Unlimited, Summer, 4th Edition and French/German Test Prints

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ouallada
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Unlimited, Summer, 4th Edition and French/German Test Prints

Post by ouallada » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:29 pm

Copying and pasting from a writeup I did elsewhere.

Okay, a huge part of being involved with test prints and rarities is the need to piece the game's history together based on known information and extrapolations. We already know about pre-Alpha playtest cards, and thanks to folk on the librarities site, we also know about Unlimited/Revised test prints:

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To diverge slightly, the story (from Ralph) was that Revised was supposed to be printed with grey borders to reduce cost, hence the grey bordered UNL printings on the back.

What we did not have, though, was any idea of what happened between UNL/Rev and Exodus, even though the transition from Revised through Summer through 4th (and one can throw alt 4th in here as well) was both chaotic and sloppy in terms of quality control standards and decisions. To briefly recap some of the transitional details, Unlimited had dark, rich colours. Revised was criticised for its washed out colours, the loss of the 3D bevelling as well as other errors, of which the Serendib Efreet is the most famous. The Summer strain of Revised was printed in, rather expectedly, the summer of 1994, and was itself a smorgasbord of errors -- the colours were too dark, and the errors which Revised suffered from were still an issue with Summer (Plateau artist, Serendib Efreet artist).

Two things happened -- 4th edition was in the works to fix the errors with revised, and foreign white bordered Revised (as the second printing, to follow the rule of first printings always being black bordered) was to be released. We previously knew little about the testing process.

All this changed a while ago, when these came out into the market after years of hibernation outside of everyone's knowledge. Do not ask where these came from or if there are scans of other cards -- that is not the point of this post.

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Image

Suddenly, we had something to work with, cards that are test prints (it even says so on them!) and which resembled the problematic transitions above. To borrow (and paraphrase) from Britain's favourite fictional detective, the first thing we needed to do was to remove the impossible -- whichever was left, no matter how improbable, would be true. What we eliminated off the bat was:

1) These are UNL test prints. This was done because we know what UNL/Rev (theoretically, Rev) test prints look like from above, and simple induction means that as the game matured from UNL to Rev and onwards, prototypes improve with the times. Occam's Razor, and all that (even though Occam's Razor as devised by William of Ockham did not actually mean that). Let us make this acceptable conclusion that these have to post UNL due to the increased quality of the test prints.

2) These are Rev test prints. Again, highly unlikely as Rev test prints already existed. This is further made clear as these cards all have the bevelled edge which Revised does not.

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Note the bevelled edge on the Samite Healer above, where it is the most obvious.
Note also the picture below, which contains the textless test print, the "test printing" test print, a revised card and a 4th card.

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I played around with the colours a little:

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Note the textboxes, and that outside of colouring, the Revised textbox differs in its design. This is most obvious with the chinks at the bottom and left of the textbox.
We are left with Summer and 4th to place. Summer is an easier fit. The textless cards have the same colouring as summer, and the easy assumption is to fit them into summer, however unscientific that may be. Let us place 4th edition first, which helps with the placement of summer.

Image

The picture above has a "test printing" plain, a Summer plain, a French/German test print plain/wall of wood and a textless 4th ed plain. In keeping with my membership on this group, the best statement I can make is that while I can scan all these cards, a 4th ed plain remains shockingly outside my grasp at the moment. Notice that:

1) The text boxes are all identical
2) They all have bevelled edges
3) The French/German plain is dated 1994, which makes it virtually impossible for it to be summer. Think back to the 8th ed test prints with the double unglued symbols -- printed in 2001, released in 2003
4) The picture below shows that the French/German plain actually resembles summer (unfortunately, there is no textless plain handy) in terms of colour and textbox patterns

Image

Additionally, both the "test printing" and French/German plains are printed on the same form of cardstock, and will both fail bend tests.

The conclusions that can be drawn from the above are:

1) The "test-printing" and French/German cards are not test prints for the same sets.
2) The French/German plain looks to be templated off Summer, and is a test print for FWB printings. This makes sense because Summer templates would have been the defaults as FWB was designed in 1994, after Revised was already released and theoretically replaced by Summer.
3) The "test-printing" plain is a test print for 4th -- note that the colour patterns are lighter than Summer while darker than Revised, and that we have already eliminated Revised from being the set tested by these. These are likely early test prints (no idea if there are strains like the Exodus ones) in which WOTC lightened the colours from Summer, but not to the extent that they were identical to what was eventually chosen as the template for 4th. Note that while it looks identical to the textless 4th ed plain, the latter is faded because of the inking issues it faced to make it textless.

That leaves us with the textless test prints, and Summer. The conclusion I am pushing for is for these to be summer test prints (and a picture comparing a textless print against a summer card will be uploaded soon) because:

1) UNL and Summer are the two darkest coloured sets which are white bordered
2) The textless cards being UNL test prints is unlikely due to reasons already discussed above.
3) If we subscribe to the evolution of test prints with age, "test printing" > textless > UNL/Rev triple prints. This makes it far easier to shoehorn the textless cards into summer, being sandwiched between Revised and 4th, for which we have already accounted for.

We still lack information on test prints for the AQ-DK expansions outside of playtest cards, but if something ever comes up, we shall work on it. A lot of this isn't definitive outside of comparisons and induction, but if anything comes up to add to the information we have (new test prints, information from WOTC employees), I will gladly edit this.

I hope that you found this information useful.

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Post by cataclysm80 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:28 am

Excellent work!! Not much time at the moment, but I look forward to giving them a closer look soon. Regarding possible Antiquities test print, I think Keith has a Candelabra with a different back.

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Post by ouallada » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:56 am

If I recall correctly, that definitely isn't a test print as there is no reason for the trademark 5 colour icon to not be a replica of what we know from Alpha to UNL.

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Re: Summer and 4th Test Prints

Post by dragsamou » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:41 am

ouallada wrote:a 4th ed plain remains shockingly outside my grasp at the moment.
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Post by dragsamou » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:32 am

ouallada wrote:2) The French/German plain looks to be templated off Summer, and is a test print for FWB printings. This makes sense because Summer templates would have been the defaults as FWB was designed in 1994, after Revised was already released and theoretically replaced by Summer.
Hi

As I don't own any Textless or "test printing" test print, I will focus on the German/French. There's one thing that hasn't been mentioned, what about the text used in the text box, as I don't own any German cards either from Limitierte Auflage, Unlimitierte Auflage, 4Th Edition or 5Th Edition, it will be more than interesting to find out, that might help. I went looking into the Introductory Two-Player Set Cards German :
http://www.magiclibrarities.net/147-rar ... erman.html
If you look for example at the text of Auferstehung der Toten/Raise Dead
it's not the same as the one of the Auferst ehung der Toten /Phantasmal Terrain/Raise Dead from German/French Test print. I can't use any comparison with Introductory Two-Player Set Cards as while those are similar to 4th Edition, they use for some of them 5th Edition card Text, 4Th Edition Flavor Text, Unique card text, etc...(Example Alabaster Potion) in English:
http://www.magiclibrarities.net/151-rar ... ml#card001
So, to progress into what the German/French are test prints of, the first step, will be to find out about the "Card Text" and "Flavor Text" used for them:
http://www.magiclibrarities.net/forum/v ... php?t=7192
So German help is needed here :)
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Post by ouallada » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:39 am

That is a concern which I agree has to be addressed. However, is it really related to which set a test print is for? Test prints are for aesthetic reasons, to see how text looks in borders, to see how redesigned textboxes or frames look like. That's why the textless and test printing ones do away with text -- they're purely aesthetic. The french/german ones simply need to test for how text actually looks like in the box/artist credit space/copyright etc. They don't need to be accurate in terms of text.

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Post by dragsamou » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:51 am

ouallada wrote:That is a concern which I agree has to be addressed. However, is it really related to which set a test print is for? Test prints are for aesthetic reasons, to see how text looks in borders, to see how redesigned textboxes or frames look like. That's why the textless and test printing ones do away with text -- they're purely aesthetic. The french/german ones simply need to test for how text actually looks like in the box/artist credit space/copyright etc. They don't need to be accurate in terms of text.
I agree with that, but before saying that German/French are Test Print for FWB printings, even if text doesn't need to be accurate, if for example the Text used on them is from 5Th Edition (1997), it will be quite impossible that they were aimed to be Test Prints for FWB. As, I have no way to verified where the text is from, no scans or else on MagicCards.Info, as mentioned German knowledge is necessary. Regarding the others, I wait for some news of an Expert, that eventually might own some of those.
EDIT: Text of German/French Auferst ehung der Toten Phantasmal Terrain/Raise Dead is from Deutsch Limitiert (DL), and the Copyright also (1994)as the text from Deutsch Unlimitiert (RV) is different, I didn't verify the others German/French.
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Post by ouallada » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:24 am

Replied on the fb group. It's pretty definite that they are fwb tests.

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Post by dragsamou » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:28 am

ouallada wrote:Replied on the fb group. It's pretty definite that they are fwb tests.
Let's take time, I wait for some serious experts to help on that matter, till then we can only presume. Text of German/French is from Black border German
Deutsch Limitiert (DL), i'm right now verifying all of them from pics of this German Website:
http://www.trader-online.de/Magic-Einze ... eutsch.php
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Post by ouallada » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:33 am

Correct. The text is from FBB, as shown in my post there. That is a further indicator towards these being test prints for fwb.

1) The timeline fits. Post revised, hence summer templates are used.
2) Usage of fbb text. FWB is post FBB, and you use existing templates while testing for new ones. This is why Jud test prints are using 6e art for some of the test prints.
3) FWB text is different. I've asked there for a confirmation on which english printing this translates to. To be honest, as long as FBB translates to revised, that means the french/german ones do as well -- that's sufficient to rule these out from being revised test prints and shoehorn them to being FWB test prints.

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Post by dragsamou » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:47 pm

Hi All

I come back with some serious info. Unlimited Test Print exist. Regarding the Test Printing and Summer Color Test Prints, is it possible to have all the scans of the back of the cards, in a bigger way, so I can get more info.
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Post by ouallada » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:04 pm

I will get a scan of the back of a test printing card. Check with Brian on fb on the textless ones.

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Post by dragsamou » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:28 pm

ouallada wrote:I will get a scan of the back of a test printing card. Check with Brian on fb on the textless ones.
Thanks, High resolution scans of the backs are needed for the people I contact, as they don't have the cards in hand. What about the Textless ones?
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Post by ouallada » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:41 pm

You have to get those from Brian. 500dpi enough?

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Post by dragsamou » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:48 pm

ouallada wrote:You have to get those from Brian. 500dpi enough?
I will get them from Brian. Regarding the scan of the Unlimited Test Print, it will be added when it will be possible for the owner to do so.
While looking for some info, I find back this:

4th edition test print
----------------------
There was apparently a printing of cards in late summer 1994 which
was intended to be 4th edition (back when it was going to be
released in September 1994) which had borders and colors similar to
(but not identical to) the now-released 4th edition. This was known
to have the following features:
* misprinted Hurricane with BLUE borders
* correctly printed Serendib Efreet
* 1994 copyright date, probably like Legends and Dark copyrights

Tom Wylie just said this was a test print, and the cards were
intended to be destroyed, but some were released accidentally.

However (according to Eric Aldrich) at ConQuest in November, Richard
Garfield spoke about this printing; this was intended to be the real
4th edition. Due to typos and other errors, like the Hurricane, the
printing was stopped and 120 million cards were destroyed -- but
apparently not all of them. This was probably part of the reason for
the shortage of Revised cards that occurred in December 1994 -- almost
two months of printing (at that time) was wasted.

I will not attempt to note the changes for these cards on my list,
but if anybody has any of them, let me know and maybe I can assemble
a separate list. I particularly would like to know of any other
misprints in the test print, and cards in the test print that were
NOT in revised.
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