Riot Games BTS Mecha Kingdoms video

The League of Legends developers have a brand new, unique idea for their game, and they’re diving deep into it in their newest feature. Giant robots, colorful lights, and sweet designs are all in store for users in this month’s Mecha Kingdoms event.

In a new YouTube video, concept artists and producers went into detail on this new concept. It provides insight into how the team developed strategies on executing the Mecha Kingdoms, while also leaving a lasting impression for every player.

The art behind it all

Concept Art Lead Jon Buran introduces us to the fresh new idea of the Mecha Kingdoms. He refers back to the previous Lunar Revel events and reveals that Riot wanted to go in a different direction. Product Manager Carlos Giffoni continues, explaining that they’re bringing across this idea of giant robot protectors inspired by cultures from both the eastern and western parts of the globe. Just like in Lunar Revel, they want to excite players by using cultural influences while also making the skins relatable to everyone.

Luckily, we get plenty of background on the Mecha Kingdoms and the champions chosen to play a part in it. Narrative Writer Michael Luo shares some info with the audience on what inspired the theme. “For Mecha Kingdoms, we wanted to tap back into the fantasies of this kind of Asian-inspired mythology – drawing a lot from history, such as Three Kingdoms and Chinese history, but also incorporating this really cool futuristic SciFi twist.”

Where are they from?

According to Luo, these mechanical champions are not actually robots. Instead, they are regular humans who discovered some mysterious technology on their land. This occurred around the same time they had been dealing with giant sea leviathans who started invading the Three Kingdoms. Finding out how powerful this technology was, they constructed towering robots to fight off the invaders.

It’s a pretty basic good guy vs. bad guy theme, but it comes with several different twists. Each Mecha is piloted by a champion, and the team’s goal was to have their personality and animations shine through. The visual language is the most important part of this project, and they’re hoping they’ve hit the mark on it.

Challenges

Unfortunately, the development team did run into a few tough spots along the way. They had issues figuring out the correct size and scale of the models. They also focused primarily on getting the smaller details right. For example, Jax’s skin has tiny ships flying around him when he leaves base. From respawns to ultimates and more, they wanted each skin to offer something different and fun for each chosen champion.

Another difficulty was getting the sounds to work in a way that synergizes with the rest of the game. JP Aller, Sound Designer, says “We can’t make something sound massive in League, to the point where it pulls away from the gameplay. Because gameplay trumps all, even in our designing.” He continues, “It was a lot of experimenting with different types of metal sounds and a lot of different types of heavy impacts.”

Overall, Riot Games is hoping the players enjoy it the most. Every detail of the skins, items, and icons were all done with the satisfaction of the average player in mind. Here’s to hoping we see Riot include other wonderful cultures from different regions in their future events.

Carly Soba
Digital artist, bunny mom, and avid League of Legends fan.

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