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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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Watch: Designing the new League of Legends champion

A 30-minute masterclass with its creator.

I've spent the week visiting Riot Games, trying to get a feel for what goes into creating and maintaining arguably the biggest video game in the world. League of Legends attracts something like 67 million players every month (I'm told these numbers are actually out-of-date and the latest figures are "significantly" higher than that), which is bonkers and somewhere close to the entire population of the United Kingdom. Video game journalists, like me, have generally been pretty bad at understanding the culture that brings them all together. More on that next week!

Anyway, as I arrived on Tuesday morning, Riot were actually in the process of officially revealing their latest champion: Jhin, The Virtuoso. It's a big moment for the League community as players rush to understand how this new character will fit into a very complex meta game. How does he work? Do I want to play him? How do I play against him? Is he overpowered? Underpowered? The community explodes with questions and opinions and as I watched this unfold, I found myself surprised by how relaxed the Riot HQ seemed to appear in the background. Sure, they've had some experience with creating new champions (Jhin will be the 129th on the roster), but still, I expected to see more people frantically reading comments on the Internet.

I did manage to catch up with at least one person who was doing just that, a few hours after the reveal had gone live. His name is August Browning (AKA Gypsylord) and well, he designed Jhin. Even if you don't play League of Legends, I think it's worth listening to him talk about what goes into creating a champion, simply to get a feel for the level of game design involved. This is an incredible game, and as such, it requires an incredible team to keep it moving forwards.

Watch on YouTube