When it comes to gaming, the last thing you want is a broken system. FPS drops slow your game to a crawl. Packet loss will cause speedups and slowdowns that stall your game into a perpetual loading state. Random bugs caused from poor connections create weird unexplainable errors that will drive users crazy. RIOT Games needed help distilling this information into a fun, League of Legends focused explainer video. They needed an animation to highlight these sluggish processes and show users that with a proper system setup, you can close network-intensive applications and avoid unwanted in-game deaths because of lag.
Our first step in the process was establishing the look. Since animation is so time consuming, it’s important to build a strong foundation of visuals in the preproduction phase to avoid major changes once production begins. We started with developing the story. Professor Milk, a famous League of Legends blogger and youtuber, voiced the animation. His calculated delivery set the stage for quick cuts and strong visuals. Rough storyboards are a simple yet effective way to visualize the story. Adjustments to visuals can easily be made in this stage without major rework.
Following the development of storyboards, DASH then built Style Frames: a series of still images depicting typography, color and graphic choices. These frames act as a blueprint for the animation and serve as a visual map for adhering to style which animators and illustrators can then follow to stay consistent.
Once approved, DASH’s team of animators and illustrators went to work creating all the additional frames necessary to complete the animation. Depending on complexity of the project, most animations take anywhere from four to eight weeks to complete. The motion design for RIOT Games took just under three months to finish.
Before calling the project final, DASH turned the animation over to the folks at Sonosanctus for a helping hand in sound design and original music. A major difference between good work and great work is the investment in audio. Wesley Slover lead the team and developed unique score to correspond with the originality of the animation and used sound design to bring the visuals to life.
We finished the project with a series of illustrations depicting the journey of our packet. Riot Support needed some additional illustrations to correspond with the video and ultimately create a cohesive visual package where content and copy all come together. With just shy of a million views on YouTube, the success of this project is a direct result of planning and execution from both the client and DASH.