Welcome Battlerite fans!
My name is Konrad Petersson (IGN: Krab) and I’m a Technical Game Designer. I started working here at Stunlock Studios (SLS for short) November 2016, and to be honest, I have loved every minute of it. My main focus has been designing and implementing new champions for Battlerite together with the rest of the Champion team. I also do stuff like fixing bugs, analyze and balance the game together with the rest of the Design team.
This is my very first dev blog post and as many of you might have figured out already, it’s about the making of our latest champion, “Raigon, the Exiled prince”. I will go through our initial goals, how we have iterated upon the concept, bumps along the road and decisions on the way to final product (if you could ever call a champion in a multiplayer game final!) from the perspective of a designer. Hopefully it will provide you with some juicy insight on how the champion creation process works!
How we decide on a direction
With each champion we make, we want to improve the Battlerite roster as a whole. We have a lot of potential champion designs and art concepts lying around, which sometimes makes it hard to pick what to go with next. Creating design concepts and abilities is in many ways a creative outlet, but first and foremost, we try to identify what our current roster would benefit the most from. At the same time, we see great value in introducing new and unique abilities to the game as a whole, and try to not limit ourselves idea-wise. Ultimately, if it works in the game, it can potentially make the cut.
Initial direction / goals
We wanted our next Champion to be:
- A Melee Champion
- A Beginner Friendly Champion
- A Champion with broad appeal
Coupled with the general design directions of Battlerite, such as making every champion unique in the way they play, fill their own role and fit into the game, this is usually how defined a champion is from the start.
The Champion team
The Stunlock Studios Champion Team consists of Game Designers, Artists (Sound, 2D/3D art, Animators, VFX) and programmers. The team works closely together based on the original concept. We communicate regularly through messaging apps and Champion Meetings where we meet, goof around, go through the champion’s current state both visually and mechanically, discuss what to improve, introduce new ideas and plan ahead.
We decided we wanted to make a two-handed sword fighter. We had none of those and it would fit in well with the “Broad Appeal” direction we wanted to take. Fans of BLC might notice the similarities between “Raigon” and fellow two-handed sword fighter “Reaver” from Bloodline Champions. We took some inspiration from “Reaver”, but ultimately, we wanted to find something new and unique that would fit our directions. Our 2D artists presented us with some awesome concept art and prototyping began from there.
Ability design & prototyping
One of the first design decisions on Raigon’s abilities was to include a core mechanic that would grant him life back, allowing him to stay on and pressure his targets and sustain himself.
Our definition of “Beginner friendly” meant conveying a clear goal to players, rather than just making him a “simple” or “easy” champion to play.
Croak, for example, requires a bit more decision-making (as in jumping in and out to be effective) and is thus harder to learn to the point where the player is comfortable bringing him into competitive play. That being said, we are always working with skill ceilings and viability in mind, so the goal for Raigon would be easy to learn – difficult to master.
We also wanted new players, who might be starting out with Raigon, to learn some more of the common mechanics found in Battlerite. This would allow these newer players to carry on some knowledge from Raigon to their next champion of choice. Read more »