token designs

Design Session 11: Flashback

It’s been a long time since i’ve done a Design Session like this, so I’m gonna explain it to everyone who’s followed my blog since the last one. Each Design Session, I focus on a certain mechanic and try to design two-three quirky or interesting designs with it. I’m going in order from oldest mechanics to the newest mechanic, exempting the evergreen ones. Today, it’s time for Flashback!

Flashback <cost> (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

The first design is fairly straight forward, and was designed to fit the white/red archetypes in kaladesh. The second design does something a bit weirder and changes it’s affect if you cast it for it’s flashback cost, making it almost like a double-sided sorcery.

RUN AWAY FROM YOUR NIGHTMARES/FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!” - Original Sunset Dreams business slogan

Token, the mascot of the Sunset Dreams business chain. a strange re-invention of the arcade formula, where people go into buildings with vast servers to explore and play various games  in hugely complex; impossible to play on a conventional game console, virtual worlds, with a lower price allowing one to use conventional arcade machines (Albeit with holographic displays) and a higher price allowing one to use the VR pods.

The twist is that the worlds are generated from the minds of other patrons, analyzed via a complex series of scanners to gather the data to remix for graphical designs, settings, narratives, game mechanics and even whole genres that are then generated by a complex neural network program into cohesive game worlds.

Token, based on the design of the unique membership card designed to be activated like an old-school arcade token., was engineered into the neural network program as an administrator and as a “face” with a distinct personality to directly communicate with users and technicians alike, both for PR purposes to give their algorithms a friendly view and also just to see if they could create an AI that was sentient from Day 1 that could handle that level of data flow.

The program worked very well for the most part. And, while previously Sunset Dreams had a reputation as a sleazy operation that was almost a flat-out Skinner box designed to vampirise cash while destroying lives and hawking products on the side, nowadays opinions have mellowed due to noticeable changes in the operation of its wares, with many having cited its newest games and worlds as making them better people and creating deep emotional connections and some even saying that they could be called artistic masterpieces, albeit ones with a few design… quirks.

And, in these quirks lies the secret of Sunset Dreams. Namely: that its CEO and top executives/stockholders are amongst those that have gone missing, and Token; their great AI; is running the whole show, frantically trying to keep up even while maintaining the illusion that nothing is wrong, everything is fine.

Personality-wise they are gregarious and a hammy showman to the core, but also very; very much a bundle of nerves if you scratch beneath the surface, and they’d probably be sweating constantly if they could sweat. Their heart is in the right place, though they often make a lot of mistakes trying to keep up with so much even for their advanced minds. They prefer to be referred to by “They” pronouns, though marketing always refers to them as male, because even in the future, marketers suuuuuuuuck.

As per usual, this character is completely free to use so long as I, Thomas F Johnson, am credited as their creator. Also, fun fact, via sheer accident the original design for Token almost ended up deeply unfortunate, ask me if you want to see the original.

If you somehow fused the raptors from The Good Dinosaur and Ice Age 5 together, you would probably get some inaccurate yet possibly really interesting (dare say good?) mange-ridden dinosaurs

I hate them, but also kindof love them conflictingly at the same time. At the very least I strongly admire the fact that neither studios wimped out with the token female characters’ design and went the full mile with both of them.


Click to enlarge for prices!

Hey guys, with all the medical bills my family has to deal with recently, my financial situation is less than stellar. I’m in desparate need of some cash so I’ve decided to open up commissions! 

If you’d like more examples of the kind of art I produce, you can check my art tag on my blog: Click me!

If you’d like to commision me, or if you have any questions, send me an email at

Please note I’ll only be accepting payments through PayPal!

If you can’t buy a commission, that’s fine! Simply relogging this post and spreading the word would help me out tons!

I will design a custom token for everyone who reblogs this with a request!

The prerelease for Fate Reforged is just a week away! One of my favorite things to do is design custom tokens to use at prerelease events (since you don’t always open the tokens you need). I’ll make a custom token for every person who reblogs this post with a request (e.g. Spirit token with Casper the Friendly Ghost). Then all you have to do is resize them and print them for yourself. Unlike Khans of Tarkir, which had 13 different tokens, Fate Reforged only has 4:

  • 2/2 colorless Manifest overlay
  • 1/1 white Spirit with flying
  • 1/1 white Monk with prowess
  • 2/1 black Warrior

Of course, I am more than happy to make any token you desire. Hit me up!