League of Legends, a storied game boasting over a decade of history and countless transformations. With Riot Games at the helm, it has evolved in visuals and gameplay. Now, Riot is exploring how AI technology can unlock new horizons for this iconic title.
Outgrowing the present bots
Currently, League of Legends features AI-controlled bots that are, in a word, not very smart. They follow predictable patterns and engage with enemy units without much flair. Lexi Gao, champions product lead at Riot Games, spoke about the limitations of the game’s current AI technology. She expressed her eagerness to implement more creative ideas if better AI tech were available.
No tech barriers, only timing
Gao asserts that technology isn’t holding back their creative vision. Riot Games consistently develops new tools when needed, expanding the game’s possibilities over time. An example of this is the creation of champions like Sylas and Viego. Sylas’s ultimate ability inspired Viego’s unique passive, which then became the foundation for the Ultimate Spellbook game mode.
From crazy concepts to game reality
When it comes to champion design, Riot’s approach is to start with the question, “What’s the craziest you can go? ” This imaginative process then leads to collaboration with engineers, artists, and tech specialists, who often push the boundaries of what’s deemed possible. An illustration of this can be found in Nilah, a champion concept that initially seemed unfeasible due to the limitations of League’s aging technology.
Bringing back canceled champions
While many concepts come to fruition, there are instances where champions are temporarily shelved because they don’t align with the available technology. However, Riot often revisits these ideas when advancements in technology make them feasible. This demonstrates Riot’s commitment to evolving and expanding League of Legends.
Endless possibilities with AI technology
Gao dispels the notion that Riot has exhausted its creativity, stating that there are countless unexplored ideas. She confidently asserts that Riot could continue creating champions for decades to come, stretching the imagination of fans.
A champion’s long journey
Riot Games is currently working on a champion set to debut next year. This champion’s development journey began in 2019 but took a detour to give rise to Sylas. Now, she’s making a triumphant return.
Tech advancements transforming gameplay
Recent champion releases, such as Naafiri, demonstrate how technology advancements can redefine gameplay. Naafiri and her pack of puppies underwent a transformation to appear more natural and lifelike. AI tools were harnessed to impart distinct movement patterns to each unit. This not only improved gameplay but also heightened the realism of these in-game entities.
Investing in the future with each champion
With every new champion introduced in League of Legends, Riot Games invests in technology to enable future innovations. This continual investment opens the door to a wealth of possibilities, promising a universe of characters and abilities that fans can only dream of.
League of Legends, a game with a rich history, continues to evolve thanks to Riot Games’ commitment to pushing the boundaries of technology. The prospect of smarter AI and more imaginative champion abilities holds the promise of an even more thrilling and dynamic gaming experience for millions of fans worldwide. As technology advances, so too will the possibilities on the Rift. Riot Games remains at the forefront of innovation, ensuring that League of Legends will remain a premier esports title for years to come.