Mojang’s new game Scrolls seems familiar…

I saw an article today about the announcement of the new game Scrolls by the developers of Minecraft and the idea looked really familiar.

Then I realized, its the same idea I started working on 8 years ago during my freshman year of high school.

The difference is they have the resources to finish it and the experience to do it right. Just another example of how having an idea isn’t nearly as important as actually creating something.

The game I made was called Dark Magic. It was a combination between a trading card game and a strategy game. You would create a deck of cards and then play those cards on a playfield. It was supposed to be Magic: The Gathering meets Civilization.

Each player started with a castle, and the goal was to capture the other player’s castle. You could use terrain to update your territory to produce more resources and build units to collect resources or fight (never got the fighting working properly though, probably the nested loops 10 levels deep).

I never quite completed the game so it has a lot of bugs in it, but here is a link to it anyways:

It is a .exe, so I doubt many people will want to run it, but I promise it is clean, no viruses or anything. Install it in a VM if you don’t trust it. Just make sure to set your screen resolution to 1024×768. Yes, I know, you shouldn’t need to set your resolution to play a game, but when I wrote it I didn’t think anyone would be running at anything else.

It is written in Visual Basic 6 and that’s not even the worst part of it. I had just started programming when I wrote this, so I made some really horrible design decisions.

I have some great stories about problems I had when writing it, but it taught me a lot that I wouldn’t have learned until much later if I hadn’t had the motivation of getting this game working.

Its amazing how looking back at something you did a long time ago can show you the lessons that you read about. Finding a project to work on, creating something instead of just coming up with ideas, the importance of shipping, don’t make assumptions about the user’s system.

I got some of them right, others wrong, but hopefully those lessons will help me with my future projects. For now, maybe I will try to install Visual Studio 6 and fix a few of the old bugs.

And if you don’t want to install it, here is some screenshots of the game. The graphics were all done by my old friend Ryan Warren. Its been a long time since I have talked to him, but you can see his blog at

Let me know if you try running it, I would be interested to see what anyone thinks about it.

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