Hearthstone sets are designed in eight months, and Blizzard want some help with that

Hearthstone Mean Streets of Gadgetzan

Hearthstone is clearly continuing to flourish, as Blizzard are looking for a new designer to join the team on their card battler. An accompanying post on Reddit also reveals that a full Hearthstone set is designed and finished in about eight months. 

Both Hearthstone and Magic Duels made our list of the best card games on PC.

Yesterday Mike Donais, principal designer on Blizzard’s Hearthstone team, posted a job advert to the Hearthstone subreddit in which he shed some light on Blizzard’s card design process. The initial design phase “comes up with the flavour and story for the cards, as well as a solid pass on what every card does and costs.” Next and last is final design, which “makes sure that the cards and decks are fun, intuitive, clear, and balanced.” Final design also tries to predict what the meta will look like after the new cards are added. Each phase takes four months, for a total of eight before the deck is ready.

As a point of comparison, Magic: The Gathering has a similar but much lengthier process. They also have two broad stages: design and development. However, each stage is much more involved than in Hearthstone – head of design Mark Rosewater explains that design breaks down into three stages, each of which lasts four months. Adding development on top of this, Magic takes roughly two years to finish a new deck, or three times as long as Blizzard.

So, fancy being Hearthstone’s next designer? Head on over to the job posting on Blizzard’s website. The ad is for a final designer, not an initial designer, so you’ll need to have an eye for game balance more than for concepting. Requirements include two years’ design experience, Legendary status in Hearthstone, and a passion for card games. Very best of luck!

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