Red Post Collection: Origins of PROJECT, PROJECT Concept Art & Panorama, Lyte & ZenonTheStoic Ask.fm roundup, & more

Posted on at 7:32 PM by Moobeat
[UPDATE: 2015 WC Groups have been decided! Click here for a look!]

This evening's red post collection includes a look at inspirations for the PROJECT skins, concept art for and a panorama of the PROJECT skins, a set of ask.fm responses from ZenonTheStoic, Lyte mentioning chat/ranked restrictions will be reset in 5.18, a fan artist feature on Suqling, a heads up that RP cards for NA are now available on amazon, and more!
Continue reading for more information!



Table of Contents


How PROJECT Champs Transcended Humanity

With the new PROJECT skins out on live, Riot has published an article with a bit of history on the skin PROJECT line, the "Cyber Yi" concept that helped inspire it, and what sets it apart from the popular Mecha and Battlecast lines. Here's Cactopus with more:
"No great idea gets into League of Legends without being examined, challenged, and mutated by our collaborative process. When Marco “Wendigo” Silva, an artist from the São Paulo office, dreamed up “Cyber Yi,” he knew it’d be put through that creative gauntlet. 
Silva wanted to fight hard for his idea, so he put together a team of concept artists and animators and created a 50-page presentation detailing how a legendary Yi skin could fit into an entire universe inspired by classic cyberpunk films. The first few Rioters who saw the pitch sent it around to others, and it spread virally through the company. People started piling aboard Silva’s cybernetic hype train. 
My first reaction was like, ‘whoa, this is ridiculous,’” recalls lead concept artist Larry “The Bravo Ray” Ray. “I was impressed.” 
Still, there were obstacles Silva hadn't considered. While the Cyber Yi concept was still being pitched, a team at Riot’s Santa Monica office was independently working on a cybernetic-themed skin called PROJECT: Yasuo. Our artists thought that Cyber Yi might complement the new Yasuo skin, but first they’d need to figure out the artistic direction for PROJECT: Yasuo — and for any other champions that might fit into that world. 
Cyber Yi would need to evolve. 
PROJECT vs. the Robots 
Two other futuristic, techy skin lines existed in League of Legends at this time: the hulking "Mecha" skins (featuring Malphite, Aatrox, and Kha'Zix) and the fiery, monstrous "Battlecast" army (starring Creator Viktor and his mechanized mutations of Kog'Maw, Vel'Koz, Cho'Gath, Urgot, and Skarner). 
Battlecast, says visual effects artist Adam “Riot AdamUnicorn” Kupratis, “is like what the Vikings would build if you gave them combustion engines." There's black oil, hot sparks, pistons, a fuel source. "Everything's on fire and it's gonna hurt to be near it.” 
In the Battlecast designs, all the armor and weapons are forward-facing. "They're not worried about what's behind them because they've already killed everything in their path," says Larry Ray. 
Mecha, on the other hand, pulls influence from Giant-Robot/Monster-Attacking-The-City movies and animes. The sensitive parts of the mechs are covered up and painted, bringing form and function together to create a gigantic machine that looks like it could fit a whole family of yordles in the cockpit. 
Artists decided to keep PROJECT skins people-sized, though the champions have fused and augmented their bodies using some big, crazy technology. “In order to become PROJECT you have to surrender your humanity," says Lisa “Saiyaka” Thorn, a visual designer. "The technology takes over your soul." 
PROJECT champs aren't just soulless husks, though. Little clues point to their human origin: Yasuo's leather glove, Leona's exposed jaw, Master Yi's wuju-sculpted washboard abs. These aren’t robots—they’re just seriously tricked out people. 
Shaping Up 
Using certain shapes and colors can unify skins in subtle ways. Cold, teal-tinged steel defines Mecha designs, while fiery bursts of orange and red light the unpainted Battlecast bots from within. Most of the PROJECT champs also sit somewhere on the spectrum between yellow and red, says Kupratis, but the skins “play with subtractive elements.” By this he means other colors peek out of the PROJECT champions' gear, but are muted by the surrounding light. 
In the Battlecast skins, cylinders spring out of every joint and opening: Cho'Gath's mandibles are replaced by tubes, and a slew of pistons bursts out of Kog'Maw’s muzzle. Hexagons dominate the Mecha skin line. They show up in the honeycomb-like texture of Kha'Zix's wings, but also the shape of his head, the bend of his arms. Artists call these sorts of defining details “shape language,” and clearly determining the shape language for each champ and skin line creates a sort of visual consistency that’s easily understood and recognized by players. 
To determine the shape language for PROJECT Skins, we had to do more than differentiate the skins from Battlecast and Mecha. Paul “SpaceW0mbat” Hoefener, the concept artist behind the original PROJECT: Yasuo skin, sees it as a combination of digital (think hardware, fitted with chips and carbon casings) and ethereal, intangible effects. “The way the particles dissolve feels magical,” Hoefener says, “but it's still tech.” To dig deeper into this idea, the art team wrote a complete definition of what “PROJECT” means.

PROJECT: is the perfect fusion of one’s supernatural essence with advanced weaponry and body augmentation. This linking of technology and energy allows extraordinary hosts to channel their essence into physical manifestations and, in rare cases, transcend the corporeal plane. Only subjects possessing extremely focused inner essence and exceptional physical attributes can unlock the true power of PROJECT.

Ultimately, PROJECT is about transforming the “mere human” forms of champions using technology, and the shape language the artists used reflects that. ”When champs use their heightened PROJECT powers, it’s through shapes and geometry that fit their unique characteristics,” says Thorn. 
Fiora, for example, is graceful yet sharp — it looks like it might sting if you bumped into her. Lucian is defined by sleek, speedy-looking parallelograms, and his W bursts into a compass rose. Designers wanted those elements to peek through even after the champs fused their souls with technology to become PROJECT. So, PROJECT: Fiora’s pointy triangles became digitized. PROJECT: Lucian’s bursts got brighter and burstier. 
From Brazil to the Rift 
Players loved the PROJECT concept, but it took time to figure out how to integrate its themes and ideas with the potential suggested by Marco Silva’s pitch for “Cyber Yi.” Size, color, shape, purpose, personality: each of these elements had to be carefully considered and toyed with to turn PROJECT into a full-blown skin line. 
Hoefener says that the long, multi-faceted design process PROJECT: Yi went through is all part of what defines League of Legends’ artistic sensibility. “By the end of the process everybody’s put their personal spin on it,” he says, “and that’s how it gets League-ified.” 
For Silva, seeing his “Cyber Yi” idea evolve into PROJECT: Yi is like a dream come true. He says he's still a Master Yi main, “but now there'll just be a lot more particles flying everywhere when I gank people."

Itching for more on PROJECT? Check out these links

PROJECT Panorama Splash!

Speaking of the new PROJECT skins, KateyKhaos has shared a stitched together version of all the splash arts that form into a gian panorama!
"Hey Everyone! 
We've seen a lot of you guys putting together all of the PROJECT skins to create the panorama view and thought we'd help out!"

[Open in new window or click HERE for high res image]

PROJECT: Concept Art

Next up we have a few pieces of PROJECT skin concept art that various Rioters have shared:

PROJECT: Leona concept art via IronStylus twitter:

PROJECT: Fiora concept art via Zeronis twitter:
PROJECT: Yi concept art via The Bravo Ray's deviant art:

PROJECT: OVERDRIVE on Soundcloud

Along side the PROJECT: Master Yi song, the PROJECT: OVERDRIVE song has been added to the LoL Soundcloud!



ZenonTheStoic Ask.fm Roundup

Following yesterday's set, here's another collection of ask.fm posts from Champion designer Daniel "ZenonTheStoic " Klein !
[Link] I believe when you create a champion, you work with the lore team. Does the lore team create a character and you create the kit or you create the kit and the lore team try to fit him in the lore? 
Champion creation is a highly collaborative effort. We start with what we call the champion's DNA: one Rioter each from the (D)esign, (N)arrative, and (A)rt disciplines. Together with a producer who keeps us on track we sit down in a room and talk about the champion we want to make. This process of ideation transitions fluidly into champion creation, so ideally, everyone's input and ideas influence everyone else all of the time. The lore team, as you call them (they're not super keen on being called that ;P), will have story sketches and reference characters and so on, and often those give me cool ideas for an ability, but I may also come in and say "in game, this champion will be doing X" and the writer will go, "oh, the reason they do this in game could be THIS THING in their personality!" All the time the artist is sketching away and more than likely inspiring both narrative and design with their concept art. 

[LinkWhy do you guys make mythological champions so rare? There are only two champions in last 20 that we can say they're mythological, including Hecarim and Azir. Seeing hydra, real dragon, cerberus, griffin, demon (not like Tahm Kench, more like opposite of Kayle and Morgana's race) etc would be cool. 
I think you'll be very happy with some of the releases we've got coming up this year.

[LinkWhat does your name mean? Also do you pick/influence the names of your champions? 
Zenon is my middle name :) Narrative comes up with the names for champions, but my input is definitely taken into account. That said, I've only ever said "yes please" to any of the names suggested. Our narrative designer wanted "Ole Tahm Kench" for Tahm's full name and I was even on board with that.

[LinkWhats the process of creating a new champion as a designer? Are you creating them from scratch, or do you take a mechanic/concept piece and expand on that? 
Since I've been getting a bunch of questions about this, I'll try to give a rundown of what it's like when we create a champion here at Riot. 
We start with a process we call ideation. We generally enter ideation only with a vague idea of what kind of champion we want to make (for Tahm, this was "tank") and after a month or two have it drilled down to one concept that excites us all. This includes many concept sketches, mood boards, story sketches, paper kits and a playable early prototype in game Frankensteined together out of models/animations/sounds/visual effects from other champions. 
Once we know enough about the champion we're making, we're going from ideation to pre-production. This is where the group of people making the champion (which we refer to as a pod) starts growing. At this point, we make a proxy model (a very rough 3D model of what we think the champion should look like) with some placeholder animations. We generally have a "play pattern" at this point (think "Yasuo dashes through minions, stabs with Q, and every third Q shoots a tornado"). We like to have 3/5 abilities locked down by the time we leave pre-prod (we consider the passive an ability)
After we've nailed down the champion to this point, we spin up into full production. At this point we bring the full pod online. Next to a gameplay designer, a narrative designer, and an artist (the "DNA" of the champ who are there from the first day of ideation), this now includes producers, dev managers, animators, 3d artists, texture artists, visual effects artists, sound engineers, riggers, quality assurance people, the entire promo team (the people who make the spotlight, the people who make promo assets like Ekko's "Seconds" video and the Ekko comic), and live designers and dedicated playtesters to help with balance and overall game health. Phew. That's a lot of people! 
Once we're "done" with the champion, that is to say once all assets have been created and polished, we go into post-production. This is where we rush in some last minute stuff, try to fix as many bugs as we can, do last minute play pattern adjustments (Tahm's ally devour used to only give move speed TOWARD the enemy until the playtest team pointed out that Tahm support loses lane HARD once he starts losing because he has no fallback pattern; that's why I added half MS when not moving toward the enemy at the last minute in post-production, and that's why it's not in the spotlight). During post-production, a champion goes to PBE as well. 
And then we're live! This whole process, from first ideation meeting to the champion being purchasable in store takes about 9 months currently, but can take considerably longer on some champs, particularly if we run into questions that are hard to answer.

[LinkWhat are some of the ways you try to add depth and room for improvement to otherwise really simple kits? 
One answer to this is by moving the decision space from tactical to the strategical level! Tahm's skills are all very straightforward to use. The Q is easy to land, the W only asks you who you want to eat, the E is literally "press this when in trouble"--but the big question is, where do you go with your ultimate? When do you carry an ally forward toward the enemy in your belly and when do you keep W to save your ADC?
Jury's out on whether or not I was successful with this on Tahm, but that certainly was my goal.

[LinkWhat made it so hard to perfect azir's kit? why was it so buggy in the beginning, and what made these bugs happen? 
Azir has a dark and mysterious production history. 
Azir was one of those champions that sat in the icebox for a very long time. I think our first attempts to make what was called back then "a sand mage" were around the time Ahri released. I wasn't even a designer back then, but I heard stories of kits where you had to spread sand around the map much like the Zerg in Starcraft spread creep. Cool idea, but apparently we never got it to work where it was fun. I also heard stories of the mystical "sand hands", but everyone who told me about those had a distinctly PTSD-y look in their eyes, so I didn't press them for more information. Apparently sand hands were bad. 
We had a bunch more kits, but nothing really came together, so we shelved the champion. Finally in early 2014 we discovered we were very thin on the ground with champions that year, and we really wanted one more. The most recent Azir kit at that point had made it most of the way through production, so we had assets like models and effects ready. We thought we could take those and whip them into shape. We thought it would be a "low tech champion with minimal new assets required". 
We were very wrong. 
To make matters worse, we planned the Shurima event for later that year and decided that Azir should come out with the event, which by the way would happen just before Worlds 2014, so it couldn't slip, not even by a week. 
This was the perfect storm of complications--the champion we ended up making is the most tech intensive champion we've made so far, we re-did all his assets, and when it became obvious we couldn't really finish in time *we tried anyway*. So many mistakes, so many lessons learned. A lot of it was on me too. My design was ambitious and beyond my ability to safely and robustly code, but again, *I still tried*. 
We all learned a lot ;)

Lyte Ask.FM Roundup & Restriction reset in 5.18

We also have more discussion from Lyte's ask.fm, including mention that they'll be RESETTING all active chat and ranked restrictions in patch 5.18 due to upgraded systems:
[Link] I read that all previous chat records will be wiped. Will this negatively affect the chances of previously banned people being able to prove they had reformed with whatever ranked rewards policy you guys are finalizing? 
Yes, with the new Upgraded Restrictions we'll be introducing in 5.18, we'll be resetting all active Chat and Ranked Restrictions. Consider this a fresh start for players with any current Chat or Ranked Restrictions because as long as they stay sportsmanlike and do not get new Chat or Ranked Restrictions by the End of Season, they'll get Ranked Rewards.

[For more context on the system upgrades, see this post.]

[Link] Your recent answer to https://m.ask.fm/RiotLyte/answers/132433553858 I think he/she meant if players who were previously banned but not currently banned but are currently chat/ranked restricted. Do they get clean slate and also are they eligible for end of season rewards? 
Players who received 7-day or 14-day game bans do not receive a clean slate in 5.18. The clean slate is just for players who have received Chat or Ranked Restrictions before. We are finalizing the Ranked Rewards policy for 2015 now that we've revealed the plan to reset Chat and Ranked Restrictions in 5.18, and as mentioned before, players with an active Chat or Ranked Restriction at the end of season will still lose their Ranked Rewards. 
For game bans, we do want to give players a chance to still earn their Ranked Rewards. Looking at the data, we're considering a player as "reformed" if they've gone several months after a 7-day or 14-day game ban without another game ban (and of course, no active Chat or Ranked Restrictions at the end of the season). We're deciding the final numbers next week.

[linkSo I see you talking in earlier answers about reform of banned players. You aren't opposed to banned players getting rewards through reform, but the right numbers is critical. The examples you used were 5 or 10 days. So, will players that go 6+ months of neutral play after their ban receive rewards? 
We believe that being neutral or positive for 6 months does qualify as reformed. We're running some final numbers, but will post any changes to the Ranked Rewards policy next week sometime.

[linkHey Lyte you posted earlier and i quote this "We will not be doing anything with Low Priority Queues and LeaverBuster and Ranked Rewards this season. " What does it mean? 
It means we won't be adding Low Priority Queues (LeaverBuster punishments) to the Ranked Rewards exclusion policy this year. It was a new feature we added since 2014, so it was an open debate whether to do something with Low Priority Queues this year when it comes to ranked rewards.

[LinkI've seen players get 2 week banned over telling someone on their team to stop trolling or getting caught. Why is this even acceptable? Why are you okay with other players ruining games, but will ban anyone the instant they ask for the motives behind someone doing something? 
This isn't happening. Feel free to post a Reform Card and link me a Boards post. We're also not OK with players ruining the game, which is why we're rolling out Intentional Feeder detection globally for the first time soon. To players, gameplay toxicity is just as bad as verbal toxicity, and we're going to aggressively tackle both issues.

[LinkWhen is the Instant Feedback System being implemented? 
Already live and testing in all Riot Regions, Southeast Asia and China servers coming soon. All systems are tuned a bit more conservatively right now to minimize false positives as the systems learn more about local culture and behaviors.

[LinkI have noticed a trend where individuals become more frustrated the more ranked games they consecutively play that are losses without taking a break. Do individuals become more toxic as they lose more games without taking a break? Would giving a forced time out (from ranked) help them chill?‎ 
We've talked about this a lot, and forcing players to take a small break would probably reduce toxicity from carrying over from game to game or when a player has gone on tilt. However, this is actually a pretty big change for some players because if they only had just enough time to play 2 games, they may only have enough time to play 1 game now. We should also take a closer look at Low Priority Queues, which in some ways do force players to take a break between games and can be an indirect way to research the impact of a break.

[Link] Will the Japanese server have all of the Social Systems in place from launch? 
Many systems will be in place; however, some systems like the machine learning based Instant Feedback System require some data such as chat logs to be recorded before they can be launched.

Digital RP Codes for NA on Amazon


"Summoners! 
We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Amazon to make digital RP codes available for online purchase. If you’re located in Canada or the US, you can now purchase digital RP codes through Amazon.com in $10, $25, $50, and $100 (USD) denominations. Keep in mind that these codes will only function on the NA server. 
One important thing to note is that no LoL account is required to purchase digital RP codes on amazon.com, so gifting is now easier than ever! RP codes purchased through Amazon will be immediately live after purchase and can either be retained for personal use or sent to a lucky fellow Summoner. 
We hope this new purchase option offers another convenient payment solution for those looking to either top up their own accounts or purchase gifts for friends and family. You can check out the details and purchase codes here, and please remember to always carefully read the terms and conditions when utilizing any new payment method."
When asked about the possibility of getting these Amazon codes for servers other than NA, Riot Wingfield noted:
"If this is something players in other regions want, we will definitely look into expanding the reach. We started with a one region test to see if players liked the added flexibility of digital codes. There are a few legal hurdles we would have to solve to bring this to regions outside the US & Canada, but if you guys want it, I'm sure we can find solutions!! 
Is this something we should pursue? I know there's at least one vote :) 
Wingfield"


The cost of Alacrity enchantment

In a reddit thread inquiring to why the Alacrity boot enchantment costs so much compared to the movement increase given by normal boots, Reinboom explained:
"Quote
Exactly, this math is so meaningless. When they changed boots 1 from 50 ms to 25 ms did that mean that all movement passive worth worth half as much.
Ding! This is correct. :D 
I use a statement similar to this a lot. "So, we can make Negatron more efficient by increasing the cost of null-magic mantle?" was a key rhetorical statement that lead to MR buffs. (note: the answer to this statement is a resounding "No!") 
We use cost efficiency for different reasons throughout the game. Sometimes we'll make an item super efficient early to guarantee it's bought because it has good effects on the game when it is. Or an item low efficiency and intended for late game, because it's more of a build filler than it is a core identity item. 
Also the value of each stat changes drastically throughout the game. The value of AD at level 1 is incredibly high (last hitting). Until you've gotten enough AD that the value of ASPD becomes higher. 
The Alacrity / Boots of Speed split is probably one of the most honest showcases of all of the above points. The value of movement speed changes over the course of the game drastically. We make it super efficient when available early (Boots of Speed) in order to get (e.g.) high cooldown skill shots to matter more (and many other reasons) before you get it and then have to adapt when Boots starts coming into play. The boot enchants are also ultimately build fillers.""

Fan Artist Feature - Suqling


Next up we have Jynx with a fan artist feature on Suqling!
"Hey Summoners! Up next we’re speaking with Suqling, a creator who enjoys sharing character stories, and exploring Runeterra in an awesome and expressive painting style.

Follow her on Tumblr and DeviantART to see even more of her art!

If you know someone that you'd like to recommend for a future Fan Artist Feature, please let us know here.

How did you get started creating League of Legends fan art? 
Once upon a time a friend shared Jinx's music video, and the damage was done. I was so intrigued by her character and art that I went on a wiki spree learning bout the League of Legends... and where there were gaps in the stories, I found myself filling in and sewing things together.

Playing the game came a ways later, but that in itself influenced a lot of ideas. It is quite a thing watching the champions acting and speaking live (and flashing into walls). 
What's been your favorite piece to create, and why?

Silly comics! I love jokes. I love making fun of things. I have an affinity to make the 'serious' personalities of League the butt of jokes. 
And people enjoyed it too, which made the process a whole lot more fulfilling. However, the most memorable experiences were in collaborating with various (fan) artists/writers and creating something we both feel for.



Do you have a dream project you’d like to work on?

An open-world RPG of the Freljord, playing as Demacian scout Quinn who involves herself in the epic war between Ashe, Sejuani and Lissandra. Think Skyrim and we're partway there.

S̶o̶ ̶R̶i̶o̶t̶,̶ ̶w̶h̶e̶n̶ ̶d̶o̶e̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶g̶e̶t̶ ̶p̶u̶b̶l̶i̶s̶h̶e̶d̶?̶ 
I've been wanting to create visual concepts of Freljord elements- its nature, the tribes, culture, whatever. The Freljord arc has a special place in my heart, and I felt inclined to explore it further in both narrative and design. 
Lately though, a writer friend is working on the story of the war, so I might take the time to adapt that into a comic someday. ;d 
Who’s your inspiration? Do you have any favorite League fan artists?
I can't really name anyone in particular, as I feel that my learning and growth has been shaped by interactions with people and creative media. Call me a romantic, but my mentors exist in books and in film. -In rap songs where Stan wrote lovesick mails to Slim Shady. In games where you decide whether or not to take Heal or Ignite.
But I can mention several League fanartists whom I adore;
Kirrys/Rachel Cory , for her storytelling and comics.
Kaisinel, amazing technical ability and designer.
Inkinesss, cutE ShapElY go0DneSs.
Tuesdae, fun energetic art! 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the community?

If you're an artist- keep at it, don't give up.
If you're a competitive gamer- keep at it, don't give up.
If you're a support, make sure to KS because we're the true carries.
No, please don't do that. "

Community Patch Recap - 5.17

Last up we have a community patch recap, a collection of several videos from around the LoL community discussion the recent changes in patch 5.17!
"After the massive 5.16 Juggernaut patch, we get a bit of a break (5.17 focuses on fine-tuning several champions) before the Worlds patch right around the corner.

Want to know how these changes affect your game? TheAngryHoneyBadger and LoLClass are here to catch you up.

LoLClass - Patch 5.17 Pro Patch Breakdown ft. Bjergsen, Santorin, and Amazing

LoLClass has top professionals from Team Solomid and Origen weigh in on how certain champions are affected by the patch.
TheAngryHoneyBadger - Patch 5.17 in One Minute

TheAngryHoneyBadger gives his take on the 5.17 tweaks to LoL in exactly one minute!

Want more info about Patch 5.17?
Read the official patch notes here if you haven't already or take a look at the Patch 5.17 rundown:

5.17 Patch Rundown - Almost Worlds ft. ZionSpartan

What champion do you think benefitted the most from 5.17’s changes? Let us know in the comments below!"

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