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How Hearthstone survived on pieces of paper

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Work was proceeding apace on Blizzard Entertainment's collectible card video game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft when the development team behind the game was nearly dismantled, Kotaku reports

Another game at Blizzard needed work, so Team 5, the group of developers working on Hearthstone, was pared down to just two members: lead designer Eric Dodds and  Ben Brode. 

"We were basically in a world of, 'What do we think the design of the game should be?' That's not a place you spend that much time in traditionally as a designer," Dodds said. 

"For us that meant trying tons of different ideas. We spent a lot of time with paper/pen prototypes to try and figure out what this game was going to be and it was great."

According to executive producer Hamilton Chu, the duo "took those funny drawings, cut them into cards and tried a whole lot of bad ideas on the way to some great ideas." Hearthstone's Arena mode with asynchronous card drafts grew out of that era. 

Check out Polygon's Overview video below to see Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, which is available now on Mac, Windows PC, iOS for iPad and is in development for Android and iPhone, in action.