You can’t eat Steam foil cards. They’re not even actually foil. Are they really just a crash grab on Valve’s part?
PC games have borrowed a lot from tabletop gaming. Take most PC RPGs, which borrow heavily from conventions established by Dungeons & Dragons. Foil cards were made popular with games like Magic: the Gathering and Pokémon.
Sometimes the borrowing makes sense, sometimes it just doesn’t work. In Steam’s case, the “foil” cards are just rarer and have a boring grey border. Considering how easy it would be to add an animation to the art assets, this feels lazy. It also doesn’t add any real benefit to the collector.
I have a bunch of great foil cards for Magic, which usually go straight into my favourite decks. They’re a status symbol, but also a nice way that WotC has rewarded me for all that money I’ve thrown their way. I feel no need to collect them, but I enjoy the ones I have for what they are. I have no such feelings for Steam’s foil cards.
MTG Arena has animated “foil” cards, by the way, some of which are very appealing.
It’s not all that hard to add an animation to a card. You could make an animated shine layer that goes over the image, or add an animated sheen to the border. There are tons of great animation examples on the web that are only as complicated as a gif. Here are a few cheesy ones:
They’re pretty bad, but they’re not tough to make or run in Steam’s client, and would be a huge improvement on the static image their foil cards have now.
Calling them “foil” cards is really just based on a tabletop convention, so why doesn’t Valve create their own convention? As far as I can tell, Steam cards don’t have any level of rarity, so call them “gold” cards or rares. Call them “Steam-Os” for all we care.
Just don’t call them foil cards.
Hey there, I’m Rodney!
I’m a writer and editor of tabletop RPGs and a painter of Orks. Welcome to Rising Phoenix Games!
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