Riot's Umbrage and Kassadin talked about the "card game before the card game" when it comes to Legends of Runeterra in a Dev Doodles video on the League of Legends channel. It is filled with some great history of the game and so we've got the video for you to enjoy down below and also the main important points highlighted.
- Card games weren't big online when they were first creating what would evolve into Legends of Runeterra.
- They wanted to make a game that could have mechanics that you couldn't do in a paper TCG.
- The code name for Riot's card game was Bacon. Interestingly, this is also the internal name for Hearthstone's Battlegrounds mode.
- Around 6 months before shipping the game, Blizzard announced Hearthstone at PAX East 2013.
- Umbrage and Kassadin were hoping Hearthstone wasn't good as they saw it at PAX East. Then they tried it.
- As they played Hearthstone, it stood out that the game looked and felt amazing. It was easy to play.
- Riot's card game was very complex compared to Hearthstone, more like a paper card game.
- Riot scrapped their card game because they thought it wasn't right. Everything started from scratch.
- They bought all the board and card games they could get their hands on to research what made a good turn-based game.
- One idea was you controlling a champion with skill cards. It wasn't something they felt people would play long-term.
- Their experiences in childhood, with building decks by using just packs that you'd open and could - kitchen table magic - lead to them wanting Runeterra to let all players experiment with their decks.
- They don't regret restarting the game. It l likely would have done okay, but Legends of Runeterra can go so much farther.
It is so disheartening to hear that they wiped the slate clean after playing Hearthstone, but it does seem like it was for the better and we've got a great new game in the genre because of their determination to release a quality product for us to play. You can listen to their story while watching the great art of Ehlboy down below.