Delving into the minds of Riot developers we are able to see how Odyssey Extraction was formed into the game we all love and play today. We also find out what concepts and ideas didn’t make the final cut.
Riot developer ‘RIOT_MORT’ has presented us with an insight into early designs and concepts of the development process, explaining their ideas and challenges they had to overcome with the creation of Odyssey Extraction.
Following on from the success of Star Guardians‘ ‘Invasion’ and the idea surrounding Doom Bots, Riot set out big goals for this iteration of PvE game mode.
For those who don’t know Doom Bots was a game mode where the bots have an enhanced version of their skills that made them crazily OP(overpowered).
The foundation for their new PvE game mode was taken from the Doom bots game mode and adapting it in a PvE environment but with a twist. What if players got to be the Doom Bots?
Ideas started flooding out on the new concept, Riot wanted to make the PvE mode have a progression system for the committed players whilst making it fun and enjoyable for all skill levels. So early decisions like creating 5 difficulties levels were defined straight away.
They also decided on the launch date as they wanted to ship it out in time of the Odyssey event. This meant the developers only had 4-5 months to create the new game mode.
The original line-up had to be tweaked and modified as it consisted of 5 characters. At first thought, you might think that is fine, but the problem was that one of the characters, Kayn will play the villain. This left only 4 players on a team. Picking the 5th member of the team they looked to see what was missing from the team composition. Looking at the original line-up, Yasuo, Sona, Jinx and Malphite the area that was lacking was a magic damage dealer.
Developers came to the decision and made Ziggs the teams newest member as they felt he will fare well in both gameplay and thematic need of the game mode.
Adapting And Implementing Ideas
Following on from the Doom Bots notion and give the game system progression they decided on the idea of implementing augments. This would allow players to earn OP skills of their own over time morphing your champion closer to a Doom Bot. The development team did run the idea of making mechanical changes to champions where you would see Sona Q become a charged skill. But it was quickly dismissed as they wanted to make players who plays Sona still be able to know how to play her.
The use of augments has helped the team implement their ideas without changing the complexity of champions or champions core code.
Augments became the developer’s focus and tested out many versions. They needed to find the right balance between making it not too powerful but enough to make it feel fair and challenging.
One problematic area was the implementation of crowd control augments as they made the effects of crowd control too powerful. One case of this happening is with an augment called ‘Thumper’. Ziggs satchel had the ability to pull enemies in every tick which lasted up to 6 seconds which made them incapable to do anything.
Also Included in the gallery are other early development stages of augments
Following up with their first PvE boss implemented in Star Guardians’ Invasion, the developing team wanted to push the boundaries of what the Boss can do in a PvE game mode. They equipped Kayn to have mechanics to make the team work together to defeat him. Unlike with the first boss where the player could focus on smaller waves of monsters or the boss itself.
Feel like playing Odyssey Extraction? Check out our guide and prepare yourself.