There's a matter of process I'd like to broach in regard to set development.
During set expansion development, I recommend, at first, the group should remain as it is now, with Malagar taking the lead, for about the first 3 sets, until everyone gets used to designing for the game. After that, open the floor up to let others take the lead. At the end of each set, if there's a candidate for taking the lead, they can toss their hat in the ring and the others can vote or the previous lead can abdicate to the new person. From the fourth set on, I recommend the following.
The SWTCG Independent Development Committee (IDC) has developed a process in which one person comes up with the idea for a set (it doesn't have to be the group's lead), the group's lead takes the temperature of the group and makes the decision, or perhaps even asking for a vote, and then the person who proposed the set does most of the design work and acts as the project lead (separate from the group lead), or as much as they feel like accomplishing, We have lots of fun with this and it has provided some pretty decent ideas.
The project lead (the person who came up with the idea for the expansion), as the name implies, takes the lead in the set's development and the others try to respect his vision as much as possible and try not to change his card designs around unless necessary. The group lead, on the other hand, has the final say on what goes in. However, If a person's idea is turning out to be a disaster, the group lead may suggest a complete redesign if he has no confidence in the set, but the group has to agree to the redesign, otherwise the set goes forward as designed. Then, if they agree to redesign, everyone steps in and redesigns, from scratch if necessary, until the set works. Because, frankly, not everyone is a good card designer and not everyone is a good expansion planner.
That said, expansion design requires these things:
- An expansion theme (WOTC works in blocks, with one person acting as both group lead and project lead, who comes up with a "block" of expansions for the entire year based upon their plan.)
- A story for the expansion that is related within the flavor text. (A definitive story does not need to be written if the story is well explained in the flavor text.
- Various strategies unique to each faction included in the expansion that are reactive to each other to provide a cohesive impression.
- New mechanics introduced in the expansion. This may be a new keyword, card type, faction, game rule or other gimmick.
Everyone in the design group should read up on card design theory in the many articles available online, especially from WOTC.
SWTCG IDC does closed design, meaning we invite people into the group to be designers, graphic design, rules people and so on. But since this game doesn't have any popular base to start from, it will probably have to be purely open design from conception to retirement. If, by any strange fortune, the game becomes so popular as to have too many cooks in the kitchen, then it will need to become closed development with invitation only.
Doing things this way has kept things very loose and moving fast. There is some bottleneck that can't be avoided in graphic design, but if everyone is working together with minimal contention, the set can get finished quickly.
Encouraging people to create dream cards is a good way to train designers in the game's community and maintain interest. You will need a forum for it as well. You might ask Trevor if he's willing to create a section on these boards specifically for this game. Perhaps there would be a whole Card Game Development section in which each game's group gets their own forum. That way, it maximizes participation in the design of each game. (I don't need one for mine, I don't think anyone's interested.)