Guardians of Middle Earth was a console-based MOBA created in the proprietary LithTech engine. In a MOBA, the effects are arguably more important than the character models in terms of readability in large, fast-paced battle situations. They have to read well, convey gameplay mechanics, and clearly be themed to a specific character so that everyone on both teams instantly knows who and where the ability came from. Over the course of this project I collaborated with the other FX artists to create a compelling and consistent visual effects style and authored the ability effects for six of the playable heroes.
Before Guardians, the LithTech engine had very minimal effects creation tools. The engine was used to create games like the Fear series, whose effects largely consisted of muzzle flashes, blood sprays, and explosions, with only a single FX artist dedicated to the project. Conversely, Guardians had a 6 person FX team and a very heavy focus on mystical spell effects. I worked closely with the engine team to greatly improve the robustness of the FX tools and pipeline in order to take on the additional effects demands for the project.