At Riot we're allowed to own a project and bring it to life. As always though, the cooperation with the team is the key. I was extremely surprised that this idea was embraced and that the team cranked on it. It really blew me away.
This skin was was pitched and I jumped in to work on it in addition to my duties on the Champion team. This was a labor of love for myself, and I'm humbled that my co-workers allowed me the pleasure to bring it to life.
I was involved on every level as well, which was a new experience. I concepted the skin, made the turnaround of it, took on the splash myself, (with A LOT of help from Knockmaw and splash team), was able to dabble with the model, and allowed to create some promotional material.
|The original concept presented to the Skins team.|
|The skin mockup created for production of the 3D model.|
|Final splash (Right click + New tab it for a high-rez version!)|
|Splash before before final adjustments. (Also new-tab high-rez clickable!)|
All images copyright Riot Games, 2011-2012
I hope you end up enjoying the skin as much as I've loved working on it. Leona really does have a special place in my heart. She always will as she embodies some extremely powerful themes which I think should be highlighted. I like to do as much as I can to continue showcasing themes of female strength, fortitude, and the opportunity we have as developers to break the mold when we create a female champion. I think we can push in ways which we've never imagined and find the most clever ways to depict strong, confident women as a keystone of a good game.
My thanks also goes out to the members of the Iron Solari proper, in that they have shown me what a group of positive and dedicated players can forge when they're involved in a common love and cause. They have become my friends and my companions as I continue to learn as a player. They've taken some inspiration I planted by simply being my ridiculous self and created an entire world that in turn inspired me.
While I wanted to pay homage to the meme, I needed to make sure that I created a world-wide release worthy skin, that despite the meme, if you weren't in on the joke, you could still look and say, "Whoa! That's some bad-ass armor!" This Leona skin is a tribute to characters like Hilde from Soulcalibur, and Lenneth from Valkyrie Profile. Female characters that are depicted tastefully, project strength, yet are also beautiful due to them being powerful. I think this theme is worthy and aspirational in wherever our game finds players.
I would like to keep experimenting in the vein as I continue my work. I hope I do the players justice in an effort such as this. It is an honor and a pleasure to be allowed this creativity, and it is an unparalleled joy to be received positively in a community such as this.