Rivals Workshop Character Contest: Winner Revealed!

03.07.2024, 10:06

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Last year we announced a one-of-a-kind contest where Rivals Workshop creators had the chance for their own character to be officially added to Rivals 2. Creators had six and a half months to design, animate, and code their creations before submitting them to our dev team for a rigorous judging process. Today, on the one year anniversary of the contest, we’re finally revealing the winner and 4 runner-ups!

We were incredibly impressed with the over 80 submissions we received featuring creators’ completely original characters. We could clearly see the love and hard work that went into them, and want to thank everyone who entered. If you haven’t gotten to play these amazing characters yet, make sure to try them yourself by filtering in the Steam Workshop with the “Rivals 2 Contest” tag.

Our Official Winner

Our official contest winner is La Reina, The Crowd Magnet by Sa-v and Onyx! This acrobatic grappler grabbed our attention from the get-go, and topped our developer panel in all categories including Gameplay, Visuals, and Character Background. Sa-v and Onyx have taken home the first place prize of $5,000 and as shown in the trailer, we’ve already begun some early work on La Reina in 3D. She won’t be playable any time soon, but we’re looking forward to sharing updates on her as we make progress.

“La Reina was one of the highest rated characters among our development team after we did our initial judging. What really pushed her over the edge for our team was her undeniable style and her strong roster fit. The original Rivals of Aether doesn’t have a true grappler, which makes sense in a game without a lingering shield or block. But La Reina feels like a grappler cranked to 11. Her playstyle is fun and unique and we are excited to adapt her gameplay and expand her moveset with the new options that Rivals 2 features.” – Dan Fornace, Studio Lead

The Runner-ups

We can’t stress enough how many amazing entries there were in this competition. Choosing just one winner was a tough job. Here are the next four runner-ups from our judging process. These characters will receive special recognition with an exclusive character icon for each creator/team to give out in Rivals 2.

Yono, The Carrier’s Honour

Yono, by FuZZ_lol and garebear, was one of our favorites because he oozes style and personality. He was one of our top ranked lore characters and we love the webcomic that the team created. We were impressed by the backstory behind the Postmen’s Guild and the stage that the team created for Yono. His roster fit was also very strong as he is an awesome and creative take on the air element.

Bhadra, The Golden Vagrant

Bhadra, by PJ and Hemuth, was immediately identified by our team as one of the highest quality entrants. Right when the contest closed, we found ourselves gravitating toward this well-crafted Shiba. While he wears his inspiration on his sleeve, the execution and creativity in converting him to a platform fighter was top notch. We also really liked his elemental fit of Gold as well the wandering samurai lore in his backstory.

Helios, The Unstoppable Peace

Helios, by Goomboo, was our other top ranked lore character. We were blown away by the trailer that Goomboo created. It fit right into the world and we wanted to learn more about Helios and his relationships with the inhabitants of Julesvale. The moveset and elemental fit into fire also earned high points from our team. Like Bhadra, there was clear inspiration, but the moveset felt right at home in a platform fighter. After playing him for even a short period, Helios felt like a character that was always in Rivals.

Awatsu, The Saponaceous Serpent

We can say it. Awatsu, by Selrate, was Dan’s favorite character in the contest while also ranking highly with many of our developers. When it comes to adorable creatures that creatively manipulate their element, Selrate may have outdone Dan himself. The character is so unique in its visual style and the way it moves. The animations and effects are also beautifully executed. When you combine its visuals with the intricate but intuitive bubble system, the character really stands out from the rest.

Thank You

Thank you to everyone who created characters, supported workshop devs throughout the contest, and even those who simply played some of the entries and interacted with the community’s creations. It’s always amazing to see what passionate people can create, and as game devs ourselves, it’s an honor to see other talented devs make their mark on the world of Aether.

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