Important: PBE Returned to Patch 3.7
Lyte and StatusKwoh Talk Player Behavior at MIT
Lyte does what he does best, and talks about player behavior in league of legends.
IronStylus on Rushed Champions and Little bits on Sivir VU and More
We have rounded up some of the key posts from IronStylus's massive thread. If you would like to see all the post, make sure to check it out in our redtracker.
Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)I'll get back to this in detail, but yes. She was rushed.
This is honestly a bigger conversation which I'd like to share, but it's a bit too late for me to get into it now.
Quick note: Personally this isn't a quality issue to me, this is a pipeline issue. That said, you will notice some stylistic differences because these models represent 3 different modelers and 3 different texture artists. There's going to be some discrepancy between them.
"Looks bad" is a relative and fairly moot argument that is far too dependent on preference, so I'm not really going to touch that too much, but I can go into more detail about our challenges with Quinn in the ways that really mattered and how I would address them today.I think the issue is why would you have the mentality of "lets just release something we know isn't impressive and fix it later!". That seems a completely distorted way of ensuring quality with new releases.I feel it is quality. As I said, this isn't an issue of quality for me, as it's mostly an issue of pipeline. I'm fine with the quality of her models, but there's a lot I'd have done differently in hindsight.Speaking of Sivir, has there been a solid direction that's been decided to take with her thematically?We have an idea.
I'd love to bring up the Persian Mercenary Theme once again if not, I think it fits nicely with what I presume is her personality, Flashy but Deadly.
So the deal with Quinn..
From the beginning we had some issues. I jumped on the project when we were ideating on the falconer trope. She was just called "Falconer" at the time. I had returned to a lot of skin production work post-Diana and work on Falconer involved me jumping teams for a little while. I had learned a lot from Diana. A whole lot. I had a lot of aspects of Diana's ideation and production logged in notes in order to help project some of the process onto any subsequent champions I worked on.
Rewinding a bit, Diana is viewed to be one of our more successful champions in terms of character development. She is a very well rounded champion thematically which is portrayed in all aspects of her "triangle", creative, design, and art. She also represents one of our more successful pipeline experiences in that due to the front-loaded work on creative and art, there was no iteration time needed post-approval/greenlight. The day she was approved she went into production. Production wise, she was mostly without headaches, she was straight forward, and a lot of the hard stuff was done at the beginning. At least the stuff that would cause headaches down the line in production, iteration in the 3D stage, or other tweaks that would require a lot of manpower, were avoided. So, successful in many regards.
Quinn suffered from the opposite. She stumbled in many ways at many points in the ideation phase. This is due to a lot of reasons, and I'm very much responsible as anyone. At first, in terms of art, she was actually a melee character. Two handed sword assassin. We sort of took a Batman approach to creative, that she was the secret superhero of Demacia, "The hero Demacia needed but not the one it deserved", etc. Gameplay wise, it was a lot of mark the target, follow-up.
These parameters changed a lot, obviously. We went in pre-approval with a very different direction post-approval. We didn't have as clear goals as were needed to make the production and further character development smoother. Mind you, this is not always something that's easy to track. With a lot of people working collaboratively, the noise in the room can be loud, and we can have difficulty in distilling a character's goals. Morello is exceptionally good at establishing goals for characters, so he and I have shared that we feel Quinn could have been a bit more cohesive in retrospect.
Additionally, unlike "Team Diana", where myself, Volty, Runaan, and Harrow were very much the owners of that champion from the beginning, our little group did not coalesce until later, after Quinn began production. At the time though, we weren't really wise to the fact that some of our more hazy goals from the beginning would cause some pain later on.
Her story shifted, we hammered a lot out as production continued. I think it went in a very good direction actually. I'm quite fond of Quinn the character, in that I think she's compelling and unique. Design progressed, and Volty had some really interesting ideas about her. We felt confident in that. Art was tricky. I was having some issues in making her unique. I had finished off production art of her and Valor, handed it off to 3D, and was happy, but I didn't quite realize that a problem would arise.
She ended up suffering from the exact thing Diana did not suffer from, iteration in 3D. When we got her in game, when our model was fleshed out and animation was rocking, there were concerns that she wasn't quite different enough. I agreed. I had already moved onto relaunch so I needed to hop back onto Quinn, work with the 3D artist, and do some model tweaks. Before doing this, I met with a few artists and brainstormed what we could do. We basically went back in and did something we didn't quite hit on initially, we created a solid goal. She was a quintessential ranger when we distilled things.
Now, yeah, duh, that’s what Quinn is, a ranger. We’ve said that before. However, oddly enough, it didn’t quite dawn on us how clear this made certain art choices. I took a look at what we had, and I really cut into her. We changed a lot. We introduced some elements into her design, we created some bigger reads, etc. We did succeed in making Demacia’s version of a Ranger, but it wasn’t as smooth of a process as I would have preferred. Myself and the 3D modeller assigned to her did a fair amount of extra work. In the end, we came up with what I felt was quality, but I realized that if I had some simple questions answered up front, the process would have been a lot easier.
All that said, there was something funny that Diana and Quinn shared. Truncated timelines. Diana was pushed up in our slotting due to some pipeline changes. Quinn had the same thing happen to her. The difference is that we had the majority of the goals for Diana solved up-front, but Quinn didn’t quite have as solid of a foundation. When that foundation was poked at, we had to approach things a different way, and iterate at a stage that’s much more difficult to iterate during. Since all of Diana’s thematics were front-loaded, that early work compensated for her being pushed up in the release schedule. With Quinn, we actually had to push her back a bit to hit the notes we wanted to hit.
In the end, I do really like Quinn. I do think she’s unique, I do think she’s something different in the scope of fantasy rangers. I like the place she occupies, and I think she’s a very well fleshed out character. I do however feel that we could have more smoothly figured out her goals and made the correlation between what they were, and how they would directly impact art and other aspects.
I think she hits our quality standards really well also. If you look at the sculpt, texture, animations, etc, they’re very well done. They do show differences in respect to other characters because they were made by different artists. Additionally, Vi, the example shown here, was in development much longer and was given the benefit of more marination time. That’s not to say Quinn came out half-baked, it means that stylistically, we could have brought them more in line. Even currently we’re working on reconciling how our characters fit with each other, and with the game environment.
That’s a lot of style guide work which myself and other seniors are involved in. That work is directly applied in Relaunch, where Grumpy Monkey and I work to get our assets updated, or in-line with each other stylistically. We’re working on the principles and the practice at the same time. It’s fascinating and fun, but we do learn all the time. It can make the target move a bit here and there.
So, while yes, there were hiccups in the pipeline, we made choices in places where it was more difficult to make iterations in. I feel we hit quality, but given the choice, I would reapproach Quinn differently, with our goals better established. I would take what we know now, about goal creation and adherence to those goals, about small group investment in a character early on, about stylistic consistency and visual design across champions.
This is the more interesting and sometimes difficult part of the job, and the challenge of being a developer. These are all learning experiences. We are lucky to be in a position to learn from the processes we engage in and change how we approach things in the future. We constantly learn so that we can produce something better. Yet, we’re human. We’re going to trip up and misalign at times, so I’d be an idiot to say “EVERYTHING WE DO IS PERFECT AND WE MAKE A TEN OUT OF TEN EVERY TIME.”. We believe in what we produce, we wouldn’t put it out if we didn’t feel that way, but because we’re iterative, we have the blessing and the curse of learning over and over. We know that circumstances will change each time, goals and processes will shift. Character development can be really tricky, and sometimes you can think everything is solid and rock-hard, only to find that when you look back at what’s been created, you see a slew of other options, solutions and opportunities you didn’t notice the first time around.
Hope that helps clarify. Sorry for the essay.There is a very similar question I've always had about Full Metal Jayce; Classic Jayce is one of the cleanest and sharpest skins out there, and looks pretty much perfect. Sharp attention to detail, crisp textures the whole nine yards...and yet, Full Metal Jayce looks blocky and Low-Res.I'm not really sure about that one.. I wasn't too into the Jayce pipeline. I know we did have some time issues there, and that skin might have come in hot. Again though, it can all be remedied if we front-load our goals, especially artistically.
Is there a reason for this?@IronStylus despite issues in pre-production, can we please still touch her up slightly? Did you reread our AMA convo I posted earlier in this thread by chance? Mild improved texturing would do wonders.Possibly. Not going to discount anything considering part of Relaunch's task is to not just completely remake older assets, but to touch up what we feel needed polish.So, with all of this discussion about pipeline issues, where do you feel like the biggest choke points are that hold back your overall quality control?Great question.
Not so much quality control, but being on the lookout for emergent issues in a character's development or physical production. We need to front-load more. We need to have small groups do big things, which is when we get our best results. When a champion idea materializes, people rally to it. That excitement causes use to really want to churn on it. This creates lots of discussion, discussion creates goals. Mind you, this is happening, this does organically come into fruition, but it's not exactly a science.
I think sometimes we don't establish those goals up front intentionally. We get a lot of awesome content and amazing characters, but sometimes those things more or less fall together. It's hard to standardize a process like that. Draven was just.. Draven.. from the beginning. Boom. How do you make that into a processes that's trackable?
The closest thing I can think of is what we did with Diana. I'm going back and again looking at what I learned from that. Morello and I have talked about it a lot, and it's something I'm keeping very much in mind as I work on the next champion I'm involved with.
There isn't one singular choke point, or a bottleneck so to speak, it's a long pipeline, with a LOT of variables. But early goal lock-down and extrapolating what those goals mean for the character is the big focus for me.If there is a smallish Quinn rework/update down the road, could you please leave the voice as is. I think it's one of her best traits for characterization.If there is it won't be any time soon.Parrot.It's on my plate.
PLEEEEEEASE?Nightraven Quinn...I can get into this.I'm gonna jump in here with a "question" directed to Stylus (if he's still awake).Sorry to be that guy.. but.. if you're interested in a general Relaunch AMA, make a thread. I'll see if I can even get other reds to check it out and comment.
Just talking to my friend about the visual upgrade business, and at the moment I'm a little disheartened thinking about it. As has been mentioned before in this thread, the updates seem to be moving at a "glacial" pace - the wording I absolutely don't agree with, but the point stands that there seems to be a massive amount of work for the resources Riot is directing towards this project.
An apt comparison might be the Pokemon series: for each game that comes out, all the old creature sprites/battle animations/etc. are updated to the new look of the new game. However, it's done by a (presumably, sorry for assumptions) large team over the course of the game's development, which takes years. Plus, they're working with sprites. In League, you guys are working with 3D models and animations for dozens of champions, not to mention reworks of the skins that come with them (which, in the cases of some of the oldest champs, are numerous to say the least).
Doesn't this seem like a thankless and, to put it bluntly, nearly impossible task, with the resources being devoted to it right now? The visuals of this game are one of my favorite points design-wise, but they're going to be always improving. Seems like you guys are fighting a losing battle.
It's a big task, but we're up to it. The team is always growing, and it's changing. I'm taking on 3D currently, going to try to be a rounded character artist which can handle concept, modeling and texturing. We've recently nabbed a new animator. VFX is our bottleneck at the moment. They're an awesome team but VFX artists are hard to come by,
We'll grow, and we'll take on more. We currently have 2 big pushes we're on right now, and 2 more in the immediate afterwards of those. The thing is it's actually easier than champion development because we're not dealing with mechanics most of the time. The last relaunches have come with a host of kit reworks. That complicates things. When things are more explicitly VU's, that's when we have a lot of smooth sailing. Good case being Sivir. Mostly Visual changes, nothing balance related at least not that I'm aware of. The opposite example is Sion. He's a major project.
Relaunches can sometimes take less than 2 months to do. Champions can take 6 months to a year depending on how long each phase of ideation/pre-production/production is.I'm not IronStylus, but the simplest solution there is to tackle it with a FILO queue: "first in, last out". Go down the line from oldest champion to newest, see what needs tweaking, and do it. Mainstay champions like Karthus would only need visual updates (oh boy, that'll be the day), whereas relics like Sivir will get total overhauls (confirmed to be coming, by the way).This is interesting, and we look at it sorta similarly, but yeah, right now I think our VU standards fall somewhere around end of 2011. Not everything is going to go in FILO order, Sejuani and Trundle were good candidates because of Freljord.
Obviously, they can't do it purely in FILO order, though, because there are always other champs that need tweaking. To be honest, after a few more years I think Riot's just going to have to say "okay, we're holding our game to Year-X standards", especially after they plateau on the number of champs in the game. There's no way this game will survive with 200+ playable characters, that's just too much to keep track of.
Anyway, again, make a consolidated thread and we'll try to get to it.On a side note about Quinn, I really love the death animation in the Phoenix skin. Talk about a blaze of glory. That was a nice addition that makes even death a unique experience.Yeah, we've found death animations, recall animations, and spawn animations to be pretty valuable. Sivir needed thematic overhauls which required more time, yes. Not so hard to understand given the surrounding context of priorities.Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but he talks about Sivir's overhaul in the past tense. Maybe it's close?Part of it is what's currently on my screen...But not by him :/Sivir and Sion are challenges, Sivir is currently on my plate, but a couple of things might get re-prioritized before them. We work on multiple reworks/VU's at a time for the purposes of emergent issues/events/variables that might pop up. Bandwidth and the complexity of champions are very much a factor in how long they will take, especially if there's mechanical touch-up or overhaul to be done. Sion is further off, because as Morello has stated, there's a lot to solve there. Chances are you'll see Sivir before Sion but you might see something else before Sivir.
He implies they're still in the middle (if not the beginning) of the process on sivir...
Sion is mentioned but not as the immediate next (though he could be), and as being difficult because his kit is also being reworked.Ironstylus, are you feeling alright? Your replies in this thread don't feel like they have your usual cheerfulness. I just hope everything's okay!Sorry! I got a little uppity last night dealing with how the thread was derailing hard into relaunch territory and other off-topic stuff. Quinn is a difficult subject for me too due to what I wish I could have done.
Anyway, I really appreciate the hard work you're putting into everything. You're my favorite rioter because of how open you are to speak to the community. Keep up the good work.
Also, It troubles me to see one-off snide remarks that don't contribute to the conversation positively, make detracting statements about how Riot doesn't take feedback, or that we somehow have our priorities mixed up. Believe me, it's difficult doing what we do, and it's difficult to always be as transparent as we'd like due to how we have to manage expectations and be selective about how we message.
We want to share a lot, but hey, we're making a product where things have to be under wraps to a certain degree, or aren't always going to seem logical to outside perspectives due to lack of context. We do what we do with the best possible intentions and with informed decision making.
It hurts to have accusations thrown, I take a lot of feedback and critique to heart. I suppose that's a blessing and a curseWhy do you use the phrase "have to"? Who's forcing you? All of that silence has caused nothing but problems, and the source of this mysterious reality-warping force seems pretty gross.I wasn't around during the events you cite, but if my memory serves one of the reasons those issues were such a conflagration is because they were messaged too early or with too much certainty. Then, when the features were delayed, or were scrapped, rage ensued. If that is the case, that's exactly why we want to be careful how we message and how we can manage expectations.
Alternatively, it's a choice that you're making, and it's one repeatedly leading to discomfort and disquiet... but a choice that's continuing to be made anyway, sans explanation save "but we gotta".
Edit: Now, that isn't to say that there's no logic here whatsoever. I'm sure you guys aren't idiots, primarily because, well, y'all aren't idiots. It is known. BUT those thoughts aren't being shared, really. The main examples provided (Magma Chamber, stealth rework, etc.) have been shown time and time again to have been problematic because of the silence, not because of the early leak/dialogue.
The reason we have to message properly, not offer such extreme levels of transparency, is that if I told you X VU was on the table, right now, and all of a sudden Y issue arose internally, (let's say with an event like Frejord which is meant to be under wraps for obvious reasons), which prompted X VU to be delayed in exchange for bumping up Z VU (due to large content-heavy event which we want to keep impactful and largely a surprise), I could not effectively tell you why due to that Y issue, details of which cannot be disclosed, that X VU is in fact delayed.
In short, I can say one thing, then another thing can pop up that I can't make public, and all of a sudden I look like I'm reneging on a promise, and the radio silence I now have to institute appears to be non-transparent or deceptive.
We message too early, or not carefully enough, we run the risk of messing up. If we message to late, or not transparently enough, we run the risk of messing up. It's a delicate balance.
That make any sense?
Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)
Five regions attended the first-ever All-Star Event, but when the dust settled, the Korean Champions all-stars reigned supreme. TheChina LPL all-stars, Garena all-stars and North America LCS all-starsalso claimed a bye for their region's top seed into the elimination stage at the Season 3 World Championship, but the Korean Champions team secured the right to send one extra team to battle at the Championship, along with bragging rights as best pro region in the world at the break.
In the skills competition, sOAZ battled his way to win Top Lane. Toyz took down all comers in the mid lane. Demonstrating his dominance, inSec outstalked the rest in Jungle. The duo of PraY and MadLife proved too strong, and they leave Shanghai secure in their place as the best Bot Lane in the world.
The 2013 League of Legends All-Star Weekend took place in Shanghai from May 24 to May 26. Five teams representing the pro leagues in North America, Europe, China, Korea and Southeast Asia/Taiwan clashed at the Shanghai Grand Stage in an All-Star Tournament and All-Star Skills Competition.
Relive all of the action at www.lolesports.com, your home for professional esports.