League of Legends fans recently had an overview into the champion gameplay discovery process, through a dev post by Riot Games League lead gameplay designer, Mark “Scuffy” Yetter.
The process involves four main issues to examine while the Riot Games development team is planning on a new champion. But in a game with over 150 champs, will that continue to be possible?
Eight weeks is how long the discovery process takes to create a new champ and set up its gameplay style. The discovery model was developed to define high-level direction in the early stages of the champion’s development.
Champion design is one of the most difficult parts of gameplay design. Therefore, Riot has developed a simple framework that asks four key questions to help guide us through the design process. These questions will affect the eventual possibilities and potential of the new hero.
- Does your direction open a door to new gameplay spaces?
- Is your theme resonant with the intended playerbase?
- Does your gameplay hook deliver on the theme?
- Does your gameplay direction have room to be satisfying and healthy?
The four questions ensure Riot Games comes up with a game-specific champion and adds something special to the gameplay. Riot would also like to ensure that the new champions’ themes fulfill player requirements.
Nevertheless, Scuffy points out that new champs require a playstyle that attracts players coming back. It’s a fourth major issue, though, it doesn’t always happen. Such specific examples are Yuumi and some recently released champs.
Although for years Riot Games has designed innovative champs, some of them were not popular by the community. League players recently have pointed their fingers on Riot for making champions excessively similar. Yone has a kit which is pretty much similar to his brother Yasuo, and also has the same themes. Even if the lore clarifies the reasons for being similar, it also runs contrary to the first key issue of making champions carrying something fresh.