Live Design: Codename Hitchock

This week Juliet and Monowhiteborder discuss his work in progress set, Codename Hitchcock. The set is an homage to the Golden Era of Hollywood Cinema from the 1930s to early 1960s. The two hosts walk through the ideas of the set and try to work out new mechanics in real time.

The set was conceived following a successful Moxtober project in 2022. Monowhiteborder designed cards based on some of the original monster movies from Universal Pictures including movies like Dracula (1931) and Frankenstein (1931). The art for Codename Hitchcock was inspired by this project with each card having a black and white still from a movie in the art box.

Next Juliet and Monowhiteborder tackled the question that the set is currently grappling with — does proliferate have a place in the set? The set uses ability counters to symbolize costuming, make-up and effects. Monowhiteborder started working on a card Fade to Black (4:40) and wanted to give it a new rider.

The idea of proliferate as a rider came from a card designed by Beacon Member KuyashiiPlays — Hero’s Journey (6:40).

Proliferate plays well with both Action! and Spotlights, two mechanics in the set, and offers a different angle to how proliferate has worked in other magic sets.

One of the issues with Proliferate is that it flavorfully doesn’t fit into a movie themed set. Juliet and Monowhiteborder break down some of the themes inherent to the set and explain the though process behind some rejected keywords such as popcorn, shine, and sequel. (Bradley Rose pops into the session during this conversation)

After this, Bradley and Monowhiteborder discuss designing a magic set on a public discord server, and the benefits you get from it. Extra tokens benefited from contributions from several Beacon members including Tim who popped in to validate the choice to give them ensemble (24:12)

The hosts also tackle some of the problems finding art for cards when you design the card first. Finding art for an “Extra” comes with its own challenges.

After that brief tangent, the hosts get back at the issue of nailing down a name for a proliferate style mechanic. Juliet throws out some progressive suggestions like verisimilitude, gesamtkunstwerk, and mise-en-scene which sends them down several rabbit holes of their own.

The hosts briefly discuss Promote (40:00) and how that keyword got developed, and how the mechanic went from Movie Magic to Blockbuster before finally landing on the current iteration of the mechanic.

Finally, Juliet and Monowhiteborder get to the answer of where they landed on for their pseudo-proliferate mechanic. Firstly, they wanted to make the mechanic unique from Proliferate to help differentiate the two, and they also wanted a suitable verb to pair with it.

Project (Give a permanent you control another counter of any kind already there.)

With the help of Brad, the host tackle some of the issues with the mechanic. It isn’t as flavorful as all three would have hoped, and it runs into an issue where you may mispronounce it the first few times you see it.

To fix this, the looked at changing the ability slightly:

Project onto target [permanent] (Give that permanent another counter of any kind already there.)

After the episode, one more change was made. Monowhiteborder went back to a word that was only briefly touched on and proposed by Juliet — Shine. Shine still has the verb like quality of project and flavorfully works with the permanents in the set. The flavor still seemed resonant too. A saga can shine as a feat of story telling; an actor can shine in their role; or a Spotlight can literally shine. Here’s an example of how these cards look currently.

… And that’s the podcast for the week. If you’d like to participate in the design challenge or give feedback to Monowhiteborder’s set you can join the discord. If you want to see Monowhiteborder’s current version of his set you can find it here. Thanks for listening.