Basically, PROJECT: Yasuo was supposed to be the only one that would appear in League of Legends client. Riot's office in Santa Monica was working on this skin as it was working on other skins, in a completely normal and usual way. However, at the same time, Marco "Wendigo" Silva — computer graphics designer at Riot for the São Paulo office — had already made his own design of PROJECT: Yi. At the time, he called it "Cyber Yi".
As you might expect, an idea as important as a series of skins must be checked from top to bottom and must be flawless, just like Arcade skins. Silva then decided to maintain his "project" and wrote, with a team of conceptual artists and animators that he himself had assembled, a 50-page presentation proving the value and relevance of his ideas for the game. The cyberpunk genre of Silva's idea interested more and more people.
PROJECT vs. Robots
These two families should not be confused. Robots or Mechas are different from PROJECTS. In the Mechas family, there are two additional subgenres. One includes Malphite, Aatrox, and Kha'Zix. The other includes Viktor, Kog'Maw, Skarner, Cho'Gath, Vel'Koz, and Urgot. The difference between these two types of Mechs can be clearly seen in their Splash arts alone.
The PROJECT skins are not steel monsters. They are human-sized champions protected by an exoskeleton. It is an improvement of the human being through the fusion between the latter and the machine, a kind of hybrid.
However, PROJECTS should not be seen as empty and soulless shells. There are signs to remind us that they are, despite everything, at the base of humans: Leona's visible jaw, some of Master Yi's apparent muscles, Yasuo's gloves.
This is literally the shape of the characters. For the Mechas, there is a preponderance of hexagonal shapes for the first family — and for Viktor's army, it is assemblies of spare parts that make up the overall shape. Colour is also important: basic Mechas are cold blue/grey steel characters while Viktor Mechas display orange and red colors escaping from the joints.
The PROJECT have colors similarly close to the Mechas, with the difference that theirs is attenuated by the surrounding light.
The characteristic forms of PROJECT skins are mixtures between elements of computer science and magic, which are found in the small particles displayed by the skins — between technology and magic.
The artistic team then gave a definition of what PROJECT meant.
PROJECTS are all different from each other. Their particles are different for everyone. Lucian has parallelogram shapes, smooth and dynamic and his E-Ardent Blaze usually displays a compass rose. The designers wanted these elements to be present even with the skins, not forgetting that the PROJECTS are initially human.
That is why Fiora has triangular particles, representing grace but with sharp, aggressive sides, while Lucian emits ever stronger bursts of light, bringing the character back to his dynamism.
From São Paulo to the Rift
Silva thus saw his idea appear in the Summoner's Rift — for a player who mains Master Yi, this skin is a real treat.
Yes, we were right! The PROJECT family returns to the Rift! Give a warm welcome to Pyke, Jinx, Akali, and Irelia as they put on their new suits for the first time!
PROJECT skins are coming back in League of Legends! Get ready, because Irelia's brand new Prestige skin will soon blast into the Summoner's Rift!