Case Study: Attach
FaZe Attach needs no introduction. Few gamers have so quickly reached the pinnacle of esports success at such a young age. Even fewer can claim to have such a bright future ahead of them.
A legend of the Call of Duty Esports scene, Attach became a household name by winning the 2015 Call of Duty Championship at just 18 years old, the youngest player to ever take home the grand prize. His skills caught the attention of top esports organization FaZe Clan, and he has been a leader of the FaZe COD team ever since. In the meantime, Attach has racked up countless impressive performances and awards, most recently including the 2018 Esports Play of the Year. Today he is one of the most popular competitive esports streamers in the game, with hundreds of thousands of Twitch Followers and sponsorships with GFUEL, SCUFGaming, and Steel Series. His YouTube Gaming channel also boasts an impressive 200K+ Subs, making him one of the top Call of Duty creators on the scene.
When FaZe Attach reached out to us for custom, animated Twitch stream graphics, we couldn’t resist. Over the years, our staff had been following Attach’s career closely – we knew we were the right team for the job, and the ideas started flowing. Our squad of pro graphic designers, animators, and illustrators worked tirelessly over a short 2-3 week timetable. The final presentation would be one of VBI’s most explosive, boldest projects yet – with high-tech cyber inspirations and a Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 feel. A design packing as much firepower and electricity as FaZe Attach’s playmaking ability. We couldn’t be more proud, and we’re excited to continue improving and expanding Attach’s graphics collection in the future. Attach was pretty stoked as well, as you’ll see here.
In this Case Study, you’ll see the FaZe attach project through the eyes of our designers. A step-by-step tour of the creative process, from early brainstorming and concepts to final, shiny product. As we add new elements to Attach’s Twitch presentation, we’ll update this Case Study to reflect most recent changes. Let’s get started, shall we?
FaZe Attach was looking for the full, custom animated design package, including:
- Animated Stream Overlays
- Animated Webcam
- Animated Streamlabs Alerts
- Animated Stream Intro
- Logo Animation
- Animated Stream Screens
We started out by nailing down an overall design theme – color schemes, patterns, visual effects, and emotions we wanted the presentation to convey. For FaZe Attach, there was never any doubt; the final product would need to convey high-octane energy and plenty of firepower. An adrenaline-pumping, high-tech design fitting of a first-person-shooter esports player. Heading into the project, we knew FaZe Attach was pretty open to ideas – he had an overall ‘feel’ for the design direction, but trusted us to the specifics. This worked just fine for us, giving our designers plenty of creative real estate to work with.
Whenever we work with esports gamers, we try to keep overlay design and animations subtle, yet powerful. For competitive streamers, gameplay is king, so channel graphics need to have a minimalist, out-of-the-way feel so as not to distract viewers. At the same time, the design needs to be iconic and memorable, with strong visuals reflective of the streamer’s brand and personality. Finding the right balance is often one of the biggest challenges for stream designers, and the FaZe Attach project was no exception, as you’ll see below. We knew Attach wanted a subtle look, so we combined minimalist foreground overlays with powerful background visuals and animations, as you’ll see below.
In terms of overall aesthetics, FaZe Attach wanted something with a cyber, particle-inspired vibe. We too felt this was a good match, considering his esports background and his game of choice, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. From here, we assembled a team of designers with extensive experience in the high-tech, cyber design genre. Together, they produced futuristic, special ops-inspired visuals, rooted in a color scheme of shadowy purple and golden-orange tech accents. In the background, spotlights arc across wire grid frames, while smoke and particle animations blow over COD-inspired hologram figures. Meanwhile in the foreground, pulsating energy flows through digital stream overlays while Streamlabs alerts explode into view in pixelated animations. You’ll get a closer look into each of these as we move on.
We also wanted to incorporate Attach’s Call of Duty background into the design, particularly the latest Black Ops installment. This was part of our inspiration in choosing a golden-yellow color scheme, to drive a subtle connection to Black Ops 4 branding. In his overlay background, we featured a glowing, hologram image of a special forces operative, to further drive the Black Ops and First-Person-Shooter vibes. At the same time however, we kept the COD influences as subtle as possible, so that FaZe Attach could apply his new graphics to a wide variety of games and game types.
With these general themes and guidelines in place, our team set to work on each individual component, from Webcam to Alerts to Panels and more. Now’s when the real fun begins.
Twitch Overlays and Webcam
Stream overlays are always the cornerstone of custom portfolios, and the FaZe Attach project was no exception – we needed to hit these bad boys out of the park. Heading into the project, we knew we wanted FaZe Attach’s overlays and webcam to be sharp and attention-grabbing, while still feeling ‘out-of-the-way’. A minimalist look was essential to reflect Attach’s gameplay-first content and to account for the complex in-game UI of Call of Duty games. To maintain this balance, we would need to minimize the number of elements on his screen at one time, while simultaneously packing as much information as possible into each individual overlay. No superfluous graphics, just the essentials – with a stylish, branded look that screamed FaZe Attach.
First up, the webcam. We went for futuristic, cyber look here, to reflect Attach’s esports background and COD Black Ops / Modern Warfare styles. We kept the cam borders smooth and subtle, with a shadowy feel in deep purple. The darker frame color is accented by bright golden-orange highlights, to provide an energetic, eye-catching look. The iconic Attach logo is featured in the top-left corner of the webcam overlay, hovering with a subtle vertical animation. Around the insides of the overlay frame, golden waves of energy shoot through digital bar meters, circling the frame until they finally disappear in the top-left of the view. And in the bottom left of the webcam we featured a looping animation of the main FaZe Attach social media channels.
Just below the webcam itself our designers added trackers for some of Attach’s most important stream information. Subtle icons indicate Recent Subscribers, Sub Train, Subscriber Count, Recent Donation, and Top Donator. Bright orange/gold highlights make sure these indicators ‘pop’ from the gameplay background, while maintaining a scaled-down, subtle look. We also carved each of these icons into separate on-screen overlays, so that FaZe Attach could customize his layout and drop them where he sees fit.
Our team felt confident with the flow and aesthetics of Attach’s overlays. Now we moved on another of our main priorities for this project, animated stream alerts.
We knew Attach’s stream alerts would need to be game-changing. A one-of-a-kind animation with deep cyber roots and a strong attachment to his personal brand. Here in particular, FaZe Attach wanted to emphasize a particle-inspired look, to drive home his stream’s digital vibes. He also wanted the final alerts to feature an explosive in-animation, and to be relatively short in length. They also needed to be optimized for use with Streamlabs OBS, which Attach uses to manage his broadcast.
With these guidelines in place, our team got to work. After running through a variety of concepts, we hit a major breakthrough. The alerts should ‘construct’ or ‘attach’ themselves in a digital, particle animation, as pixels group together for an advanced-AI look. A downward splash of color explodes into view as particles spill across the screen in bright neon colors. The particles fall away in digital tech wipe effects, revealing the deep purples of the iconic FaZe Attach logo.
We used unique colors to indicate each individual alert, from New Subscriber to New Donation to New Follower and more. The final alerts would feature neon hues of lime green, golden orange, magenta purple, and blood red. A bright white spotlight effect lights the FaZe Attach logo from behind, allowing the dark colors to pop from the background gameplay. Here too we featured the iconic cyber grids, to add a subtle high-tech feel to the animation background.
The end result is an exciting, interactive experience for the FaZe Attach community. A punchy, iconic animation unique to his stream and brand, reminiscent of his Call of Duty esports background. From here, our animators had one last major project before our stream design team took the reigns.
Animated Stream Screens
Our team prepared a package of animated stream screens for FaZe Attach, including a stream intro, two separate intermission screens, and multiple offline screen variations. We wanted Attach’s non-gameplay moments to drive hype and excitement, while maintaining the cyber, Call of Duty design themes featured in his stream branding.
An eye-catching background animation would be critical here, both to add depth to the design and to counterbalance the subtle nature of Attach’s overlays. Dark, shadowy shades of purple ground the view, allowing text and overlays to ‘pop’ into the foreground. On the right side of the view, arcing spotlights highlight digital ‘grids’ for a high-tech, special ops feel. Ambient smoke and floating particles blow on a breeze, inspired by in-game Call of Duty animations. We wanted it to feel as if a fire was burning just off-screen, to add intensity and adrenaline to the display. To add more weight to the right side of the screen, we featured a large hologram image of a COD operative in action, further highlighting Attach’s run-and-gun gaming style.
With background in place, we moved on to individual screen variations including:
- Animated Stream Intro: A ticking clock counts down to build hype and anticipation for FaZe Attach’s arrival, reminiscent of bomb timers in COD and CSGO. Meanwhile, the iconic Attach logo hovers in a pulsating field of golden orange.
- Animated Intermission Screens: Two distinct variations allow for IRL / Talk Show engagement with Attach’s community. A consolidated version includes webcam feed and overlays, while a more community-oriented variation features his chat box.
Now it was our illustrators’ turn to get their hands dirty. From the start, they had been sketching out concepts, using photos of FaZe Attach as reference and inspiration. Attach’s unique personality and sense of humor would also need to shine through in the final designs. Special ‘hidden easter eggs’ emotes would need to be considered as well – ‘best-of’ stream or tournament moments that would be instantly recognized by his viewers. Because more than anything else, the final emotes would be a special gift for the FaZe Attach community, a tribute to his most loyal followers and long-time Subscribers. For this particular project, we wanted to keep the emote selection tight – we would focus on three unique designs that could be used in a variety of situations:
- Attach Sub Train: A special emote for when those Subs start rolling in. Designed to build anticipation and hype in Chat, with golden-orange colors branded to the FaZe Attach style.
- FaZe ‘Clip It’: Attach is no stranger to jaw-dropping, play-of-the-year gameplay moments. We wanted a unique design that could be dropped in chat after he makes insane plays, like a special Attach version of the popular PogChamp emote. Our final product features a grinning Attach and cinematic styling for comedic effect.
- MonkaS Round 11: For long-time-viewers and Call of Duty fans, this one should be a special treat. A MonkaS-inspired Attach sweats it out during the crucial tie-breaking Round 11 COD face-off. For use during high-intensity, clutch gameplay moments.
Our illustrators knocked the final designs out of the park, and both FaZe Attach and his community couldn’t get enough of them. In fact, we’ve got a few more emotes in the works now… Stay tuned for more updates!
Next our stream designers tackled FaZe Attach’s Twitch profile panels. Here we wanted the final design to be clean, smooth, and consistent with the Attach brand. Simple yet powerful designs to drive community engagement and click-through to his external links and sponsors.
Bright neon colors and chrome-white text allows the buttons to stand out from the neutral Twitch profile background. We would reuse the same color scheme featured in FaZe Attach’s new stream alerts; bright golds, greens, purples, and reds. To add depth and weight to the panels, we again featured the dark purple background found in Attach’s stream screens. The digital wire-frame grids and hologram Attach logo make another appearance here, to maintain the cyber, Call of Duty design styling.
We used size to denote importance. Panels such as Attach’s merch store and sponsor information (SCUFGaming, GFUEL, SteelSeries, etc) are featured in large, vertical style. These larger panel variations also feature unique icons, further denoting their importance and adding extra flair and flavor. Unique hologram images emerge from the panel backgrounds, with each image selected to indicate the service provided.
Last but not least, unique branding for each of FaZe Attach’s social media channels and Twitch profile art. As the public ‘face’ of Attach’s channels, these were crucial to get right, especially considering his huge audiences on Twitter and YouTube. First impressions would be key – the design would need to provide immediate connections to the FaZe Attach brand while simultaneously introducing his channel’s style. The iconic Attach background would feature prominently in each, providing a deep, grounded foundation from which text and logos could ‘pop’ into the foreground. Back-lit cyber grids mix with floating particles and smoke effects, while subtle hologram images display photos of FaZe Attach from the esports stage. Diagonal lines slice through the background, inspired by the angular movement of the Attach logo.
For Attach’s Twitter and YouTube banners, we featured a centered photo of the man himself, staring firmly into the camera lens. To Attach’s right, we featured his unique stream logo, back-lit by a glowing white aura to help it pop from the dark-purple background. The his left you’ll find additional social media information and logos for his most important stream sponsors. For his channel profile images, the Attach logo takes center stage. It is featured prominently in bright golden-orange, to help it emerge from the dark background and to provide subtle cyber, Call of Duty vibes.