Red Post Collection: Dev Blog on VFX & Team Up Week's a wrap

Posted on at 5:13 PM by Moobeat
This evening's red post collection includes a new dev blog looking at Visual Effects in League of Legends, as well as the final point count for the Team Up week and a look at what rewards the community has unlocked.
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Dev Blog: Visual Effects in League of Legends

First up we have Riot Phoenix with a developer blog on visual effects in League of Legends!
"Hi everyone! We’re the the visual effects team at Riot Games and, with a few of our mini “VFX updates” heading out into the world, we wanted to take this opportunity to talk about what visual effects are in League of Legends. 
When explaining visual effects - or VFX for short - it’s easy to say, “we design the look of champion abilities,” but what does that really mean? 
When you think of your favorite champions in a game of League, you usually include their Q, W, E, and R abilities but, from the VFX perspective, there’s much more that makes up a character. Xerath, for instance, is a being of pure arcane power. Here is what we start with: 
And then we add VFX!
Quite a lot of feeling is portrayed with visual effects!
One of the main goals of visual effects is to convey the fantasy. Imagine you’re a sexy gunner named Miss Fortune. When you press R, you want to be shooting waves of bullets, destroying your enemies while you laugh hysterically. You want those bullets to feel powerful! Now let’s add the Arcade Miss Fortune skin on top of that; the effect still has to read as Bullet Time while also conveying that simple, pixelated theme that classic arcade games are known for. We work closely with the amazing concept department to help us narrow down the shape and color of an effect.
You can see the in-game version is our own interpretation of the desired concept. That’s not to say we are limited as artists to the concept, but it’s a great starting point to have the framework of what shapes and colors you are working toward before you actually dive into production.
Spawning many minions then using an ability will show damage radius, making it easy to identify the range of the visual needed to accurately represent gameplay. 
Along with conveying the fantasy, gameplay clarity plays a key role in VFX. League of Legends, after all, is a competitive game, and ideally no visual should take away from clarity. Clearly designing the visual to fit gameplay space is imperative for a fast paced, competitive game.
Ryze using his Q and R’d Q, side by side. 
It’s important that the elements that make up an effect clearly tell the size and directionality of an ability without being distracting or too subtle. Sometimes maintaining a spell’s clarity can be a difficult task, especially when working with thematics that just don’t work with clear constraints. A Nami Bubble lends itself well as a round, targeted spot on the ground, but what about Mordekaiser’s Siphon of Destruction? There’s a generally accepted ‘cone of fire,’ but the challenge comes in clearly communicating that area of effect while also representing that in an artistically pleasing way.
It’s a Siphon of Destruction! 
When it comes to executing against the above values, there are always opportunities for us to improve. We mentioned this earlier, but the main reason we kicked off this dev blog was because the VFX team, like other parts of the Champion Update team, realized we could add value in our own unique way. As such, several VFX artists have worked tirelessly on updating a few champions to better align them with League’s current art style, champion fantasy, and gameplay clarity. The first four of these champions are: Galio, Nautilus, Corki, and Brand. We’ll soon follow up with Shyvana, Nunu, Mordekaiser, and Rumble!
Obviously the League of Legends Champion Update team is continuing to work hard on full-scale updates but, like how we’ve done with texture updates, we’re always looking for opportunities to add value where we can. This round of VFX updates are the first in our experimental wave and, if we hear good feedback from everyone, maybe we can continue to do work in this space! 
We will be doing a few more in-depth posts on how we actually go about creating visual effects, so stay tuned!"

If you'd like to take a look at the Brand, Corki, Galio, and Nautilus VFX updates that are mentioned above and are coming to live in 5.12, check these videos:

As mentioned above, Mordekaiser, Nunu, Rumble, and Shyvana will soon be receiving updates!

Final Team Up Week Update - June 22nd - Level 5 Unlocked

Team Up Week is now over! Between June 15th and June 21st, the community has been participating in TEAM UP WEEK! During the last week, each server has collectively been earning points by playing matchmade games with five player premade groups and sending gifts to other players to earn various Pool Party that will go out to  all participating players by July 1st.

The final community point total, as of June 22nd is just over 45 million meaning we've unlocked a Party IP weekend from 6/26 through 6/28!
With the event now over, here's a recap of what rewards we've unlocked:
  • [ACHIEVED 6/17] At 5 million points, we'll unlock Team UP IP rewards, granting +100% bonus IP for playing with a five player premade group.
  • [ACHIEVED 6/19] At 15 million points, we'll earn a ton of sales including the champions, skins, tshirts, ARAM skin boosts, and more! These will start up on 6/26.
  • [ACHIEVED 6/20] At 25 million points, we'll unlock a Pool Party themed summoner icon & a free Mystery Champion for anyone who has connected to the Facebook Friend discovery feature
  • [ACHIEVED 6/21] At 35 million points, we'll have Pool Party themed minions enabled for the duration of patch 5.12
  • [ACHIEVED 6/22] At 45 million points, we'll unlock a Party IP Weekend at the end of June
  • [NOT ACHIEVED] At 55 million points, everyone who contributed during Team Up Week will receive the upcoming Pool Party Mundo skin for free

Be sure to check the Team Up & Pool Party Hub for more information and an FAQ on the all the rewards they community has unlocked over the last week!

As a reminder for when to expect everything - the bundle of sales is set to start on June 26th and run through July 2nd. The pool party summoner icon will be distributed by June 27th. The Mystery Champion will be distributed by July 1st. The Party IP weekend will run between 6/26 & 6/28. Pool Party Minions will be enabled for the duration of patch 5.12.


With the Team Up Week wrapping up, here's Riot's summary of what the community achieved with their total of 45.3 million points:
"During Team Up Week, the community came together, partying up and giving gifts to hit 45.3 million, good enough to reach level 5. Head below to find a big list of everything you earned, and when you can expect it.

Level 1:
  • Team Up IP rewards were on for most of last week and wrapped at the end of Team Up Week.

Level 2:
  • All sales unlocked from 6/26-7/2.
  • Pool Party Palooza bundle featuring all Pool Party content
  • Frozen Pool Party bundle with Poro Rider Sejuani, Winter Wonder Orianna, and Snow Day Malzahar
  • 50% off the original Pool Party skins & champs (RP price)
  • 25% off ARAM skin boost
  • Team up & Tee up sale: all shirts $17.50 (30% off) at Riot Merch

Level 3:
  • Pool Party Icon
  • Unlocked by 6/27 for all eligible players
  • You must have contributed points during Team Up Week to unlock the icon
  • You must have played positively from February to now to unlock the icon
  • Mystery Champion
  • Mystery Champion unlocked by 7/1 for all eligible players
  • You must link your Facebook and League accounts to unlock the Mystery Champ; Here’s how

Level 4
  • Every lane’s a luau with Pool Party minions; they’ll make a splash for all of patch 5.12

Level 5
  • It’s not just a Pool Party, it’s a Party IP Weekend from 6/26-6/28
That’s it! Thanks so much for teaming up. Enjoy the Pool Party!" 

Following the announcement, Riot NaKyle popped on the boards to reply to feedback about the event's 6 stretch goal was too hard to achieve:
I still get the feeling that the level 6 stretch goal (free Pool Party Mundo) was intentionally impossible to achieve through team play. I also have the strongest feeling that the eCommerce team wanted players to buy and spend RP on the event and didn't explain fully that this was required to reach level 6.
If eCommerce and Riot decide to do this again, this notion that players with means need to spend money so the entire community can get something free needs to be put front and center and not implied through really vague promises and statements. 
Congratulations to the community for reaching stage 5, and shame on Riot for purposefully making a community goal that couldn't be reached without requiring the purchase of RP.
Lots of folks contributed hard work and great ideas for this promo, but I'm the guy who wrote most of the words, so a good chunk of what you're highlighting falls on my side of things. 
We'd never intentionally set you up to fail. The major problem is that we failed to message that later levels were genuine stretch goals, rather than easy mode, feel good point totals the community would rush past. That's on me and other publishing folks who worked on the event. 
On the RP front, it's about balance. When we made the decision to include gifting in the promo, it unlocked the ability to responsibly go bigger with the rewards. We've never done this before, and the tuning here wasn't perfect. I'm not the best guy (just a writer) to detail the decision process here, but that's a basic framework. 
As with everything, we're learning. It's only our second community rewards style event, and our first on a global scale. I hope this helps some.
When asked about the communities awareness of the event going on, particularly in the first few days, Riot NaKyle noted:
To elaborate a bit on awareness issues, we were on the front page of the client, the patcher and the website every day of the event. Surrender@20 and Reddit saw some pretty significant activity around the event too, so I'm not sure I agree that visibility was a huge issue. 
The problem I see was understanding. It wasn't immediately apparent what the event was or how to participate IF you never read the webpage. If we could do it over again, I'd push to find a way, even if it was dumb and non-interactive, to get the community point meter into the client. That would've helped more people understand what was happening.

In case you missed it on the TU & PP page, here's a 1920 x 1080 version of the Pool Party splash.

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