Monday, December 31, 2012

Champion Concept: Itzel

Concept Lore
There is a tribe of people deep within the Kumungu Jungles. In this tribe, the only monarchy is ruled by and passed down by females. Itzel is the youngest in this royal line. To be considered for rule though, Itzel must excel in tasks of survival, leadership, and strength. To test her abilities, her family has armed her with heirlooms of power and have sent her to the League -- in that she may prove to be the most capable leader of her people.

Concept Game-Play
I really like concepts like Viktor and Rengar -- champions that have a specific item that helps alter how they play, or boosting their already impressive stats. For Itzel, I wanted the focus to be her Head-dress. As an item, there would be 3 types -- that would alter her abilities to fulfill a different role. The roles I had in mind were Bruiser, Jungler, and Support. They would have to act like Viktor's augments -- but the effect would be on all of her abilities -- altering the way she plays entirely. Currently, there is no champion that harbors the ability to change roles completely based on altercations to an entire kit. She'd act as a nice counter-pick character.

Art Direction
WOW. Was this character fun to make. When my skills get even better, I will totally revisit her. Basically I wanted a character who fought with a weapon that behaved like a Bo-Staff, but I wanted her to be agile and deadly. So there are two blades attached to the ends of the weapon. Forgive me, I know this weapon actually has a name, but it eludes me as of now. Will revisit. I knew I wanted her to be another royal player in the League and I noticed that League lacks a great deal of tribal and native influences. So going off of tribal themes and Central American themes, I gave Itzel a unique look. I have a bias for agile and slick characters, so Itzel has a little more black in her design -- and tattoos made up of mostly vertical lines. Her head-dress also acts as her prominent area of her silhouette -- in that she may be recognizable on the field. I toned back her armor/jewelry to bronze from gold so that she may be a little less gaudy in appearance -- the tropical feathers were enough. Her faceplate is made of bone... because it looks cool? And because I've been reading too much Lizardmen lore from Warhammer.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Revision: Elle

Did I mention I hated Elle's scarf? I knew how I wanted the scarf to look -- and I just couldn't illustrate it at the time. So over the weekend I took Elle and decided to sit with her until she had a scarf I liked. This is quite a minor revision, but I think it makes a huge improvement.

I also added additional details and added better quality shading and highlights. Ever-learning. Stay tuned for additional content tonight.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Vi the Piltover Enforcer

The champion Vi was released today!
As most of you should know, I have a deep appreciation for Vi. Vi is the newest champion to join the league, but more importantly -- Vi fulfills a champion concept that I had made (independently from Riot Games of course). To investigate the happy coincidence further, check out the main forum thread, or Quinn's champion post here on the blog.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Champion Concept: Elle

Concept Lore
Elle is the last of her kind. She arrived on the shores of Valoran from a distant continent, half dead and missing an arm. When Elle was healthy and able to communicate -- she told stories about how an unstoppable evil burnt and leveled her forest home, and people, to ash. Now she participates in the League to hone her skills, and prepare for the time that evil finds it's path to Valoran's shores as well.

Concept Game-Play
Elle is an AD assassin that focuses on quick bursts of damage and Eve-like stealth mechanics. Additionally -- Elle abilities have an after effect of healing allies who happen to be in the path of her bursts. Assassin's usually have one role in games, and as their namesake states -- it's to assassinate single targets, or targets with low health. While Elle may not (and should not) be able to do this as easily as other assassins, I thought that she would be a character who brings more to team-fights than traditional assassins, by healing allies who get caught in her abilities' paths.

Art Direction
Elle's art direction comes from a myriad of archetypes and tropes. There's a dual reasoning behind this. The first was to combine aspects of my favorite characters from other games, shows, and movies. The second was to make an attempt at new techniques I've been studying (which are hopefully improving myself as an artist). Elle's major influences come from traditional woodland elves, and League has no traditional Elven race.

So let's talk the details of the art direction here. I'm sure many viewing this can spot some really obvious aspects and traits of some of my favorite things in this character...

1. I've been reading a lot of books by Andrew Loomis in an attempt to push my work further into the next level. So to start, I played at making the character proportionate. So after a quick sketch, I made the character seven heads tall. So yes -- she is proportionate. I knew this character was going to be an elf assassin, so she's not bearing any heavy armor, and she's thin. She also uses a long handled blade, (the actual name of this weapon eludes me at the moment) it's purposes is for quick, ranged slashing (not stabbing, parrying, or deflecting). She has a scarf to designate speed and agility. Originally, Elle did not have a missing arm. But during the sketch, I made her right arm thinner and thought; if Elle had a mechanical arm, her right side would seem like a frightening fast extension of her already quick blade. So I gave her a hextech arm in place of a real one. I also enjoy characters who are slightly "damaged" because their faults have visual history; "how did that happen?".

2. After the initial sketch, I started in on my line work. This phase of the line work is tighter than the sketch, but still fairly loose. It's is merely an attempt to pull out the details from the scribbles of #1. It was here I decided that Elle would have a body suit, as opposed to a thin suit of intertwining plates or scales.

3. #3 is a line work stage that defines the details and the character as a whole. It's the final tight stage before more intricate work begins.

4. In this stage, I started thinking of what influences were coming to the table, and where Elle would end up. I dropped a base light source on her -- nothing final, just something to get an idea of light.

5. I knew, as an Elf -- I wanted to dictate Elle's color scheme as "woodland". So I went with a strong green for her character base, bronze for her shadows, and yellow-green for her highlights.

6. After I had all the color bases down, Elle started to take shape. And now I'll explain her influences by addressing her own traits. Her scarf is to designate agility and speed. This was something I always loved from Hotsuma of PS2's "Shinobi". I decided that the scarf would be the visual silhouette that set Elle apart from other champions on screen. So as her "banner", it would of course have to be green to represent her woodland nature and former home.

Her body suit is a bronze, saturated khaki color. The reason I chose the body suit for Elle is because it is another easy way to designate agility and speed. But additionally, I wanted to make Elle something of a "survivor". Her entire life has changed, and battle has become her new life. This character is the last of her race -- she has a tragic origin. So I took influence of making the body suit a little more military in looks, as the BB Corps wear body suits in "Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots". Now Elle is designated as still agile, still fast, but in preparation for a coming war.

Lastly, Elle's overall look (and what I envision as her fighting looks like) comes from the character Lightning of "Final Fantasy XIII". Elle bears a heavier design on one side and a sleeker bearing on the other, akin to Lightning. Elle is no longer a warmhearted elf -- her homeland has been razed and her people murdered -- she herself has become cold, and closed to others.

7. This is where I took what I learned and started moving forward with Elle's design -- keeping in mind all that I wanted to accomplish with her character (while still pulling from so many influences). I added a realism base to eradicate sketch lines and outlines.

8. Finally, I detailed Elle in realist style painting, making sure to pronounce her attributes as militaristic and agile. To further the effect, I chose to tone back the green in her scarf, and up the green in her body suit. While this did ultimately make Elle appealing in a military aimed fashion -- I feel it derailed her too much. Additionally, Elle received a leaf pendent inlaid with emeralds to provide further evidence of her previous life, and what she is about. Feeling that Elle still needing something, I added a pack strapped to her hip. This was added to balance out the offset weight, caused by the difference in her arms, and the negative space provided by her body suit.

9. The final version had it's colors reverted, and additional care was placed on Elle's design. I thoroughly enjoyed working on Elle, and I feel that the concepts came together quite nicely. This was much needed practice with new techniques -- so while I am happy with the result, it is still a ways off of what I aim to accomplish with my concepts. I hope you enjoyed Elle's design, and kudos to you if you made it this far in the text.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Champion Concept: Setesh

Concept Lore
Setesh was a practitioner of wind based magics. Though he was never any good at it, he continued to practice. On a journey to Demacia, Setesh fell into a cavern whilst traveling through the Shumira Desert. While trying to find a way out, Setesh found a shrine within the cavern, and a voice luring him to enter. Setesh was then confronted inside the shrine by a apparition of Sand and Air. The Sand Avater said to Setesh "You are worthy of my legacy. You will defend us in our time of need". And with that, the Avatar disappeared, and Setesh transformed into a being of magic and escaped the cavern. With a newfound control over the sands, Setesh changed his destination to the League.

Concept Game-Play
Setesh plays as an AP support in is default form -- and his abilities are gale-type sand spells; such as dervishes. He plays with blinds, shields, and movement speed effects. Setesh's ultimate is Manticore Form. Like Nidalee, this changes Setesh's other abilities, and he is able to stay in this form. Manticore's abilities have additional AD ratios attached to them, and are more violent and powerful spells.

Art Direction
Setesh's concept started in his Manticore form. Though initially he was not a manticore, just a berserker Yordle. After adding horns, I realized he'd be cooler as a manticore, and the changes spring from there. With the manticore concept in place, I decided that Setesh would indeed be the Sand Mage that the community has beckoned for. To punch this up, I played on colors that insisted on desert archetypes. The glowing runes are to signify his mage play-style, and their engulfing of his Manticore form represents the amount of magic being loosed.

Champion Concept: Waitomo

Concept Lore
Waitomo is an ancient being lost to myth -- a creature of lore known for it's rarity and viciousness. Akin to the cave newts of the Kumungu Jungle, Waitomo lived in the darkness -- isolated from the world. Using his luminous tails, Waitomo would lure in prey that had gotten lost within his tunnels. Thinking the light was they way out, Waitomo's prey would stumble right into his grasp. But something above his tunnels and caverns changed -- and the air and earth became saturated with an energy Waitomo knew nothing of. Until he stood upright and openly looked upon day's light -- and he simply understood. No longer bound by the darkness,Waitomo ventured forth with sentience and hunger.

Concept Game-Play
I thought of Waitomo as a stealthy and quick jungler with intense health regeneration. He's a creature of magic now, and I thought that the regenerative capabilities of him would be on a whole new level that not even the league has seen before, something the enemy would keep saying "why won't this thing just die?!". Like the newts he's based on, I thought that he would also be fast -- skittering around the battlefield to catch prey with his luminous tails. The difference between Waitomo and Mundo would be more along the lines of less damage, and a more mobile and utility kit -- with taunts or grabs via the tails and of course bursts of brief stealth. You can think of him as a combination of Mundo, Kha'Zix, and Twitch.

Art Direction
I wanted more creatures for the league -- and it's rare in any fantasy based universe that I see a creature based on luminous cave creatures. So taking cave newts as a base, I worked Waitomo up from there. Creatures like Waitomo scare me a bit -- they put me at an unease. This is something that sees you in the dark, when you can't see anything. Waitomo is something that can skitter around in your peripheral vision and make you jump. And I realized that Waitomo is actually Gollum. They're not the same character, but they share the same roots in concept. So naturally I added the Ring of Power as an homage to the similarities -- otherwise, Waitomo is straight creature. He has a large skull and mouth for catching prey, three tails (two vestigial and one articulated) that can extend and retract, and he is luminous. I picture him as something that runs on all fours -- but he's shown upright in the art to get a better look at him. He has two color variations posted -- his default, and how he would look in typical Gollum/Mountain Troll fashion.

Champion Concept: Rhodes

Concept Lore
In the jungles of Kumungu, life is made easier in numbers. Rhodes belonged to a terramancer clan that shaped out their home from the earth. But as is life, there is no lack of surprises -- and nothing in Kumungu is safe. Rhodes' clan was attacked in the night by one of their own. The entire clan was engulfed in an earthy prison... but Rhodes managed to elude the betrayer. Now, working as a mercenary, Rhodes seeks his clan's betrayer -- and to bring upon them the earth's judgement.

Concept Game-Play
Some of my favorite abilities are those that alter the terrain for a short period of time (Jarvan ult, Anivia wall). But we don't have a champion that specializes in such abilities. Abilities I was thinking about while making Rhodes were things like; pillar prisons, earthquakes, crushing walls, landslides, shields of rock and earth, and defensive steroids. I thought it would be fun to have a champion who specialized in changing the terrain so that you could trap or pin enemies, or assist allies with more strategic play.

Art Direction
I wanted Rhodes to be tanky, but I didn't want to stick with the forested mountain motif that surround such characters. Since his abilities are earthen in nature though, I wanted to keep earth-tones in his palette. So I dropped a lot of green to favor browns, oranges, and khaki. I used a lot of rounded and thick shapes to emphasize his ability to take damage. I gave him a large hammer in which to alter the environment -- my thought process was that Rhodes is a Blacksmith... of the Earth. An Earthsmith. Since he is a soldier of fortune though, I wanted his armor to be both stone and traveler's wear at the same time. This is why he still has cloth clothing, boots, and belts. The heavier pieces of his armor though are styled after stone.

Champion Concept: Katsumi

Concept Lore
Ionia suffered greatly during the Noxian invasion. After Ionia wrought back their lands and became part of the League -- an order was made in secret. It was clear that the path of balance would not defend them from such a hostile invasion, and the League can only settle so many matters. The secret order began taking youths and training them to be weapons -- assassins of the greatest skill. Among these assassins, Katsumi stood out as simply the best. Her prowess with sword technique was matched only by her incredible speed. After years of harsh training, Katsumi was given an enchanted katana and sent to the League to test her ability to battle, and execute, legends.

Concept Game-Play
Each ability is like Riven's Q (it can hit 3 times. You hit Q/W/E/R three times. They move her forward slightly). Her ultimate is an ability (you level it up like Udyr's Phoenix Stance). Each ability is a "Sword Stance". They are all linked with cooldowns. A combo = 3 abilities. (QWE, QRR, QEE, etc etc). When 3 abilities are used, all abilities go on cooldown for a time. Combining 2 or more of the same ability creates a new effect. Mixed combos (like QWR, QWE, ERW) do nothing but their original effects. (see more about her concept game-play on page.64)

The reason I made Katsumi to play this way, is because I've read a lot of posts asking for the Invoker. I never played any DOTAs, but from what I understand is that the Invoker is a high skillcap mage with a lot of different ability outcomes. This was my answer to that need. The great thing about this version though, is that the character is simple to use (you can just QQQ if you want), but if you can really make use of her combos in the right situations, she becomes very rewarding. It's not overly complex when you understand that there are only 8 effects outside of what the abilities originally do, and 4 of the effects share abilities from the other 4. So QQ inflicts grievous wound. But so does QQQ. QQQ just adds AoE damage ontop. She was made to fit a play-style that rewarded aggressive attacks, but punished ill-timing. She rewards players who take the time to master her combos, as she herself had to master the sword. Her skills are also FAST. She's a blur. QQQ -- or whatever combo you want, is almost as fast as you can hit the keys. I really pushed a concept kit this time around because I wanted people to think that this was a character they could rush in with, and combo in the blink of an eye, and be rewarded for combo'ing correctly given the situation. The "quick combo slash" comes from Samurai battle tropes. One movement, 3 slashes, 1/2 a second -- that's the mentality of Katsumi.

Art Direction
As for her art style, I wanted to giver her a "traveled" look. She's a wandering assassin. The original concept (adding to the idea of stances in her kit) originally had clues to those stances, like a turtle shell shoulder pad, or a foxtail belt. But I thought that way made her too "Female Udyr" so I went a little more rogue in her design, to show that she's bursty, but frail. And the hood is orange because I never see orange hoods, and red was waaaaay too cliche. Other colors also put forth other archetypes. Black was too dominant and cliche again, purple and blue came off too royal, yellow was out of place, and green read as ranger. Katsumi also was made to fill the role of "bad ass chick with a katana". Hopefully she's far enough removed art-wise to be a newer take on that trope. I also wanted to push her away from stealthy -- which I think is something that has a negative cliche attached to it. So instead, she's more like Twilight Sazuka from Outlaw Star, if you've ever seen that Anime. Basically, she's an obvious assassin with enough skill to not have to be stealthy.

Champion Concept: Claire

Concept Lore
Across all of Valoran. There is no criminal more hated than Claire. She's stolen from every major government, nation, city-state, town, and settlement at least once. What's worse is her mocking, signed, and illustrated cards that she leaves behind at every crime scene. What makes her hated though -- is that none of the items she steals are worth any historical, magical, or financial value. Just needed items. (Where did your cane go, Swain?!)

Concept Game-Play
Claire is an AP champion that heavily focuses on tricking her foes using illusions, teleporting, and stealth. I saw this character as being a really frustrating champion to chase. She'd have a lot of blink, teleport, and stealth mechanics -- being an escape artist trope we don't yet have. At the same time, I wanted this type of game-play to also be her means of damage. Maybe she blinks to a location, and causes her previous location to wake with a magic burst. Her position utility would make her a bit of an assassin, but not quite as bursty so much as she would be periodical damage.

Art Direction
Art-wise, Claire plays on rogue tropes. Her cloak, boots, and hood help highlight this. At the same time, to push her elusiveness, I made her a fairy complete with wings. I specifically wanted to avoid the really natural fairies and the Amy Brown style fairies. To combat these cliches, I pushed Claire's appearance into how I envisioned punk-rock might have influence over the fairy fantasy. What I came up with was a lot of color, but not overly rainbow in execution; just hair dye and magic tattoos.

Champion Concept: Scheele

Concept Lore
Scheele is a alchemist of Zaun who has taken it upon himself to study the Shadow Isles.

Concept Game-Play
A support champion that focuses on harassment via CC's and Debuffs. He provides a lot of utility in this sense, but offers little in the way of damage. I like to think of Scheele's game-play as throwing potions to have sickly and odd effects that are Crowd Control and Debuffs in their utility. Acids, Nerve Gas, Explosions, Slows, Fears, Poisons -- the character is just meant to punish players who get too close to the ADC that he guards. His game is chemical warfare, and I think there's a lot to be explored in what exactly he does with all the potions he brings to battle. He would be extremely squishy to make up for his offensive utility.

Art Direction
Scheele was difficult to plot out because of Singed. However, I really wanted to push another poison champ, but that originated from Zaun; which is described as a place where technology meets magic, thats not exactly too keen on morals. He's sickly because of his obsession with alchemy and the Shadow Isles. Yellow is iconic of sickness and disease almost as much as green is -- but it also gets across an idea of uncomfortableness. The vials around him suggest he's a chemist of sorts and works with disease/poison/potions.

Revision 1
He's cloaked now, giving him more of a "mage" feel, so there would be no confusion -- this is not a tank character. Other visual cues are the black/grey saturated cloak being more icon of the grim reaper (while still removing himself from Karthus). Add a color-friendly gas mask, and the character's whole begins to shape. I don't like to think of Scheele as being complete just yet, and I'm going to give him another round of revision treatment.

Champion Concept: Murdok

Concept Lore
From a rival clan of Olaf's.

Concept Game-Play
Murdock specializes in tanking and counter jungling with his pet Worg, Larsa. There isn't a champion that specifically controls a pet in the league, and I thought a Worg would be a favorable companion. Mosh Pit. Well...a Mosh Pit with a bear-sized wolf with tusks. That's Murdok and Larsa. The characters are supposed to play with a lot of heavy, tanky, movement. I originally thought of their game-play as being very tanky with a lot of taunt and command game-play so that the player could control who of their champs was targeted, and who they themselves targeted. This taunt switch style of game-play would enhance Larsa's purpose as a pet. This way, Larsa could be purposed to committing a lot of "saves" or "kill secures" when Murdok needed the help.

Art Direction
The biggest problem I faced with conceptualizing Murdok, is that I didn't want a pet class that was another Ranger with a Wolf. But that is one of the more identifiable tropes, so I decided to enhance it. To begin, I displaced the "ranger" and made him someone from the tundra, or icecaps, as opposed to a simple forest. This pushed me to focus on more of a barbarian archetype. As for the pet, I thought the wolf was overplayed, but was still aggressively fitting for the trope. So to mirror ranger + wolf, I considered what might be paired with a barbarian. I decided a bear would be correct size wise, but was still too simple. That's when I remembered Worgs, which are unfortunately not used as much as I'd like them to be. Murdok sports a slightly different attire than Olaf, that mirrors his connection to living in the wilderness with a worg. He wears more red toned clothing and wears fur and bone. Larsa simply mirrors Murdok as they are a package deal. They are both big characters to depict their tanky role, but not so big as to detract from the idea that they can't still deal damage.

Champion Concept: Danielle

Concept Lore
A support mage specializing in Fears and Terrors. Danielle was once a maiden who lived among beautiful isles. An event occurred, leaving Danielle broken and forever without rest. She is no longer part of Valoran, and can not transition into the beyond. The specter beside her is Lamore. He's a total jerk, but his heart (if he has one) is in the right place.

Concept Game-Play
I thought thematically that there needed to be a Shadow Isles support -- specifically a kill-lane support that relied heavily on Fears and Terrors, which few champions have (I think Hecarim is the only champ with Terror currently). Danielle's game-play concept originates from Support Fid. Max Fear first! Fear is great utility for a kill lane, and using this as the basis of concept, I thought of a Leona-type champion. But instead of being able to stunlock a target, you could fear/terror lock them.

Art Direction
Thematically, this champion type is completely absent. We don't have a true ghost, a champion that focuses on fears/terrors, or a Shadow Isles support champ. Using this, I crafted a champion I thought would sufficiently look in tune with these roles. Danielle is thin, pale, and female to dictate that she is fragile (being a support); she wears jewelry to show that she is elegant to enhance her eerie quality. Her dress and bare feet play off of ghost story tropes of specters that walk across certain roads, or that drift through the far end of a hallway. I used a lot of blues and turquoise to really push a cold feeling from her. I wanted her to be this sad broken character that longed to be part of our world or the next -- not her current state of limbo.

Revision 1
To up the undead aspect of Danielle, I made her dress consist of lost souls. Her jewelry is also more prominent. Danielle herself is more specter as opposed to "just a lady in a dress" and is torn in half art-wise by her image as an undead and her image of the living.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Champion Concept: Castor/Pollux

Concept Lore
Castor is a young Yordle wizard, with aspirations of being a hero. Pollux is a young Yordle wizard, with aspirations of being a villain. Castor focuses on shielding and healing friends. Pollux focuses on weakening and poisoning enemies. But are they two different beings? Or one Yordle with serious issues?

Concept Gameplay
The duality champ is another champion type I've seen being asked for by the community. Castor/Pollux was my stab at that particular type of champ. As such, I thought the champ's only really fitting role would be to be a buff and debuff champion. Buffs and debuffs being utility abilities, I decided that this champ would be a support. Castor would focus on all the positive effects like healing, and Pollux would focus on detrimental effects like poison.

Art Direction
Castor/Pollux are Yordles and because when I think duality, I think of good and evil; and without going deep into yin and yang and dr. jekyll and mr. hyde -- I thought of simple hero and villain. Heroes and villains seemed to be the sort of thing kids believed in, so I thought it appropriate to attach that to the racial personality of the Yordles. To further play up this theme, Castor/Pollux are garbed in a fashion that represent the minions on Summoner's Rift, because heroes and villains are all about costumes. Currently, Castor/Pollux are in line for a revision to play up this thematic more.

Champion Concept: Rhyodacite

Concept Lore
Based on a being of Malphite's world/or from The Crystal Scar. Corrupted by chaotic magics, Rhyodacite has lost sight of his purpose, leaving him a brutal beast with brief moments of lucidity.

Concept Game-Play
(He runs like a gorilla, hits like a rhino) I think of Rhyodacite as a tank with a lot of rushing moves -- something any Champion would be scared to see coming at them. He's made for players who like to play fast tank champs that can still deal damage. Unlike Malphite, who has one projectile, two melee moves, and one rush/popup being an ultimate... I think of Rhyo as having shields/defensive steroids/and full body skillshot rushes (Like Sejuani). I also think of him having a lot of displacement effects in those abilities. Such as soft knockbacks from his center, and hard knockbacks from his area of attack (Riven's 3rd Broken Wings, Alistar Headbutt). Another idea I've thought (borrowing from Malphite's Q's visual) is that he creates damage in his wake; use a rushing move, tear up the earth in your path. It may be better to think of Rhyo as a missile that erupts forward from the ground, as opposed to Malphite -- who strikes me as more of a wrecking ball.

Art Direction
His gorilla stance and protruding rock shapes from his back point forward and out -- this is to denote that he's a fast, heavy, all-in champion. The only way to play him is to commit to a rush forward. I think the biggest hiccup in his design actually comes from absence of game-play, cause there's only so much I can push his look to fit his kit -- which doesn't actually exist. His earth elemental appearance is to denote that this character does function as a tank as well as being able to deal damage.

Revision 1
I drew Rhyo into his default stance to better illustrate his character. Connecting his arms, neck, and portions of his back are tree roots. This is to differentiate him from Malphite. The rock protrusions have been sharpened as well, to dictate his direct game-play.

Champion Concept: Leer'Vo

Concept Lore
A Void champion based on a Beholder. I envisioned him to be a support that focuses on aggressive map control, gained by attaining vision by various means. He's weak and sinister, and is in Valoran to scout our weaknesses in preparation for an invasion.

Concept Game-Play
The greatest utility a support can offer is vision. This is the idea I played with when thinking of how Leer'Vo might fit into the League. I remember hearing that League did not necessarily support passive play, so I wanted Leer'Vo to fit as an aggressive vision control champion. Things I thought he might be able to do consisted of eye sentries, eye bombs that reveal, and blinding/darkness abilities. I also thought of him having a true-sight passive to encourage counter-warding, solidifying his position as a champion of vision. He would most like be extremely weak and squishy to balance his vision abilities.

Art Direction
There was a community post that was adamant about having a champion based on the Beholder creature. To differentiate the creature from a League styled one, I decided it must be a void creature. I also extended the tentacles to give it a "body" and proceeded to add a few more eyes for game-play narrative (what does he do with his eyes?).

Revision 1
After looking into Shuma -- I made strides to differentiate the two in the revision. Here's a break down of things that make them different. Leer'Vo has; Arms, Different Color / Patterning, Quills, Spikes, Teeth, A more expanded body. Here's how I justified these changes and differences. Leer'Vo's arms are frail, thin, and alien -- this is to iterate that he is not a strength champion. Leer'Vo's purple coloring comes from the association League has made with the Void and the violet spectrum of color. The rest of the changes involve Leer'Vo having more of a structure to him. He's not an eye with tentacles -- he has a small body, and the arms make up part of that. The small body does not however remove Leer'Vo as being a product of filling the need for a Beholder champion

Champion Concept: Quinn

Concept Lore
When Noxus invaded Ionia's southern provinces, there were many casualties. Specific orders of martial arts, and practitioners of sacred techniques were lost to the Noxian war machine. As Riven's unit left one razed village, they left behind a dieing girl -- the last of her line. Severely wounded and mangled, Quinn was found by an group evacuating from another village. Year's later, Quinn reemerged -- but she was no longer the broken girl left for dead. Augmented by machines and magic, Quinn joined the League to show Riven the true power of her family's fighting style.

Conept Game-Play
I thought of Quinn as being a punching character with a kit similar to Riven's kit. Specifically, I thought of Quinn having a kit that mirror's Riven, but instead of utilizing a sword -- Quinn utilizes devastating punches with her generator-charged arms. She would more or less play as a combo-based bruiser with high cooldowns and massive damage abilities. For players who want to devastate their target, the enemy behind their target, and the area around them -- Quinn is the insanely brutal feeling champ for you.

Art Direction
I wanted the focus to be on her arms and back -- since she's meant to punch and slam opponents fiercely. Concept wise, the arms are larger, and her back has generators, because when you combine the two in a fighter character who uses her firsts -- you don't get the idea "this character can punch through a wall", you get the idea that Quinn can level a city block, and that's the intent. "I'm gong to hit you so hard, you're going to wake up at your Nexus in the NEXT game" is more of less the lines of how strong those two aspects of Quinn make her. The lack of armor at the center of her is to represent that she's fast when she fights. So she's not necessarily a tank, which comes across more if i were to have her in full armor.

Revision Notes 1
My reason for keeping the body suit and having the belt are the same; As a hand-to-hand fighter, I wanted her to look a little more like a wrestler, or prize fighter. But as opposed to a traditional belt, I went a little more oriental in design (it's a sash). And I still wanted her to read as "fast", and the body suit is the best way to show she is still agile among some clothing archetypes. The sash combined with the more ornate arms and legs are a little more Ionia, and at the same time -- I removed the things that read as too technological/futuristic in the execution (more curves, less right angles basically). I specifically avoided certain oriental clothing styles to deviate away from the cliche appearances that are related to oriental fighter tropes.

Champion Update
Apparently, Riot already had this concept in the gun. The champion Vi will be coming to fruition soon. This new champion fulfills the concept Quinn was meant to fill. Because of this, Quinn will no longer be receiving updates to her lore, art, or concept kit.

Riot Ames
While Vi might have been in the pipe already, it doesn't diminish that Izzabelle's rendition of the concept is awesome. If anything, it just shows how talented the OP is!

Here's the kicker; Quinn and Vi look a lot a like. The similarities they share are; female, power gauntlets, body suits, face tattoos, and short hair. Here's what Riot had to say on the matter.

Firstly, I'm a fan of your work here Izabelle! Very fun and creative stuff here!

Wanted to chime in here on Vi, a bit since people are curious about the coincidence. For the official record, It takes us anywhere from 4-6 months to concept and produce a LoL champ.

In Vi's case, she's been aeound in various forms for two years. At one point she was a steam-punk capoeira fighter with dreads and robot legs- which sounds way cooler than our drawings for her!

A year ago we started exploring a girl with bad ass metal/tech gauntlets but we couldn't find a way to make her compelling. We were running into challenges with Shyvana overlap, as well as struggling to define who she was as a person. Sometime around this past June, one of our champ concept artists took another crack at her- and came up with the punky ex-criminal persona. We all got super pumped on this new direction and began full pre-production.. GypsyLord's first playable protoype came into design playtest in early July- and we had her marquee charge punch ability day one.

When I first saw this thread a month ago, I was amazed at the coincidence! Kudos to you Izabelle for your creativity.

Hope you all enjoy punching people in the face with Vi.

Iron Stylus
Izzabelle asked me to come post in the thread citing that there were some accusations that we had stolen his Quinn idea and made her into Vi. So, obviously Pabro, Griftrix, Ames and Zeronis have commented in here verifying that so.. uh.. here I am to veri-verify.

Champions tend to take a long time to marinate, especially depending on which vector they come in from. Sometimes a champion spawns because there's a particular character archetype that exists in the world and we want to harness the trope for League of Legends. That character then goes up and we start ideating on it. Creative guys, game designers, and artists all get together to "cultivate" it and make the concept into something workable. Vi's a good example of this. As Pabro states she started off pretty vastly different and then evolved. She actually had roller skates at one point.

Other champions are directly inspired by art that pops up by one of our artists. Nami and Diana are good examples of this. Artists produce an image that other people latch onto and it's fleshed out with creative aspects and mechanics.

Other times, game designers might come up with a kit that has some real traction. I'd give you an example but it's 4am and my brain is the consistency of sour milk at the moment.

That being said, these processes take months, sometimes years in extreme cases. Everything from a story not really coming together to a particular piece of technology might block something from being created properly. So yeah, not much really to worry about if anyone's afraid that we found this thread and cannibalized it. What DID happen was when I saw this thread I nearly spit up my home-made Italian soda. Vi was waaaaay into production, including her skin and BOOM. Izzabelle's thread. I flipped out a bit and couldn't help but laugh. Sometimes the stars align like that.

When I first saw this thread it was already getting some traction, and I KNEW it'd be back on the front page when Vi came out. Griftrix had forwarded me to the thread and I commented briefly. As I was perusing it later I noticed that on page 56. gypsylord came in and mentioned that Quinn is pretty cool. Well.. yeah.. you probably understand why he thought it was so cool now, and why I followed up by saying I knew he'd like it. I was amazed at the sheer amount of coincidence, especially since Quinn even shares similarities with Vi's launch skin. It was incredible. We obviously all pull from common tropes, i think that's pretty cool.

I don't remember where I was going with this at all.. but yeah, Quinn is awesome, Vi is awesome. Everything is awesome.

New Blog

So. I've actually reached the character limit in my champion concept art thread over on League of Legends' official forum. So to compensate -- all concept images/lore/gameplay/and art direction summaries will be uploaded here from now on.