/dev: Designing a Star Guardian Trio

Heros by night and high schoolers by day, even with a lot on their plate Star Guardians always manage to sparkle.

Returning for the fourth time in the League universe, Star Guardians have finally come to Wild Rift. With unique Guardians who’ve vowed to protect us from the dangers of the universe, it was important that they feel familiar, unique, and of course supportive.


Designing three unique skins for Wild Rift players that fit into the beloved Star Guardian universe was a challenging feat, but it was that principal concept artist Charles “Yideth” Liu was particularly excited about.

“Star Guardian is pretty close to me. I remember that back in the day, when we were trying to make Star Guardian Lux, we were still pretty split. Because League was putting out a lot of burly and tough skins, and not anything in that anime style. The tone was just different,” Yideth laughs, “But there was a whole team that supported it and helped ship it. So it’s really cool to be working on it again for Wild Rift.”

There was also a more personal connection to Star Guardian for Yideth— he designed Star Guardian Miss Fortune on League PC!


Star Guardians have a lot on their plate, between fighting off the forces of evil and trying to ace that Calculus test in fourth period. It's hard work and a bit of a balancing act being a hero by night and high schooler by day. And when the team got started on this year’s Guardians, they wanted to make sure they acknowledged the balancing act the Star Guardians have to perform between those two identities.

In previous iterations of Star Guardians their costuming didn't have too many elements of their high school hobbies and activities, so when the League PC and Wild Rift teams got started, they honed in on that idea. Because when their afternoons aren’t occupied fighting the forces of darkness, the Star Guardians like to participate in various school activities (ya’know, just like us).


Base Seraphine is one of the brightest and bubbliest performers in Piltover. She loves performing in neighboring cities and spreading positive vibes through her sweet harmonies to all who hear them. So the team wanted to find a way to bring over that bubbly side as a student in Valoran City.

“In our early explorations Seraphine was a cheerleader, which we felt was very fitting for her when we were originally exploring the Guardians’ school alter egos,” explains Yideth. “But we ended up moving away from focusing entirely on their extracurricular activities. So when we started narrowing in on costuming for Seraphine, we referenced a lot back to Lux’s original squad which featured bolder colors, and went with that style.”


The team wanted to convey Seraphine’s sparkly presence in the colors of her costume. They decided on bright orange as her main color, to highlight her sunny disposition. There are also hues of pink and purple throughout to compliment the orange, bringing some necessary depth and a little extra sparkle to the rising star.

But a Star Guardian’s outfit isn’t even their most important accessory.


Seraphine’s familiars Treble and Bass are always ready to lend a hand whether she's fighting off the powers of evil or just singing some sweet melodies at karaoke with her best Guardian girlies.

“We tried to have her familiar be a mic at first with her little pet sitting on top, but you couldn’t really see it,” Yideth recalls. “And then we tried a speaker and it started out a bit too big, but we were able to land on something smaller that fit her model.”


When designing any skinline, it's important that the champion stays true to who they are. Rather than starting from scratch and trying to conform a champion to that universe, the team looks at each champion and puts a thematic lens over them.

Orianna is a robot given life, and that stays true even in her Star Guardian form, as she was granted a wish from the First Star to become a human. But she’s still a bit mechanical and trying to find her footing.


Star Guardian was a joint effort between the Wild Rift and League PC teams. They worked together along the way, sharing concepts to make sure they were making something that felt cohesive. Star Guardian art director Oscar “gay lil frog” Vega originally explored what this mechanical-turned-real girl would look like.

“Even though we moved away from showing the Guardians off in their hobbies and back to the more uniform costuming, Orianna’s design really hasn't changed much since her original concept. We saw gay lil frog’s work and we all just fell in love and knew that's what she should look and just made some minor tweaks,” Yideth shares.


One of the special touches in Oriana’s original concept art was a familiar flying pet that might look a bit familiar if you play Teamfight Tactics (no, not a baaat)... Tocker! “Everyone saw Tocker and we just felt it was the perfect familiar for Orianna, it fit her and we knew it had to stay in,” laughs Yideth.


Out of all the Star Guardians, Senna posed the most challenges for the team. Senna’s a bit more closed off and hardened. And in comparison to the other Guardians, she’s much more mature—something the team wanted to make sure was clear in her design.


“Senna changed the most from her original concept.,” explains Yideth. “Her colors were more bright to begin with, but that didn’t fit who Senna is, so we toned down her colors a bit. She also had a unique challenge because of her weapon. Her relic cannon is so large, and requires special rigging. We also had to figure out how to make it feel Star Guardian.”

The team shifted Senna’s color palette to cooler tones with hues of purple and touches of teal to better match her personality.

As for her big weapon, abilities, and rigging, the team looked to add in hints of Star Guardian magic wherever they could.


“We just took her weapon and tried to play off of those Star Guardian motifs wherever we could. We played around a lot with wings and different star shapes in her abilities and weapon,” says Yideth.

In order to really hit Star Guardian Senna’s theme of being a cool, senior girl who is a bit more standoffish, the team wanted to make sure her familiar fit that personality as well.

“We tried out making a cheetah at first, but it didn’t fit in with her color palette at all. Then Gem “lonewingy” Lim, an art director on League PC, helped us come up with the shark idea that’s much more fitting for who Senna is,” explains Yideth.


It’s exciting to have Guardians new and old joining our Wilder Rift, but keep your eyes on the stars in the following days as these friends' stories unfold.