VZ Games
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VZ Games

‘Design Your Hero’ Contest: Aftermath

A very eventful, fast-paced week is behind us. A mundane seven days to many, but on our calendars, it will permanently mark a very special period: that one time when we first brought the true essence of the Hash Rush world to you. We have always visualized it as a beautiful, fantasy-filled project, a product of your ideas as much as ours. However, finally providing you with the opportunity to actively participate has brought us more fulfillment than we had ever hoped for.

Throughout the previous couple of weeks, we have held (and concluded) the ‘Design Your Hero’ contest — the first-ever event of its kind in the Hash Rush universe that was opened for public participation. A not-so-puny milestone. Frankly, our expectations weren’t much to be discussed as we had absolutely no clue what to hope for, only to be blown away by the sheer amount of interest and submissions we’ve received!

The ‘Design Your Hero’ contest was an event that gave you all the chance to not only create a fresh new concept for a Hash Rush hero but also to vote for your favorite idea for a chance to see it come to life in the game! All the fantastic designs submitted from December 17th, 2021, to January 3rd, 2022, were eligible to receive your votes concluded with January 10th.

You have spoken, and we have heard you.

The definitive winner of the first public designing contest for Hash Rush is:

Voltero Envisaetherius!

As majestic as the name would have you believe.

With a name that translates to “One who turns and manifests particles through etheric vision,” it is already not surprising that the concept had gathered so many votes. Add to it a fantastic concept art and a creative backstory, and all the love you’ve shown for this hero is absolutely understandable. We cannot help but adore it!

This majestic Cryptonian had introduced the concept of inter-dimensional travel to the Hash Rush universe, an ability said to be suppressed by his skeptical parents in favor of directing his unique gift towards locating the crypto crystal mines all across their plain of existence. Living up to his family’s expectations and taking pride in what he’s being praised for. It is a relatable premise made even more so by the moment of his silent but fate-determining rebellion against those very same expectations.

Choosing to see the importance of altruism and love over his family’s blind, never-ending quest for wealth, Voltero discovered a whole new dimension of existence — physically and spiritually — which was portrayed in the character’s words:

“I have not returned to continue a legacy of misfortune by using magic to create an uneven distribution of wealth. I have returned to synergize abundance and bless wealth on all those still stuck on the ground until they are ready for us to teach them to fly.”

When asked about the inspiration behind this fantastic and unusual concept design, the artist Carmen Yanes explained:

“As an artist, I am always in constant search for inspiration, and I find it in movies, books, fantasy stories, mythology with its incredible beings. What I was looking for was a connection between two worlds, two characters that have no limits of time and space, that are so different and that are capable of doing many incredible things, but when they are together, it is as if they complement each other and they were one.”

The beautiful, alien-like creature that accompanies the hero is described as a benevolent spirit (“a totem”) that had emerged from Voltero’s quest to do right by his people: a “weapon who heals all he crosses.” Together, they represent a singular synergized entity with multiversal abilities. Otherwise weaponless, imagining the driving force behind such skills is enough to present this hero as fearsome as he is generous.

Being as complex as it is, the presented concept did not emerge immediately. According to the artist, what started as the initial idea went through many significant changes with newly acquired knowledge of the Hash Rush universe to make this fantastic piece. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that the concept for Voltero Envisaetherius has been planned out and completed quite late into the contest:

“I tried very hard because I didn’t have much time, I found out about the contest late, and it was almost the end of the year, so they were very busy days due to family traditions which made me take about 6 days.”

And this is how the magic happens…

Despite the weight of this feat, Carmen managed to power through with a humble yet positive attitude on her way to submit the concept going toe-to-toe with other highly talented contestants. While she is reasonably excited about her win, it brought her great pleasure to just be a part of the contest.

Finally, she had shared with us her philosophy as an inspiration to many creators that may be struggling with confidence in their abilities to submit quality work:

“I’m not very good at giving advice, so I don’t have much to add, but just have fun and feel good about what you’re doing, knowing and feeling that if we imagine it, it can be done.”

Maybe coincidentally, or maybe because another charming duo appeared among the submissions, she highlights the second-place-winning concept as her personal favorite.

Bagar and Proto: A dream team of every Cyptonian tale!

Behind an almost photographed-in-the-moment feeling of Bram Oudijk’s submission hides an emotional coming-of-age background story about this ernack hero and his loyal companion, an orphaned Rakan named Proto. Just like Carmen, Bram highlights the hero’s background beginning in a well-established Cryptonian family and his journey towards something different and spiritually profound, such as the unexpected, life-long friendship portrayed.

And while his fellow artists found their source or inspiration in companionship, Adam Klinger came to third place with an unexpected twist in his concept: a solitary, assassin-trained Ernack hero!

Speaking of many sources of inspiration for the hero’s concept, Bram highlights the long process of researching and getting to know the lore of the Hash Rush universe to create a well-fitting character:

“With all that, I started brainstorming about characters. I made some different rough sketches of multiple ideas (…). And with that all set, my brain started popping with many ideas: a healer on a turtle, a wild tank smashing people with a trunk, and a puppeteer who grew up at the swap and could use swamp monsters to attack…”

Many faces Bagar were in the run for the final concept.

But, after a period of extensive reconsideration, one particular idea took it home:

“I had only 1–2 days to come up with a story and a design, so I decided to make one character. One of the stories on Medium that intrigued me was about the Rakkan (And I have a dog myself). So I decided to go with that.”

Artist’s final concept decision: Better than we could ever hope for!

The digital part of the character’s development took him an incredible eight hours to complete, followed by another three hours to create a fitting backstory. This does not count with the additional time for sketching and planning. A strong effort for a fantastic result!

Regardless of the time and planning it took, the artist readily stated that he would be more than happy to participate in similar challenges again, as he greatly enjoys creating. As a piece of advice for everyone intending to do the same, Bram suggested adding a visual sketch of your concept if possible to make it easier for others to perceive your vision. Finally, he left us with a very interesting note for adding a real personality to the concept:

“And try to be your character! If you would be your character, what would you do? How would you feel if this and that happened? You can even use your own poses as a reference for images. Try to live in his world and with his characteristics (…). Have some fun :).”

And while his fellow artists found their source or inspiration in companionship, Adam Klinger came to third place with an unexpected twist in his concept: a solitary, assassin-trained Ernack hero!

Shadow incarnate. Watching… Waiting…

Video games are a long-term hobby of this artist, so it is little to no surprise that they are precisely the source of inspiration for this shadowy hero concept. Led by his extensive knowledge of the Hash Rush lore, he had opted for a fresh perspective:

“At the time of the contest announcement, there weren’t any characters available in the Hash Rush game that fall into such a category [assassin], so I decided it would be a useful addition to the universe.”

And what a fantastic addition it is! Perhaps after this submission, our tireless creatives will consider adding a different, more mysterious note to the darkest corners of the Hermeian galaxy in the future? Remains to be seen.

The artist says the concept took him five days of work on the graphic part and around three hours of creating and adjusting the final piece of character lore. While it seems like a smooth process, there is no denying the depth on which Adam planned the concept for his hero with adding skills to it:

“Skills creation was a result of finishing the lore, so it went pretty smoothly. I believe it makes the character a whole with life-stealing aspects of his weapons, and it could be a challenging mechanic to play.”

For the contest itself, Adam said:

“Participating in the contest gave me a lot of fun and the feeling of being able to build something significant with the team. I would like to do it again.”

And it gave us a lot of fun as well. We are pleased that we were able to finally open the world of Hash Rush to you on a whole new level! With its universe growing ever so slightly each day, there is no telling what other heroes and heroines will emerge in the future to enrich the vast distances of the Hermeian galaxy and its planets.

Congratulations to the winners of the first three places, and a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to this contest. You’re all fantastic and a very talented bunch. We are looking forward to opening many more possibilities for you to help us build the best in-game universe possible. Keep an eye out for similar announcements in the future.

We appreciate you!

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