I don’t think many people put too much thought into just how much research and design goes into something as seemingly simple as a new skin. On the outside, it seems like the easiest part of creating a new look for an existing character. After all, you’re just, like, coming up with ideas and writing them down, right? This interview posted on the Blizzard blog with concept artist Qiu Fang highlights the through the process that went into Little Red Ashe, Overwatch Anniversary 2020’s best skin. Have you ever really put much thought into nightgowns and sleeping caps? Fang did, and many other concepts that led to an interesting and details-filled skin design that stands out as one of the best Overwatch has to offer.
Fang’s design is one that springs from similar work that the artist did in college before being recruited by Blizzard and Overwatch. The concepts depicted nomadic hunters using practical hardware to survive in the wilds. “Everything in Qiu’s design seemed to have purpose and function,” says concept artist David Kang, speaking to Blizzard. “I loved that he had a lot of experience not only in fantasy but with functional mechanical tech.”
This early inspiration led to the Little Red Ashe design, based on the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Fang said the design was a pipe dream, one where Riding Hood is a tough outlaw who handled the Big Bad Wolf on her own, perfectly fitting the spirit of Ashe’s own rogue style. Fang notes the smaller details in the designs that tell a story, down to the battle damage and bite marks on Ashe’s armor and bracelet. “There were two main challenges for this skin: finding interesting supporting visuals on the costume and deciding which angle to tackle the Big Bad Wolf from. I wanted to show a bit of story.”
While Ashe and Bob have a number of cool skin redesigns–including a warlock and golem design from last Halloween–this year’s Anniversary design is thoughtful, through and through, not only attempting to tell a story but also giving Bob yet another unique look. Fang said about Bob’s design “Getting the right balance of ‘grandma’ and ‘robot wolf’ was key. I never would have thought that one day I’d be doing so much research on grandma gowns and nightcaps.”
Hands down it is my favorite of the event and one of the best in Overwatch. You too can get your hands on Little Red Ashe through June 9 when the Overwatch Anniversary 2020 event ends, for the low, low price of 3,000 coins.