Riot’s shooter Valorant hasn’t been out long, but it’s already becoming known for its excellent character designs and weapon skins. Recently, that’s included a stylish German hacker with adorable robots, and guns that transform into dragons. Now the developer has revealed its “glitchpop” skin line, which basically turns your weapons into cyberpunk sticker books.
Really, the name says it all: all the weapon skins have a glitchy look out of a far-out dystopia but with bright colors to liven them up. A big collection of stickers adds more personality, giving the guns the feel of a DJ’s laptop. The weapons can also be leveled up to earn different color schemes, sound effects, and even a holographic projector.
Eat more noodles. DESTROY MORE ENEMIES. Glitchpop skins are available in the store August 4. pic.twitter.com/tEtB7Davxm
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) August 3, 2020
“Glitchpop was an opportunity for us to take inspiration from the cyberpunk genre with our own fresh take on it,” says Chris Stone, senior weapons artist on Valorant. “There are so many amazing representations of the cyberpunk genre so we didn’t want to lean too heavily towards any one of them. We decided to focus on how to push this skin line towards a more fun and punk aesthetic, instead of the classic gloomy and grounded cyberpunk representation we often see.”
According to Sean Bigham, a senior concept artist on the game, the design started by accident. The art team was working on a different skin line, and one of the artists misunderstood the design brief. The result was something the team initially called “megapunk.”
“We showed this design to the rest of the team and the reception was amazing,” Bigham explains. “We knew we had something special here, but it needed to be pushed further and really fleshed out. As we further developed glitchpop, a question that kept arising was how to balance all of the visual noise in order to fit within the established Valorant art style.”
“From a design standpoint, we simplified the shape language to allow for the stickers, glitch effect, and projector to stand on their own. We also simplified the materials to a colored gradient and carbon fiber to help the stickers and hologram pop without competing with the underlying design.”
The bright, bubbly nature of the skins calls to mind cosmetic designs in other competitive shooters — think D.Va’s look in Overwatch or Fortnite’s entire ninth season. They’re certainly different from what’s in Valorant right now, which was exactly the point. “Glitchpop was an opportunity for us to make something loud, bold, and more colorful compared to a lot of the other skins we were making, which were more serious and dark,” says Stone.
The glitchpop skins won’t come cheap: they cost 2,175 VP each or 8,700 VP for a bundle. The skin line will be available starting August 4th — the same day that new character Killjoy joins the roster.