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Champion Creation Tips v3

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ShadanceWindflow

Member

05-23-2012

@ Katsuni
How does one position themselves for a job in character/world design?


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ShadanceWindflow

Member

05-23-2012

Oh and help?

Jelrak, the Black Box User
http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2144272
Faysol, the Marine Mage
http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2144039
Pajelo (Paello) the Seasoning Master
http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2143956


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Katsuni

Senior Member

05-23-2012

Quote:
ShadanceWindflow:
@ Katsuni
How does one position themselves for a job in character/world design?

A lot of work, years of effort, and talking to people who already work in it. It's one of the hardest industries to get into.

For world design, yeu need a mixture of things, from level design, character design, modeling, programming, creative writing, and so on. It's a pretty complex list of stuff yeu need to be capable of doing at a very high level to pull off a compelling world for a game to take place in, and RPG's especially are really picky about having yeu top notch at almost all of these things.

Character design's technically easier, but yeu still need a mix of stuff like animation, modeling, creative writing, narration, silhouette recognition, and various other stuff.

Consider this on a character: When designing the basic character concept, yeu need to have it capable of being placed into a game. That means understanding stuff like how the head generally has blend shapes attached to it, so it's usually a separate model from the body, so there's always a seam around the neck, so yeu'd want to always put a collar, a scarf, a large necklace, or some other thing around the neck to hide this.

Doing skin weighting, texturing, and so on, gives yeu a good idea of whot things really, really suck to be made (don't screw around with the mouth. I learned the hard way, a cute little fang on one side is adorable, but it will screw with yeur facial animations like nothing else), and the more yeu know about these kinds of problems, the easier it is to make the appearance something that will be easier to deal with when modeling it, speeding up the entire design process.

In short, I'd honestly say dabble in a little bit of everything imaginable. Most colleges just make yeu follow a book anyway, with an instructor there to give yeu additional information, explain why stuff works the way it does, and to answer questions. If yeu can make strong use of google, and have a dedicated work ethic, yeu can probably get away with learning this stuff from home.

More than anything, I'd advise listening to people who already work in the industry. Read blogs, listen to interviews, hear whot they have to say. Morello, Freak and Guinsoo hold the patch notes preview, which is just loaded with useful information and behind the scenes thought processes behind why they do whot they do.

Buy books on game design, or listen to podcasts, these are some of the most useful tools yeu have to learn with.

Regardless of how yeu go about doing it, though, it takes an awful lot of work. Most game companies look at 60-100 hour work weeks during crunch time, and it's pretty uncommon to get a 40 hour work week. If yeu screw up with one company, it's a small industry, and almost everyone knows everyone else.

Whot this means, is that yeu can't slack off, yeu need to be very careful with interacting with others (which I've a bad habit for not doing so well... this can, and has come to bite me later on because of such), and not to do any really big screw ups. Yeu can't just be like "Oh I missed one tiny deadline." That deadline can cost a company millions of dollars, if it's the difference between releasing a game the week before Christmas, or Black Friday. If yeu screw up there, the next company yeu apply to probably has already chatted with someone from the previous one, or has someone on yeur old team there.

See, the games industry is rarely permanent position style stuff. Yeu're not looking at 5+ years in one job, typically. It's mostly 3 to 6 month contracts, with extended duration stuff being quite rare, and highly sought after. Yeu're not going to get away with pissing people off, because they're constantly moving between companies.

Anyway, it's a ton of time and effort required, and one of the hardest desk jobs one can do. The rewards, however, can be quite nice. The pay, after a few years, can become rather comfortable, the end product is something yeu can be proud of (hopefully! ), and yeu can have fun along the way.

If yeu really want to start in on it, I'd say yeu're best off studying the information yeu have, going to a book store, or ordering some game design books online, and studying the heck out of the information that's out there.

Even with top notch skills, it's an uphill climb until yeu make a web of social contacts, so if yeu're REALLY interested in things, take someone who works there out to dinner, get a name or two from them in conversation about people they know who like other stuff, and do the same thing there. It takes money to make money, and getting to know people who can get yeur foot in the door is the biggest way around the entertainment industry in general.

If yeu get good enough at whot yeu do, and make a name for yeurself, eventually they'll come knocking on yeur door, asking for yeu by name. I'm obviously not at that stage yet, and have only just started, so it's a long trip on my part. If I were working for another 2-3 years steady? I'd probably not have the time to ever write this guide in the first place. It's difficult enough to get time for all the projects I'm currently juggling at the same time.

Regardless, I digress. Yeu can get into the industry if yeu really want, just pick something that they need. Riggers are always in high demand, especially people who are willing to do the nasty, sucky parts of texture mapping.

Everyone wants the glamour jobs, such as world or character design, and to be honest, there's a lot of competition for them, and the chances are yeu're nowheres near as experienced as yeur primary competition. Even I've applied for a position at Riot, about a week ago, and to be honest, I doubt I'll ever get word back from them. I know I'm more than qualified to fill the position, yet the experience is a bit less than they're probably looking for.

It's that standard problem of "everyone wants yeu to have 2 to 5 years of experience". So how do yeu get experience if everyone wants yeu to have experience beforehand? Indie developers is the main way, honestly, and I'd been working on that, until my home life shifted into a position where I flat out am not capable of working from home. That's really hurt my own career at the moment, but I'm trying to work around that, despite such.

For anyone else, I'd say check for some indie development forums. There's a couple of them out there that are constantly looking for work.

Animators and modelers, and especially 2D artists, are some of the most highly sought after in the field right now.

Whotever yeu do, though, don't go looking for a writer's position, unless yeu know for a fact that yeu're top end quality material. It sucks, but game companies really don't understand the value of a good writer, for the most part, since it's difficult to put a number on how much money a game rakes in for sales off of the lore and world design. Yes, an RPG needs it, badly, but even so, if a game's going to skimp somewhere, it's going to be on the story, rather than the graphics.

Anyway, hope this helps somehow!


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ShadanceWindflow

Member

05-23-2012

Whoa... thanks for the wealth of advice!
It certainly does!


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Katsuni

Senior Member

05-23-2012

Well, glad to be of service then ^.^

As I said, but not quite as clearly as I should have liked, is that there's more than enough information for yeu to learn to work professionally without spending any money on courses. That being said, having a college course can be quite useful, as it directs yeu of where to start, the things yeu need to know, and can provide help when yeu get stuck.

Tutorials are only useful if yeu know enough of the basics to know where to start, or whot yeu need help with, and if yeu get stuck, there's precious little for tech support on them.

So, while it's possible to technically learn on yeur own, it isn't necessarily the best option to do so.

Anyway, glad yeu're getting use out of this stuffs ^.^


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Samus93

Senior Member

05-23-2012

........ Woah ....... I mean ........ wow. I only read through certain sections, but Kat you've outdone yourself on this one. I am just blown away ...


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Katsuni

Senior Member

05-24-2012

Yays Samus93 still exists!

Interestingly enough, I was even speaking to Echoing last night, as well.

How neat that people still are alive, though Echoing may not be on for awhile. Think he's given up hope for the time being. Shame, that. Ah well, I won't give up on yeu peoples, and someone has to cover stuffs for when he's missing!


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Samus93

Senior Member

05-24-2012

Ye i barely have time for LoL anymore, nevermind the forums. Great to see you're still going at it had a look at Nemhain yesterday, looks like you've had a lot more support with her since i left. I really would like to get back into champ-crafting again ... maybe i'll do a few review-for-a-review things and that can be my fix for another few months


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The5lacker

Senior Member

05-24-2012

Quote:
Samus93:
Ye i barely have time for LoL anymore, nevermind the forums. Great to see you're still going at it had a look at Nemhain yesterday, looks like you've had a lot more support with her since i left. I really would like to get back into champ-crafting again ... maybe i'll do a few review-for-a-review things and that can be my fix for another few months


If you do, I'd love to trade feedback. Not that mine will be remotely helpful or anything, but, you know. Might as well learn, eh?


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Katsuni

Senior Member

05-24-2012

Quote:
Samus93:
Ye i barely have time for LoL anymore, nevermind the forums. Great to see you're still going at it had a look at Nemhain yesterday, looks like you've had a lot more support with her since i left. I really would like to get back into champ-crafting again ... maybe i'll do a few review-for-a-review things and that can be my fix for another few months

Strangely enough, I actually haven't had any real support on her since then. I did two updates to her, including a conversion to fury/rage, but that's pretty much it, and I've yet to get any comments since then on the updated lore or mechanics.

Doesn't stop me from trying, but it'd be nice to know where I screwed up, since I'm sure I broke something in the conversion somewhere XD