A developer from Riot Games, the creators of League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics, now explains why game developers should not strive to be the best in their game, even when fans consistently demand it.
That is the demand of many fans: In gaming, there are always demands or criticisms from fans:
“Do the developers play their own game properly at all?”
They claim: A game designer must actually play a game at the highest level himself so that he really “knows” and understands the players.
With MMOs like New World, it’s like this: Yes, of course our game is so stupid. The developers have absolutely no idea about the playoffs!
So if the fans have their will, a designer would have to “search” as hard as they do, go through the hard ranking and hone themselves up. Only then will he “really have a clue” and be able to make the “right decisions” in game design and balance.
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Riot employee struggles to reach top rank for 300 hours
This is the experiment: Riot Mort is the lead designer of the tactical game Teamfight Tactics. In fact, he has now done what fans have come to expect from a head designer: he has played his game so hard on a new season that he is ranked among the top 250 players in his region.
He says he did it to prove he could do it. After all, he read how developers were repeatedly offended because they allegedly had no idea.
It is then said that they are “only Diamond”; would only belong to the top 4% and therefore had absolutely no idea. Riot Mort he has read such phrases and attacks over and over again, not only in LoL and TFT, but also in many other games played competitively and with ambitions
Chief designer says he was on the verge of burnout after 70 hours of TFT a week
This is what the developer says after the experiment: Riot Mort says that now that he has played as hard as some fans have come to expect, he has decided he will never do it again.
The reason is: To be in the top 250, the developer had to complete about 400 games in 2 months. It came down to 300 hours in 8 weeks. Because he can not just play during working hours, 25-30 hours of TFT per week were added to the working hours.
So eventually he had a 70-hour week for 2 months where he only worked at TFT. This inevitably led to burnout.
In addition, he could no longer play freely during this time, but only followed the “best possible way of winning”. He learned nothing more, he just downplayed his plan.
He asks fans: how should developers play their games?
- Do you have to sharpen the ladder and play as guides tell you to, practice familiar combinations and become “one trick ponies” who only know one champ?
- Or should they play champs they do not normally play to understand their weaknesses – should they play tires that do not perform well at max level?
If players really wanted a better game, they should hope the developer plays the other way. For during the climb, Riot Mort deliberately avoided combinations that he did not feel comfortable with. He played to win, not to learn – as that would actually be his job.
In the end, such a way of playing “optimized for victory” also meant that he only took care of the people who were looking for the game as hard as he was at the time. But such a game can not be developed, because you have to aim at everyone, not just the few elite players.
This “design a game just for yourself” is a typical mistake that beginners make. Experienced developers would know that you are designing for a wide audience and considering as many perspectives and playing styles as possible.
In any case, he will no longer play with such great ambitions. And he was only able to play that way because he had the support of his wife, who wanted “he really showed it to the haters.” But if players really want developers to make the game better, then they should play freely and casually, as the developers themselves want.
One person who “voluntarily” chose this life in grind luck for himself is the Twitch streamer Tyler1:
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