“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?


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Published by

James Hsu

James Hsu is a content creator, author, and co-founder of CardBoard.Live. Through the Humans of Magic project, he gets deep and personal with Magic personalities about their backgrounds, passions, and competitive mindset.

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