Riot Games have recently pushed out Legends of Runeterra into its early testing phase, we got to check out the game at EGX 2019 in London. Legends of Runeterra (abbreviated LoR) is an upcoming free-to-play online digital collectable card game. In this EXCLUSIVE interview, we have a chat with Shaun Rivera, the Senior Game Designer over at Riot Games
Question 1. So to get started, please can you introduce yourself?
Hello! I’m Shaun “Unconkable” Rivera, a Senior Game Designer at Riot Games. I led the initial design on our first set and currently work on player expression (which handles boards and guardians, among other things).
Hello Shaun, Very nice to meet you, also thanks for bringing Legends of Runeterra to EGX in London, we had a chance to play the game for a short period of time and was rather impressed.
Question 2. So before we delve in Legends of Runeterra, we want to know about you so tell us about yourself, where does your passion come from when to come to creating games?
I’ve always loved 1v1 adversarial games, especially CCGs (Collectible Card Games). I can’t get enough of playing as many CCGs as possible, and honestly dreamed of one day getting to design one and try to improve on the genre I love.
I must say, I have tested out Gwent, Pokemon TCG and Hearthstone, It is not a game I go out to play all the time, but I do enjoy them
Question 3. Please tell us what games and genres do you enjoy playing and have these had some influences in your game?
I absolutely love CCGs and fighting games and have played an unbelievable amount of different titles within both genres. My favourite part of them is the conversation that develops between both players, and I was really excited to replicate that amazing feeling in LoR.
You are right, going to Pokémon Trading events, everyone is always friendly and willing to teach you, over complete humliation, which you find in so many other games
Check out this trailer before we move on, see if this is a game you want to play
Question 4. Now let’s move on to Legends of Runeterra, could you describe what is your game “Legends of Runeterra” is about and how does it stand apart from games of a similar genre?
Legends of Runeterra is a digital strategy card game for PC and mobile, set in the League of Legends universe. It has an alternating round structure that allows players to constantly interact with each other, a spell mana system that softens unfavorable hands while also allowing players the ability to save up for huge future plays, and a champion level up system that really allows the heroes of our world to shine in unique, exciting ways.
Our game’s more open card access also makes sure that any strategy a player wants to pursue is within easy reach, and we’re going to continue to build and balance the game so as to support as wide an array of playstyles and archetypes as possible.
I do like that Legends of Runeterra is available on Mobile and PC, and I believe mobile will be the platform I play it on during my spare time, I hope that the game comes to consoles like the Nintendo Switch.
Question 5. Legend of Runeterra is a free-to-play strategy card game, what can fans expect to see in this new game?
Beyond the systems I described in my last answer, players can expect to see Champions, the creatures and characters they interact with, and the world they live in manifest through gorgeous art, flavor text, realization, and an unbelievable amount of VO interactions between the characters.
Question 6. With Legends of Runeterra being free-to-play, I have read that you have the ability to purchase any card with either earned or paid currency, I want to know, how easy it is to purchase a card with in-game currency over real money?
We definitely want players to be able to easily access the strategies they’re excited about, and I recommend taking a look at two articles we published on our progression goals and numbers, with the last actually written by our LoR progression design lead, Ryan “RyscG” Giuliany.
Question 7. With so many games of this genre already out Gwent from CDRED, Hearthstone from Blizzard, how are you going to bring these gamers across?
Our whole team is made up of huge card game fans, and we’re just excited for players to experience our take on the genre. We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what we want to do differently, and with LoR we’re trying to keep what’s great, improve what’s not, and add some twists of our own. In particular, we hope LoR’s accessible-yet-deep gameplay, support for player experimentation, and our heavy investment in art and world-building are appealing to both CCG and League players.
Question 8. With these sorts of games, gamers love constant updates, to keep them intrigued and coming back to experience new opportunity, how are you going to do this?
We absolutely plan to keep the game fresh via new sets, which will provide brand new card content, as well as patches that alter existing content. We’re always super excited to learn what players think about our efforts, and want to continue to build and balance a game they’re excited to play.
Will you be offering huge paid expansions, or will everything be free?
While I can’t discuss future expansion plans in great detail yet, I can say that we’re focused on making sure that players (including those who don’t spend money) will have a clear, realistic path towards acquiring any strategy they can imagine.
So you can not confirm or deny the possibility of Paid expansions, OK.
How well did the preview patch go?
Our preview patches have been amazing due to not only the hard work of so many people on our team, but especially the players. I want to thank ALL of the players that have been providing us with such an unbelievable amount of valuable feedback. Please keep it coming so we can keep building a CCG you’re excited to play!
From the player, you are very welcome.
Will PC players be playing with mobile players?
Good news more players more fun
So how many people are involved in the development? And future development?
To answer both questions, I believe our core team and partners total up to over 100 people.
That is a pretty impressive team of creators
So what advice would you give to young game developers who want to break into the gaming industry?
For people who want to break into the gaming industry through game design specifically:
- Play as many games as you can. Go especially deep and wide in the genre you love.
- Design something. Even if it means spending a small amount of time on it each day, you will find that you can learn and grow so much.
- Talk to other designers. People have a wealth of experiences, and tapping into them is invaluable.
- Never give up. Setbacks can become massive opportunities, so keep moving forward.
If any of our viewers want to follow Legends of Runeterra just head on over to:
Thank you very much Shaun “Unconkable” Rivera for your time to answer some of our questions, we like to wish the team all the very best with Legends of Runeterra and hope the game succeeds.
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