The return of "Evil" Mark Rosewater.

The Evil That Designers Do

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Hello. "Evil" Mark here. Yes, I’m back. It appears that the powers that be (a.k.a. Scott Johns and Kelly Digges) thought it would be just the most wonderful idea to reflect the duality of the Lorwyn / Shadowmoor blocks by having an Evil Twin Week. Idiots! You don’t invite evil twins in. Much like vampires, it never ends well. We’re evil. It’s in our name. Why don’t people get this?

Anyway, next week is Evil Twin Week. Why am I here now? For starters, evil twins don’t exactly follow rules. Also, Monday of next week is Memorial Day (an "American holiday" as Mark always patronizingly calls it every time he mentions it) so there’s no new Making Magic column. They just repeat this week’s. Not only are evil twins evil, we’re also smart. You try and cut us out ,and we find a way in regardless.

So now that I’m here, what am I going to talk about? It dawned on me that last time I "guest authored" (by the way, I estimate that Mark has about seventy-two hours of air left, so I suggest any interested parties start looking), I didn’t optimize my ability to do evil with the column. For some inane reason, Mark has a lot of readers. Now I could give all of you an “evil” fish or I could teach you how to fish evilly (it involves putting a slow-acting poison on the hook). I‘m choosing the latter. Mark drones on and on about good design. Well, today it’s evil design’s turn.

Before this article is done, I’m going to teach you four ways to really annoy any players stupid enough to use the cards you’ve designed. Honestly, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, you know after you raised the temperature to boiling and electrified it. But first I have to teach you one important lesson.

Click here.

All right, here’s the lesson. You’re all gullible idiots. Just kidding. Let’s try again.

Click here.

No really, you’re gullible idiots. Here’s how gullible. I’m going to do this yet a third time and you’re still going to click on it.

Click here.

Now that we’ve firmly established that you’re gullible idiots, let’s move on.

Here’s how this is going to work. I’m going to share with you insightful information, but I’m going to annoy you. I’m going to make it hard to read. I’m going to make you work for it. Why am I going to do this? I could make up some mumbo jumbo excuse like Mark always does explaining how forcing the readers to jump through unnecessary hoops mimics the annoyance that having card design that does the same thing has on players, but I won’t because that’s not why. It’s just because I’m evil. I enjoy your pain, anyone’s pain really. That’s the power of stealing a column with so many readers. I get to inflict so much pain on so many. I’m getting goose bumps.

If you aren’t up to the challenge, if you’re a wimp, if it’s just too hard for you – I’m going to give you this here. I call it the "I’m a loser" link and it will allow you to read this column without jumping through all the hoops. Why would a person as evil as I let you have an easy, loser out? Because you’ll know you took it, and it’ll eat at you. That, my friends, is the sign of true evil, preying on human weakness (a recurring theme for today’s article, by the way). Also, because I want to prolong the agony as much as I can, I’ll remind you that if you refresh this page, it will take you back to the beginning where you get to start all over—again.

Evil Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid

Time to jump into the meat of today’s article. I guess the best way to start is here.

Ah, yes human psychology. You can always count on it to make people act like idiots. Why do you keep clicking? Because humans have to know the unknown. This leads us to today’s topic. Mark likes to talk about how designers have to take into account human psychology when creating cards. He likes to drone on about structure and aesthetics and all that junk. "When design fights human nature," he says, "human nature will always win."

I’m about to say something I almost never do: Mark’s right. I mean about this one isolated thing. He’s right that human nature is a potent force, but it's one just as easily used for evil. In today’s column I’m going to walk you through four different human psychological foibles that you can totally abuse to annoy players.

Click here for #1.

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