Card Design Details

The biggest thing everyone wants to know right now is what exactly will this game look like and why.
Here are the first details about each of the three card types.

Player Cards

Let’s get this out of the way right now: Player cards will feature real-life names and stats but not player photos.

Why Not? Well, in an effort to keep full transparency this time around: it’s frankly the best option. TOPPS has exclusive rights on MLB trading card licensing until 2020. The only licensing available is through MLBPA. The rules MLBPA has on using player photos is so insane it’s just not worth it financially or otherwise. Getting photos is costly and a “don’t ask, don’t tell how you acquired the photos” process. Once obtaining the photos through whatever means you can, you must not only photoshop all logos off the player’s uniform, but also get rid of any other defining characteristics. For example, you have to photoshop a player’s number to be a “generic” looking font. Furthermore, you cannot market/sell the game as “trading cards.” There can be no rarity and you are not allowed to distinguish between same-city teams (you cannot even put New York (A) or New York (N)). The whole thing is insane, and we couldn’t justify the cost / ruined game play for some mutant-jersey wearing players photos.untitled-3

We all know the TOPPs / MLB agreement is toxic for trading card and game companies, but this is our way of fighting against it, and hopefully come 2020 we will be more established and can secure MLB licensing. But for right now, MLBPA licensing is just not in the cards (heh). We’re being very realistic about sales projections–we want to stay afloat, make a wicked fun game, eventually produce an app, and see where we can go from there. The licensing would kill this project before it ever had a chance. Maybe someday, but we think what we have made is far better than nothing.

I designed these cards for countless hours, literally trying to create something from nothing. The restrictions of no photos allow us so much more space for the things that matter. I am very proud of the diamond shape I created for the main statistics of players (handedness, handedness bonus and command/on-base). What we lost in photos, we made up for in game play enhancement. The skylines are a nice touch, that give some sort of team/city designation in the best way we could think of. (MLBPA prohibits the use of team colors on licensed cards and MLB has a general claim on team colors)

Stadium Cards

To me, we lost basically nothing with stadium cards. Stadium cards are most exciting for their effect, not their look. The skylines were an idea I had earlier this summer and I’m really happy with what we did with these, especially once we tied the skylines into the player cards as well. Even with MLBPA licensing, this is basically what we would have had to do anyway, as Stadium photos were not permitted.

Strategy Cards

With MLBPA licensing, photos on strategy cards was essentially a no-go as well. Getting a photo we would be able to use that was relevant to the card with all the rules would have been basically impossible.
I came up with another system that I’m pretty proud of to accomplish the same goal of enhancing game play in the space where a photo would have gone. Using the diamond shape, we created a new area which provides an opportunity to visually see how/when the card can be played. Once you learn the visuals, you can easily flip through your hand and see what you have to play.

Is this everything we dreamed of when we started this project? Probably not, but we are insanely proud of how we’ve managed to create something from nothing, especially after being shot down so many times. We’re hoping to still have your support and understanding after seeing the cards and hearing about the legal limitations. We look forward to hearing your feedback on our blog and social media.

Michael Bimonte

Co-Owner and Creative Director of Clutch. Current hockey/softball player and devoted Mets and NY Rangers fan. Made his first baseball card game nearly 10 years ago to play during study hall.

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