How Taylor Swift and Janet Jackson helped inspire Warframe’s Octavia Prime

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I’ve at hand it to the builders who work on standard games-as-a-service titles. It takes plenty of work to maintain content material fascinating and gamers . Some rely on outside nostalgia to rope individuals in. Others look inward for alternatives to excite their large participant bases by respiration new life into standard current content material.

For the looter-shooter Warframe, which means reimagining Warframes with new Prime designs. Some are pretty easy upgrades of their unique idea, just like the Excalibur Prime. Others are a bit extra concerned, like 2019’s Ivara Prime.

My present go-to Warframe is Hydroid Prime, which I acquired throughout TennoCon final yr. Within two weeks of including him to my arsenal, he changed Wisp as my lead ‘body, not solely as a result of he is extremely helpful in battle, however I additionally simply actually dig his Davy Jones-inspired look.

Hydroid Prime debuted in 2017 and was designed by Digital Extremes artist Raymond dela Cruz. That similar yr, Octavia made her debut and shortly grew to become one of many extra standard ‘frames within the sport. It was solely a matter of time earlier than she acquired her personal Prime redesign, and the builders gave dela Cruz the duty of reimagining Warframe‘s bard. 

“I really like the original design,” dela Cruz mentioned in a Google Meet interview with Destructoid. “It was designed by the original art director (Michael Brennan), and I thought it was just superb. So I just wanted to enhance it basically and decided to go with a marching band theme, but with more aspects of dance added into it.”

In picturing a marching-band-themed Warframe, dela Cruz began with photos of the majorettes and baton twirlers you usually see when marching bands carry out. But the design wanted extra than simply that. It wanted a hook, and dela Cruz discovered one in considered one of music’s largest stars.

“I needed a sort of inspiration or image of what I wanted to get across,” he defined, ” and the first thing that came to my mind was actually — and this is pretty funny — it was Taylor Swift because she has worn a marching band costume in multiple videos.”

That marching band aesthetic is one thing Swift has routinely included in her performances. She’s sported variations of the uniform in movies for “You Belong With Me” and “Me!,” and has integrated the look into numerous tv appearances and her Fearless tour. Plus, most of her songs really sound fairly rattling good when played by a marching band.

With a place to begin of Taylor Swift on his thoughts, dela Cruz started to determine methods to translate a enjoyable, dancy marching band idea right into a Warframe.

“When I started blocking out the model in the concept phase, I realized I needed something more distinct. So I thought of other pop-culture references, and soon enough, I was picturing Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation.’ She sort of looks like a marching band leader, so I was really inspired by her outfit in the video, like the hoop earrings, her hat, the shape of her jacket, and the medals on her chest. Even her hair.”

If you are in any respect aware of the “Rhythm Nation” music video and Octavia’s core design, you possibly can start to see its inspiration virtually instantly. For me, it was the sharpness of the shoulder plates on the Prime that linked it to the Janet Jackson ensemble. Compared to the unique Octavia, her Prime variant is much more militaristic, an actual no-bullshit form of design.

While that in all probability would have been all of the inspiration dela Cruz wanted, he pushed himself additional and actually embraced Octavia’s musical nature.

Warframe Octavia Prime

“I didn’t want to just make an obvious representation of her outfit. I wanted to mix in more flavors and even musical instruments into it. So if you look at her hoop earrings carefully, they sort of look like tambourines.”

The earrings is usually a bit laborious to see, however a much more blatant depiction of a musical instrument on Octavia Prime is discovered on her torso. Three strains stretch up from her midriff to her neck as if they’re the strings on a Shawzin.

“That started out because usually, the way it works with Primes is I look at what the default models will give me as far as shape goes, and it just seemed like it had the shape of a cello. I wanted to have something to put in the middle for the players to focus on, like an ornament or something. So I started with the bridges on a cello and put those on the surface almost like buttons, and then I thought ‘Why not put on strings to go through it?’ Then I started looking for more cello references and added tuners to her design. If you look at the helmet, you can see I put a scroll on it like you find on a cello.”

Cello references may be discovered on different components of her physique as properly, however dela Cruz did not need to restrict Octavia Prime to simply classical devices. After all, she’s launching alongside the brand new hip-hop-inspired, bass-heavy Bombast Instruments Pack for her Mandachord. On her thighs are ornate round plates that mimic the audio system of a boombox, a design that may be discovered scattered throughout her physique. These are current on the unique Octavia, however right here, they’re much more pronounced.

Not each instrument dela Cruz included is represented so clearly, although. Some needed to be toned all the way down to hold them from overwhelming the entire design.

“Originally, when I was working on it, I did model out an actual kalimba, which is this African instrument. When I was putting it on the model, it felt like there was too much detail, and it was distracting from the rest of the parts. So I did make a simplified version that eventually went on the side. It looks more like a button, but before, it was elaborate. Like you could actually see the individual tines.”

Warframe Octavia Prime

Octavia Prime will probably be obtainable beginning as we speak at 11:00 am PT throughout all platforms. Along with the brand new ‘body, Octavia Prime Access will embrace the Bombast Instruments Pack, the beautiful Aristei Prime Shawzin, Tenora Prime Rifle, Pandero Prime Pistol, the Serenedine Syandana, Octavia’s signature armor and glyphs, and mods that enable for extra customization choices.

I count on to see plenty of gamers grooving as Octavia Prime over the subsequent couple of months and look ahead to seeing what a few of the extra prolific Mandachord musicians make with that new beat-heavy instrument pack. At the very least, I’m positive YouTuber Buff00n will be capable of crank out extra dope-ass hits with it. As for dela Cruz, he is already began work on his subsequent Warframe redesign. Unfortunately, that is all he might inform me, and we’re simply going to have to attend and see which ‘body he’ll give the Prime therapy to subsequent.

 

 

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