Riot Games recently revealed their upcoming collaboration with popular Grammy award-winning artist, producer, DJ, Zedd. The new Spectrum skin line is set to arrive in Episode 3 Act 2, and fans are quite intrigued with the concept design.
The official press release from Riot states: "Inspired by the intersection of sound and colour spectrums, the SPECTRUM skin is a high-energy, futuristic-looking skin line driven by electronic audio visualization elements. SPECTRUM is VALORANT’s first audio-driven skin line, and was developed in collaboration with Grammy award-winning artist, producer, DJ, and Immortal-ranked VALORANT player, Zedd."
VALORANT Devs Reveal Inspiration Behind SPECTRUM Skin Line
Here's what Riot developers had to say about the new SPECTRUM skin line arriving in VALORANT Episode 3 Act 2.
Q: What were your goals when designing the SPECTRUM skin line?
Isaac Kikawa, Senior Sound Designer on VALORANT at Riot Games, revealed the process behind creating SPECTRUM's sound design.
My goal was to take Zedd’s sound vision and implement it into VALORANT so that it matched our aesthetic and gameplay parameters. Zedd would send me his sound designs and I would adjust the frequency and volume envelopes to fit in our gameplay space. I wanted to create something that sounded like Zedd, but still worked in VALORANT.
Sean Marino, Art Lead on VALORANT at Riot Games, added how the skin's sci-fi design started from a simple concept.
Zedd was very interested in collaborating with us on a skin line because he’s a huge fan of VALORANT. He was playing the game for many months before our team met him, so it was cool that he approached us as a VALORANT player, not as Zedd the artist. When we first started talking about ideas, something we established really early on with him was that we wanted to make a skin that would be broadly appealing and awesome whether or not you were familiar with Zedd’s music or brand. This means that players who like sci-fi and sound-heavy skins would love this skin, rather than this just being a skin that only Zedd fans would enjoy.
Q: What inspired the SPECTRUM skin line?
Stefan Jevremovic, Senior VFX Artist on VALORANT at Riot Games, explained how VFX and colours were implemented to design this new skin line.
VFX was a big part of the SPECTRUM skin line. We wanted to do something different, something unique! So, we implemented colors that would feel like you were in a nightclub through the VFX and made sure that any sound the gun makes is in sync with the visual effects. We also created the ultimate night club experience with the Finisher.
All this would not be possible without collaboration between our tech team, audio team, and VFX team to create a system that would recognize sound waves and translate it to visual effects. Zedd also helped us find the right direction in terms of visual language and design of the equalizer VFX.
Q: Were there any unexpected challenges or situations when designing SPECTRUM?
Isaac Kikawa: An unexpected challenge we had with SPECTRUM was having multiple sound pieces being played on top of each other at the same time. You could theoretically have the Finisher, inspect, and multiple sprays playing at once. This led to a lot of funny bugs, which we had to fix.
Chris Stone, Senior Weapons Artist on VALORANT at Riot Games, added: "Historically in VALORANT, we lead with developing the model and allow the visual effects and audio to follow. For SPECTRUM, we worked backwards - with audio first, VFX second, and model last. This required us to slightly rethink how we typically produce skins, but also was a fun challenge for the team that allowed us to develop the best skin possible."
Preeti Khanolkar, Senior Producer on VALORANT at Riot Games, explained why the SPECTRUM skin line was more more complex than the Elderflame.
"The SPECTRUM skin is the most ambitious and complex skin line we’ve ever made, arguably more complex than the Elderflame dragon. And SPECTRUM has the most new features of any skin out there.
We often say that every skin has to have an “oh shit” moment, but I feel like this skin has several big “oh shit” moments. For example, the skin’s VFX and accent colors change continuously as you move through the map. Likewise, the Finisher color changes depending on where it spawns. And the Finisher is different if the bomb is planted and needs to be defused! Not only did we add a unique set of sounds to the inspect (we named the inspect sound that plays “SEQUENCE”), those sounds are different on each weapon!
So you can swap between your Phantom, Classic, and melee back-to-back to enjoy a different version of SEQUENCE with each weapon! This may not be a feature exactly, but this skin line was also a very unique collaboration because Zedd contributed so much work to the skin’s sounds--not just the inspect sound, but the firing sounds, melee swipes (which feel amazingly powerful and satisfying), spray sounds, and the Finisher sounds! I said this to Zedd recently: he’s officially a video game developer now!"
Bisola Alugbin, Software Engineer on VALORANT at Riot Games, added: "SPECTRUM is an incredible skin line - a culmination of the efforts of many awesome Rioters. I worked closely with the Audio, VFX, and the Premium Content team in order to help make the idea of a sound-based gun into reality. Transforming the sounds into data that could be used to create visual effects was a challenging but rewarding undertaking, and it was amazing to see how cool the final results look!"
Q: What else would you like players to know about SPECTRUM?
Preeti Khanolkar: I’m exceptionally proud of what the team was able to accomplish with the SPECTRUM skin line. Zedd was an amazing collaborator, and I consider him to be an official member of the SPECTRUM skin team!
Sean Marino: We really tried to push the bar when it came to what’s possible for designing a sound-heavy skin in a competitive tac shooter, and I think what we achieved with SPECTRUM is incredible.