In the past few years, we seem to have been taking the courage for a long time and we have been cautious for a long time. Finally, we can tell everyone that we have this product. We are confident and we have solved many problems. I feel like holding a golden, epic, world-renowned thing in my hand, which makes me look like a star. “
“If you could go back to 2016 or 2017, if you could go back and give a suggestion to the team or yourself, what would you say?” I asked.
The person in front of me is Xia Dan, the publisher and producer of “League of Legends Mobile Games”. Xia Dan joined Tencent after graduating from university in 2008. After several projects, Xia Dan has been engaged in mobile game publishing very early. In 2015, there was a chance that he did not hesitate to transfer to “League of Legends”, “in charge of process management, but also responsible for the incubation of new products”, including “League of Legends Mobile Games.” He likes “League of Legends”, and making mobile games is his biggest wish to join the “League of Legends” project team.
As early as 2016, “League of Legends” was made into a mobile game with “preliminary ideas”. At the end of 2017, the product officially entered the development stage. The famous “fist Daniel Wu” Michael Chow officially took over the project in early 2018. Xia Dan believes that “this marks a large-scale entry into the research and development stage.”
Xia Dan told me that as one of the most important pre-research projects, “League of Legends Mobile Games” initiated a lot of discussions between the two sides at the beginning of its independent project, “there is a lot of room for repeated polishing.”
“But is it slower?” I asked.
“From the results, it is true that some people will feel that it is a little late.” Xia Dan nodded, “In the beginning, when user demand broke out, we quickly paid attention to it, but the discussion took longer than expected. Moreover, in In terms of mobile game research and development, the difficulty is actually beyond imagination to a certain extent. The investment and verification of this product are more than expected.”
Timing is a key issue for “League of Legends Mobile Games”, and many people think it should come earlier. In the early run-in, the two parties spent a considerable amount of time communicating. Xia Dan often thinks of that time, and sometimes even dreams of those scenes. In addition to close online cooperation, the team has high-intensity communication almost every day, and almost every issue is discussed in detail. There are collisions, exchanges, and even quarrels every day. Thinking about it now, Xia Dan thinks these are precious.
But Xia Dan still feels a little regretful. “If you can go back to 2016 or 2017…” He thought for a while and said, “If you can go back to the past, I want to tell everyone that you should act earlier. The development of mobile games is changing with each passing day, and there are always various things in the way. I want to deal with emergencies. I hope to encourage the team to be more courageous to try, act quickly, put aside some discussions and quarrels in pursuit of perfection, do this quickly, and slowly know what to do after doing it Up.”
For large teams like Riot and Tencent, the biggest difficulty may be the “deciding to do it.” Once you decide to do it, the whole team will run quickly, with “no slack for a moment.” Xia Dan told me that even during the epidemic, even if members of the R&D team are isolated at home, “they still maintain a strong working condition.” There is a time difference between Riot Headquarters and China, but the core members will try to adjust their work and rest time and stay with everyone as much as possible.
They used to think it would only take one or two years to develop “League of Legends Mobile Games”-many players also think so optimistically. When it was first announced in October 2019, players all boasted overwhelmingly, “I will enter the league without regrets in my life”. Everyone thought they would be able to play it soon. “Whoever thought it would take 3 years to wait.” This time span seemed to Xia Dan at the time to be far beyond expectations, but he has now realized that “we have no way to predict the risks in the future.”
“What is the biggest risk?” I asked.
“Game development itself consumes a lot of resources.” He said, “If the final resumption, someone seriously discusses, how long does it take to develop a product of the same magnitude as “League of Legends Mobile Games”? Maybe the standard answer is 5 years.”
Just like a real top student in the industry, they thought everything could be done with hard work. It not only needs to meet the demands of the old players of “League of Legends”, but also wants to compete for users from the mature MOBA mobile game market, and hope that the mobile game can continue the glorious achievements of the terminal game on a global scale. “We always worry about whether this game can’t be made at all. Now think about it, what we conceived was a perfect game in our minds, but this game does not exist. If we can go back to that time, I think we should encourage them …” Xia Dan said, “In any case, the choice is absolutely necessary.”
Looking for “a moment of tears”
Obviously, an IP like “League of Legends” never needs to worry about its influence.
“What kind of product is it and how to interpret it? We don’t need to talk about these. As long as you have played computer games, you basically know what “League of Legends” is. Even if it’s a mobile game player, according to our previous In the investigation, they have also heard at least some loud names…”
Many people believe that “League of Legends Mobile Games” should go high, it should drop from the sky with a halo and dominate the list with confidence. But Xia Dan felt that it was just born and there would still be room for growth and progress, and he felt that this process would be very interesting. “The form of mobile games is very special. After the launch, we also realized that users have different understanding and expectations of this product.” Xia Dan said, “Users are growing, the industry is changing, and the environment is very different from before. .”
Since many years ago, users’ voices for “League of Legends Mobile Games” have been quite high. Before the announcement of “League of Legends Mobile Game”, if you search for this keyword, you will see a large number of help posts on the Internet, “please recommend a mobile game similar to “League of Legends”.”
“But we still think about it for a long time, why do we want to make this product? For example, does the market really need a “League of Legends” mobile game?” Xia Dan said.
“We have three main considerations.
“First, as users play more and more games and experience more and more things, their demand for games is also increasing. We realize that many users don’t like to be immersed in purely social Among the products-of course, these products have their meaning and value, but they also have a demand for mobile games with more core gameplay and higher quality.
“Second, the old users of “League of Legends”-I don’t want to call them old users, because they are not old in terms of age-have been with “League of Legends” for a long time. It has been a full 10 years by 2021. In the past 10 years, the mindset of users will also change. At the earliest, they may think that they can play “League of Legends” anytime and anywhere. The demand for the product is, “There is Ashe in it, and there are suggestions. Mo’, but for current users, they want more than what we call “skin” in “League of Legends”, they need “League of Legends Mobile Games” to bring the same feeling of end games, such as those Moments filled with tears, moments that are still fresh in memory, such as the joy of finally defeating the opponent after a long period of training, and the ultimate operation in team battles…
“Third, after experiencing the mobile wave, users will have more requirements for mobile games. They not only want to experience better game content more convenient and fun, but also pay more attention to the trend-they want to play A game that everyone is playing, so you can be more involved in it.”
“I can probably understand this pursuit of’feel the same’.” I said, “That is to say, it is not the same operation, or the original way of copying the performance on the PC in some places, but you want the player to learn from the two The feelings obtained in each game are the same, especially those emotions that have been aroused by the end game, those are the most important connections.”
“Yes, but the problem is that there are 1,000 kinds of “League of Legends” in the hearts of a thousand players.” Xia Dan said, “Some users with special feelings, they hope to get a 1:1 reissue of “League of Legends.” , Even some minor changes will make them feel a little uncomfortable at the beginning. Other users are more tolerant of changes, as long as there are familiar heroes in this game, for example, there is Ashe and Timo, he will feel “My youth is back.” There are some users who don’t know much about the content of the game, but they have watched our game and heard the introduction of “League of Legends”, they would prefer to have a high-quality game experience .”
I believe that the “League of Legends” IP has never worried about its influence, but may be worried about other things, very, very worried-in these years, it is nothing new for mobile games to be made from mobile games, and there are many successful precedents. But at the level of “League of Legends”, there seems to be too many things to consider. What if it is not done well? What if it’s done well, but the player doesn’t like it? What if the player likes it, but doesn’t like it like the end game of “League of Legends” back then? What’s more, there are already successful head products in the mobile game market. How does “League of Legends Mobile Game” find its place?
For a long period of time, Tencent and Riot have been discussing these issues repeatedly.
“League of Legends Mobile Game” is led by Riot, and Tencent is responsible for “providing some technical knowledge, mobile game development and publishing experience” and so on. “How to make the game, how to change the hero, the fist will make a very comprehensive control, and we will also give a lot of ideas and suggestions.” Xia Dan said, “Of course, how to do localization, how to do social functions, these parts are We are more experienced. When communicating, Fist will often adopt our opinions, and both parties will work together to promote the improvement of functions.”
Confidence continues to accumulate in version changes. In the promotional video and development log, the team communicated with users through some small details to test users’ reactions. From the feedback point of view, users are more acceptable to some innovative mechanisms-even if they have some opinions-they are only a little relieved.
In the early stages of research and development, Xia Dan participated in a lot of discussions with fist. “The fist people attach great importance to design, but the strategy and experience in the mobile game field are Tencent’s strengths. We will make up for this part through communication.”
“Do they listen?”
“Listen.” Xia Dan said, “but use their logic to explain it to them.”
“If we take the iOS or Steam lists to tell them what gameplay is very popular, or that there are many people playing such games, they will not recognize it. They will not do it because something is very popular. They will do it. We need to think more about whether we can do it, whether users need it, what it has to do with “League of Legends” itself, and what benefits it will have for future development. We need to convince them in this regard.”
Regarding the positioning of “League of Legends Mobile Game”, Tencent and Riot had a consensus from the beginning: this will be a global strategic product. This also means that this product is ready for long-term operation with huge investment from the beginning. From the current point of view, “League of Legends Mobile Games” is progressing relatively smoothly on this point. “Everywhere is the “League of Legends Mobile Games” winning awards, the game was at the Apple conference before the game, and we also announced the e-sports plan… In fact, they are all running to the top, and they will be able to carry on for 10 or 20 years in the future. Do it with Qi’s products.”
“Why give it such an important position?”
“Based on the success of “League of Legends” in the past 10 years, we believe that “League of Legends” will still have very good development opportunities in the next 10 to 20 years. We internally position “League of Legends Mobile Game” as the future and “League of Legends” The side-by-side dual-core operation of the mobile game supports such a big IP.” Xia Dan said, “In the past, we said that a product of “League of Legends” mobile game supports various ecosystems of IP, e-sports, live broadcast, and communities, but the future may be’ “Brothers go into battle”, mobile games have some advantages of mobile games, and mobile games can also make up for some of the inherent shortcomings of mobile games in application scenarios, user reach, etc., which can well help IP in the long-term development. “
For many large products on the market, this is already a proven path to success. As a mature IP, “League of Legends” will naturally gradually improve its ecological layout in various fields-but this alone is not enough. Come on, it’s “League of Legends”! If it can, it hopes to be the coolest, the most special, and exist as a symbol of the times.
If it can, it hopes to solve all problems by itself.
They do face a lot of problems. For example, “League of Legends Mobile Games” was launched overseas in October last year, and it has been 8 months.
“Why does the national service take so long?” I asked.
“We think it needs more polishing in the Chinese market, and we will take a few months to improve the quality to another level. For example, in terms of the amount of content, the number of heroes in the overseas version is not that many, and the gameplay mode is not that rich, even if Compared with the end game, there are many parts that are not shown.”
Another issue is still balance. After the overseas version was launched, they immediately realized that “some designs contradict the mobile wave.” Originally in order to uphold the concept and feelings from the end game, when designing, “the user experience process will be relatively long, and the immersive threshold will be set relatively high”, but the feedback we got later is that users don’t seem to like it. Such a design. “Of course we have to tune, but tuning does not mean overwhelming pop-ups and red dots, and we don’t want to have a very compelling experience.”
“But these things are validated by the market or data.” I said.
“Yes, it may be verified in many games, but we still have to strike a balance in the middle.”
Users are more sensitive than they think. The conclusion is, “When doing innovation, we must respect both the user’s own habits and the user’s emotional appeal-for example, many users are unwilling to accept that “League of Legends Mobile Games” is different from the market. The mobile games are similar, but have the flavor of other mobile games.” However, what if other mobile games have achieved the optimal solution to some problems? “League of Legends Mobile Games” naturally pursues the best solution. But it still has to find a balance, and then continue to pursue a better solution.
“We take care of the emotions of all users as much as possible.” Xia Dan said, “The possible way in the future is to continue to communicate with users and give users more choices. Nostalgic users can have more original choices, so they can follow their own Play in the way you like. Other users may need us to provide a more intuitive and more comfortable solution. Of course, we are willing to provide them with such a solution. We give users more options, which is also good for them of.”
The different ways of thinking at home and abroad are reflected in many aspects. For example, testing. For overseas users, testing is just testing. Until now, the overseas version is still called testing. Testing is to get user feedback. However, the Chinese market is “adequately tuned” and has far less patience for a game than overseas.
“The first shot after going online is your final result. Basically all games on the Chinese market can’t escape this law. Almost no mobile game has been tuned slowly through a long period of testing, and finally reached a desired goal. Xia Dan said, “The fact is, if you don’t have a big success in the first two months, everyone will think you are not doing well.”
So they often have self-doubt. Is it too difficult? Is the threshold set too high? Hearing those bad voices, even the combination of Tencent and Fist will think repeatedly. “Will the so-called high-quality sophisticated design become a shortcoming and become rubbish? We are most afraid of hearing the voice saying that we are’not as good as before’.”
Negative voices will always exist, but for Xia Dan, “the vast majority of feedback is positive”. In this test, they watched a lot of user discussions, and also did a lot of communication and research, and the results seemed to be good. “No user said that this is not the “League of Legends” I want, no user said that the game is not fun or the depth is not enough. This at least proves that we are currently on the right path.” He said, “We have a lot of Core users, their love for “League of Legends” exceeds our expectations-the step of finding core users has been completed. Next, we have to consider how to improve the social attributes, how to improve the convenience and performance of the mobile terminal, and how to improve the performance of the mobile terminal. How to better promote the distribution… These things are what we are good at, so I have confidence.”
“What is the current situation like?”
“I think we have slowly reached a balance. There is pressure and praise, and the balance has been slowly achieved. I think this is a normal state.”
Even so, sometimes Xia Dan still feels all kinds of pressure. “The biggest pressure is worrying about not doing it well and users don’t recognize it. This pressure is definitely the biggest.” Xia Dan said, “Everyone has high expectations for this product, and hopes it will do its best anywhere. These are. It is pressure and motivation for us, but for us, the outcome at this stage is not important. What is more important for us is to do ourselves well and get the recognition of users.”
“League of Legends Mobile Games” is self-evident to Tencent and Riot, and Tencent and Riot’s expectations for it are also obvious. “League of Legends Mobile Games” is their global strategic product-this prefix represents the determination of long-term large-scale investment, also means that they must face the competition-in the current world’s hottest gameplay, and many abilities Rivals to compete. Xia Dan told me that they are not afraid of competition and have enough confidence. “The market cannot be monopolized. There will always be opportunities and entrances. We still have inherent advantages in terms of competition, appreciation, and internationalization. We must take good care of these things.”
He continued: “Someone will set us a target opponent or imaginary enemy, who will feel that we need or should defeat someone, but this product was not born for this purpose. Users want it, users expect it, and we realize this. , Will decide to make it and work hard to do it well.”
“But users will want you to be the best.” I said.
“Yes, users want the best games they play, at the top of the pyramid.” Xia Dan said, “Actually, no game can do this. But we will try our best to take care of the user’s inclination in this regard. . Let them think this game and content are great. If users say that we have dropped the price and are disqualified, we will find a way to do it if we can use any method to make the user experience better.”
All in all, “to be high-quality, to be fun, to be a way of life”, this is their core hope for “League of Legends Mobile Games”. In the development process of “League of Legends Mobile Games”, a “full-scene experience” based on the “League of Legends” IP is also being established. The goal is to make the “League of Legends” IP “ubiquitous”.
“You open the video website and there are our animations, you watch the sports channel and we have our e-sports, you may go to the theater and we will have our movies in the future. You can hold a small competition at any time in the community, and you will have someone when you turn on your mobile phone. Pull you to a qualifying match. Maybe you don’t have time to immerse yourself in a preseason match, but you like “League of Legends”, you always have something to watch, and you will feel that it is in your world “Xia Dan said, “And its existence makes your life experience better.”
For a game, this is a grand and simple wish.
Become a star
To this day, Xia Dan is still worried. There is still a lot to do for him, is it putting too much pressure on the players? Are some areas still not doing well enough? Can it be recognized by most players? In case, I mean in case, “What if it gets crooked?”
In my opinion, they seem to put too much pressure on themselves. As I said before, the top students in one industry want to do everything by themselves, and the top students in two industries join hands and think they should do everything. If they can’t, there must be What is “not enough hard work”.
But I also feel that, in a sense, this anxiety may be the cost of making games—perhaps not only games, but all cultural and artistic products from excellent works to great works, but it also changes the work. Get better motivation. And when this work moves step by step to the entity, to the market, and to the vast number of players, the people who put in the effort will get huge rewards. I am not referring to material rewards, but spiritual satisfaction.
Therefore, I asked Xia Dan whether he felt such satisfaction for a moment in the past few years. Without hesitation, Xia Dan told me about the night when “League of Legends Mobile Games” was first announced. It was a certain day in October 2019, and that day was the global 10th anniversary celebration of League of Legends. Xia Dan was on the scene, facing all the people present and live broadcast footage, announcing that “League of Legends Mobile Games” would be launched in China. It feels like completing or starting an epic mission.
In the evening, when the event was over, he returned to the hotel, “Everyone was calling, asking, and expressing their joy.” He sat next to the chair and returned seven or eight hours of information. The phone went from full power back to no power, “It was too hot and turned off directly.”
“What’s that feeling? It’s equivalent to the dream we’ve been fighting for for several years, and finally we can go to the front desk. The starting gun officially sounded, and we set off with our heads high.” He said, “I don’t know how to describe it accurately. … In the past few years, we seem to have been guilty for a long time, and we have been cautious for a long time. Finally, we can tell everyone that we have this product. We are confident and we have solved many problems. If I were a character in a large-scale simulation game, I feel like holding a golden, epic, world-renowned thing in my hand. This thing makes me look like a star.”
“That was my career…” He sighed, “No, that was the longest night in my life.”
Source: Touch Music