Establish Baron’s island
Trent reveals how deciding on the look and feel of a setting for a big boss fight in Summoner’s Rift was a collaborative effort
1 Rough sketches.
In these early stages, I merely intended to define the space, hint at locations of architecture and materials, and set the theme for the story in the location. There were very few constraints, and this could have been anything really. It’s blue sky stuff, except that we knew that players expected to fight Baron, who is a large alien-looking serpent.
2 Plan out how everything works
In this case, we needed to be sure that when Baron did his spawn loop, he didn’t pass through geometry, because the animation had to be the same every time. I used some geometry as a guide, since we already knew where the player couldn’t walk, and where Baron needed to spawn.
3 Paint over the geometry
Once we know that everything works, we just need to paint it up. I try not to be too limited by lighting constraints or effects. Ideally, good final concept paintings should inspire the team to ask themselves “how can we do this thing/effect/animation that we’ve not done before?”. Good concept art challenges the team, and the reward is found in delivering an exciting experience for the player.