With support from our core IP strategy team, I’ve put together a champion brief that encapsulates what makes Illaoi special and what gamers around the world love about it.
Illaoi is the truth-bringer of Nagakabouros, the deity of life, ocean storms and motion, who is often depicted as a colossal kraken. Illaoi and his people hail from the Serpent Islands, an island archipelago that includes Bilgewater and his home island of Buhru.
In League of Legends, Illaoi gameplay focuses on testing the worth of individuals using the golden artifact known as the Eye of God. Wielding the massive idol, she rips souls from their host bodies and summons spectral tentacles to strike them repeatedly.
In our narrative world, those who survive the Nagakabouros test are considered to be on the right track and can move forward to pursue their true purpose in life. While those who fall are left unequivocally, they fail in their duty to further their own lives and impede the flow of the universe. An experience that not everyone survives.
Using all of this information, we have defined Illaoi’s fundamental truth as: “A powerful and charismatic spiritual leader who inspires others to become their own unstoppable force.” She turns heads and dominates a room with her physical presence and confident, determined swagger.
Then, using the brief, I worked with those responsible for other disciplines, such as design and art, to create a North Star for its development. This way, we make sure Illaoi is instantly identifiable, even in a genre we’ve never seen her in. And, more importantly, we used him to seek out opportunities to grow his legend. Because a fighting game is the perfect place for Illaoi to shine.
With a clear picture of her in our minds, we can ensure that anyone who already knows Illaoi beyond the surface level also finds the character they love, while allowing the development team to delight even their most dedicated followers with a version that will explode. the doors closed. Or, in his case, rip the doors off their hinges with magical tentacles and fight senselessly with them.
On a personal note, I’ve loved who Illaoi is and who she could be since we developed her for League in 2015. And while she’s not one of the most popular champions in League, I think that it’s easy to see how Illaoi’s combination of bruised knuckles, devout heart, and cheerful swagger (combined with all the new experiences we can put into players’ hands) 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 into its visual direction. You can infuse so much more into a champion when you know who they are, especially when we compare all of their visual representations, 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 on 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, high-spirited, and believes in challenging others to live life to the fullest. And all of these things had to be reflected in his appearance.
Illaoi’s physical build is quite unique in the League of Legends champion roster, and we’ve referenced many athletes who focus on weightlifters and shot putters. Mostly women who spend a lot of time lifting things as easily as Illaoi lifts his massive weapon.