Yesterday Mark Rosewater announced the start of the Great Designer Search 2.

The first GDS was a turning point in my life.  Many of you have probably heard this story before, but I think this is the best time for me to post it on this site.

I had a “Road to Damascus” moment while completing my MBA. Mark Rosewater, the lead designer for the game Magic: The Gathering, held a contest for a game design internship in 2007. When I was eliminated in the second round, I was actually surprised by my level of disappointment. That is, I was advancing in my career field and making good money in a stable industry, but I was genuinely upset that I had lost a 6-month internship in a volatile industry. It made me rethink my career, and helped me to realize that I was going in the wrong direction.

The designer search sparked my passion for design in general.  Though I am not designing games professionally at this time, the design work that I do perform (lesson plans, seminars, my own artwork, and my own tabletop games) is quite fulfilling.

This time around some of the parameters have changed.  Here’s a brief description.

  • The first test is a series of essay.  10 questions, 250-350 words for each answer.  It’s the same as GDS1, except the questions are going to chance.
  • The second test is a multiple choice exam of 50 questions.  This has increased from the 35 they offered in GDS1, as they expect more applicants.
  • The third test is a design test.  First, they will ask you to “propose a world/block that you want to design both from a mechanical and flavor perspective.”  With the added emphasis on block design, this makes sense.  In addition, ALL cards designed in future challenges will be designed for the block you propose.

This time, once all 3 of the tests are turned in, they will be evaluated together, and eight contestants will be selected.

Also, there’s one other big change: non-candidates can participate by contributing to the GDS2 wiki.  Any content povided on the wiki may be used by the contestants.

If you are interested, keep your finger on the pulse of the Wizards site.  I look forward to competing with you!