Are Champions As Awesome As They Could Be? - Theming in LoL - @IronStylus, @FeralPony

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ItemsGuy

Senior Member

12-19-2012

My friend Peri here has laid out things well enough to provide for some solid discussions on the matter, but I'll kick off my involvement in the thread with how using realistic elements is a very clear and logical approach with a quick quote from Jesse Schell, game designer and author of The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses.

"Really, the problem is that games have only recently emerged as anything like a serious medium of expression. It will take time for the world to grow used to this idea.
But we have no reason to wait. We can create games with powerful themes right now. But why, why do this? Out of a selfish need for artistic expression ? No. Because we are designers. Artistic expression is not our goal. Our goal is to create powerful experiences.
It is possible to create games that do not have themes or that have very weak themes. However if our games have unifying, resonant themes, the experiences we create will be much, much stronger.

The primary benefit of basing your design around a single theme is that all of the elements of your game will reinforce one another, since they will all be working toward a common goal.
Sometimes it is best to let a theme emerge as you are creating the game. The sooner you have settled on a theme, the easier things will be for you, because you will have an easy method of deciding if something belongs in your game or not: If it reinforces the theme, it stays, but if it doesn't, it goes."


Now, while Mr. Schell here is talking about themes in the larger scale--entire games--it's still very applicable to the designing of champions (after all, what is a champion but a very small "game" within the larger game of League of Legends? Choosing your champion is simply choosing the experience you wish to have within a League match, and what are games but vessels for such experiences?), and the same rules can apply.
The stronger and more unified a champion's theme, the more fulfilling playing that champion would be--even without the competitive context of LoL (making enjoying a champion less "I can use this champion to beat my opponents and win games!" and more "I really enjoy playing this champion!"--taking the joy of "winning" out of the mix to expose the true value of a champion).

EDIT:

Runningbad, don't drag this conversation off-topic because Teemo is best support NA.


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Notmrrunningbear

Member

12-19-2012

: ^ ) epic thread friends !


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Skyhawke

Senior Member

12-19-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by theDreamer View Post
But Demosthenes/Locke disagreed with each other.
True. But in the end they agreed with each other. And they also have the whole good cop / bad cop thing going on. Anyways, just my conspiracy theory for the day. I actually think it's a good topic and agree with many of their (his?) points, but I just think the presentation is a bit off.


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BestBilbo

Senior Member

12-19-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notmrrunningbear View Post
Itemsguy: this season. 0 ranked games played.
Last season: sub 1200 elo.
Doesn't mean he can't know anything about game design, I bet tons of people at Riot are at similar/low rating. I believe Morello is like 1400 : P


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Skyhawke

Senior Member

12-19-2012

Also a hecka lot of downvotes... do you guys have dedicated downvoters as well? XD

Even the comment where I said it was a good topic is getting downvoted like crazy.

ps: BestBilbo, I'm curious about your thoughts on TF. It sounds like you really like him for his uniqueness, but I've always thought his theme felt a bit off. Do you feel the same way? And if so, which is more important, a cohesive and unique kit or a cohesive and unique theme? (Obviously having both is the ideal, but if you had to choose)


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ItemsGuy

Senior Member

12-19-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by LightningAcorns View Post
I've always felt like this especially for Heimerdinger and Maokai, though is there a specific reason you guys mention realistic elements/behavior when designing or living up to a playstyle or theme, I mean this is a game not reality, is there an explanation?
The whole "realistic elements" is explained by my Statement of Purpose here, but it's a long read so it basically boils down to: "If players can tie elements within the game to elements they can become familiar with before even knowing about LoL (stuff like fire, how plants work, what shotguns do), they can better understand how champions within the game work just by looking at their splash art *IF* champions cohere to their theme in this kind of "realistic" way. Of course, there's still the element of creativity--you've got a dude on fire that's THROWING this fire, you've got trees that are alive and angry about it, you've got a dude with a shotgun as big as him. It just makes it so that themes that already exist make sense to the player!

I mean, you see Brand throw fire at you, and then it stuns you--what's up with that?? It confuses players and it isn't even cool for the reason fire is cool (ba-dum, *tish*).

Quote:
That said, I'd say this is an interesting read, I have read the previous threads as well so I recognized you. :y
Thanks very much, and I hop you can contribute more to the conversation here!


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Daemon

Senior Member

12-19-2012

I've said this before, but there is one thing Riot has yet to do thematically: make a champion with a "pet" that really matters. Orianna just throws her ball around. Pix, Lulu's fairy, does a bit more, but he still feels like something that is just...there.

I am talking about a being that is constantly tagging along with the champion, that speaks, jokes and taunts alongside the champion, and aids the champion and perhaps can be broken free from the champion's control through an ability like Help, Pix! or maybe an ultimate like Viktor's that is controllable and the champion gains enhanced abilities until the ult ends.

It seems like one of those things that they have the ability to do, but haven't done yet.

My idea was for a young inventor girl with psionic abilities that is around Ezreal's age and her suit of armor-like automaton possessed by the spirit of her father who was killed. While she can control things with her mind (the brains), her father serves as the brawn of their team. If she targets the automaton with her abilities, then he is "activated" and you click again where you want the ability to be executed. After it is done, he returns to your side. The ult makes them work together in some way.


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Crownface

Senior Member

12-19-2012

There are still no black champions.


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Daemon

Senior Member

12-19-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notmrrunningbear View Post
Itemsguy: this season. 0 ranked games played.
Last season: sub 1200 elo.
Obviously doesn't have a valid opinion, right?

I don't see IronStylus dominating at 2200 ELO...or any ELO. He only plays normal games. With only Leona or Diana.

Design and concept are unrelated to playing ability.


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Notmrrunningbear

Member

12-19-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyhawke View Post
Also a hecka lot of downvotes... do you guys have dedicated downvoters as well? XD

Even the comment where I said it was a good topic is getting downvoted like crazy.

ps: BestBilbo, I'm curious about your thoughts on TF. It sounds like you really like him for his uniqueness, but I've always thought his theme felt a bit off. Do you feel the same way? And if so, which is more important, a cohesive and unique kit or a cohesive and unique theme? (Obviously having both is the ideal, but if you had to choose)
asdfgjbsak


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