Steam Foil Cards Suck

Steam Foil Cards Suck

You can’t eat Steam foil cards. They’re not even actually foil. Are they really just a crash grab on Valve’s part?

Steam Foil Cards Suck

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.

foil MTG card

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:

George Redhawk GIF - George Redhawk Surreal GIFs

Golden Rose GIF - Golden Rose GIFs

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.

Another Solution

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.

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