Building a Better Champion For Dummies

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Wulffe

Senior Member

08-09-2012

Attachment 506646

Building a Better Champion For Dummies

To those that do not know me I am Wulffe, creator of Fan Creations: Champion Index. You would be surprised at how many champions get listed each week. On a hard update (every Weekend) I can acquire anywhere between 70-100 champions that I have to sift through, detail and then post. On my softer updates (as I go and usually 2-3 times a week) I can get anywhere between 15-40 champions on top of the hard update. If you’re doing the math, that’s ball parking around 200 champions every week. I have seen most, if not all, of the champions I have listed there.

There are many, many great champions on that list. But for every one of those champions there are two more that are in desperate need of some help, mostly from their creators. It is because of this (and a little inspiration by RiotAmes' sticky!) that I bring you my latest project, this thread! I’ve done this to specifically help the designers in need of a lackluster quick reference guide. So putting it in layman's terms...a guide to Building a Better Champion For Dummies.


First Step: The Foundation

In my opinion this is by far the most critical stage. The basic concept is the very foundation of your champion and should be what their lore, looks and abilities are based around. Before putting together your masterpiece there are a few key questions you need to ask yourself.

What is my champion?

So, what is your champion? Male/female? Human? Yordle? Some nightmarish cross between Dr. Mundo, Tibbers and Urgot? This is the first step in designing your champion. From here you’ll be building on your champion’s looks, lore and even some abilities. Also decide which resource do they use. Mana, fury, energy, manaless, etc?

What's my champion's name/title?

First, what is in a name? Everything, of course. The champion's name has more power than you would think. It's usually what people see first and so must be able to lure them in by snagging their interest. Next it must help to define the character, what they do and who they are. You don't want to give them a name that doesn't reflect them very well. You don't want to name some large, bloodthirsty, horrendous brute Bubbles, the Huggable. Specially if he's a biter. Though the name does not have to come first, it's just good practice to have some ideas rolling around while continuing on.

What is my champion’s theme?

What’s the basis of them? Are they from the void? Weave spells? A big metal creature from the abyss? Do they shoot candy at people? There are many, many themes to choose from, you can even make your own! This defines your character and what possible roles they will play when you have the final outcome.

What is my champion’s story?

What defines a good champion is how they came to be. Who are they? Where did they come from? Why are they the way they are? Each champion has about two paragraphs worth of a story behind them. Considering describing what your character has done and why they are trying to join the League. Adding in movement, attack and taunt/joke speech as well as adding a dance reference could make for some great champion polish.

Is my champion unique?

It is very likely that your champion will not be unique. Someone at some time in some place doing some thing completely different than you probably thought up a similar concept. That shouldn’t stop you from designing your ideal champion. What should stop you and make you consider a different route is if the idea is overused. Sure, the Void is cool and all but think about how many designs are based around it. Again, it is unlikely that you’ll be original or unique but put your own ideas into place.

If you’re not entirely sure if your idea has been overly used, underused or not even present you should try using the search feature by doing general look ups. In example type in ‘whip’ if you want to make a whip themed champion or ‘corruption’, ‘assassin’, etc. You might be surprised at what you can find.

Consider avoiding these themes: Spider Queen (Priscilla, remakes), Void champions (including Kassadin’s daughter, with the exception of the recent contest for it), Puppeteers. These are the most overused and overdone ideas and are generally within the same area of each other, minus the few personal additions mentioned earlier.


Second Step: The Structure

This is what your champion does and who they are. From here you’ll be building upon the very being of the character and what role they can potentially play.

What can my champion do?

I’m going to go with an obvious point out here. Each champion is composed of a passive and four abilities. [Q] is usually the main damage, [W] is generally the self buffs, debuffs, etc, [E] is the support ability or additional damage dealer and [R] is their ultimate. We’ll use Ziggs as an example. [Q] throws a bomb, [E] slows targets that walk over the minibombs, [W] throws C4 that he can use to knock people back or send him flying and [R] is a nuke. You want to construct your abilities around the champion’s theme.

Wait, you forgot about stats and damage scaling!

Lies! This is a little bit more broad than the abilities themselves. I usually save these two for after I have the general ideas for the abilities, what they do and how they look. Then I go back and switch them around as needed and plug in the numbers. If you’re unsure of what the damage should be, plug in a placeholder and come back later. If you’re having difficulty with stats and damage there are some links below that could help.

Third Step: The Closure

So you have your champion, their abilities, stats and skill set. Time to post! Nope, not quite yet. There’s a few things you can do before sending it out.

What do you mean?

The biggest turn off to reviewing champions is the use of poor spelling and grammar. I’m not saying you should go get a degree in English/Literature. Just touch it up, don’t use abbreviations, net-speak and punctuate as needed. This alone gives the champion a more professional look.

K nao wut

I just said NOT to do that. Any way. Next up you should make the page a bit more….colorful. No, I don’t mean you should add rainbows or make it look that someone vomited Fruity Pebbles on your page. I mean making it more colorful by adding ability art and even concept pictures. The latter is easier than the former. I’ve provided links below that can help you with obtaining both.

Can I post it now?

Hold your Hecarims! This is the last step which is equally as important as the first one. Now is the time to look over your champ. You want to make sure the champion has three major key points covered. First, do the abilities fit the story and theme of your character? Second, how well do the abilities synchronize? By that I mean how many combinations could they use. I.e., Q,W, E, Q, Q, W, E and Q, E, Q, W, Q, Q, E, and so forth. Using the same abilities over and over in the same cycle can make a champion boring really quickly. Third, do the abilities match my champions roles or can I add in another role? Sometimes your abilities don’t quite go as you would expect them to. For this I will use one of my own champions. Rush, the Bandle Bullet was originally going to be a tank type character but turned out to be a caster type with a unique resource by the time I was finished.


Cool. How about now?

Yes. After checking, double checking and triple checking your champion it is time to do just that. Go ahead and post your champion in a style similar to ‘[Champion Concept] Wulffe, Poster of Awesomeness’…without the shameless self promotion and/or ego boost. Encourage others to review by offering a review trade, even if you are new to doing so. Just let them know that you are new to it and do your best. Just don’t post anything like ‘Cool champ, bro! Tell me it again!’, ‘I like your champ’ or ‘This champ sucks’. The point of a review is to help them build a better champ or inquire about it if something is not understood. See below for some tips on how to do reviews.

Additional Info

Wait, there’s MORE?!

Yep. I just wanted to part ways with a small note and a few helpful links. From here all I can say is be active in the community, support your fellow contributors and keep the forums and threads alive. This is a community so be part of it and help it grow.


Quote:
Champion Conceptualization Example Format
Please note, this is the official universal format that the CCF Council is recommending to make design easier!



Key:

- "Core" Information is information required to convey a champion clearly. Without it, the reader has an incomplete picture of what your champion is like.

- "Optional" content isn't necessary, it just makes for a more interesting read. Remember that you can always include this later on if you want.

{Champion Name} - {Champion Title} Core.

{Overview} Core.

-Gender (Male/Female/Other)
-Race (Human/Yordle/Other)
-Origin (Where they came from)
-Alliance (Good/Evil/Unknown)
-Class: (AP Caster, AD Carry, etc.)
-Subclass: (Same as above.)
-Weapon: (Type/description)
-Attack Type: (Melee/Ranged)
-Energy Source: (Mana/Fury/other)

Include here a very brief (2-3 sentence) snippet concerning what this champion is all about in terms thematically and mechanically. This is where you can organize your TL;DR and draw the reader in. (Example: “Arthur is a tanky AD bruiser who uses his sword and shield to excel in 1v1 trades. His toggle ability “Shield” is unique in that it allows him to block a large portion of incoming damage while sacrificing movement speed and attack power.”

{Abilities} Core.

Passive (Name): Description of ability.

Q (Name): Description of ability.

-Type (Single target/skillshot/Aura/etc.)
-Amount(Heal/Damage, if applicable)
-Buff/Debuff Type (if applicable)
-Buff/Debuff Value (If applicable.)
-Duration (If applicable)
-Range/Radius/AoE
-Cost
-Cooldown
-Target Type (Ally, Enemy, Minion hit, etc.)
-Any special notes concerning ability synergy or conditional effects.

Repeat format for W, E, and R.

{Base Stats} Core.

For those not comfortable with detailed numeric work, using simple terms such as Very Low, Low, Medium, High, Very High would be acceptable. You can similarly make a direct comparison to an existing champion (e.g. for a tank's health stats you could simply say "comparable to Singed.") But plotting out specific stats is something that we encourage once you feel comfortable. LoL Wiki is a good tool for determining balanced stats.

-Base Health (+/level)
-Base Mana (+/level)
-Base Attack Damage (+/level)
-Base Attack Speed (+/level)
-Attack Range (Or simply ranged/melee for beginners.)
-Base Armor (+/level)
-Magic Resistance (+/level)
-Movement Speed

{Appearance} Core.

-Height
-Physical Build (Brawny, skinny, fat, ball of void energy, etc.)
-Hair style and color (If applicable)
-Eye color
-Weapons
-Attire
-Other: (General notes about distinguishing features such as facial hair, extra limbs, pets, etc.)

The list format could of course be substituted by actual concept art, if available.

(Secondary Skins) Optional.

Brief details as to how this skin differs from the basic appearance. Again, could be substituted or supplement by actual concept art.

{Lore} Core.

300-500 words. Should include the basic plot points of where the character originated from, the source of their powers, and the inciting incident that drove them to join the League.

{Dialogue} Core.

-Champion Selection
-Movement Quotes
-Attacking Quotes
-Q Use
-W Use
-E Use
-R Use
-Taunts
-Jokes
-Recall
-Champion Interactions (Optional)

{Particle Effects} Optional.
{Recommended Items} Optional.
{Gameplay} Optional.
{Additional Notes/Content} Optional.
The Promised Links:

List of Character Archetypes Not sure about what you want your champion to be? Poet Ultima has put together alist of types to consider.
List of Weapons Poet Ultima does it again! This time providing a list of weapons they can use.
Champion Creation Tips v3 by Katsuni. This is a VERY detailed list that should point you closer towards perfecting your champ.
Fan Art There’s usually an artist or two running around here that’ll draw your champ for you. I’d recommend giving as much detail, head to foot, as you can.
How To Make Your Own Skill Icons by Johnrulz77. This is also a useful thread and, as it states, it helps to highlight your abilities a bit more.
Darkpercy's Guide to Champions base Stats Darkpercy did an excellent job on this. I'd recommend checking this out and getting a feel for the stats.
How to Review a Champion by Jakyoboy. A good read on how to review a champion for those interested in learning to do so.
Bliztron's Guide: Role Requirements Know your role, son! And if you don't this guy can help you draw the lines between which role your champion is suited for.


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Wulffe

Senior Member

08-09-2012

I'm not just the writer of this post. I'm also a subscriber!

And here's a bump.


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Katsuni

Senior Member

08-09-2012

Not bad, though I'll reserve comment for later when it's not 5am and I'm not half asleep ^.~

Yeu get bonus points for "hold your hecarims" though. However... considering how bad that was, I may have to shoot yeu to even it out XD


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Wulffe

Senior Member

08-10-2012

Yeah, I know. I'm that awful. v.v

I'll take the shot seeing as I'm getting bonus points too. Gotta love those bonus points!


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FelixKam

Senior Member

08-10-2012

You need a cheat-sheet to be a legit book in the "For Dummies" Series! But I like it, it appears to be a sound guide.

Bumped.


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ploki122

Senior Member

08-10-2012

it's pretty a VERY simplified version of Katsuni's post... kudos to this guide


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sreggiNevoLi

Junior Member

08-10-2012

I'd like to see a list of fan-made champion concepts that have made it into the game, if any have. Now I know that is slightly unrelated to your post, but I'll get to the point that's related. If it's possible to get Riot to consider implementing your fan-made champion, what strategy should one take to have the best chance of getting your champion dream realized? I imagine you should include all the elements you mention in your post, and have a cool, original, and feasible concept that will be balanced. Anything else though? Will someone from Riot who matters actually read my post? Will they seriously consider a really well thought out and written up concept?

I have an idea that I think is very good, and don't want to put the effort forth to write it up if it's got 0 chance of ever being considered. I'd do it for a 0.05% chance, but not a 0% chance. The idea's for a Tanuki by the way, a la Pom Poko.


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Wulffe

Senior Member

08-10-2012

I cannot be the one to answer your question, sreggi. For the simple reason of me not knowing. I couldn't tell you if you'll ever get looked over by Riot or if a red post will come along and light up your champion. All I can say is that you won't really know until it happens. That shouldn't stop you from letting your creativity flow. Some of us make our champs simply because we enjoy doing so. If Riot sees it and they like it that'll definitely be a plus but for the most part we do it simply because we can.


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Bliztron

Senior Member

08-10-2012

Hold your Hecarims!

I just had to lol at that.

Pretty nice guide.


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ploki122

Senior Member

08-10-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by sreggiNevoLi View Post
I'd like to see a list of fan-made champion concepts that have made it into the game, if any have. Now I know that is slightly unrelated to your post, but I'll get to the point that's related. If it's possible to get Riot to consider implementing your fan-made champion, what strategy should one take to have the best chance of getting your champion dream realized? I imagine you should include all the elements you mention in your post, and have a cool, original, and feasible concept that will be balanced. Anything else though? Will someone from Riot who matters actually read my post? Will they seriously consider a really well thought out and written up concept?

I have an idea that I think is very good, and don't want to put the effort forth to write it up if it's got 0 chance of ever being considered. I'd do it for a 0.05% chance, but not a 0% chance. The idea's for a Tanuki by the way, a la Pom Poko.
From what I've seen they never took an idea and made it into the game. HOWEVER, coincidental or not, there was an "armored bear called Volibear" idea that ran through the forums before it got made in LoL, also some part of certain champions (such as Jayce, Yorick and others I can't remember) bears striking similarity to concepts developed in here. Also, it's been stated that champion designers will never acknowledge any of the champions made in this forum openly (for various reasons). However, it is suspected that they DO look from time to time for inspiration (pending confirmation, I'll work on it) and maybe even are smurf-posting...


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