Evolution of the Magic Card Generator

Jun 1, 2017 min read


If you’re wonder where the site is: see this post.


The Magic Card Generator began as a simple hobby project, born out of my love for Magic: The Gathering and programming. What started as a basic PHP form and image creator has morphed over the years into a sophisticated tool utilizing the latest in web technologies and artificial intelligence. This journey wasn’t just about building something fun; it was a path to self-improvement, learning, and applying new skills.

The Beginnings: Version 1

My initial version was straightforward - a basic PHP script that allowed users to input data which was then used to generate custom Magic cards. This version taught me the basics of web development and sparked my interest in how technology could be used to enhance gaming experiences.

Learning Curve: Version 2

As I revisited this project, I saw an opportunity not just to redesign it but to transform it into a learning platform for myself. With Version 2, I delved into:

  • Python3 & Django: For backend development, offering robustness and scalability.
  • Neural Networks & Image Recognition: To add intelligent features such as automated image analysis for card artwork.
  • DevOps Tools: Including Bitbucket for version control, Jenkins for continuous integration (CI), Docker for containerization, and Rancher for container orchestration.

This version was about embracing full-stack development and understanding how modern CI/CD pipelines could drastically improve deployment speed and quality. Migrating 250k existing images with their data to an entirely new format taught me the importance of data integrity and careful planning during significant migrations.

Modernization: Version 3

With the foundation laid in previous versions, Version 3 was about leveraging cutting-edge technologies and methodologies that I had been exposed to professionally. This included:

  • Vue.js: Adopted for its reactivity principles making the UI more dynamic and engaging.
  • Node.js & MongoDB: Chosen for their scalability in handling API requests and managing large datasets respectively.
  • Redis: Utilized for caching to enhance performance.
  • AI Integration: To automate content moderation by checking uploaded artwork against SFW guidelines.
  • Docker & Kubernetes: For containerization and orchestration, ensuring smooth deployment processes across different environments.
  • Azure DevOps Pipelines: For automating builds, testing, and deployments within Azure’s cloud ecosystem.

This iteration wasn’t just about technology; it was about creating a seamless user experience while managing complex infrastructures behind the scenes.


The evolution of the Magic Card Generator is a testament to how personal projects can serve as powerful platforms for professional growth. From humble beginnings with PHP to leveraging AI, cloud services, and modern JavaScript frameworks, this journey reflects my commitment to continuous learning and adaptation.

Each version brought its own set of challenges but also opportunities to dive deep into different aspects of software development - from coding best practices to understanding user needs, from backend logic to frontend aesthetics, from solo coding exercises to adopting team collaboration tools used in industry-leading projects.

This project not only showcases my growth as a developer but also highlights my capability to leverage new technologies effectively. It stands as proof of my ability to evolve with the tech landscape - an essential skill in today’s fast-paced digital world.