Magic: The Gathering is one of the most famous TCGs (trading card games) in the world. It has been around for over twenty years and has taken players from one enchanting, fantastical world to another with each new card block release (currently, every six months). Magic is known for its stunning artwork, its bewitching characters, and its rich, bold, and unique worlds. I am honored to now be part of the Magic Story Team. I’ve been working as a Creative Designer on the Story Team for one year now, and I get to spend my days doing things like building new worlds, developing aspirational characters, writing art concepts, and working on creative text for each card set. But my favorite aspect of my job is putting it all together in the writing of our serialized saga.
We on the Story Team are working to lead Magic into a new era of storytelling, one where a serialized saga is an integral part of each card set release. Magicis one of the first TCG companies to embrace fiction at such a deep level. The story is supported on the cards themselves—players are not only immersed in the world, but gameplay is now inspired by important story moments. We choose five pivotal moments from the story of each set to be represented on five different cards. When players play these cards in the game, they experience the story moment as the characters did. To reach this expression we work very closely with the game designers and developers who strive to capture the events in the game.
The story that we write is also captured on Magic: Duels. Duels is one of Magic’s digital expressions, and it allows players to play through the card set from the POV of one of our main characters and experience multiple beats of the story, including those five pivotal moments that are seen on the cards themselves.
And for the deepest dive into story, we have recently launched a new website landing page on which we post weekly episodes (short stories from the POVs of our main characters) as part of our continuing serialized saga. I have the honor and pleasure of leading this effort as the Writer’s Room “showrunner” for our first story “season,” Battle for Zendikar. It’s been incredible to work with my team of writers in story planning, character guide creation, and cork-board-puzzle-solving as we learn how to make the story that we are telling come alive in multiple media venues.
With each biannual release of the card set, we will also release a new season of our serialized story. To help support these efforts, I have also spearheaded our eBook compilations (a collection of each season of episodes), which will make the past seasons of our saga more accessible to new fans.I feel so lucky to have found a career that both inspires and challenges me as a writer every day. Thanks in a big way to my MFA in creative writing from Solstice, I now have the dream job that I didn’t even know existed.
Kimberly Kreines, class of January, 2011