Play Magic with Your Favorite Indie Developers

Like Magic: The Gathering but wish it had more of the indie scene's friendly faces? Read on...

News by Pete Davison, .

Have you ever dreamed of "tapping" Super Meat Boy? Or channelling Phil Fish's Rage into the direction of your enemies? Then the Indie Custom Cube is something you're going to want to check out -- assuming you're a Magic: The Gathering player, that is.

A "cube," in Magic parlance, is a predetermined pool of cards used for drafting. The pool usually consists of about 360 cards, which are arranged into packs of 15 cards, each of which is then drafted between eight players, with basic land cards added afterwards to form complete decks for each player. Cubes usually have a "theme" or consist of powerful cards, though they're often carefully selected to be balanced, avoiding cards that are regarded by some as being too powerful.

Normally, a Magic cube draft consists of normal cards from Magic: The Gathering, but the Indie Custom Cube, as the name suggests, consists of custom-designed magic cards based on independent developers, games and indie culture in general. It consists of the usual 360 cards, all of which are unique, and covers all the different possible colors of Magic cards -- white, blue, black, red, green, multicolor and colorless.

A selection from the Green part of the cube featuring, among other things, Tim Langdell, Tofu Boy, Steam Sales and a scary furry from a casual game.

This isn't just a quick-and-dirty set of fake Magic cards, however; these are all fully-functional cards that you can actually play a game with, using the official Magic card layouts and fonts for added authenticity. There's even thematically-appropriate flavor text -- the aforementioned Phil Fish's Rage card, for example, includes one of the troubled developer's most notorious tweets.

The Indie Custom Cube is the work of several Magic-loving indie developers who found themselves playing cube draft Magic whenever they got together at events such as GDC. The team involved includes Spelunky programmer Andy Hull, Plants vs Zombies designer George Fan, Offspring Fling creator Kyle Pulver, Super Meat Boy co-creators Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, Plants vs Zombies and To The Moon musician Laura Shigihara, and Spelunky creator Derek Yu. Each of the developers designed a selection of their own cards and came up with some custom mechanics to add to the game -- McMillen, for example, defined "Crunch Time" as any point where a player has 10 or fewer life points remaining, while Yu came up with the "Elitist" mechanic, where some creatures can't block or be blocked by other creatures with less power.

If you want to get in on the indie wizardry yourself, head on over to the Indie Custom Cube site, print the cards and get drafting.

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