“The idea is to transform our whole ecosystem and brand” – behind the magic of the Riot Games Star Guardians occasion
The land of Runeterra has erupted in magical world apparel as of late, and it’s all because of the Star Guardian meta occasion going down throughout League of Legends, Wild Rift, and Legends of Runeterra. This means in-game twists and rewards throughout all titles, in addition to newly-recorded musical tracks and a few impressive real-world displays here and there.
I needed to be taught extra about this occasion, together with the way it improves on prior occasions, the way it took place, and why Star Guardians have been picked within the first place. That’s why I sat down with Ryan Mireles – product lead for the Star Guardian occasion and newly promoted lead of gameplay for League of Legends – to dig into the meat of the most recent massive celebration throughout Riot Games.
Why Star Guardians, this time round?
Mireles: Star Guardians was certainly one of our first massive pores and skin traces. Back when Star Guardian Lux got here out, the skins group made one thing that individuals actually cherished – a lot that we did like an enormous Star Guardian factor later. It was Project and Star Guardians that have been type of the actually massive ones the place we began doing like 5 skins in a single drop as a substitute of like quite a lot of particular person pores and skin releases we have been doing previously. Both of these pores and skin traces are actually close to and expensive to our gamers and each time we return to them, tons of gamers get excited. They resonate very deeply.
So, once we completed doing our multi recreation occasions with Spirit Blossom, we have been taking a look at what we needed to do subsequent. We hadn’t touched on Star Guardians for a very long time, it had been round two and a half years because the Neeko pores and skin was launched.
It made sense that we’d attempt to do certainly one of these massive multi-game occasions with it, bringing in different groups like Wild Rift and Legends of Runeterra which had gamers who hadn’t even skilled an enormous type of Star Guardians occasion.
How do it’s important to method a legacy pores and skin line completely different with occasions like this, versus a complete new line of skins like we noticed with Sentinels or Spirit Blossom?
Mireles: Well, initially we’ve to take a look at all of the lore. Luckily, one thing like Star Guardians would not have an excessive amount of lore already established. But even so we did must look again at each type of all of the story we have informed gamers with it from earlier occasions and tales to date. We received in a room all collectively, seemed on the entire storyline with Jared Rosen – certainly one of our lead narrative writers on this occasion, to take a look at the entire timeline and work out what are the tales that our gamers are excited to see proceed.
Take Zoe, who had an enormous storyline that we needed to proceed. You’ll see on this occasion that some development is made there. We additionally needed to take a look at what different tales we might inform, as a result of in contrast to Sentinels, we weren’t attempting to inform the identical story throughout a number of video games. For Star Guardians, we needed to inform completely different tales throughout our completely different video games. So you may get pleasure from it in case you’re taking part in only one title, or in case you’re taking part in Wild Rift and also you’re taking part in League, you may expertise completely different tales elsewhere that go with one another.
I’ve received a kind of hen or the egg query; does the choice to start out a Star Guardian occasion come earlier than the will to create a brand new line of skins, or vice-versa? Or are each simultaneous?
Mireles: I feel it was March of final 12 months – earlier than Sentinels. We received along with the Wild Rift group alongside the leads on the skins group (Pi, or Pi Team) and different groups too! We principally received collectively in a room and we have been like, ‘okay, what are all of us enthusiastic about?’ We truly checked out three completely different choices. I do not need to speak about different choices we checked out in case we pursue them sooner or later. But we put three issues on the desk and seemed on the execs and cons of every and what was extra thrilling. When we laid all of them out, Star Guardians was simply the one everybody within the room was tremendous buzzed about.
Then we type of began constructing! I feel typically the occasions come first, and typically it begins the opposite method round. Like for this I do know, Pi was already planning on doing Star Guardians this 12 months, even when we did not do an enormous occasion. They have been like, “Hey, cool, we’re planning on doing Star Guardian anyway! Maybe we’ll do something for Kaisa and Akali.” So it wasn’t like pores and skin work hadn’t began in any respect.
In phrases of the gameplay facet of this occasion, what classes have been discovered from earlier in-game occasions like Spirit Blossom, or the Sentinels occasion?
With Spirit Blossom, we have type of needed to do storytelling in a significant method, for a very long time, but it surely was type of exhausting to do it in League of Legends. So we type of explored the visible novel facet to get some storytelling that you might do in between video games. One of the issues that I feel labored rather well is that, for the typical participant that was simply taking part in a pair video games per week, you might get by means of all of the stuff you needed to get by means of. Then in case you have been exhausting engaged, you may like get like tremendous bonds with characters and earn like emotes and stuff. I feel quite a lot of gamers actually favored that as a result of we noticed like 25%-ish studying it.
With Sentinels, we noticed that it was a bit too grindy for lots of gamers. It made them tune out as a result of they needed to play so many video games, far more than they might usually play simply to expertise the principle story. So the gameplay factor we have discovered this time is we made you understand a through-line story the place you principally can simply get by means of it simply taking part in a traditional variety of video games, after which we’ve like type of a Spirit Blossom esque system with every of the Guardians so you may play extra video games to develop particular person relationships.
What are your predominant targets for this occasion? The most blatant one individuals are going to think about is getting individuals enthusiastic about Star Guardians. But, since every recreation concerned is getting completely different narrative and beauty additions, it appears to me it might be greater than that. What are you hoping to realize with it, except for the floor stage stuff?
Part of it’s clearly like, hey, if I’m into Star Guardian, and you understand, Legends of Runeterra is doing a Star Guardian factor, I would go test it out proper? I feel the principle cause we do these varieties of massive moments is to type of create this like, immersive Riot Games second. If I’m taking part in any of those video games – whatever the quantity I’m taking part in – for some time it seems like I’m immersed within the Star Guardian universe. If I am going play some League, there’s this actually cool Star Guardian metagame system. If I am going to my buddy’s home, and I’m taking part in some Wild Rift, I’m nonetheless type of on this immersive Star Guardian universe. The thought is to create this tremendous immersive surroundings, the place our entire ecosystem and model type of transforms into Star Guardian universe for a time frame.