Piedra Del Sol Skins Creation Process

Raquel Garcia, weapons designer in Valorant's premium content team, and Sammi Pedregon, Valorant's head of external illustrators, recently spoke about the Creation process of the Piedra del Sol skins collection.

The Piedra del Sol bundle was introduced to the game at the end of August 2022. It consists of four weapon skins, as well as a melee skin. The weapons included in this collection are the Phantom, the Judge, the Ghost and the Bucky.

With this collection, the Aztec art was honoured. Through a published article recently, Raquel Garcia and Sammi Pedregon tried to explain the creative process.

First of all, please note that all the weapons are directly inspired by an Aztec god. To make it as believable as possible, Riot Games' Latin American teams were enlisted to help figure out who would be the face of each weapon and what colour scheme would best match the chosen gods.

To create the Ghost, the developers were inspired by the god Xolotl. In Aztec mythology, it is often depicted as a skeleton with a dog's head, whose role is to guide the souls of the deceased into the afterlife. The first proposals for the weapon had a very feline feel to them, so changes were made to make the canine look more appealing to the players.

The process of creating the Piedra del Sol skins - the first concept of the piedra del sol ghost -
Changes to the first Ghost skin proposals

As can be seen in the image above, some changes have been made. The cheeks are rounder, the nose is squarer and the angle of the ears has been smoothed. It was necessary that when looking at the weapon, one could think of a dog but wonder if it was really that.

The process of creating the Piedra del Sol skins - final desgin of the ghost piedra del sol -
Final design of the Ghost Piedra del Sol

As for the other weapons, the Phantom is inspired by Quetzalcoatl (god of creation), the Bucky of Huitzilopochtli (god of the Sun and War), and the Judge of Tezcatlipoca (god of the Starry Sky). The melee weapon is a clever blend of two inspirations: the Aztec sun stone and a macuahuitl, which is a traditional Aztec stick set with obsidian blades.

In the first versions proposed, the faces of the gods appeared too wobbly, too small and too irregular compared to the other elements that made up the weapons. Everything had to be reworked to harmonise the whole. As for the melee weapon, it did not seem aggressive enough and was also modified to obtain the shape we know today.

The process of creating Piedra del Sol skins - first concepts of piedra del sol weapons -
The process of creating Piedra del Sol skins - before and after piedra del sol weapons -

It took a lot of trial and error to come up with something coherent, but the end result is pretty good.