Interview with Brian Feeney, Riot Games Gameplay Designer

Who I am
Aina Martin
Author and references

During the 2016 edition of this rich Lucca Comics & Games, we had the extraordinary opportunity to interview Brian “FeralPony” Feeney, Historical designer of Riot Games. Brian worked on the Champion Design and Live Gameplay team, only recently moving to the Personalization Team. His contribution to League is invaluable and has influenced vital components of the game such as preseason changes, mastery tree and items, as well as some of the most celebrated champions such as Graves and Hecarim. Brian will also be present on the stage of the former Cavallerizza to reveal to all present secrets and behind the scenes of league of legends. But let's find out together how he answered our questions!

Resources4Gaming: Hi! Tell us how your adventure with Riot and in League of Legends began!

Brian: I started my artistic career at a later time, first I tried to be a poet for a certain period of time, then when I went back to school I attended the Academy of Art for three years. Then I started an animation course and fell in love with illustration, thus choosing to move on to Character Design. I then sent my portfolio with some drawings I made to Riot, and I was taken on an apprenticeship of sorts, a probationary period in which I had the opportunity to fill various roles. I immediately started working in a team, becoming part of the working group that dealt with the creation of maps and Champions; from then on, three years have already passed within Riot!

GL: What does it mean to be the Lead Live Gameplay Designer at Riot Games and how difficult is it to make the right decisions?

B: First of all, every artistic work, whether on a Champion or in general, takes place as part of a team, so beyond my title, everything that is done becomes the result of teamwork, an overview of a team , of a team. My qualification as Art Leader allows me to direct a larger number of artists, not only those who work on the Champions, but all those who are part of the project. As for the players' speech, our goal is to be able to find a match suited to the needs of the players, we always try to think about the future, to find new themes and new fantasies not yet found, because what you like today could be boring. tomorrow. Our main focus therefore is to plan for the future rather than just looking at now.

GL: What does it mean for you then to be an Art Leader of a company as important as Riot?

B: The most difficult part is certainly balancing the responsibilities of a leadership role, with what is then the passion of an artist, because the main objective is to obtain results from teamwork. I want to put the pen on the paper to draw primarily for myself, so the difficult part is being able to balance the two souls, that of an artist and that of a Manager. I don't consider myself a Boss in the traditional sense of the term, but I focus more on creating an environment that is as lean and calm as possible, to allow all artists to work and express themselves as they see fit. At the same time, my responsibility is to facilitate the growth of the members of my team: it is my task to verify what their needs are and that they exist, or at least that they are found through a dialogue in order to reach a solution. I have no particular pressures, I would say more to achieve a free exchange between these two realities, to design in person and work well in a team.

Resources4Gaming staff would like to personally thank Riot Games Lead Live Gameplay Designer, Christopher Campbell, for this interview.

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