Mark Rosewater

#293 Interview with Mark Rosewater

Genre Deep Dive


Dirk and David interview Mark Rosewater, the long-time lead designer of the legendary card game Magic: the Gathering. Mark shares his wisdom on how to make a game that can continue to be designed over time, as well as how games can excite different kinds of players. Topics include how Mark got his start in game design, the usage of player psychographics, how to design tools not solutions, and different design techniques to improve the longevity of a game.

Episode Outline

1:10 Interview Start

1:17 Mark’s background in game design

3:23 How Mark developed his design skills

6:34 Player Psychographics

13:28 Designing Tools, not Solutions

17:37 Methodology to making tools

19:32 Using Batching

25:16 Making a resilient game

28:35 Evaluating new mechanics 

34:10 What makes magic so successful?

37:30 Managing Retention and gaining new players

41:06 Why does Mark focus so much on Magic?

44:33 Benefits of Drafting mechanics

51:38 Advice for listeners53:31 End of Show

In this Episode

Mark Rosewater - @maro254,
David V. Heron - @davidvheron
Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer

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