of the mechanics. So we have a catalogue of them without needing to wade through all the forum posts. :D
  • edited February 2016
    Currently I have these two ideas..

    I remember @AustinSmith did "Good black & Evil white" contest. How about "Mad Blue & Cunning Red"?

    Another one is "Passive ability planeswalker" contest. We can make blank boxes in Planeswalker, so the contest is about making a Walker that can do something other then loyalty abilities.
  • edited February 2016
    How about a contest that cares about planeswalkers, but isn't about designing planeswalkers.
    Cards eligible for consideration in the contest could care about number of loyalty counters, or trigger when loyalty counters are interacted with, or they could impact planeswalkers, or impact the game more strongly if planeswalkers are in play... some design space that hasn't been explored too much, I think.

    Another idea, overload. A contest with cards that utilize the overload mechanic. WOTC has so few, and it could develop some nice cards for Tomigon's Politik set. :)
  • @MrRansom
    Overload in multiplayer game.. That's brilliant idea!
  • Welp.

    My work here is done for me.
  • Still a nobody :/ Joking aside, I've been toying with an idea for some time:Retroactive Change Contest. In magic's history, many concepts have been made that have fundamentally changed previous cards. The most recent example was the addition of eldrazi mana, which not only added new cards to the game, but changed many previous cards as well. The best example I can think the evolution of typing. Typing has moved many cards from not quite good enough to solid picks, and did so without over complicating the cards. There are other minor examples, of course - The Removal of interrupts, damage rule changes (See Mogg Fanatic), and many others, but I think I've made my point. In essence, the challenge is to come up with a change that retroactively changes an aspect of magic and makes many previous more interesting components of deck design.
  • Here's a few if anyone needs an idea or two.

    Get a Life! Cards that cause or care about life gain.
    You Blockhead! Creatures with abilities specific to blocking.
    Walk This Way! Creatures with landwalk abilities.
    Flip a Coin! Cards with coin flip mechanics.
    Angels vs Demons! Creatures with Angel or Demon as subtype for team contest.
    Knights vs Dragons! Creatures with Knight or Dragon as subtype for team contest.
    Tribal Equipment! Make Equipment cards for creature types that haven't had Tribal equipment yet.
    Huge Tracts of Land! Cards with the Landfall ability.
    Ooh That's Gotta Hurt! Permanents that make you lose life when they enter the battlefield.
    Charge! Non-artifact creatures that use charge counters.
  • I dunno, I feel like there are tons of good contest ideas all of the time! (Just can't be focusing too much on them, myself.)

    It's just a matter of them being properly judged (not saying that they aren't currently). It takes people with keen eyes & understanding of existing Magic cards, who appreciates good taste, flavor, originality (even if the contest itself isn't very original), rewards innovation, but also, who can objectively read his/her own contest criteria, and judge entries accordingly.

    If you have all of that, then you can make any contest you can think of! - Serious, silly, whatever. It seemed a lot of people really enjoyed the Cardsmith Duel Deck challenge. Same with the @Corwinnn challenge. :p
  • I think we can definitely figure out a couple of Mechanix Contests. Those would be a blast!
    Here are some challenges we've had...

    -Dice Roll
    -Winner is the Judge
    -Flavor Text
    -Daily Mini-Challenges
    -3 Color
    -4 Color

    And that's just a sample of the first three pages!

    I have a few things I've been working on and mulling over, but my day job has been preventing me from getting to them, but I will get to them!

    I'm a huge fan of the circuit challenge! I think this one has huge potential to become a fixture on the site.

    It's hard to say what challenge is going to strike a chord, but I think The basics are having a solid idea, rules that are clear and a theme that you can find art for and just trying to keep it as fun as possible. We have a large amount of kids on the site, so making this a place that's not only challenging, but fun at the same time is very important, because it's part of the MTG Cardsmith identity.
  • edited March 2016
    @Corwinnn, "It's hard to say what challenge is going to strike a chord, but I think The basics are having a solid idea, rules that are clear and a theme that you can find art for and just trying to keep it as fun as possible"

    This is an important limiting factor of contests.
    To quote @Grimshac, "The amount of art out there with _only_ the jewelry presented on a nice, yet not empty, background, is astoundingly hard to find :<"

    Maybe encouraging use of actual WOTC art would open up some possible contests that would otherwise not garner much participation?
    Things like artifacts/equipments, for example, can be difficult to make due to lack of art, I think.

    If this approach is taken, I would make a rule discouraging people from using iconic art, art from extremely (un)popular cards (for example, no Sensei's Divining Top art, because when you look at it you see Sensei's Divining Top rather than the custom card).

    It feels odd for me to encourage using WOTC art, since I tend to dislike using it on custom cards, but there are several cardsmiths who have used WOTC art and, generally, people don't seem to care much.

    I really think that might open up some new, flavorful challenges.
  • edited March 2016
    How about "art cropping top down design" contest? I got this idea when I read @MrRansom's comment.

    This is my trick when I need an art for noncreature spell.
    ^This card is using this art. v

    These are only a few that I did that.
  • Where is @ningyounk? I bet @ningyounk has some good ideas.
  • edited March 2016
    I liked the vertical cycle challenge that occurred recently.

    Here is my idea for a vertical cycle challenge:
    Contestants may make up to N cards, and none can be part of the same vertical cycle as another card they've made, and before a contestant can make an uncommon card for a cycle, they need to make a common card. Following this pattern, before they make a rare card, they must also have made an uncommon card, and so on....
    So, by the end of the contest, and completed cycle would be made up of cards from three or four different users.
    The first problem I foresee with this, is two different people making a card of the same rarity for a single cycle.... not sure how to rectify that. Maybe the person who makes the common for the cycle gets to decide what cards are included when the cycle is finalized, if there be more than one card of any rarity designed for the cycle?

    Might be too complicated to organize/participate... But it's an idea.

  • edited March 2016
    Hi ^^ Someone called me? x)

    I'm pretty new to this site, so every challenge feels new to me ;)
    But one thing i would love to see is collaboration challenges ^^
    In particular, one thing i hope we will be able to pull up one day is set design, on top of card design, which is an extremely interesting and well documented area of design i haven't seen used in MTGCardmsiths contests (at least since i arrived) ^^
  • Yes, some people have made their own set but, as we're talking about what new kind of contests we'd like to see, i pictured something like "Here's [THEME] block, make 5 mechanics that will be featured in the first set where [STORY] happens. Then make a vertical cycle featuring this mechanic." ^^ You know, a bit more like the Great Designer Search challenges for instance :)
  • Ah, Nocturnia Block actually did have a contest to see what mechanic(s) would be added to the set.
  • Excellent. Let your ideas stew within here til they reach the perfect flavour.

    You guys are putting up some good info. Thanks for this.
  • I actually had an idea (since you mentioned sets and I haven't had much time to think about it) about starting a series of challenges for people who want to make their own sets, but don't know how to do it... sort of a week by week process where we complete certain major parts, and then after ten or so weeks, everyone who participated would be well on their way to completing their very first set (we're talking 150 to 175 cards sets)!
  • @Corwinnn

    I think if you wanted to do something like that, the easiest way would be to set up a series of challenges in the vein of your aristocrats challenges.

    In that you start with a challenge to get a sense of an overall theme.

    Challenge 1 - Create two legendary creatures that clash with each other (Almost like the cardsmith vs. cardsmith, only with user created characters). Or create a legendary mythic artifact. A showcase of a certain plane's focal point of attraction and power. Or create 5 legendary lands. Highlighting the areas of land that shape the culture and personality of the flora and fauna within the plane.

    Basically just an open concept for the centerpiece of the set.

    Challenge 2 - Create support directly tied to your choice in the first challenge. If you created two creatures, make the generals at their side, the weapons they wield that grant them their insurmountable power. The prizes they seek to claim from the other. Something very close to the creatures. If they made a legendary artifact, make legendary creatures that both protect and seek the artifact's power. Create the land that holds the artifact, and the land that seeks to steal it. Again, something tied closely. If you create lands, make the legendary leaders of those lands. Make the person, place, or thing, that makes that land special and differentiates it from the other lands.

    Challenge three and onward. Slowly fan out the objective. Make the soldiers of the armies, the banners and castles of the lands, the enchantments, artifacts, and beasts that inhabit the lands. The spells that are wielded by the sides, of the clans, or the land itself. Cataclysms that have struck the plane, storied pieces that change the story of the plane.

    It'd be pretty complex, and really hard to judge, ha ha. But it could have literally limitless potential, and go on nearly indefinitely. You could oversee the entire thing, but periodically get guest judges of other cardsmiths to allow less stress to yourself and breaks now and then.

    And at the end, make a set with all the winners. So it'll be the ultimate mash up of user created ideas.

    Or something, I don't know. I can never think of anything. ^_^
  • I think it would have to be judged not in a first/second/third method, but more of a feedback from multiple judges kinda thing. There wouldn't be winners and losers per se, because it's more about keeping everyone interested in the journey and getting everyone to the end.

    But you're right... quite complex and hard to judge but the potential is pretty amazing! I got the inspiration from @Noobplayzgames and his Set Tutorials!
  • edited March 2016
    I might do partner dance contest again, because I think its good to see other people's creations. And because I see many new people now.

    But I want a system that can avoid the case that super skilled creator pair with other awesome creator. It's unfair and kinda intimidating.
  • @Tomigon

    Anyone on the favoured member list, can't choose someone on the favoured member list as a partner.
  • edited March 2016
    Everybody likes to make mythics.
    How about a challenge to make 1cmc mythics? Or, still more restrictive, 1cmc non-legendary mythics?
  • @Corwinnn

    Do you remember that "crowdfunded" set called Remora I tried to make like a year back? That was basically me attempting to do what you are suggesting, except it didn't have a proper structure and we didn't have the forum back then, so setting up contests was hell, haha.
  • @Suicidal_Deity

    Np brah, I'll just pair up with Cryptonight then =)
  • edited March 2016
    @Suicidal_Deity, is there some place I can see all the favored members so I know with whom I could/couldn't pair? I know the contest isn't actually happening, but this is the first issue I foresee with the favorer/unfavored rule.
This discussion has been closed.