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How to create a virtual football kit

Interview with the founder of FIFA Kit Creator, the online platform for customizing gaming jerseys

How to create a virtual football kit  Interview with the founder of FIFA Kit Creator, the online platform for customizing gaming jerseys

FIFA Kit Creator Showcase is an online platform that allows users to create custom kits, with graphics and patterns all editable. With this mode, the customization of virtual gaming outfits has reached an almost definitive step. Almost, because these creations will still not be usable on EA Sports video games, but in the meantime, you can win contests and a consistent community of enthusiasts has been created. In fact, in addition to being a unique graphic project, FIFA Kit Creator illustrates how the universe of virtual gaming jerseys is increasingly fascinating and engaging. It represents a new step in the link that is being built between fashion and virtual football, which resumes, on one hand, the trend of jerseys customization (which has been present on video games for many editions) and on the other the growing attention to the aesthetic care of videogames outfits.

Their creators took care of it directly to explain the project and what is behind the idea of FIFA Kit Creator. We had a chat with the FIFA Kit Creator founder, Patrick, talking about how developed the idea of a similar reality and what will be - in their opinion - the future of the relationship between eSports and fashion

What’s the background of the idea of making people create their customized kits? How many are you and where are you from?

It all started when Konami added the option to import custom textures to the game, I think it was in PES 2016 or 17, on consoles. Before then it was only possible to do this in the PC version of the game, or using the (limited) kit edition mode inside the game. Of course the new import feature was mainly used to recreate the official kits of the unlice nsed teams but there was also a demand for custom kits by people who played MyClub, for example. The tool is mostly a one-person project, although there has been help from others with some of the templates and de signs. And there are a few longtime users which always help with pointing out errors and suggesting new features. I've always been a huge PES fan and I launched PES Master in 2014. Before then I used to modify PES and always liked to (re)-create kits and have been interested in kit design even before that. The Kit Creator started as more as a proof of concept - trying to see if it was possible to build a tool that allowed people to create quality kits easily. Until then, people had to use Photoshop to create kits. And while it allows for extreme flexibility, there is a steep learning curve and many of the things one has to take into account when creating a kit are quite monotone and, in my opinion,  they distract from the design process.

It didn't take long for the first version to be released but it was a far, far cry from what you can see on the site today. Since we continuously added new features and content, more as a hobby, it really picked up roughly a year ago. There we first really tried to think and identify what we could improve in terms of fundamentals -  new features such as logo presets, patterns and captain armband's. 

You started with the PES Master Kit Creator. Why did you choose to do it also for FIFA?

We had a lot more time to work on the Kit Creator since coronavirus hit last year, so we started adding lots of new features as well as content. But we quickly realized that the old structures didn't really allow us to (easily) add certain things which we liked to. At the same time we regularly got requests for a FIFA tool so we started exploring that possibility. In the end, we made the decision to build a new tool from scratch, first for FIFA (which is now FIFA Kit Creator) and later transition it to PES as well. Of course FIFA was riskier, since the editing process is not as straight forward as with PES, but the useres' reaction has been great and even beyond the FIFA community, people have used to create kits just for fun. 


Now there are many clubs (Lokomotiv Moskow, OL, Borussia Dortmund) that are creating virtual kits only. What do you think about these phenomenon? Do you think it’s a trend only or it’s something bigger?

It's definitely interesting to see. Concept Kit creation has become a hobby for a lot of people and we think we've played a role in making it more accessible. So people are seeing these concepts and often find them superior to the club's official kits, which are often perceived as "boring". At the same time there are many limitations that brands and clubs have to take into account when making their kits; so these digital kits are a way to be more experimental without having to refer to those limits.

What do you think will be the impact of eSports on football aesthetics in the next years?

Difficult to say and to be honest I don't follow eSports enough to really know what is going to be. But I think in the future people will want to see more unique and dedicated eSports jerseys, not just for football clubs. As for how it will affect real launches I think we'll see more special editions - which is of course happening already - including those more experimental ones taking inspiration from the digital kits. 

You have launched a contest (about EURO 2020) and you are improving the tools of the platform. What are your future plans about FIFA Kit Creator?

We've pretty much implemented everything we wanted to initially and currently are mostly focusing on content updates (templates, graphics, patterns). Right now we have about 150 unreleased patterns so you can expect a lot of additions in the coming weeks! Having recently launched FIFA Kit Creator Showcase, it's fantastic to see the amount of great kits and designers who are using it. We are working on a few new features for that aspect of the website as well, including comments. And finally, we want to make competitions a more regular characteristic of our website in the future.