“Humans of Magic” interview series: Mark Rosewater

“Magic is a game about change…we’ve been spending the last twenty-five years figuring out how to make it even better.”

The legendary Mark Rosewater, Head Designer for Magic: The Gathering, joins “Humans of Magic” to discuss the finer nuances of designing for the best game on the planet. Hear Mark talk about why building a Magic set is like building a house, how his process has evolved, and why you should be excited about Magic’s future.

Listen to it here:


  • 2:55 Introductions
  • 6:00 Mark’s family and Rosewater gaming night
  • 10:16 Playing games with Richard Garfield
  • 12:00 Mark’s role at Wizards—the “building a house” metaphor
  • 14:26 What feeds exploratory and vision design?
  • 17:58 What skillsets do Magic designers need, at each stage of the process?
  • 22:42 The evolution of the design process—then vs. now
  • 27:55 Designing the house for different player demographics
  • 30:32 Compartmentalized design teams—what are the tradeoffs?
  • 34:21 “Game design is about iteration”
  • 40:58 Inspiring everyone working at Wizards to live the core values
  • 44:12 Transparency, open communication, and cross-team collaboration
  • 47:17 What does Magic need to do to stay relevant?
  • 49:04 Thoughts on the state of Organized Play?
  • 49:57 What advice would Mark give to a younger version of himself?
  • 52:01 What advice would Mark give to a first-time tournament player?


The Humans of Magic book is out!

(How to WIN A FREE COPY of the book — instructions below)


12 interviews with 12 of the greatest minds in the game today. We get philosophical, personal, and deep. Get your copy on Amazon now.

After working on the book for more than a year, I am truly excited to get this thing out. It is absolutely jam-packed with content: 500+ pages, with illustrations and an exclusive foreword by Autumn Burchett.

I couldn’t be more excited to release it in written form. It would mean the world to me if you would consider picking up a copy.

How do I win a FREE COPY of the Humans of Magic book?

[Subscribe to the newsletter to win + get a special preview of the book!]

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Published by

James Hsu

James Hsu is a content creator, author, and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of two companies: Stream Sage and CardBoard.Live.

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