I have been making concepts and helping others for a while now, and I have noticed that those who are newer to concepts sometimes struggle without help and guidance. This guide to help answer questions concept makers may have and act as a start to help those concept makers out. Later on, I will add some things for once you are comfortable making concepts and some other fun additions.
Let’s Begin with the Basics:
When I say rules, these are not really rules, more so things (or guidelines) that are good to follow so you do not make silly errors that could end up having unfavorable results for you.
Do not make RAPID FIRE CONCEPTS!- Rapid fire meaning quickly made concepts that have little to no detail. This definition includes putting more than 1 concept in a single thread or releasing more than one in a day. They are not interesting to read for the most part because they are not complete or creative. It is important to get creative and understand the character when making concepts, which we will get into later. The more time you put into the concept, the better it will turn out, I promise.
Do your best to use correct GRAMMAR and SPELLING!- Concepts are so much easier to understand when they are well written!
ORIGINALITY is IMPORTANT- Try to make sure that if the concept has been done before to not copy. This is especially important when making popular characters and highly requested characters (I’m looking at you Anna, Kermit, Onward, and others). It can be difficult to make original abilities when starting out, but it is easy to make original friendship disks since there are so many different directions you can take with them and many possible heroes to pair them with. Original skills take longer to create, but can be very much well worth it in the end.
Follow A FORMAT- I will be highlighting this later, but it is important to follow a format so it is easy to read. Even if it is a simple format, it goes a long way and makes it a lot nicer to read.
LISTEN to the CRITICS- Although feedback may not always be the best to hear, it is important, especially when starting to make concepts. It is best to ask for respectful feedback. When you are willing to ask for feedback, people will not only give it, but may be willing to help and work with you. Your first concept may not be the best (it usual never is) but the critics can really help (even if you do not listen to everything they say) and with more practice you will become better, especially if you have an interest to improve!
Make sure things go well together!- Everything including in the concept should be consistent and work together, the guide will be addressing this as a whole.
Now that we have gotten the rules out of the way, let’s move on to formatting.
Formatting is one of the ways that can make a decent concept great! Usually they are not hard to create, and you can always take inspiration from other’s formatting.
What usually is in a concept?
This is a great question! Let’s go into the parts of a complete concept!
Parts of a Concept
Hero’s name - we need to know WHO this concept is of (it is good to say who the concept is of in the topic’s title as well)
Image of the Hero - we want to know what the character(s) would look like in the game!
Description - a short sentence describing what the character does (both in the concept’s source and in the game)
Quote - just a fun thing the character has said in their source and shows their personality
Stars - how many stars should this character start with in the game?
Role - Tank, Damage, Support, or Control. The role dictates a lot of what is in the concept- including skills and the position. For example, Tanks are usually frontline because it is their job to protect their allies!
Position - Frontline, Midline, or Backline. The position dictates the kinds of attacks the hero has. Usually if they throw things, they are backline. If they do something different like swing a sword, they are a frontline. Midline is a mix of the two.
Trial Team - Red, Blue, and Yellow. Each team has its own strengths and weaknesses and usually has certain abilities as its specialty. It is good to think about the color team it is on when creating the skillset. I will put a guide that helps highlight those things in a resources section if you need it!
Animations - Entrance, Basic Attack, Defeat, and Victory. These are a great way to show the personality of the character and add some fun into the concepts. This applies to skills as well, but it can be fun to include a gif to show people what the animation will look like!
Skills - White, Green, Blue, Purple, and Red. White, Green, and Blue have animations to them. The Purple and Red skills are passive, meaning they do not have animations and boost the skills with animations in a variety of different ways. Red skills also give the character 3 different stat boosts. 2 boosts something such as Max HP, Skill Power, Basic Damage, etc. The last stat boost can affect something in a skill (such as damage dealt in a skill, etc.) or some another stat. It helps to think about what the character would benefit from gaining as well as the role they are in. It can also help to look at the different stats a character in the game has to understand the stats in the game so you can incorporate them in the other skills. They are the most important part of the concept. The character’s skills should fit the character you are making. They should be creative and fit into the game. It can be helpful to look at the game to look for the different effects that a character could do. It can also be helpful to take inspiration from characters already in the game. I will talk about Inspiration later in the guide.
Friendships - 2 heroes that you think your concept would be friends with. This includes heroes that may not be in the hero’s franchise. At minimum, you need to include the disk that the friendship would give. A Disk needs a name, a star effect (like a boost that lengthens a duration of an effect in a skill and other things like that), and a stat boost, similar to those that go in the red skill.
Those are all the parts! Pretty simple, right? Anything I did not mention (like trivia and other things of that sort are NOT needed)
For a nice example of a format, I suggest looking at one of these concepts!
Go Go Tomago created by me!
Character Concept Scaffold (this is not a concept, but it is a nice format for beginners created by @Fellow_PigIet )
Pro tip: It is ok to break from the format in small ways as long as you include everything you need! Sometimes changing small things up a bit can be good! Feel free to create your own, or do whatever works best for you in terms of formatting. You do not need to use formats that others are using, just make sure however you present your concept can be easily understood!
The trial team and number of stars of a hero is not needed, and is completely optional. Additionally, Green and Blue skills do not need to have an animation, and can be passive (a good example of a hero like this is Anger). At a minimum a concept should have 3 attack animations: basic attack, white skill, and another skill (Green, Blue, and even Purple)! ALSO, when you are making a concept of a hero who’s franchise is already in the game or a concept series, make sure that they are the same Trial Team color!
*Concept makers- if you want, let me know if you have a nice concept that can be used as one of these examples so this part is not just me putting shameless plugs lol
LIKELY VS. UNLIKELY
There are 2 main types of concepts- likely and unlikely. They only have 1 major difference, but there are important things to know about them both.
Unlikely - These concepts are heroes that will not likely come into the game, so anything that is not a Disney or Pixar franchise. This includes characters that already appear in an existing hero’s skillset. Ex: Grandma Tala, Zeus, and others. It can be helpful to put in the title of your concept that it is Unlikely so people are aware.
Of course everyone can have a different concept creating process, and it is important to do what works best for you. I will be sharing mine, which I think can be not only efficient but very organized and easy to do. If anyone wants to share their creative process, feel free and I will add it in this section.
My Creative Process
First things first, I choose a hero to make a concept out of and set up a quick format where I can fill in the blanks on a Google Doc with all my concepts.
Next, only if I need to, I look at the source material (where the character comes from) for the character to come up with some ideas.
I then go into making the concept itself, starting with the concept core.
Let me explain what MY version of a “Concept Core” is:
Name of Hero
Image of the Hero
Skill Names with a basic idea of what each would do
Who the Hero is Friends with
*You can have your own version of this core, depending on what you want to do.
After creating the core, I put it in my concept previews PM to see what people think about it. If needed, I make some changes and then finish up the concept by creating the skills and finishing the Friendship Disks.
FITTING A CHARACTER
When making a character, all the parts of the character should feel accurate to the character! The more realistic it is and the more you know it, the better the concept. Think about their role in their source, their personality, and other character traits. Sometimes you want to focus on only a few of their traits that will work together well. Something that helps me is thinking like the character you are making and other characters that they interact with, to get at least one good perspective on the character.
Variables are a great addition to concepts, instead of plugging in random numbers. Some common letters that are used are X, Y, and Z. These can mean different things for different people, but can be used when you need to plug in a number. When using more than 1 variable, it can be good to say what they represent. The variable can take the place of HP, Skill Power, Basic Damage, damage dealt, level, stat boosts, etc. It is a lot easier than plugging in a random number. Variables should not be used in place of seconds or the number of stacks of a status effect a hero applies.
Taking inspiration from characters already in the game can be really helpful when creating a concept. This can happen in a large variety of ways including taking skills (or parts of them), disk effects, and other features and applying it to your heroes in some way. Let’s do an example.
Let’s say you want to create a concept of a hero that you think should focus on blinds. A great hero in game who already exists that focuses on blinds is Powerline. You may want to see what his skills are in the game and take aspects of them and apply them to your hero’s skills, disks, or whatever else you want.
This concept of Miss Argentina from Beetlejuice the Musical I made took inspiration from Powerline.
I have noticed that there have been some issues when it comes to providing feedback here on the forums. Sometimes people are very harsh when giving feedback and some people’s feelings get hurt when seeing it. Here are some tips to provide helpful and kind feedback to concepts.
Find at least ONE GREAT thing about the concept and tell the concept maker what you liked. (honestly it would be awesome if people did that anyway)
Offer to HELP the concept maker by helping them FIX or CREATE a concept before they release it.
Do not expect PERFECT concepts, even for those who have done many concepts before. I find that it helps people to give feedback to improve gradually. Do not overwhelm people with a lot of changes or things to work on for next time.
TALK (or in this case type) to them in a POSITIVE MANNER.
When you RATE or GRADE a concept tell them WHY you gave them that.
Make sure that when you do provide feedback, that it is MEANINGFUL.
Give feedback in the way you want to RECEIVE it.
If you think this guide is missing an important section or subsection I have not thought of, please let me know, as I would love some help and contributions! If you have questions on this guide, also please let me know!