With the support of our core IP Strategy team, I wrote a Champion Brief that summarizes what makes Illaoi special and what players around the world love about her.
Illaoi is the truth bearer of Nagakabouros, the deity of life, ocean storms, and movement, who is often depicted as a colossal kraken. Illaoi and its people hail from the Serpent Islands, an island archipelago that includes bilge water and his home island of Buhru.
In League of Legends, Illaoi’s gameplay focuses on testing the worth of individuals using the golden artifact known as the Eye of God. Wielding the massive idol, he rips the souls from their host bodies and summons spectral tentacles to strike them repeatedly.
In our world of stories, those who survive Nagakabouros’ ordeal are considered to be on the right path and can move on to pursue their true purpose in life. While those who fall are made clear that they are failing in their duty to advance their own lives and are hindering the flow of the universe. An experience that not everyone survives.
Using all of this information, we define Illaoi’s core truth as: “A powerful and charismatic spiritual leader who inspires others to be their own unstoppable force.” He commands attention and commands a room with his physical presence and his confident, single-minded arrogance.
Then, using the abstract, I worked with the leaders of other disciplines, such as design and art, to create a North Star for their development. This way we make sure Illaoi is instantly relatable, even in a genre we’ve never seen her in. And, more importantly, we use it to look for opportunities to grow your legend. Because a fighting game is the perfect place for Illaoi to shine.
With a clear image of her in our minds, we can ensure that anyone who already knows Illaoi beyond the surface level will also find the character they love, while also empowering the development team to delight even her most devoted fans with a version that will explode. doors off. Or, in her case, rip the doors off her hinges with magical tentacles and beat you senseless with them.
On a personal level, I’ve loved who Illaoi is and who she could be since we developed her for League back in 2015. And while she’s not one of the most popular champions in League, I think it’s easy to see how Illaoi’s combination of Bruised Knuckles, devoted heart and joyous arrogance (combined with all the new experiences we can put in the hands of players) can make her a superstar in Project L.
Mike “zatransis” Henry, Creative Director:
Once Narrative has given us a good understanding of who a champion is, we move on to their visual direction. You can infuse so much more into a champion when you know who they are, especially when we compare all the visual representations of him, which Illaoi certainly didn’t lack.
Some of our champions lend themselves well to being tweaked a bit, while for others it wouldn’t make sense to drastically change their appearance. When we started with Illaoi, it became clear that she would be the last.
She has a truly iconic look: tall, muscular and imposing. But more than that, she is cheerful, energetic, and believes in challenging others to live their lives to the fullest. And all these things should be reflected in her appearance.
Illaoi’s physical build is quite unique in the League of Legends champion roster, and we mentioned many athletes with a focus on powerlifters and shot putters. Mainly women who spend a lot of time lifting things as easily as Illaoi lifts his massive weapon.
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