When creating the new emotes, Riot Games first looked at how they’d be used when it came to communication as opposed to simply expressing some emotion or thought. To help with that exploration, Riot put together labs that allowed actual League players to test out the emotes and provide their feedback on the system before it was released.
Within the labs, they monitored how players would choose to use the emotes and whether or not their use would interfere with the actual gameplay that players are used to. Leading up to and following the actual testing of the emotes, Riot had several tasks that they went through to get thorough feedback on the system. The Insights post established the following tasks as steps Riot took in order to fully understand what the lab players thought of the emotes:
- First, we talked through the players’ prior experiences with whatever they thought of as “Emotes” in League.
- Then we introduced some system and content prototypes and concepts to get their initial reactions.
- Next, we had 5v5 playtests with a prototype Emote system to observe and experience the system during League gameplay.
- After playtests, each player filled out a quick individual survey about their experience.
- Finally, we had a group discussion to understand general or shared impressions.
Several players indicated that the emotes helped the other players feel more like actual people instead of just a champion and others said that it was a welcome change to be able to interact with an enemy outside of just trying to kill them.
Looking forward beyond the release of the emotes, Riot says that they’ll continue to expand on the system by watching players’ usage.
“Our system design is informed by lab work, but we still have room to grow in living up to this being a super commonly used expressive tool in League. We only launched with a few pieces of content, but we’re excited to be adding more content into the Emote system, including a variety of new ways for players to engage in this form of expression without spending RP.”