Ryan Scott

#240 Ryan Scott Aims for Balanceable, Not Balanced

Design Axioms


Ryan “Morello” Scott joins Dirk and David on the show to discuss his design axiom: balance isn’t important, but balanceable is critical. Ryan discusses why planning ahead for a balanceable piece of content is critical to avoid making balance feel chaotic for players and designers alike. With his experience working on League of Legends and Riot’s new FPS, Valorant, he shares specific examples of where balance went wrong and steps designers can take to make things right.

Episode Outline

01:09 Ryan Scott explains the basics of his axiom and how he arrived at that axiom

05:05 The basic process for character creation in a multiplayer game like League of Legends or Valorant

07:25 How to tell in the early design phase if something is balanceable or not

09:31 Examples of League of Legends champions that weren’t balanceable and caused problems

11:34 Does this axiom apply across platforms? Or is it only for multiplayer digital games?

14:16 Talking about balance in a broader sense and choice competition

21:26 Examples and counterexamples of this axiom

27:09 What does a balance-first focus look like, as opposed to balanceable?

29:55 Managing expectations and communicating with the community about balance

38:28 Ryan turns to Valorant’s character design and how Riot applies this axiom

47:16 Advice for designers wanting to implement this axiom in their own designs

In this Episode

Ryan Scott - @RiotMorello
David V. Heron - @davidvheron
Dirk Knemeyer - @DKnemeyer

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