How Riot Games Built a Genre-Defining Game In Less Than Six Months
Play • 1 hr 11 min

If you're into games, chances are you've played—or at least heard of—League of Legends and its developer Riot Games. Despite League's success, though, Riot famously didn't publish any other titles for the first 10 years of its company's existence. That is, until it got inspired by a group who created a mod for one of its competitors, Dota. In less than six months, a small scrappy team at the California developer built Teamfight Tactics, a spinoff digital board game that mixes chess with slot machines and inspiration from card games. Now it's one of the studio's most successful titles. It's lead designer, Stephen "Mortdog" Mortimer, joins the break down the genre-defining game, how its maintained and how the team finds inspiration for new ideas.

"TFT's success is about novelty and new experiences. If you come back and everything feels the same, you're kind of like, 'Yeah, I've kind of seen it before.' What you're looking for is those new unique experiences that excite you."

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