How are new Valorant Agents created?
In a video recently published by Riot Games and relayed on their social networks, two of their designers took the time to explain to the community the creation process of the new Agents of Valorant.
How are Valorant agents created? That's a question some of you are probably asking yourselves. Well, John Goscicki and Ryan Cousart, respectively Character Producer and Agent Designer for Valorant, have taken the time to answer this question in a six minute video.
First, John Goscicki and his teams consider everything that could be done and think about what is not already in the game. This leads to a lot of brainstorming where design, theming, art and storytelling come together, until thedriving idea is found.
Once the idea is set, the conceptual artists and narrative writers intervene in order to develop the different thematic aspects of the character. To take a concrete example, let's talk about Neon, the last Agent added to the game. The main idea was that she should run and sprint. After establishing this conclusion, the artists and writers looked at the themes around sprinting. They studied Olympic athletes, running equipment and even jogging, in order to get as close to reality as possible. The Duelist's theme had to be obvious when seeing it.
Once all this work is done, a pre-production phase begins. This lasts between one and two months. During this time, the designers work mainly on theappearance of the character in the game. For example, they check that the character's colours and shapes can be seen correctly in the game's various environments.
This is followed by the pure production phase, which usually lasts three to four months. This is when a big collaboration between all the people working on the characters begins. They work on 3D, tech art, VFX, animation, sound and then testing. We have to give life to the character, assign sound effects, gestures that will be specific to him... To finally make sure that everything works properly.
Once the character is ready, it is studied again to see if it is really capable of doing what was originally intended. If it is not, and it has weaknesses, the designers see what could be improved.
Finally, the character is added to the game, but the work does not stop there. The next step is to monitor its selection rate and its win rate to check that this new Agent really brings something to the game and to the different compositions, whatever the level of the players. Depending on the statistics, further changes can be made to present the most perfect characters possible.
Finally, the design of a new Agent is a long and consequent work, which takes on average between ten and fourteen months for the game teams. With each new character creation, the designers have to think about the game differently, which is a real challenge.
If you want to go into more detail about the design of Valorant's agents, we invite you to watch the video in its entirety.