Riot Games has shared their second annual update on their upcoming fighting game Project L, showcasing new features which have impressed the community.
The developers of Project L, Riot’s take on the fighting game genre, released their second annual update.
The League of Legends fighting game has been highly anticipated since its October 2019 reveal, and now its features are becoming more ironed out. Developers outlined more nuanced details rather than big picture ideas.
In their December 5 video Riot went through a lot, ranging from providing details regarding Illaoi’s development progress, discussing the updates on the tag system, and highlighting the base gameplay mechanics.
Project L Illaoi’s under heavy development
Illaoi was teased in the brief August update. This time around though, developers had more details pertaining to the champion in Project L. According to Riot, Illaoi is now in early playable form and is live in their internal play test.
The champion remains true to her form in League of Legends, and utilizes her tentacles to toss enemies around. Riot discussed the champion from the 0:33 mark.
“What you see here is about 30% complete,” executive producer Tom Cannon stated. They’re still working on her art direction for her animations, alongside narrowing in on her tentacle attack mechanics.
Project L gameplay advances
Riot’s biggest focus when it comes to Project L’s gameplay is to create a fast yet smooth experience. They want players to “have fun right away, while rewarding [them] for the time spent mastering it.”
To do so, they made sure to have plenty of movement options to create versatile utility, while balancing offensive and defensive options available to the player.
“Project L, you can walk, run, dash, chain dash, jump, long jump, and super jump. And on top of that, many champions have their own unique air mobility options,” game director Shaun Rivera told the audience.
This means some characters will be more mobile than others, at least in the air. Match-ups will likely play a significant role in Project L, as some champions will have access to movement options that help them avoid specific threats.
“Putting your champion in the right place at the right time is a skill that you can gradually get better at over time,” Rivera stated, concluding the movement section of the developer’s diary.
Offense and Defense
“We also want to incentivize action. This means making sure offense is rewarding, and your buttons are worth pressing,” Rivera said. This theme encompasses the defensive options as well.
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In essence, they want to reward players for taking action, rather than playing passively. In Riot’s perspective, this allows for more fun gameplay alongside betters the viewing experience.
As of now, they haven’t shown many defensive options. The video instead showed Jinx shooting out rockets, which very much seem like attacks more so than the typical defense as seen in fighting games.
“We have a mix of big clear defensive options and some nuanced systems that reward you for reading your opponent’s next moves,” Rivera mentioned.
It appears the approach they’re taking for the game follows a fundamental belief of “the best offense is the best defense.”
Project L’s Tag Team system details
During the very initial stages of development, Project L was actually meant to be a solo brawler. But two years ago, they “made the pivot to a tag team, assist-based fighter. [Their] tag systems are deep and flexible, aimed towards unlocking creativity.”
Similar to games like Dragon Ball FighterZ and Naruto Ultimate Nina Storm 4, the player can switch between their fighters seamlessly, which allows some very fancy combo extensions.
There are three main focuses presented in the update: Assist Actions, Handshake Tag, and Dynamic Save.
Assist Actions calls the other champion in from off screen, and each champion has two separate options for this.
Handshake Tag essentially allows you to swap between the champions, as long as both champs are on screen. These synergize with Assist Actions seamlessly, allowing combo extensions.
Last but definitely not least is Dynamic Save, which is Project L’s version of a combo breaker. Using this calls in the assist champion, which interrupts the enemy’s combo and swaps the played champion with the one that was just called in.
Those hoping to hear about a Project L release date though — don’t hold your breath. Nothing solid is locked in yet, beyond a slight hope of getting it out the door in 2023.