Dev Insights: Ganesha


Ganesha is the God of Success, remover of obstacles and barrier to evil. He’s currently the highest ranking God in our Hindu pantheon, and the newest Guardian to join the Battleground of the Gods.


Lore First.

Ganesha is one of the most worshiped Hindu Gods today, so we wanted to pay homage to this amazing Deity, while being respectful to his lore and background. Every team that worked on Ganesha completed their own research to fully understand his lore and how to best bring him into SMITE.

“I wanted to be as accurate and respectful as possible. To me that was a fun part of the challenge.”

– Andy Timm, Concept Artist

Ganesha is a part of a number of stories and lore, but the Design team wanted to focus on his role as a placer and remover of objects. He protects his teammates from evil (with his Ohm Ability), is able to pass through barriers and obstacles (with his Remove Obstacles Ability), and finally, places his own obstacles in the way of his enemies (with his Ultimate, Dharmic Pillars). We wanted Ganesha to feel peaceful and almost pacifistic, so his abilities focus heavily on protecting and helping his team.

The FX of each of his Abilities brings in other elements of his Lore and inspiration from the Hindu Pantheon. Notably, his Ultimate, Dharmic Pillars, features FX borders that read “Know the risk, the cross” in Hindi. These borders give a mystic feel, but also are impactful and can be read as a warning to assist in making the Ability more readable.


The Challenge of Four Arms (And a Trunk)

One of the biggest challenges with Ganesha was his model and animations. There are numerous difficulties that can present themselves when dealing with a character with four arms and an elephant head.

First, the Modelling team had to figure out how to position four shoulders. This can be a tricky task with just two shoulders, but with four, we had to go through many iterations with the Rigging team to make sure that the model made sense and still represented four individual shoulders throughout his poses.

The second challenge was Ganesha’s trunk. The Animation team wanted to bring the trunk to life and use it as a way to make Ganesha more expressive, however, animating a trunk came with its own challenges. Elephants switch between actively controlling their trunks and letting them hang, so the Animation team had to test out the best balance for Ganesha.

“This was the first time most of our team had to animate the trunk of an elephant. Which is a strange thing to animate because of the way real elephants tend to switch between actively controlling it and letting it flop around all willy-nilly. In the end it became another tool we used to make Ganesha more expressive. The team did a great job using it to add some extra charm.”

– Isaac Sansom, Senior Animator

The third challenge was animating Ganesha’s four arms. We wanted to make sure that players could see all of his arms in his base animations, which limited the amount of poses available. We also had to make sure that his attacks could be clearly read and not just a bunch of limbs waving around. In order to achieve this, the Animation team decided to hide his bowl and rose while in combat to allow him to fire abilities with those two arms.


The God of Success

Ganesha is a unique Guardian who brings a lot of support to a team. His Remove Obstacles Ability is great for setting up other Abilities and can be used to keep someone within the pillars of his Ultimate. Another great combo is to use his Turn of Fate Ability into his Ohm Ability before a teamfight, which grants both an offensive and defensive edge.

“More than anything else, Ganesha brings some serious lockdown. His Remove Obstacles into Ohm combo provides some devastating peel or setup, depending on the situation.”

– Daniel Fishman, Designer

Ganesha is available in SMITE with the 4.7 patch.