Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas - Legal Update

Hi all. All my legal problems probably started when I sent my resume to Wizards of the Coast. I thought the phone interview when well but then later SourceForge takes down my program. You can read about my interview with Wizards here.

Supposedly the abbreviation MTG is copyrighted so I need to rename my project. I got e-mail from SourceForge asking me what the new name should be so I suggested "Card Wariors". I know it is a very generic name but so is MTG Forge, lol.

To clear up some things. First, the legal letter show here was sent to SourceForge. SourceForge would be in the wrong if they didn't take my program down off of their site. SourceForge forwarded this e-mail me to. The e-mail doesn't mention anything specific other than changing the name. I responded to SourceForge that I will make any necessary changes, so they will send me a copy of the original DCMA notice that lists the specific infringment.

Personally I think if I renamed all of the card names and didn't download the card pictures that Wizards would be OK with my program. I have already written a text file with all of the renamed cards, although the new card names aren't as good as the originals. Wrath of God becomes Peaceful Solution, Ancestral Recall becomes Ancient Knowledge and Briarhorn turns into Thornwood.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Land Destruction - MTG Forge Update

Hi all, a new version of MTG Forge has been released for $20. OK, ok just kidding its $10 dollars instead. Okay fine, it’s free, download it from here. You have to wait a few seconds, and then you can download the file. (Man, I really need to make some money. I was thinking about selling the new release for some real money while still giving away the 6 month old version. I could probably add a real user interface to make it play better.)

Many people have asked me about the source code so I made it part of the installation. Just look in the directory where you installed MTG Forge and there will be a file named something like ""

There are 25 new cards which brings the total number to a whopping 443. There are 12 new Lorwyn cards including the famous evoking brothers Shriekmaw and Mulldrifter. Mudbutton Torchrunner is just plainly a funny card and Sower of Temptation is insanely powerful. Some of the other random cards that I added were the token generators Centaur Glade and The Hive as well as the original blue “steal a creature” spell, Control Magic.

Land destruction was easy to program so I added Ice Storm, Sinkhole, and Stone Rain. It seems like every color has some type of land destruction. I also added the small 1/1 flyers Flying Men and Scryb Sprites.

You can now play with a randomly constructed deck. The two-color deck will have 26 land, 13 of each color, and a minimum of 19 creatures. This deck only has single copies of each card so that should make the games more unpredictable.

The computer is also a little bit more competitive. The computer’s land is artificially curved and he will draw nothing but steam (non-lands) after he gets 7 lands. So in the long game, the computer should be pretty tough.

Maybe it’s just me but with these new cards the computer seems more challenging. I’m not sure if it’s the land destruction or the creature removal, but some of the games were almost impossible to win. It seems like I am only winning 80% instead of 95% but I haven’t done any long term testing.

And I can't forget, Happy Holidays. Remember to wrap your presents and play creatures during your 2nd Main Phase. --Forge

Friday, December 14, 2007


Good news, you can download the Windows version from here. There are a few pop-ups.

Start Download

Rare Commons

Hi everybody. I've tried to e-mail everyone a copy of my program that asked for it. Just send me another e-mail if I forgot you. I did receive a response from SourceForge. They are mediating the dispute between me and Wizards. Thing is a good thing because I want to make my program copyright friendly so I won't have this problem again in the future.

Here are two great magic articles that I really enjoyed. And every Magic fan should read these. First, why is a common a common? If you don't know, read one. In fact it seems pretty hard to design commons. Commons have to be functionally simple but yet different from everything that has already been printed.

Common Courtesy

Rares, a very disputed subject. Many people, including myself have said, "All good cards are rare." We all know this isn't true all of the time, but look at those Constructed decks and all I see are the money rares. To at least get a different perspective read this.

Rare, but Well Done

AI – Curve my mana

I was thinking about how to make the AI a little better. I thought if the computer’s land was curved out, the computer would seem a little smarter. The computer’s opening hand is all spells and the computer will draw a land for the next 5 turns. This maximizes the possibility of the computer playing a timely 1 or 2 mana spell. After a few more turns the computer draws 2 more lands.

The rest of the computer’s land is artificially moved to the bottom of the computer’s deck, so the computer will always top-deck something useful. The long game will favor the computer, but the AI is still very beatable since it just plays a random spell. Currently the computer cannot evaluate the board position or anything complicated like that.

I could have gone a step further and guaranteed that the computer would be able to play a spell for the first 6 turns of the game. I might do this later. I had a hard time sorting and alternating the computer’s land so that it would look like this: Mountain, Plains, Mountain, Plains, etc… That way the computer will always be able to play a double costed card like WW as early as turn 3 and always on turn 4.

Other ways to make the computer stronger would be to have him draw 2 cards per turn. I have rested doing this since it would break the illusion that the computer was playing by the rules, but I might test it out to see if it really helps the computer.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Quiz Show

I wanted to add some real Magic content but I wasn't sure what to write about. There is a lot of old content on that is really great. So enjoy this quiz. You have to guess is the card an instant or sorcery.

Take Quiz!!!

Another favorite article from Star City Games is about learning to sidebard. It points out that a deck idea isn't always bad if it looses, because a good sideboard could help it out. The article also points out that most games of Magic are indeed played using a sidebard.

Learn to Sidebard (Warning is does have some cussing.)

Legel Smegal

I've tried to e-mail everyone that wanted a copy of my program. If I missed someone leave a comment or send me a message at "mtgrares yahoo com" I'll try to post something new on Mondays.

No news is good news and I haven't heard anything from Sourceforge. I followed the guidelines,, and I sent a counter-notification to SourceForge (I want to call then SourceFrog for some reason). I haven't heard anything back from them yet.

Below is the badly formatted DCMA notice that I received. The original notice was sent to SourceForge and then they forwarded it to me.


My name is Jacob Moorman; I am the Director of Operations for You are receiving this mail because you are the
project administrator of the 'mtgforge' project, hosted by you on We have recently received the following (forwarded)
DMCA request from the complainant (CC'd).

When cases like this arise, we always expeditiously forward the mail to
the project admin. Please review this message carefully and follow-up
as needed.

Following the DMCA requirements we have disabled public access to the space provided to your project.

You can read the specifics about our DMCA compliance in our Terms and
Conditions of Use page:

You can read our DMCA policy, including instructions for
counter-notification at:

Thank you for your prompt attention to this serious matter.


Jacob Moorman

CC: SourceForge legal
CC: Savvis ( datacenter provider)

Begin forwarded message:

> *From: *" "
> >
> *Date: *November 16, 2007 11:47:17 AM GMT-05:00
> *To: * >,
> >, > >,
> *Cc: *" "
> >
> *Subject: **Sourceforge - Savvis Case 1152152 - DMCA Notice -
> -*
> Dear Administrator:
> SAVVIS has received notice that an IP address (see below) under your
> administrative control is distributing copyrighted works in violation

> of United States law, specifically, 17USC512 et seq., also known as
> the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA").
> Please note that this activity is both illegal and in violation of
> SAVVIS Acceptable Use Policy ("AUP"), a copy of which may be reviewed

> at
> Be advised that the DMCA places very stringent requirements on
> as the upstream provider, and that failure to resolve this issue in a

> timely manner could result in the termination of services to
> IP's or sites. SAVVIS follows the DMCA time requirements very
> strictly: this issue must be resolved within 7 days of this notice to

> avoid active intervention under DMCA.
> If you require any assistance in resolving this, or any other SAVVIS
> security issue, please do not hesitate to contact me at any of the
> below points of contact.
> Sincerely,
> Jason R. Bradley GSEC
> Security/Abuse Engineer
> SAVVIS Security Services (S3)
> SAVVIS Communications
> 1 Savvis Parkway
> St. Louis, MO 63017
> 314-628-7821 - Desk
> 314.628.7050 - Fax
> **This message contains information which may be confidential and/or
> privileged. Unless you are the intended recipient (or authorized to
> receive for the intended recipient), you may not read, use, copy or
> disclose to anyone the message or any information contained in the
> message. If you have received the message in error, please advise the

> sender by reply e-mail at
> and delete the message and any
> attachment(s) thereto without retaining any copies.**
> ************ORIGINAL COMPLAINT(S) BELOW*************
> *From:* Reynolds, Carin []
> *Sent:* Friday, November 16, 2007 10:01 AM
> *To:*
> *Subject:* DMCA Notice -
> November 16, 2007
> *_By Email_*
> DMCA Designated Agent
> SAVVIS Communications Corporation
> One SAVVIS Parkway
> Town & Country, Missouri 63017
> *Re: DMCA Notice – ***
> *_Infringement of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Copyrights and
> Dear Copyright Agent:
> We are counsel for Wizards of the Coast, Inc. (“Wizards”), the
> of the copyrights and trademarks to the MAGIC: THE GATHERING®
> card game. We recently became aware that you are the service
> for , which has
> an online version of Wizards’ MAGIC: THE GATHERING® trading card
> at “MTG Forge”
> is a commonly used acronym for MAGIC: THE GATHERING®). The “MTG
> Forge” game is described as “a robust Java implementation of card
> Magic The Gathering that enforces the rules.” We have attempted
> repeatedly to contact the owner of this site, but have received no
> response and the infringing game has not yet been removed.
> This unauthorized copying of Wizards’ MAGIC: THE GATHERING®
> card game constitutes copyright infringement in violation of 17
> § 501. The unauthorized use of the MAGIC: THE GATHERING® name
> violates the federal trademark laws, including 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114(1)

> and 1125(a), by creating a likelihood of confusion with respect to
> Wizards’ authorization or sponsorship of or association with the
> Forge” trading card game and the website. This
> unauthorized use of the MAGIC: THE GATHERING® trademark is also
> to dilute its distinctive quality in violation of 15 U.S.C. §
> and the anti-dilution laws of numerous states.
> Pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), we
have a
> good faith belief that the “MTG Forge” game identified above
> Wizard’s copyrights and other intellectual property rights, and is
> authorized by Wizards or its agents. We are authorized to act on
> Wizards’ behalf regarding these matters. The information provided
> this communication is accurate to the best of my knowledge and is
> provided under penalty of perjury.
> On behalf of Wizards, we therefore request that you act promptly to
> remove or disable access to the infringing “MTG Forge” game from
> website*.*
> This letter does not purport to be a complete statement of the facts
> or the law and is without prejudice to Wizards’ legal and equitable

> rights.
> Sincerely yours,
> Carin G. Reynolds, Esq.
> *Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP*
> 1133 Avenue of the Americas
> New York, NY 10036-6710
> /tel/: 212.336.2104
> /fax/: 212.336.2277
> ----------------------------------------------
> Privileged/Confidential Information may be contained in this message.
If you are not
> the addressee indicated in this message (or responsible for delivery
of the message to
> such person), you may not copy or deliver this message to anyone. In
such case, you
> should destroy this message and kindly notify the sender by reply
email. Please advise
> immediately if you or your employer do not consent to Internet email
for messages of this
> kind.
> ----------------------------------------------
> IRS Circular 230 disclosure: Any tax advice contained in this
communication (including
> any attachments or enclosures) was not intended or written to be
used, and cannot be
> used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal
Revenue Code or (ii)
> promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction
or matter addressed
> in this communication. (The foregoing disclaimer has been affixed
pursuant to U.S.
> Treasury regulations governing tax practitioners.)
> This message contains information which may be confidential and/or
> privileged. Unless you are the intended recipient (or authorized to
> receive for the intended recipient), you may not read, use, copy or
> disclose to anyone the message or any information contained in the
> message. If you have received the message in error, please advise the

> sender by reply e-mail and delete the message and any attachment(s)
> thereto without retaining any copies.

Jacob Moorman
Director of Operations,

This email may contain confidential and privileged material for the
use of the intended recipient. Any review or distribution by others is
strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient,
please contact the sender and delete all copies.