For the first time in Hearthstone's nearly seven-year history, a community created card back will be entering the game as part of a recent competition. Held in China only, Blizzard entertainment's card back competition asked designers to put their skills to the test for the chance to have their design immortalized forever in the game itself. Running from November 13, 2020, until January 12, 2021, the event brought in designs from over 200 passionate fans and artists who wanted their work to be seen and enjoyed by the millions of active Hearthstone players each day.
According to the rules of the promotion, which were translated into English via members of the Hearthstone community, the first place winner received a 30,000 yuan cash reward, a Youji EXTRAI Pro 24 pen display, and their work included in the game itself. Three other finalists received a lesser cash prize but have the "chance" to have their design included in the game down the road.
Designed by Xi Luo to celebrate the Lunar New Year, the following card back design earned him the first-place prize and praise from the Hearthstone design team:
According to the team: "We love the Chinese New Year atmosphere and colors, as well as the perfect combination of iconic themes and asymmetrical design grasped by this card back. The back of this card is clearly layered, which makes the eyes shine. And we agree that presenting it in a 3D image will further enhance this perception."
The following three "Epic Award" winners have a "chance" to have their card back designs featured in the game and received a cash prize as well.
According to the team: "With a quick glance, you can recognize the conspicuous pattern of Prince Kael'thas and the classic red and gold color scheme. The emerald orb is also an ideal carrier for Hearthstone Vortex. The team seems to be able to see the vivid effects of adding green magic special effects to the game! Details such as the folds of the fabric and the golden carved edges are exquisitely crafted, forming an excellent secondary structure."
According to the team: "We believe that the melancholic background color gives a strong impact to the flame and lava elements on the back of this card. The smooth lines of the snake and the gray icy rocks add a sense of hierarchy to the overall card back. The clever selection of colors and color values distinguishes the snake from the rock in the background and does not cover the main structure of the magma spiral. The author also used the effect of magma to clearly show the snake scale pattern. The art team praised this charming technique."
According to the team: "The image on the back of this card reminds people of the old past of classic recipes such as cooking mutant fish and appetizing spices, and can't help but smile. The full color is handled properly, and while creating an interesting scene, it also reveals some dark details. The team happily guessed the reason for the fish’s smile and speculated on the origin of the red pot in the center of the picture."
No information has been shared as to when the winning card back will be implemented into the game but with a Lunar New Year celebration currently going on within the game itself, the wait may not be too long.
Tim Rizzo is the editor and a reporter for Inven Global. He joined the company back in 2017.