Demacia Vice Squad, a retro-esque sidescroller, was revealed during the NA LCS finals this weekend (via Dot Esports) and was playable at the venue in Miami. The arcade game features both Garen and Lucian in cyberpunk gear, beating up bad guys in classic 80s style.
The idea of such a game was conceived by the community as Riot asked for what kind of game they should make. The community voted for a 2D platform adventure in the style of League of Legends’ arcade skins. The game itself was then created during a Thunderdome, a software developing 48-hour marathon event held by Riot Games for Riot developers. Their previous game created in such an event was Ziggs’ Arcade Blast.
Considering how it was made, the game itself isn’t particularly innovative or impressive; however, its polish and enjoyability is a testament to the skills of Riot’s developers. Though the game only lasts 10 minutes at best, it allows the player to dream of greater possibilities.
Riot Games’s exact intentions for Demacia Vice Squad is unknown, though we can assume that, due to its length, it will be free to play. Riot Games have stated that the purpose of such events is to take its fans along the ride of developing games. Unfortunately, they have also said that this may be the last time we will see something directly from the Thunderdome team.
I can’t help but think that maybe the Thunderdome events were also attempts to prove to Riot Games’s owners, Tencent, that it can find greater commercial success in expanding its horizons by developing new titles or exploring new genres. Either that or they just wanted to have some fun, which to be honest is the more likely scenario considering how often they are making mini games internally for their fans to enjoy. I hope it’s the former because then it would mean that we may have stopped seeing Thunderdome games because the coders are to be working on more ambitious projects instead.