Greetings WOOBERG readers. Sorry for the delay in articles this week. My new job has kept me quite busy with server outages and Blackberry problems, as well as my son's first day of Kindergarten and my folks coming into town from halfway across the nation!
Today I want to do a little something different. Here and there, a website shows up in the Magic community that offers something completely different and extremely useful to Magic players. Hidden Gems is staged to be my little way of helping guys like me just trying to make an awesome Magic website and to help get their names out to the general MTG gaming populous
My first victi...err feature is on deckbox.org. Deckbox offers something that no site has done well (in my humble opinion) thusfar; Created an inventory system for decks and collections that is stored online. I'd love to tell you more, but instead I will defer to the creator of the site Sebastian Zaha
So Sebastian, introduce yourself to the minio...err readers!
My name is Sebastian Zaha, I'm a web programmer currently living in Vienna, Austria. I've been searching for an online solution to inventory my cards and create decks that i can link to friends, and I did not find one, so... I've made deckbox.org.
When did you start playing Magic?
I've started playing Magic in december 2008, during the Lorwyn / Shadowmoor block, with Laura, my girlfriend and a couple of other friends. We got the Elves vs Goblins and Jace vs Chandra duel decks, and we loved it. Slowly we joined the local Magic community, and participated in some small tournaments (We were living in Cluj, Romania at that time).
What formats do you play primarily?
I played mostly standard in 2008-2010, and a little bit of Extended at the end (after they made extended smaller, I've been messing around with a [card]Doran,[/card] deck). In this last year after moving to Austria, we had little time for Magic so we only played the occasional friendly EDH match.
What is your playstyle? Favorite deck?
As I started Magic with a goblin prebuilt deck, I kind of stuck to aggro style decks, tried some goblins in M10 too. The green and black colors also really appealed to me, with their chaos, destruction and powerful creatures, so Jund was a logical step to take. As controversially overpowered as it was, I really enjoyed it [the deck].
Most of our readers have probably already clicked the link to check out the site, but -Shameless Plug- give them a little mini tour. Let 'em know what deckbox.org aims to accomplish.
Deckbox is a website which aims to facilitate the creation of card inventories, tradelists, wishlists and decks. It allows easy data entry with autocompleted dynamic inputs, quick filtering and sorting, and easy visualization of collections. Since people have tradelists and wishlists on the website, trading is also made easier, cards can be passed between people with a few button clicks.
What compelled you to start deckbox?
Laura and I have been working for a "web 2.0" company for a while, and we had strong opinions about how web applications should work, and confidence in the fact that a web solution is vastly superior to a desktop / offline one. I wanted to be able to just paste a link representing my wishlist to my friends, and I wanted them to see it as it is, up to date every time they accessed it. I wanted to convince my friends to join the website as well, so that when I look at their profile page, the website could instantly show me what cards I need from the cards they have for trade. Then we would be able to create a trade on the website, modify it dynamically until we both agreed and then with the click of a button, to update our tradelist / wishlist automatically. All these things would be possible with a web application, and we were eager to implement them.
I completely agree, I have already begun the arduous task of entering all of the cards in my (shamefully massive) collection. I have several EDH decks entered and am eventually going to get my trade binder entered as well. I also see that Deckbox has been working on doing some intigration with social media websites as of late...any comments on that?
We implemented a system which allows other websites to have card tooltips, by only including a piece of code from deckbox. It has been a great success, many sites taking advantage of this script, most notably the official EDH forum on http://mtgcommander.net . More information about how people can use this can be found on the help page: http://deckbox.org/help/tooltips.
In an effort to give credit where credit is due, is there a deckbox.org team or just you in a lonesome shack in the wilderness with nothing but a hatchet, a fifth of vodka and a T1 internet connection?
I have started the website by myself, doing whatever was needed, from system administration, programming, designing, and public relations. Laura, my girlfriend, joined me after deckbox had the basic features fleshed out, and she implemented the community and events sections, Facebook integrations, comments on decks and other cool things.
Being a lover of variant formats and all, I noticed that deckbox.org has all of the Archenemy Schemes and Planechase Planes (AWESOME!) but lacks the Vanguard cards (SAD PANDA!). Is there any plans to add Vanguard cards to deckbox? Does deckbox import from Gatherer or is it entierly seperate? If gatherer goes down wll deckbox?
We try to keep the card database always up to date, and the small things missing I hope to address as soon as possible. The database is our own, but the data in it was imported from the official magic resource - gatherer.wizards.com. If they have the cards listed, we have them too. For those cases where they do not, we will try to get the information from mtgcards.info or other sources.
Being that is's spoiler season, do you have any spoilers of future of deckbox.org?
We're not ready to announce things just yet, but we have a host of cool features planned, in various stages of implementation. Expect an exciting newsletter at the beginning of next month.
Thanks Sebastian, I know I speak for many MTG players (and WOW/40K CCG as well!) when I say that deckbox.org is a fantastic resource for players!
That's all the time we have this week, tune in next week when we will talk about stuff AND things. Until Next time:
Use YOUR shoes as counters!
Moderator of WOOBERG.net, the Encyclopedia of Magic Variant formats, Shoe has been playing MTG since mid to late 1994, He acquired the nickname ‘Shoe’ through a stupid joke made during a MTG game about the Chimpokomon episode of South Park. He loves MTG and gaming in general and hopes to work designing games one day. He plays mostly with his 6 year old daughter these days, but multi-player, and weird formats are his preference.