How TFT Created Kobuko, the Joyous Paw Yordle

In the latest TFT set, Inkborn Fables, there are many firsts, including the introduction of a brand new character in the universe of Runeterra: Kobuko, the Joyous Paw. This is the first time TFT has developed an original character specifically for the game. In this blog, we take a look at how Kobuko went from a simple concept to a vibrant character in TFT.

Kobuko in League of Legends TFT

The Need for a New Yordle

The return of the Fortune trait required the introduction of a new, sturdy, and cheerful Yordle who could keep up on the front lines with fighters like Firecracker Tristana and Teemo. The team decided not just to develop any Yordle, but a completely new character who would be unique in the world of Runeterra.

The Creative Process

Ideation and Concept Development

Michael Sloan, the game designer, KK Zhang, the concept artist, and Steve Oh, the animator, played key roles in the creation of Kobuko. Initially, the team focused on Kobuko’s personality and backstory before they even began designing his appearance. Sloan shared some of Kobuko’s early voice lines that highlight his life-affirming character, such as “When life gives you sour Bandle berries, make Bandlebrew.”

Visual Development

KK Zhang developed numerous sketches exploring various possibilities for Kobuko’s appearance. After many iterations and some late changes in the design process, the team settled on a design that emphasized Kobuko’s warm and supportive personality through his large, powerful palms.

Kobuko’s Role in the Game

Kobuko was conceived as a tank who gains health based on interest and heals and deals damage when casting his abilities. This fits well with his role as a joyful and protective Yordle who prefers to heal and support rather than cause damage.

Steve Oh brought Kobuko’s character to life through his animations, from his running animation full of energy and joy to his idle animation that shows his relaxed nature.


The creation of Kobuko is an example of how creative teams at TFT collaborate to develop characters that are not only visually appealing but also deeply rooted in the game mechanics and the lore of Runeterra. Kobuko represents the joyful element of TFT and shows how the game continues to find innovative ways to enrich the player experience.


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