What's New: September 23, 2022

Kit Creator Competitions Survey - The Results & Our Response

You're reading the official response to the survey about the state of the Kit Creator competitions which we held recently. It was written by Drake, who is our main administrator for the competitions.

If you have questions or suggestions, you can message Drake on Twitter, FIFA Kit Creator, PES Kit Creator and FM Kit Creator.

If you want short summaries of the results and the changes we plan to make, you can read the "too long/didn’t read" (TL/DR) segments at the end of each section.



Introduction

My fellow kit creators,

This is an open letter to you all addressing the results of our recent Kit Creator Competitions Survey. We have received over 250 responses to the survey, far more than I could have expected. We at the PESMaster/Kit Creator team are once again thankful for such a talented and vocal community. Because of your support, we can clearly pave the road to kit competitions that can satisfy the masses. Thank you all.

In this letter, I would like to address how we ran the competitions previous to the survey, the results of the survey/my thoughts on the responses, and the changes we as a team plan to make.

Who Am I?


My name is Drake. I create and operate the competitions on each of the kit creators. I was brought onto the team in order to run competitions frequently, as well as allow the other PESMaster/Kit Creator administrators to focus on the sites and their technical aspects/improvements. I’ve been in this role since October 2021, I’ve contributed to the kit creators for the last two years, and have designed sports apparel since 2011. I’ve helped conceptualize, blueprint, and test many of the sites’ new additions, such as the creation of the layer editor, the showcase, and the competitions. I’ve also contributed many of my original graphics to the kit creator, and will continue to do so.

My favorite European club is FC Bayern, and my favorite club is my hometown Portland Timbers. This is a common practice for many American fans of the sport, as our local level of football is not like that of Europe.

I am a different person than that of the one who operates the kit creator technical matters and social media accounts. Those are mostly run by the chief administrator. I hope this clears up that matter.



I Prefer The New “Cup-Style” Competition.


Well the “cup-style” competition format was widely popular. Who would have thought that? Okay, basically everyone.

Previous to the introduction of the “cup-style” competitions, I combed through every approved submission on each competition and pre-selected kits for voting. Pre-selections were necessary because in the old format, we’d receive up to 400 submissions across all the kit creators per competition. This is a ridiculous amount of kits for the average user to sift through to find their favorite. So we decided as a team to implement the pre-selections, where I would select 20 to 30 kits per competition we thought could win. We felt we would give the users an easier voting experience, as well as obtain a more accurate vote.

However, this wasn’t a particular aspect of running the competition I enjoyed, since my goal is to ensure as much inclusivity to the site as reasonably possible. So a month or two ago, I started brainstorming a set of offshoot bracket competitions to run seasonally on special occasions. It took me a few weeks to figure out how it would allow every approved participant, but the chief administrator and I figured it out with a play-in match round. We as a team decided to test the format on the FM Kit Creator with the Favorite Club Home Kit competition. As it turned out, it was wildly popular. So the chief administrator and I ditched plans to make the “cup-style” tournaments seasonal, and rework them as the default format for competitions going forward. We will likely fine-tune this format in the future, but at least now we have a way of making sure all the approved kits get a fair shot in the voting phases.

TL/DR: you liked the “cup-style” competitions, so it’s now the default competition format.



I feel that the competitions are fair.


It looks like a good portion of users felt the competitions were fair, but I believe we can improve these numbers. I think some users’ doubt in competition fairness came down to the pre-selections. At the end of the day, I was one guy doing the pre-selections, mostly on my own. No matter how many varieties of kits I tried to cater to, pre-selections were going to dissatisfy a majority of users. I don’t think that’s the fault of the users or even anyone on our team. I always viewed it at the time as a necessary evil. Hopefully the removal of pre-selections leads to a rise in confidence in the fairness of our competitions.

TL/DR: Users are somewhat confident in the fairness of the competitions, but the removal of pre-selections should improve their perception of fairness.



I like the competition themes/topics.


I’m surprised with the approval rate of the competition themes and topics. I see this coming down to the variety of competitions, I really try to branch out and run all sorts of different competitions. I’m always looking for new ways to challenge our user base, and I think this shows in our numbers.

However, while this approval rate is great, I still can slightly improve this. I plan to create a greater variety of competitions in the future. We currently have enough competitions in mind to run consistently for the next three or four years. So I think most of you all will continue to appreciate the themes and topics of our competitions.

TL/DR: you like the themes and topics of our competitions, so we’re going to continue what we’re doing on that front.



Individual votes should be made public.


The change to public votes on the surface seems like a good idea, and one I was on board with at first. However, as the chief administrator and I began to discuss this further, we realized this may cause more issues for a problem that didn’t really exist.

Public votes were intended to deter submitting/voting with multiple accounts. However, we’ve set up other measures on the site to prevent this. There are always workarounds, but we believe our safeguards are solid.

We also believe public voting would increase chances of friends voting for each other’s kits, even if they did not prefer the design of their kit. Because of these reasons, we’re going to keep the voting private. We hope you all understand.

TL/DR: we’re keeping individual votes private, mainly because it would hurt the integrity of the voting process.

Which aspect of the competitions do you like the most?


Users mostly enjoy creating kits they wouldn’t normally otherwise. They feel like they have a design challenge that’s fun and engaging with the rest of the kit design community.

I personally like the competitions for these reasons, as well as that they encourage users to improve their designs and become better designers.

Users also like the prizes. I don’t think that needs any explanation.

TL/DR: You like creating new kits, and the prizes as well.

Which aspect of the competitions do you like the least?


Users did not like the pre-selection phase, but I’ve already addressed that previously. I still want to address one of the few conspiracy theories I’ve heard towards pre-selections. Some users felt we prioritized kits from Plus/Plus Ultimate accounts for pre-selections. While I can understand the thought process behind this theory, it isn’t true in the slightest. I personally have no mechanism in determining membership status. The only way to do so would be to look at design elements, and that isn’t even close to 100% accurate. In a strictly design sense, I did not care what membership status users had; I only pre-selected kits based on the quality of submitted designs and my predicted public perception of them. Plus/Plus Ultimate users do have more access to our design tools though, so they did have a design advantage over free users. However, the removal of pre-selections completely eliminates this issue.

Also, I never pre-selected based on follower count. I myself know that the follower counts are not a good way of judging kit quality.

Some users do not like that the competition rules have become slightly more rigid under my guidance. The reason for this is to ensure designers are paying attention to detail in their designs, and create higher quality designs. Users that follow the competition rules are far more likely to create better looking kits.

TL/DR: Pre-selections were disliked for many reasons. Some users also think the competition rules are a bit excessive, but we find them necessary.

If you could change one thing about competitions, or create a new feature for them, what would you do?


You all had some interesting ideas for the competitions. One of which was the formatting of such. I wanted to address the suggestion of leagues and group stages. A league with daily/weekly head-to-head matchups sounds cool, but each day/week, a new kit would have to be submitted. However, we are playing with the idea of an annual table, organized based on finishing positions in each competition.

Here are a few quickfire topics I’d like to address quickly:

We won’t be separating competitions based on membership status for the time being. This would create more work for us, and create a more confusing user interface.

Third place matchups are a thing I’d like to see us implement, but not sure when that would be implemented.

Some people also wanted to create their own competitions, but that’s just too taxing on our resources, and there would likely be hundreds of them with little submission bases.

Also, we’re working on bigger prizes for select competitions. One of these prizes stems from a partnership I’m surprised we secured, and features a prize I’m personally hyped for.

TL/DR: we are working on a league format, and bigger prizes.

Which of the competitions so far have you liked most?


It appears that each of the competitions have their supporters. However, the brand swaps appear to be the most popular, the Manchester one specifically. Future club brand swap kit competitions were also popular.

We also had a lot of users like the recent Polish a T*rd. It definitely has its niche set of supporters. I think a recency bias may have affected these results, but I think they are still valid. I might have to look at the results again later with a different perspective.

Which of the competitions so far have you liked least?


The recent Polish a T*rd kit was also quite maligned. I’m thinking some users found this one too restrictive on creativity. It’s not easy to take something bad and make it good, all while keeping with the original design ethos.

The Castore one was also one of the least enjoyed competitions as well. I think this might have been down to brand popularity. A small group of users also don’t like the brand swaps, though more of a minority. Again, I think recency bias does have an effect on these results.

What topics would you like to see for future competitions?


Here’s a list of some of the ideas for competitions you’ve provided, and my response to them:

  • More brand swaps are coming, as well as brand swap spin-offs. More to follow.
  • Future club brand swap competitions are coming as well, but we may stick to bigger brands.
  • Music kit: this is one of the most requested competitions, I myself have made many music inspired kits. Don’t worry, it’s going to happen. I can’t say when exactly, but it’s going to happen.
  • Kits in rival home colors: this is an idea I came up with recently, I think it’s a great idea, but may need to be set to specific clubs, and use colors of the current home kits. A fun idea here that would challenge participants creatively.
  • Modernized classic kits: similar to the recent Polish A T_rd competition, but with revered classic kits. The Polish a T_rd kit seemed to be very love-it-or-hate-it based on the survey, so this one may commence further down the line.
  • National team kits with flag colors: I’m not sure if a competition can really be built around this, a lot of teams already do this, barring a select few.
  • Kits for teams of other sports: definitely have considered NBA/NFL kit competitions. I’ve also considered kits in the style of NFL jerseys, hockey jerseys
  • Unique keeper kits: I’ll add it to the list.
  • Kits “about themes that make us all different [like the city kits]”: please message me if you would like to expand on this idea, not sure where to go with this, but you have my attention.
  • Boot inspired kits: like the Nike third kits from last year. Already on the list.
  • Specific league competitions: might need to get more specific in order to create a design challenge. The goal of these competitions is to get users to design kits they might not otherwise, not just submit kits they’ve already designed.
  • Qatar WC kits: how could we not do this? We’re definitely doing this.
  • Whiteout kit: similar to the Blackout competition, but white. Either this, or a grayscale kit. Or both.
  • Sea edition/ocean plastic kit: interesting idea, not sure what those kits would look like.
  • Base design only kit: this would take a lot of time to verify each kit.
  • AFC Champions League kit/CONMEBOL kit: would expand horizons for some designers.
  • Create a club kit: interesting idea. I think that would be an easy competition to administer.
  • Lower level clubs kit: wouldn’t generate enough interest.
  • Idol kits for legendary players: interesting idea here, one of the few ideas mentioned I hadn’t already thought of.
  • FUT promos kit concepts: I’m torn on this one. I hate FUT with a burning fire inside, but I know some users would like it. If more users inquire about it, I’ll consider it.
  • Goalkeeper kit competition: we have a very radical one in mind.
  • MLS X Nike: I did a whole league concept set in this format. For those who don’t know, Adidas is contracted with the MLS. This would be awesome as a competition.
  • AFC Richmond: we’re actually going to do another AFC Richmond kit competition. Keep an eye out around the time Ted Lasso season 3 rolls around.
  • Movie kit: kits from football movies, or other movies.
  • Video game kits: not sure how this would go.

These are just the ones you have mentioned, I have plenty more on my list. If you have an idea for a competition, always feel free to message me. I’ll likely get back to you in less than 12 hours. Believe it or not, I’m not very popular.

Conclusion


Once again, thank you all for your input on the competitions, and your patience with us through the streamlining process. Our platform cannot survive without the dedicated and talented designers that you are. We are excited for our next chapter of kit competitions, and we hope you are as well.

If you have questions or suggestions, you can message Drake on Twitter, FIFA Kit Creator, PES Kit Creator and FM Kit Creator.