PCG: What were the highlights building Ekko?
AB: One of the things that was fun about building Ekko was the Chronobreak, which rewinds three seconds in time. Ekko used to be crazier: Chronobreak used to rewind the entire game. He’d push the button, save everyone’s state on the map, and then six seconds later if you were still alive, you got rewound back to where you were with your health and cooldowns back. So there was this cool moment where you pushed the button, everyone’d get thrown into the time stream and the screen would turn green and stuff, and it was like: here's all your stuff, go crazy. That was really bad for the game, but it was a really cool few playtests.
PCG: It sounds like all the time manipulation elements might have caused some grief from a design perspective. What were Ekko's particular challenges?
AB: They were actually twofold: one is that we always wanted him to feel smart. We wanted him not to be a thug with a bat, but instead an intelligent dude who’s manipulating the stream of time. We wanted it to resonate through his character and gameplay that he’s not just some badass, but that he has a personality. He’s a genius.
It was also difficult determining his thematic stuff, because originally when we said he’s smart, that to us meant nerdy. So we concepted him with glasses. It wasn’t a very combat-oriented persona, so as we worked and iterated, we realised he’s really smart but not nerdy. He’s just an intelligent dude who’s also a punk and a badass. That intelligence is just radiating through him.
On the next page: Jinx'ed!