Quote:Some quick context:
Quinn used to be a guy, then I turned her into a woman. That woman is a ranger, she's prepared for a fight, she's wearing thicker armor but not plate aside from key places where she would have to interact with an enemy's face.
Quinn was not designed to be in a skin-tight outfit. That was tried, and look, again, like a woman with a cape, in a skin tight outfit, which had been worked to death by Zyra, Syndra, Elise, and Diana. She does not care about looking feminine, she cares about utility. Baggy fatigues which have hardened pockets, knee pads to dig into the ground to take a shot, no exposed flesh to take a graze.
A functional Demacian helmet which adds sleekness is a design choice. It's Valkyrie, it's a motif, and it's a visual landmark. She has a gauntlet reminiscent of a falconer's glove which is armored because Valor has armor on his talons, to again, interact with an enemy's face. He can do damage to even thick leather.
Her hood is collapsed, she has essentially a themed parka with a bird motif, Functional but themed.
She has what equates to kevlar, thickened material able to resist a blade. She has Demacian signifiers all over her, and bird motifs worked in. She is functional but fantasy.
Regarding femininity, I was called out long ago when Sejuani released for making the reasoning that Sejuani might wear less clothing so that "you can tell she's female." That is an invalid argument and a sad excuse to design a particular way. A ranger, an elite, doesn't care whether you can tell they are a female or a male. They are interested in getting the job done, and having the gear to do so. We gave Quinn that gear and did not embrace the traditional route of the tight-clothed standard fantasy ranger. She's a new ranger for a new time. She hits the Demacian notes but plays off of them. That is the rational behind similar armor themes to Garen and Jarvan. That's how we establish she's in the military proper, but not standard in uniform.
For reference, take a look ad Deunan Knute from Appleseed. She has no boob or breastplates. She is completely covered with a half-helm. She has short hair. She is a bit more masculine, that's the goal. She is not a waif, but she is agile. She has small breasts, a tighter frame, but is fairly androgynous. That's what we wanted to portray, and I feel we hit that.
Honestly, I feel I owe no excuses. You know my history, you know my goals. I design the women in armor. I do not design the over-sexualized, the seductress, or the siren. Different artists gravitate towards different styles and themes. When this champion came along, I opted to work on it because I felt I could bring a different take. Initially, she did start out as a traditional fantasy ranger, and actually was melee at the time. However, that was not the route we wanted to take. That was standard, it was conventional, and it was boring. I drove away from it and made something rugged in the new direction we're trying to take our style. Fantasy, but not traditional fantasy.
This is my take. If you don't like it that's perfectly fine. I, like all artists, design with particular design and form language as my signature. You might have noticed Zyra, Syndra and Elise were designed by the same artist. Sexy bodies, integrated clothing/biology, dark females. Same with artist for Nautilus, Ziggs and Lulu. Friendly shapes, opposing colors, offbeat characters. Just like game designers have similar flavor to their champions across the board artists have similar common expressions.
If you want a traditional archer, with a traditional fantasy get-up, with a traditional build, and a traditional design where female form expression trumps practically fighting the fight, I am not your guy, and I'm glad to admit that. That's my strength, that why I work on what I work on.
I do not abide by the established or the expected, neither does Riot on the whole. It is not our job to abide, it's our job to challenge the convention and question traditional execution.
Thanks for the feedback. Thanks for understanding where we're coming from. This isn't just me. This is part of something larger. Pendulums will swing, you'll get your stripped down heroes. Quinn is not one of them and we're proud of that.
People for a long time have been complaining about female design. I think that Quinn, in that respect (that she doesn't care what people think of her; she's going for utility, not looks) has a great design.
Look at a classic RPG design like Final Fantasy vs. a game like Dark Souls. Dark Souls armor is functional and looks great, where Final Fantasy clearly goes for style over functionality.
Thank you for doing this, IS. You're a real asset to the company, and you do well in standing up for your decisions. When people tell you we need better armored females and then when we finally have one and people get on like this? It's frustrating.
I know that I, personally, love the design of Quinn, and I hope the official release stands up to the sneak peek.
I appreciate the positive vibes =)
Honestly, I don't mind the critique. It's my job to create, produce, release, observe reaction, take feedback, iterate, repeat. This is all helpful despite it being charged.
There are some key points I do think are valid. I personally want to play with how my form language and design are expressed in my art, that's something artists constantly struggle with. Working on relaunches are really helping that. I have to abide by some set visual hooks, but it's not as repetitive as I sometimes get when I do things from scratch. I see some issues with "cobbled together" but that's a goal we had. No streamlining unless stylistically intended.
One thing I try to keep in mind is that this character was started at the end of May last year. She went through a TON of changes from first iteration to final. I've grown in my work since then. We also made some pretty significant last-minute changes to solve some game silhouette issues. She started off very much in the line of what people are "expecting". When I see the feedback of what people think they were going to see, versus what they are seeing now, I see exactly what they were expecting in my first designs. More rustic, more traditional fantasy, but honestly very, very vanilla. I'll go through that dev process eventually, not right now though.
She evolved a lot but in a direction that encompasses a lot of new style tenants we're trying to incorporate with style in general. Story telling elements that communicate a history, like her gauntlet, and her holster (which you can't see on the front) along with more unconventional silhouette management that breaks out of traditional forms. Right now in the front-on view, the really communication that she has is not apparent because it's not in-game. This is not reflective of what you see in game. This is for modelers to construct an asset from.
We'll see. It's been quite a night. I've bee surprised pleasantly in places and dissapointed with a lot of the negativity in others. What I think this is a larger side effect of what "League fantasy" is versus "traditional fantasy". Quinn is not traditional fantasy. She has elements of sci-fi, modern elements, even aspects riffed off of our UI. This is all an experiment in how we can create a visual style that's unique even if it is a change.
Change challenges convention, it does happen to disrupt expectations. I don't think that's a bad thing though. I think it's unnecessary to fundamentally challenge the established norms.
I think a lot of people are reacting with surprise or negativity because Quinn's design takes a pretty decent departure from her portrayal in the journal pages. In your response to my disappointment before, you mentioned that the journal was meant to be a small fragment of the beginning of Quinn's story, but it's all we have and our first impressions have been crafted on this idea of a peasant, naturalist, tracker themed champion. Because she was elevated to Elite status in Demacia, it's understandable that she would be changed, but at the same time it's a bit jarring to see such a stark difference.
Now I know we're all wondering, does Quinn have a Parrot themed skin?
My goal is contrast. Sometimes excessive contrast. Yep, further context on the journal, if we wanted to be all head-canon-y might be that she didn't have this getup on that first adventure. Maybe she was Spiderman in sweatpants at that time. That however wasn't what we wanted to focus on. It's touched on VERY lightly on page 5 where she's drawn a sketch of the back cape of her armor, possibly dreaming up the ideal gear she'd have if she was doing this all proper like.
I realize that's super minutia, but there's a bit of context for you..
Parrot skin? If not in the launch bundle.. maybe some day =)