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General Guide by Katsuni

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Katsuni

Champion Creation Guide

Katsuni Last updated on September 27, 2012
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Introduction

Good day to all whose eyes fall upon this!

If you're here, you're probably either considering making a champion for the Champion Concepts Forum, interested in just creating a champion out of your spare time as a hobby because you enjoy doing so and seek to improve, or are simply curious as to what the heck this thing is doing here on Mobafire in the first place.

In short, this is a remarkably extensive and in depth guide which will cover virtually everything you've ever even wondered remotely about in character creation or game design. This was built with the original concept being that it would be for use in the Champion Concepts Forum directly, but I've since learned, after having started the original guide, to set up rather effective and easy to read formatting on Mobafire, wherein the LoL forums are... not exactly welcoming of formatting.

As such, this is essentially a direct port of the guide found here: Champion Creation Tips v3Now, before we go any farther, there's probably a few of you who will want to know why you should even read this guide in the first place. Why should you listen to me, over any other individual on the face of the planet?

First off, I've actually worked as a character designer, lead writer for lore, quest dialogue, and a world designer. I've also had a remarkable amount of training in college on such matters, and have spent my whole life focusing on character design and game balance as my two largest passions. I've read through and dissected piece by piece every scrap of information I can find from people such as Tom Cadwell (better known as Zileas in LoL) so as to better expand my understanding.

This is essentially a compilation of all my knowledge from every source imaginable, from game design documents, books, interviews, firsthand experience, college training, and so on, all compressed into a single location for ease of browsing.

In short... I know a lot. I don't know everything, however, as no one does. There are those who still may know more than me, but the difference is... those with more knowledge than I have aren't writing guides for character design that are free, and certainly not focused purely around champion design for LoL specifically. A tome this heavy normally nets you a good $30+ at a bookstore.
Now, as I said, I don't know everything. There are matters which are opinion based. There are matters which I may be mistaken on, or which I'll learn through firsthand experience later on that I had been in error on. No one can see all ends. I'm not saying to take this as 100% literal fact and truth. What I'm saying, is to read through this with the understanding that probably a good 90%+ of it is accurate, but that you always have to keep your mind open on matters such as these. Don't just go in blindly assuming that anyone, not me, not Tom Cadwell, not J. Michael Stryzinski, not Steve Feak, not Sid Mieir, knows everything about game or character design, though each of these people listed, and many more that are neglected, know remarkable amounts, and are well worth the time and dedication of studying to learn more from.

Game design is a fluid beast, and a hard one to tame, as what works for one audience, or one game, or even one year, may not work for another. Everything's a variable, from the culture of a country who plays a game (South Korea's ideals and play styles don't work at all the same as North America, for example), through to the individual players themselves (Someone who prefers support characters generally thinks quite differently from someone who prefers assassins, go figure!). The best I can offer to you is that the information in this guide will be "accurate within the vast majority of the time", but that there's always going to be exceptions to every rule.

As such, a great deal of this guide is devoted to teaching you what the default ground rules are, and then explaining when and why they get broken, and how to break them in a controlled manner.

In the end, my goal is to help you become better at doing something you already enjoy. So long as one of you walks away from here knowing more than you did when you stepped into this guide, and is able to make your designs that much more awesome than they already were, or if one person is inspired to pursue an actual career in game design, I've done my job.

Of course, you may also just be curious as to how the game industry works, or how those champions get made in the first place for you to play as in game! The design process is a little different for each and every company, and often varies even based on individual designers within a company. This is, however, a good rough estimate of the things they have to consider when making a champion design. This is also why champion designs often take about 9 months on average to complete, give or take a few months.

Regardless of your reasoning for being here, be it to improve your own designs, to see how game design works, or just idle curiosity... well... here we are. The beginning of delving into the world of game design and character creation. Strap yourselves in, because this is a long haul!




WARNING: This is essentially a book, more so than a guide. In total, you're looking at well over 200,000 words for the finished product. Most novels clock in between 40,000 and 100,000. Be prepared for massive amounts of text. This was never meant to be read in one sitting, so don't panic!

Note also that this guide is still under construction, and only has 22 chapters worth of its 50 total finished. New chapters are to be updated daily as they are completed.


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The Basics of Champion Design

This is a short version of what you'll learn down farther in the guide. These next few sections are to be used as "quick reference" and short versions of important information before delving into the more advanced classes.This is the most basic starting point of making a champion, or even a character in general. The concepts listed here are of great value and should be taken very seriously, as without these, the design is going to go flop.

These are the top rules that must be considered for your champion to be fun, and are not under debate. You can't argue these points, and can't debate them. They are flat out fact. There is no avoiding these issues. Keep them in mind on every single champion you make, and they'll help you go far.


Design Philosophy; A study in fun

Spoiler: Click to view


Choices: A game without gameplay isn't really a game, now is it?
Spoiler: Click to view


Improvement and Criticism
Spoiler: Click to view


Legibility and Presentation (Formatting so posts are readable)
Spoiler: Click to view


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Getting Started

While we now have some information on the most basic concepts of champion design, we need to go past that, now, and begin work on actually creating one. Knowing how to organize your thoughts is important, but having thoughts to organize in the first place, is also kind of useful.

Character Concept

Spoiler: Click to view


Inspiration
Spoiler: Click to view


Unique Ideas (They don't exist)
Spoiler: Click to view


Lore
Spoiler: Click to view


Naming Conventions: (both names and titles!)
Spoiler: Click to view


Resources
Spoiler: Click to view


Mana
Spoiler: Click to view


Energy
Spoiler: Click to view


Fury
Spoiler: Click to view


New Resource Systems
Spoiler: Click to view


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What Makes A Champion?

Now that we have some ideas on the basic concept for our character, and how to get those ideas onto the paper in an orderly manner, which makes sense, we now need to get some content in there.

To do this, we're going to need an outline of what makes a champion... well... a champion.

Also, since it's not covered anywhere else in this guide, I'm going to provide a small bit here on statistics, because it certainly doesn't require a full post to cover.First off, Statistics aren't that big a deal. Your stats are going to likely be fairly generic, as there's really not much variation. There are some differences between champions on an individual level, but for the most part, the difference on a larger scale, between roles, really isn't that big.

The easiest way to figure out your stats, is simply to go on LoLWiki, or some other site (though I do recommend LoLWiki as it lists even hidden stats), and simply check what stats there are. Glance through a few champions that are similar to your own for design and role, for example, checking out Shen, Rammus, Malphite and Cho'gath for a tank, perhaps, and then compare their stats.

There will be variations, but there are a few basic rules of thumb.

First off, determine attack range. Check other champions of the type for comparison.

Then, make sure to list your attack range. It's excessively important to learning how the entire champion plays, and most people don't bother to state whether they're ranged or melee, and it can seriously change how powerful a champion is, and how well they'll work, or how fun they'll be.

Second, compare to previous champions which are similar to your own.

Third, magic resistance rarely scales. It's generally 30+0/level, though the high point is that some champions get 30+1.25/level. There's only two, I believe, who get 30+0.75/level. In short, unless you're specifically adding resistance per level to counteract having below average defenses vs spells, don't bother providing such.

Fourth, list your stats both as the base stat, the increase per level, and the level 1 and level 18 totals. This is a tidy way of letting players know how useful they are, and bypasses the whole problem of "does 430+70 health mean they start at level 1 with 430, or 500 life?". It only takes a short moment to add this info, and it is helpful.

Fifth, don't go past minimum and maximum values, unless you really know exactly what you're doing. For example, don't make a champion with less than 300 movement speed, unless you are building the entire champion design with that stat being different in mind. Check the stats on the other champions, as stated several times now, and you'll be fine.

Sixth... there isn't a sixth. It's really that simple to come up with stats. While some people will state that "low, medium, or high" are perfectly good, and honestly they kind of are, it's generally better to specify exactly how low, or high. It's not that hard to just check LoLWiki and get a specific value, so go ahead and be a little more specific.

Anyway, that's it for stats! Onto the other stuff!


Purpose, and Specific roles

Spoiler: Click to view


Tank
Spoiler: Click to view


Support
Spoiler: Click to view


DPS / melee/ranged/magical
Spoiler: Click to view


Assassin
Spoiler: Click to view


Burst Mages
Spoiler: Click to view


Abilities
Spoiler: Click to view


Passives
Spoiler: Click to view


Actives
Spoiler: Click to view


Ultimates
Spoiler: Click to view


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Fine Tuning

Flaws, Holes and Gaps

Spoiler: Click to view


Making Fun Abilities
Spoiler: Click to view


Synergy
Spoiler: Click to view


Complex Is Not Necessarily Better
Spoiler: Click to view


How To Simplify Abilities
Spoiler: Click to view


Multi-form Abilities
Spoiler: Click to view


Balancing Champions and Abilities
Spoiler: Click to view


Numbers and What They Mean
Spoiler: Click to view


Scaling
Spoiler: Click to view


The Whole Package
Spoiler: Click to view


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Icing On The Cake

Differences between methods of doing things, and why it matters

Spoiler: Click to view


Things to Avoid
Spoiler: Click to view


Anti-patterns
Spoiler: Click to view


Breaking The Rules
Spoiler: Click to view


Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Spoiler: Click to view


Conclusion
Spoiler: Click to view

There have been a few sections which were left out of this last bit, as they are only particularly useful as full sized articles, and can be found further below when they're completed.


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The Heavy Stuff (Everything past here is meant for one article per sitting)

All sections from this point on are excessively heavy reading and are more so intended to be read one article at a time. Most of these are essays sitting in at about ~6,000 words or so. As such, you may want to slow down a bit here.

Note that all of these will be pretty much a big block of text. I'll drop in pictures to ease things up a bit as I'm able to, but this is primarily just a ton of information to cover, and no amount of pretty pictures is going to take away from that fact.

If you have any questions, concerns, complaints, or anything you'd like specifically to be covered, please go here: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2099323 where the original guide is, and make a direct request =3

I'm more than willing to add additional information, especially to the Mobafire version of the guide, since it doesn't seem to have the same 30,000 character limit per post, nor is it all that picky about adding in new sections, unlike the forum.

Anyway, the pretty pictures are going away now. It's time for some seriously heavy reading, so be prepared for massive walls of text the likes of which you've probably never seen outside of a college textbook.


Guide Top

Design Philosophy: A Study in Fun

Spoiler: Click to view


Guide Top

Choices

Spoiler: Click to view


Guide Top

Improvement and Criticism

Spoiler: Click to view


Guide Top

Legibility and Presentation

Spoiler: Click to view


Guide Top

Character Creation

Spoiler: Click to view


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Inspiration

Spoiler: Click to view


Guide Top

Unique Ideas (They Don't Exist)

Spoiler: Click to view


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Lore

Spoiler: Click to view


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Naming Conventions (Names and Titles!)

Spoiler: Click to view


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Resources

Spoiler: Click to view


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Mana

Spoiler: Click to view


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Energy

Spoiler: Click to view


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Fury

Spoiler: Click to view


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Creating New Resource Systems

Spoiler: Click to view


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Purpose And Specific Roles

Spoiler: Click to view


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How To Make A Tank (IMMA TANAK! WOO!)

Spoiler: Click to view


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How To Make A Support (Where they're going and why)

Spoiler: Click to view


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How To Make A DPS (Melee / Ranged / Magical)

Spoiler: Click to view


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How To Make An Assassin (I hate their creed, ba dum tish!)

Spoiler: Click to view


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How To Make A Burst Mage (There are some who call me... Tim?)

Spoiler: Click to view


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Abilities

Spoiler: Click to view


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Passives

Spoiler: Click to view


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Actives

Spoiler: Click to view


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Ultimates

Spoiler: Click to view


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More To Come!

You think you're done? Oh no. No you're only just getting started!

I'm not 100% done the guide yet, and still have about 30 more articles to finish, each being about 6,000 words long, roughly.

These will show up on the original post first, which can be found here: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2099323

As each new section is completed, it'll be slipped in just above this one, in order, to allow for additional content.

For now, I have a great deal of additional work to do, and shall provide such here at such time as it's ready.

Until then, I hope you've enjoyed and found use for this!


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