Games

Valorant devs explain why new skins are taking so long

A picture of Jett from Valorant.

image: Riot games

On March 23rd, Matthew Hagg, a pro call of Duty player known as Nadeshot, expressed disappointment in a viral tweet that there’s a new skin bundle for a weapon in the first-person shooter Brave didn’t have a ton of alternative colors and special effects. He noted that the new cosmetics had “so much potential” but were ultimately “chalked,” meaning something was “over.” Brave Developers responded, explaining why releasing skins is a lot more complicated than it looks from the outside.

The Endeavor, the weapon skin bundle in question, was it recently datamined by Valorleaks. It’s part of the Select Tier, which means it is best type of skin you can buy. Individual skins are around $10, and the entire bundle is around $34. It might sound like a lot of money until you realize that some are the most expensive Brave Skins start at $30 for a single skin. Ouch.

Sean Marino, Associate Art Director at Brave, wrote on Twitter, “Anything and everything can always be more. We have to make compromises.”

“If we put 150 percent into everything,” he added, “the team would burn out, the skins would take a lot longer to release, and everything would be insanely expensive.”

Marino cited the forest-themed cosmetics pack Gaia’s revenge as an example of a skin pack that has been delayed due to extensive customization options. It had special effects, audio, and colored variants. Brave publishes the protocol Bundle, which is a weapon skin pack that costs $119 for the entire collection, was originally scheduled to go live this January 2021. Marino stressed that the team prioritizes the quality of cosmetics and that meanwhile overhauls can sometimes occur in the middle of production.

“Of course we can hire more people,” said Marino, “but that doesn’t always solve the problem. There is no recipe for how we make skins. It’s not about putting a camouflage on a weapon and calling it a day or picking a simple color off a wheel.”

Brave Skin maker Preeti Khanolkar too cleared that the skins team for Brave is “small compared to other games”. But even within a “small” team, the participants are very different. Marino said the skin team consists of designers, artists, QA, producers, engineers, marketing, strategy and audio experts who all work together to produce a product. No wonder skin development can take months, if not years.

said Marino kotaku that he “wanted to reinforce a conversation about constructive criticism, rather than emotional or gut reaction criticism.” He welcomed specific feedback on the colors or design theme, but felt that “delivery makes a little difference”.

Hagg doesn’t appear to be angry with the developers for the “chalked” skin bundle. He tweeted“The world your team created through the skins [and] The in-game customization has been nothing short of incredible, which is why people are so passionate about each pack. I’m a fan more than anything, so I hope nothing I say will be taken to heart.”

https://kotaku.com/valorant-skin-cosmetic-development-riot-endeavor-nadesh-1848722993 Valorant devs explain why new skins are taking so long

Curtis Crabtree

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