Rather early into my project, my main focus for inspiration shifted from Gigers dark art, to League of Legends bright purple “void” creatures. The void in League of Legends is a realm full of unknown horrors, out of which a few alien creatures have emerged.
I preferred this theme over Giger, as it is a game I play regularly, and I felt like I could use the concept of some basic gameplay mechanics to try to help shape my alien. My time spent on this game also means I have a good grasp of the game already, so I could use that as a basis for concepts of gameplay aspects of my own alien.
League of Legends was also relevant to my project as many of the people that took my survey answered that it was their favourite game.
Some of these also have “Champion Insights” available to them, where their design process is detailed. This allows me to learn how these creatures are made and possibly apply some design techiniques to my own project.
In particular, I want to focus on two of these creatures, “Kha’Zix” and “Rek’Sai”
Kha’Zix looks to be an creature with a root in insects, as his pincers, wings and body shape look to be related to insects, particularly a praying mantis.
The core idea for Kha’Zix was to be a character that evolves, someone that mutates over the course of the game. It was also decided that the character would be an assassin-type character, where the evolution mechanic would allow you to do more assassin-tricks, rather than have the player choose between roles, as the latter seemed too broad.The concepts of gameplay could help shape the character, making sure the appearance of the character fits the intended play style. In this case, the appearance of Kha’Zix should be made to fit an assassin-type hunter – which is done through his frame, his pose and his body features. The character is slim and looks agile, he could easily traverse through many kinds of terrain to get to his target, his wings allow him to chase his prey even through the air. The pincers look sharp and deadly, as if he could slice his target and rip them apart very easily. I should consider potential gameplay aspects for my project, while not taking too much time to stray away from my intended result.
In his splash art, he was rendered in the state with all of his abilities evolved, as that is the state in which he is the most recognisable. It helped to show how powerful he becomes. There was some difficulty in creating the splash art as his silhouette was a little overwhelming, and he has so many pieces to him. In addition to him having multiple stances; he can be upright and menacing or he could be crouched down. The final angle chosen for the art suggests that the viewer has been chased down and cornered alone in a forest, to give a sense that he doesnt belong there, and to give Kha’Zix a more alien feel. The colour contrast was also chosen to help capture him.
I liked the insect-design of this character, while he was still rather large and “life-size”. The evolution mechanic along with the stalking prey concept for the character was also an inspiration for some of my ideas. In particular, I liked the idea of large praying-mantis style pincers to help with hunting.
I would have liked to focus on the evolution concept from this character more and work it better into my alien concept, maybe by sketching different forms for the creature that could be results of it evolving differently. If I were to redo this project, that evolution concept would be a bigger focus.
Rek’Sai came from the concepts of having a burrower or land-shark type creature. The design team behind this character quickly realised that they first needed to identify what is unique and fun about being in the ground. Being Invisible didn’t feel quite right, as the most iconic thing about a shark is seeing an ominous fin circling around you, making you feel helpless.
Once the basics of being burrowed were down, the team needed to figure out what would happen while Rek’Sai was in that state.The first idea that came to them was the idea of feeling vibrations from movement on the ground, and using that as a tracking tool. This allowed the gaining of information from targets while remaining hidden, as well as creating emotional highs for players that saw the fin.
The last thing needed to finish Rek’Sai as a burrowing land-shark hunter, was being able to find the right moment to strike. Rek’Sai needed to be flexible in how she moved around the map, to dance around the target she was stalking while remaining undetected. By creating tunnels, Rek’Sai had the freedom to be anywhere on the map at any time.
Originally, I wanted to try to use the burrow mechanic from this creature, along with the tremorsense and make my alien eyeless or blind. This stuck with the hunter theme I had from Kha’Zix but was applied in a different way, focusing on the stalker aspect.
I have a couple concepts for an eyeless crature, but haven’t managed to work on emphasising the burrowing or stalker part of the creature. I think it is an interesting concept that, if I were to re-do this project, I would focus on more.