Building the Perfect Football Card

At the heart of Matchday are our officially licensed football cards featuring thousands of players from all over the world. These collectibles aren't just pictures on a page, they're a blend of art, technology, and football love. As the release of Matchday Mobile draws ever closer, the way that Matchday cards will work and behave within the game starts to become clearer.

Recently, some of the Matchday team met up to jam in realtime and thrash out strategy and details of the cards for the future.

We were lucky enough to sit down with three of the creative minds looking after different aspects of the card experience. Meet Paul Vauvrey, Alex Tomescu aka Grim, and Marc Vilarnau, each with a different responsibility for shaping how cards look, feel and behave within the game.

Name: Paul
Title: Lead Designer
Loves: 🇫🇷 Bulldogs and donuts
Name: Alex aka ‘Grim’ 👾
Title: Visual Experience Designer
Loves: Collecting retro consoles
Name: Marc 📺
Title: Motion Designer
Loves: Making documentaries

How important are cards at Matchday?

Paul: The cards involve everyone in the company. From sourcing the footballer pictures, to building a pipeline, ideas for new editions, to distributing the cards, to making sure they have an impact in the game. This is the soul of Matchday I think.

Alex: The game is built around the cards. We didn't build the game and then say 'oh let's add some cards'. We had the cards, these collectibles, so from trading them to building your squad to fixing up injuries, building chemistry, everything. To me, the cards are the game."

Bringing the Cards to Life

When it comes to taking flat cards to the next level within the game world, motion Designer Marc weighs in: "What you don't want is too much of a delay to gratification. We try to make quick animations that follow Disney's 12 principles."

Marc goes on: "For me, pack opening is the most exciting part. I know that consumers love it. They record themselves opening packs and put them on YouTube. So that special moment is big for me."

For Alex, there’s the struggle with how to incorporate 3D elements vs keeping it simple. "The question is how much do we want to push the envelope and why?"Paul agrees: "It's about striking a balance between making the cards desirable and readable. Ensuring you can understand exactly what they are about, which is football.”

Adapting existing collections into the game smoothly is key for Paul: “"All the cards that we have issued so far will be compatible. What we call the 'legacy cards' from previous seasons will be incorporated and adapted into the game, using our new design principles."

"We don't want you to disregard your collection for the latest eleven you have in your squad.”

Paul Vauvrey - Lead Designer, Matchday

As we discuss many details of the new card systems, Alex stops for a moment and exclaims "The game we are building is super fun!" he points out that it’s a pleasure and a "blessing" to work without creative boundaries. "No really, it's just mind blowing to be encouraged to follow your own imagination."

"I got struck when I first met the Matchday team how fun everybody is. That was surprising. And smart, really smart."

Alex Tomescu - Visual Experience Designer, Matchday

What does success look like?

When the goal is to create the perfect football card, the bar is high. What matters the most eventually, is whether the game and cards resonate with fans. We asked about what sort of feedback would hit the spot.

Marc: "A good compliment is not receiving any compliment about a specific element, because good design should be invisible. But knowing players enjoy the experience as a whole.”

Alex: "In the past I’ve read positive comments after a release launches, it’s given me an enormous sense of accomplishment.”

Paul: “If players are happy to play and collect, it’s everything we want.”

Big thanks to the Matchday members for donating their time and thoughts to this post.

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