As if it weren’t enough to announce mobile versions of Teamfight Tactics and League of Legends (sorta), plus a whole-ass new collectible card game, Riot also used tonight’s League 10th anniversary proceedings to mention that oh, by the way, as an aside, just for your fyi, it’s also making a fighting game and dungeon crawler set in the League universe, along with an FPS that’s a whole new IP.
The Diablo-style dungeon crawler above, confusingly dubbed “Project F,” was first to be shown during the teasing portion of tonight’s programming. While several nameless Riot employees were given the opportunity to wax philosophical about their game, no concrete information about Project F was provided, with regards to platforms, a release window, or what it’s even about, if anything at this point.
“Even though we all love League of Legends, I think we also all love to imagine the possibility of, ‘What would it be like to run around and explore the world of Runeterra?'” posited one Riot employee. “How could we enable experiences for players to go explore with their friends?”
“Getting to actually walk around [Disneyland] and explore a space that you know really well feels so magical,” said another Riot employee ostensibly working on Project F. “I hope that’s the kind of experience we can give to players, that feeling of actually seeing something and then going there in person and wandering around as though it were real.”
That all sounds like good ol’ fashioned magical experience, but if you were hoping to learn a little bit more about whatever Project F might be, well, too bad! The presentation has already moved on to Project L, the League of Legends fighting game. While the game’s existence was confirmed earlier this year, tonight’s show was our first look at the game in motion, and it sure as heck looks like Street Fighter 4 with League characters.
“What League of Legends players expect from this game is different, but in some ways harmonious with what fighting game players expect from this game,” said Riot employee and EVO co-founder Tom Cannon. “Everyone wants a great game, but what we’ve been seeing is that people are really excited to see Runeterran champions in a new light, even from a new camera angle. Making fighting games is really, really tough; these are intricate games to make, and while we’re a good ways towards making something that we think is really cool, we still have a long way to go. We’re gonna go dark for a while after this, so please don’t expect anything soon, but know that we’re here working hard for you.”
Cannon, along with his brother Tony and ex-Capcom fighting game magnate Seth Killian, all joined Riot in the spring of 2016 when it purchased their indie fighting game studio, Radiant Entertainment. Radiant’s fledgling free-to-play fighting game, Rising Thunder, was shut down shortly thereafter. Little has been made public about their work at Riot since the acquisition, which is still the case really, just to a slightly lesser degree after tonight’s shindig. As can be seen in the above over-the-shoulder look, Project L has all the fighting game trappings one might expect: Life bars, super meters, uh, characters, all that stuff. What else could you want to know?
And finally, Riot spent its largest chunk of teasing-time talking about Project A — a “character-based tactical shooter.” This one is so important that it gets its own trailer, embedded above, where you can experience for yourself exactly how Overwatch meets CS:GO it is, even at this early stage of development.
“It’s competitive, it has precise gun play, it’s set on a beautiful near-future earth, and it has a lethal cast of characters, each with their own unique abilities,” says executive producer Anna Donlon. “We promise that just like League, we’re in this for years and years to come. With Project A, we’re staying true to the high consequence gameplay of tac-shooters, but we want to evolve the space. We want a tac-shooter with more creativity, more expression, and a lot more style.”
I’ve always said that “tac-shooters” never give me enough opportunities for creativity, expression, and/or style while I’m killing people with guns, so it’s good to hear that Riot is spearheading this one. Donlon goes on to say that Riot is investing heavily in “global infrastructure and netcode” for Project A, and that anti-cheat mechanisms are being baked in from the very start, as can be seen at 2:01 in the trailer when Riot employee Paul Chamberlain is exposed as a cheating miscreant.
“We’re going heads down for a while,” Donlon concludes, “but expect to hear more from us in 2020.”