March 28, 2023

Riot talks about Gekko’s authenticity and representation

ONE riot games deals with culture and entertainment from its various regions PEOPLE. The creation of Gekko shows this side of the developer a bit more. In addition to all the skill composition, Riot also invests in the creation of agents and likes to tell stories through their characters. The narrative screenwriter, Joe Killeen talked about the original interpretation of Gekko.

“We decided to create a first-generation immigrant character, someone who lived a childhood shaped by the mixture of two different worlds: the cultural heritage of his parents and the influences of his hometown. This experience happens all over the world. The parents’ migration journey, as well as the destinations, are different, but several milestones of the first-generation experience are common. We explored the world and landed on a version of the experience that many of us can relate to: Los Angeles. The city is a melting pot of cultures, the result of the amalgamation of many different communities, with a scattering of stories of immigrants and first-generation descendants.”

“Then we focused on East Los Angeles, where there is a historic community that has long, generational ties to Mexico. From there, we took every opportunity we could to dive deep into this experience: we consulted Riot Unidos identity team members, talked to first-generation people, toured East LA, interviewed Mexican-Americans, asked Rioters in the Mexico office about information. , we worked with Gekko’s voice actor, who is also from the same Los Angeles area, and augmented the Agent team with developers who had ties to that life experience.”

Apocalypse / Riot Games

Killeen also commented on the difficulties the team had in building Gekko. According to the scriptwriter, the team had a hard time choosing the names of abilities for the new Initiator.

“We followed a set of guidelines for naming the abilities, but soon after, Gekko’s came up with some additional criteria: each was one of the Agent’s companions, who are also characters. And characters need names. Soon, the challenge became this: what can we call both skills and creatures? It was difficult to find the right names that fit well with the game mechanics and functioned as nicknames that Gekko himself would give to the creatures. After some back and forth, we settled on Dizzy, Wingman, Thrash, and Mosh Pit (shortened to “Mosh” for the creature’s nickname).

John Goscickithe senior game producer also gave his insight into the difficulties in creating Gekko, as Riot Games has always come up with a unique personality for its characters and this time would be no different.

“It’s always a challenge to ensure the uniqueness of each Agent on the roster while maintaining performance. Gekko was the hardest of them all. Creating four super unique creatures that you’ll fall in love with and keeping certain gameplay constraints on them… isn’t easy. With different situations in the game, things get even more complicated. The team had to come up with a lot of creative solutions to maintain the creature designs and keep the game within performance limits.”

game designer, Ryan Cousart revealed that he was inspired and wanted to honor his teammates who are also his idols. Cousart wanted to add a twist to old designs that never saw the light of day.

“It was really great to bring to life some of the things I was excited about when I was taking QA tests, but this time, enriched with the knowledge I gained from the gaming community. I learned everything I know from these people, so I hope they get as excited as I do to see their old creations come to life!”

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