Rivals Workshop Character Creation Contest

03.07.2023, 10:01

comment 51

[Update 03/25/24] Winner Reveal Date Announced

Full news article here. TL;DR: The winner will be revealed on July 3rd, 2024. Be on the lookout for streams and highlights between then and now!

[Update 12/19/23] Contest Deadline Extended by 2 Weeks

[Posted 07/03/23] Original Contest Announcement

Today we’re kicking off a competition with one of the coolest prizes we can think of – a chance for your own character to officially join the Aether Universe! We’re inviting the community to create their dream character in our new contest and share it with the world for a chance to be added to Rivals 2.

If you’re new to Rivals or the Rivals Workshop and want to get involved, we’ve got great news because Rivals of Aether is currently on sale for 50% off! You can pick up the game at a discount (or any of our games) during the Steam Summer Sale for the next 2 weeks from 6/29/23 – 7/13/23.

Tired of waiting for Rivals 2 to come out? Afraid you won’t see the character of your dreams in an upcoming reveal? We have just the thing for you!

Ever since we added Steam Workshop support, our community has created over 3,000 characters and even more stages and buddies. It’s become such a fan-favorite that Workshop side events are now held at all Rivals Majors. On top of that – Workshop has even become such a core part of Rivals itself that we selected and adapted four of the best community-made characters to add as a free official update to the game in 2022. Now we’ve decided to turn our attention to our upcoming sequel with a public competition!

Starting today, 7/3/23, you’ll have until the end of the year to create and publish a brand new character with the chance to get it included in Rivals 2! We want to spur fresh ideas from the community, so we will only be allowing characters created and published after 7/3/23. Submissions are limited to one character per person and can be officially entered using our Google Form and publishing your character with the “Rivals 2 Contest” Steam Workshop tag. First place will receive $5,000 in exchange for rights to the character, while the winner and four runner-ups will receive exclusive cosmetics in Rivals 2.

While we’re on the subject of community-made characters, be sure to check out the amazing characters featured above in our trailer:

[su_image_carousel source=”media: 3080,3079,3078″ slides_style=”photo” controls_style=”light” crop=”16:9″ columns=”3″ align=”center” link=”custom” autoplay=”3″]

Official Rules

As mentioned above, to enter you will need to create and submit a completely original character (with the “Rivals 2 Contest” tag) during the contest period of 7/3/23 – 12/31/23. This means entrants should not use movesets or sprites from previous works. In addition, any submissions contributed to by a team must be submitted and represented by a single individual that owns the character. Judging will be done by the Aether Studios dev team based on a number of criteria including:


Gameplay 1-10 points
Visuals 1-5 points
Character Background (Element Fit/Lore) 1-5 points


The top choice will be awarded $5,000 in exchange for character rights and will guarantee the character’s inclusion in Rivals 2 sometime post-launch.

Participants must be at least 13 years old to participate. For complete contest details and requirements, check out our official Workshop Character Creation Contest rules.

Get Your Character Featured

While the competition’s underway we’d love to show off what our community is cooking. Working on something? Use our Highlight Form as many times as you’d like to submit video of your progress, process, or playtesting of your creation. You might be featured on our social media or game spotlights.

We hope everyone has fun with this competition and is excited as we are to see some awesome new characters make their way to the Rivals Universe. If you have any questions about the contest feel free to ask in the comments below, or on twitter, discord, or any of our other social media.

51 responses to “Rivals Workshop Character Creation Contest”

  1. PumpkinDust says:

    I dunno if this is the best place to ask but, Tell me about speices lore here, whats out of bounds?

    What if I wanna do like, a Chimera, a Capricorn or a Jackalope?

  2. GohTheGreat says:

    Time and time agai, Rivals of Aether proves itself not only to be one of the best platform fighters of all time, but community as well. Thank you Dan and team for this great franchise.

  3. P0kePanda says:

    This is lit

  4. frogzoid says:


  5. Satuii says:


  6. King says:

    Wow, this is Dope!!! Happy to see this happening. Looking forward to making an entry.

  7. admin says:

    Go wild with whatever type of character you’d like.

  8. maksu says:

    Hey, I was making my character for the contest, and I took a closer look at the rules and they say this:
    Submissions must consist of content created during the Contest Period. Submissions
    must not be a copy or an edited version of a character created before The Contest
    I had the general idea for my character about a year ago and I made some concept art then. However, I didn’t write any code, draw any sprites or release anything to the workshop that features the stuff I did.
    Is it still fine if I make this year-old idea into a character during the time this contest is running, as I am doing now?

  9. Mori says:

    Would having a character with a “blood” meter be too far for the contest? I’ve been a fan of Slasher movies for as long as I can remember, so my dream character def takes heavy inspiration from that

  10. Volt Dragon says:

    Do we get to vote on what character gets added? I can’t make a character but I know some characters I’d like to see in the game that are original

  11. admin says:

    That’s no problem in the case you described.

  12. admin says:

    It wouldn’t disqualify it, but just keep in mind that if it won it might need some changes to keep things E10+ to Teen rated.

  13. admin says:

    The final judging is being done by a panel on the dev team, but if you have some favorites definitely support those creators.

  14. Bee says:

    What does ‘rights to the character’ mean? I tried looking in the pdf but couldn’t find any elaboration on what specifically that entails.

  15. Darentei says:

    Are character models flipped when facing left/right in Rivals 2? In other words, should I take symmetry into account when designing my character, or will it not matter?

  16. RandomNobody says:

    Should a character come with their own theme and stage? Would one’s winning chances increase if those were to be included in the submission?

  17. WingedRobot says:

    Just curious: does the submission have to be a fully working workshop character, or is a well fleshed out design document and concept art enough?

  18. Jack says:

    So… say I wanted to sign up with a character that technically already EXISTS within Aether lore, but has had zero screentime. Namely Scoop, the Intrepid Reporter from DoA.

    No sprites yet, no designs yet, no moveset yet, we don’t even have a species for the guy. He’s just a ghost writer, which is why this would be super cool way to give him a form

  19. Anon says:

    Are template moves fair game? Like these: https://github.com/Menace13/RoA-Workshop-Templates/tree/master

  20. Maverick says:

    I have a couple important questions about the contest that I can’t seem to find answers to anywhere.

    1.)Is it alright to use the official Sandbert workshop item as a base for people who can’t necessarily code from the get go, or do we absolutely have to start from scratch? If it is the later, would it be alright to use it as coding reference for when we make our own code as long as we don’t directly copy the files or code lines?

    2.)If we make a character that’s outside of the already given elements (Fire, Water, Earth, or Air), would that disqualify us given how characters are normally centered around those four elements?

    3.)Reading the official rules and the forms, I found no indication that it’d be against the rules to do this/a problem, but just in case–would it be alright to use a pen name rather than a real name? I’d very much rather keep my information private from the public and just being known by a pen name publicly as the owner, even during (if won/close to) receiving the rewards (such as the Assignment Agreement)–especially since Paypal is how we will receive it. Would that be alright to use a pen name throughout the entire process?

    4.)Is it possible that, if worked with a team and won, could we all get separately credited as a team in someway for the character alongside the owner? Or will just the owner be the sole credited person?

    Thank you in advance.

  21. admin says:

    Sure, as long as you have permission to use someone else’s code.

  22. admin says:

    We’ll be playing the characters as part of the judging process so it will have to be a working character uploaded to Steam to compete.

  23. admin says:

    Nope that’s not necessary. That kind of stuff is always cool and would help add to the lore (which we are considering when judging) but overall it is a smaller segment than gameplay and definitely not a requirement.

  24. admin says:

    They’re usually symmetrical, but that’s up to you. If a character with a different design like that ended up winning we’d put our heads together to figure out the best way to do it in Rivals 2.

  25. admin says:

    Similar to how we added Olympia, Pomme, Mollo, and Hodan to the game – part of the agreement for the winning selection is for us to buy the rights outright to the winning character. For those characters (and this contest) we still worked with their original creators, but ultimately us owning it means we don’t need to do things like pay royalties, get permission to use the character in a different context, or need approval from someone not on our team/working for the studio to do something with the character. This makes the characters much easier to manage for a smaller studio like ours, which is why we made sure to point this out in case the original creator isn’t interested in selling the rights to us.

  26. admin says:

    1) Using templates is fine as long as you have permission to include the code. (And of course any of our templates or examples are fine.)
    2) Nope – nothing like that is off limits.
    3) A pen name would be fine for everything that’s public, but at some point if your character became the winning entry we would likely need your legal name (privately of course) so that you could sign the agreement and receive the monetary rewards.
    4) We can figure out a way to credit everyone on a team entry no problem. We just ask that there is one official owner for submissions so that when we are doing contracts and sending prize money it simplifies things. It will be up to that chosen owner from a team to distribute prize money however the team agreed.

  27. Maverick says:

    Thanks for the reply, it clears up a lot of stuff we were wondering about! Few more thing I wanted to know though, concerning privacy; in terms of us getting credit overall if we won, does this mean we can all publicly have our own pen names out when credited or whatnot instead of our legal names as well?

    Also, in the case of the owner winning, how can we contact or request to use pen names publicly instead of legal names? Or will you guys simply use the name given to you based on the submission with the character, and not the agreement? Thanks again in advance for your time.

  28. RandomNobody says:

    Thank you for your answer! One other thing: will the winner be credited as the original creator of the winning character in future games where the character appears, or do they forfeit that when they sell the rights?

  29. xWildStrikerx says:

    (I am sorry if I accidentally commented twice)

    I have a few questions about characters for the contest.

    1) I am planning to submit character that I care for deeply and I want to make in the future movie and/or game series centered him. If my submission was accepted, would I be able to still be able to do this or would so be unable to?

    2) Also should I change his lore to fit better into the Rivals universe?

    3) I do not know if Rivals 2 will have different color options and/or outfit options. Should I do more than just color palette changes but also outfits too?

    Thank you for your time.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Will other characters entered into the contest or just characters already on the workshop be added in the future?

  31. Coldcolor says:

    If I use a template character like Sandbert with a Smartphone, am I going to have to remove all the copyrighted sounds before I submit my character for the contest?

  32. Navaha says:

    So I know that this world’s inhabitants are all animals, but I was wondering if something more clearly human-like (a half-human actually) could also make it as a Rivals character, or if it has to be an animal to make it ?

    I’ll be making the character anyway but I just wanna know if it’s worth hurrying to add it to the contest, or if I can just not bother and take my time.

  33. admin says:

    It doesn’t have to strictly be an animal in your original design, but if a character like this was the winning entry we’d probably work with the creator to make sure it still fit our world.

  34. admin says:

    Yes please make sure to avoid copyrighted content. There are great places online to find free sounds.

  35. admin says:

    For this just 1 character submitted to the workshop for this contest will be added to Rivals 2 in the future.

  36. admin says:

    The original creator is absolutely still the original creator and we would be sure to share that proudly for the contest winner.

  37. admin says:

    That’s no problem for us to use pen names when crediting in public for the contest winner. We’d absolutely discuss all that with the potential winner beforehand for how they want it displayed.

  38. RandomNobody says:

    So I tried getting into the creation process of workshop characters, and while I’ve made some progress, there’s no way I would be able to submit something in time that would be polished enough to even be considered. I started way too late for that to be realistic.

    I’m a bit bummed out obviously, so with faint hope, I wanted to ask: have you considered making this a regular thing? The “thing” in question specifically being holding a workshop character contest in RoA for a chance to be added to Rivals 2. If you make this a yearly thing, maybe I’ll be more experienced the second time the contest rolls around.

  39. admin says:

    We don’t have plans for another similar contest yet mainly because it would have to be quite awhile from now. The winner of this contest for example wouldn’t even be added until at least a year after launch realistically so we’re already looking a bit ahead. We think this would be cool to do again though. We just can’t promise anything at this point.

  40. Digi-Space Productions says:

    Hey, I have interest, but I do not want to sell my character outright, but I am okay with you buying the right to implement them in the game (and future ones) permanently with a one time payment (aka. the amount you would pay for buying the rights), would that be okay with you?
    I really do not care about getting paid royalties or anything, I’m fine with a one time license payment pretty much.

    If not I can always just try making a character that I have no issue selling, I get very attached to my characters easily, but as said, I’m fine with a one time license payment so you can use them whenever and however you want, with me keeping the rights to use them in my own projects/games or whatever.

  41. Wormh says:

    I just found out about the competition at the start of the month. I’ll be able to get all of the coding done myself, but the person working on the art might not be done by then. If I were to submit a fully mechanically finished character, that just had a few animations finished, how would it be judged?

  42. RKNM says:

    Damn, just found out about this contest today. I have characters that I have been polishing that I had been developing to include in another project to the Workshop (maybe 50% done). Kicking myself that I had not found out about this sooner, but guess I’ll just keep developing them.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if the studio is still answering questions here this close to the end of the contest, especially ones regarding future plans, but I wanted to ask about a concern I had.

    One of the admins suggested that there was a nonzero chance that an event similar to this could be held in the (relatively) distant future. I have two questions about this hypothetical scenario:
    – Are the same submission rules likely to apply in that case, specifically the requirement for the work submitted to be an original work first publicly posted during the submission period?
    – If so, does that only apply to playable characters submitted through the Steam Workshop, or would a fanwork (such as a story or comic) depicting the character and exploring their background, personality, and abilites also serve to disqualify them?

    I ask this because, while I had a fairly detailed concept for a playable character prepared during the period of this contest, I realized that I would be unable to finish it in time to a level of quality that would be fit for any chance of winning.
    I was considering possibly posting some sort of fanwork narratively developing my character after this contest ends. But if there’s any chance of me being able to submit this character in the future for a comparable opportunity that would be voided by doing so, I would rather abstain from it.

    I understand if this is looking way too far ahead to possibly be answered, or presuming too much, but I thought there might be no harm in asking. Thank you for your time either way.

  44. FloreaFoxglove says:

    Is there any way for my to confirm my character was submitted succesfully? I can’t find anything anywhere and I’m kind of worried

  45. Manuel Toad says:

    Frick, I don’t know how to code.
    Literally my only character that I made I haved to use the default things of sandbert and for specials other characters.

    I don’t know if that means I can’t participate, correct me if i’m wrong with a answer comment. =/

  46. Nyaaaaahhh says:

    I forgot to put the finished tag on my character, I just felt that I should say something here
    The character is Tarot btw

  47. Cartx says:

    My question is how many characters will be able to get in cause I hope at least 5 or 10 to throw a little spice in there

  48. admin says:

    Only one character will be chosen to become an official character in Rivals 2, so it’s going to be a tough judging process!

  49. cartx says:

    will every character that weren’t a crossover character return to rivals like the og characters that were added after or no

  50. Manuel Toad says:

    What importance is for the Rivals team the use of the audio for the workshop ones?
    Like sounds from other media (memes or games) or mouth sounding?

    We are able to not concentrate in that? If choosed a fighter the team will make their own sounds?
    Or we aren’t free from choosing what meme’y sound for the moves?

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