Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Analysis for a Gameplay-Based Lore Framework

This segment was taken from another entry due to the length of that entry.  Here, you will find the analysis that leads to the lore framework discussed in that original entry.

League of Legends is Gameplay-Based

Like Monopoly, the most important thing in League of Legends is a gameplay that is meant to be adopted by a mass market (and equal to or greater than that which played DotA).  Lore is secondary to gameplay, so we can consider League of Legends to be a gameplay-based game.

Let's put on our game/user experience designer hats to understand the gameplay elements that will form the lore framework -- just like we did at a high level with the gameplay-based Monopoly lore framework.

- A user selects the champion they will control in the match.
- The 4 teammates and 5 enemy summoners select their own champions for the match.
- The match begins with all the users' selected champions at a spawn location.
- The spawn location provides a source of modifiers for champion stats or abilities.
- The spawn location provides restoration of a champion so they may maximize the time until which they are next forced back by the enemy.
- A set of minions stream out at regular intervals from the victory condition node to the enemy's victory condition node.
- Enemy users, obstacles, and enemy minions prevent minions from reaching the victory condition node.
- A team wins when their users overcome the obstacles and enemy users such that the enemy's victory condition node is reached.

Laying out the Static Elements of League of Legends

Now let's put on our creative director hats (we're creative directors that happen to understand game, UX, and technical design because we attended many GDC parties, okay?).  If you look at the above, it sounds very dry and mechanical -- which it should, because those awesome game designers know how to break down games to their bare mechanics.

It's your job to find the resultant lore framework elements and give those mechanics life and purpose.  Here's where the game stands with the description/chat from your designer -- as well as from playing the game yourself.

Minions = Minions
Spawn Location = "Fountain"
Victory Condition Node = "Nexus"
Source of Modifiers = "Item Shop"
Modifiers = "Items"
Obstacles = "Towers"

Most of the time,
it's the same things
every time.

You also understand that the macrocosmic unit of experience for a user is a "match".

The above are static because they are the same across all matches.  You might be thinking of a few other static elements, such as "the jungle" or champion death.  They were left out for brevity and because they are also unchanging across matches; more static stuff you can trust the excited writers on your team to tackle.

There are some remaining terms, though...

Users = Summoners
Champions = Characters released over time

These are dynamic across matches and real time, with champions being limited in the sense that they are always the same from a selection made by the user from a pool of champions available at that time.

These could be the opportunities for large-scale immersion beyond the scope of a single match experience.

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