Originally Posted by Drozzi
Just curious if there's ever been a champion concept that you've really liked but had it turned down and told to redo it.
Followup question: If yes does the remade concept end up looking drastically different than the original one or does it usually end up with just few tweaks but essentially the same?
Followup to followup question: Happen with any champs in the current roster? If so who?
All the time. The number of champions I've designed that aren't in the game that I have concepts sitting around for outnumber those that did make it into the game. Not to mention all the concept work and iteration that lead up to the final design which may diverge heavily from the original sketched. Graves for example started by looking a lot like Gene from Outlaw Star actually. I know, odd angle to come at it from, but hey, that's where it started.
I've shown in cases like Diana that the concept can diverge pretty heavilly, like this:
In the case of Diana, she very much started as just sort of lame chick-with-big-sword, not much else. It wasn't until I shopped the idea around a lot, and got a lot of feedback, from Morello especially, that I figured out a decent hook for her. I also took cues from a lot of different influences such as the anime Claymore to find an unconventional archetype to latch onto.
Many times concepts start out differently and end up completely tangential. An upcoming champion I worked on was initially ideated to be melee, but halfway through the process we decided to make the character ranged. That and a whole other host of variables can change the outcome of a concept.
Sometimes those variables end up in making the concept not viable. Varrus was a good case of this. I started working on him way back in the day when we had this idea for a "Demonic Hunter" of sorts. We ended up scrapping the idea for the demonic thing and went with "corrupted". I actually stopped working on it at that point and another artist picked it up. He ended up taking it in a different direction which I think worked.
I doubt I'll ever get to show all the stuff I've done that hasn't made it into the game, champions and skins alike, because who knows, they might end up getting used in some way later on.
It can be a bummer when something gets scrapped (see Omen) but usually it's for a good reason. (see Omen) I of course want things that I work on make it into the game, but when something isn't working for one reason or another it's often beyond my control.
But that's the nature of development. Luckily I think that what I've done for characters that did make it in ended up being of good quality because of how much thought multiple people put into it during each character's creation. Sometimes it's a one shot one kill, other times it's a lot of iteration and change. I've definitely seen both sides of it, as pretty much everyone at Riot has =)