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Bugs and Dances

How we find and fix bugs, champions’ dances, and what it’s like to be swallowed by Tahm Kench.

By RiotLamz, Riot KateyKhaos & Riot Tiger Lily

Welcome to Ask Riot! Have a question?

This week, it’s finding (and fixing) bugs, champions’ dances, and being eaten by The River King.

Q

how do you decide what dance a champion has? ヽ(⌐■_■)ノ♪♬

A

We like to decide on the dances and other emotes (jokes, taunts, etc.) towards the end of development, that way everyone has a chance to throw in some ideas. Anyone on the team is welcome to chip-in, and the animators make the final call. As for the ideas, we start by asking ourselves a few basic questions:

  • What’s the size, shape, and silhouette of the character?
  • Is the character’s tone more humorous or serious? (Dances can sometimes be a moment to break a character, similar to the joke animations, so it can be fun to test something a little different.)
  • Does the character’s design immediately pop out as something similar to what we reference in pop culture? An example: Warwick and the Thriller werewolf dance were a great match.

We also want to try bring new dances into the game with new champs, so we’re mindful not to create a dance that’s too similar to the ones that already exist. In general, most players tend to enjoy quick loops for dances—something they can do fast as they move around, almost like a quick taunt—so we also keep that in mind.

There are rare times when we can make dances a one-off set piece, like the Rakan/Xayah dance or Ivern/Daisy dance. These are totally unique, synced-up pieces meant to be played next to each other.

RiotLamz
Senior Animator, Champions Team
Q

How do you go about collecting and solving bugs?

A

Bugs, what bugs? You mean Kha’Zix? Yeah, that’s working as intended.

Seriously though, we collect bugs in a few ways. We utilize the in-client report option (brings you to this nice form), our official boards’ Report a Bug topic, Reddit, various @’s on Twitter, and even a coworker pinging us saying we broke our shit… or, even worse, that we broke their shit.

From there, we track the issue in our database.

The ticket will tell us where something’s happening (Internal environments, PBE, live), what the issue itself is, and how we can reproduce the bug. It’ll also include some fancy video and pictures, just in case we aren’t sure what we’re looking at. This happens to me when I’m working on a skin for someone I don’t play, so pretty much anyone except Nami. ; )

Okay, so we’ve got bugs! Now what? We prioritize the bugs (fixing all major issues first, then moving down the line to minor and trivial issues) and assign them to our devs and they review the bug, spot what went wrong, fix the issue and check it in to the build for review. QA analysts, like myself, will then check that the fix they’ve made works, and close the ticket out. If the fix didn’t work, we bump it over to the dev again for a second look.

Some issues take five minutes to fix, maybe a VO line became unhooked, but some issues do require game designer support and can take an hour or two to fix (or more), depending on complexity!

Once something ships, all remaining open bugs (minor/trivial) will stay open in our backlog. We’ll pull from the backlog and fix legacy issues whenever possible. For my team specifically, we aim to fix several legacy bugs a patch.

Got a bug you want us to take a look at? Use the links above and tell us about it!

Senior QA Analyst
Q

how does it feel to be swallowed by tahm kench? is is warm, cold, wet or sticky? asking for a friend.

A

Like waking up some crisp, lazy morning and realizing you’ve got nowhere you need to be, no demands of your time, no one to please or let down. The day is yours, all yours and you can sleep in as long as you like. So you pull the covers up around you and snuggle into their soft, pillowy hug, drifting back into that milky dreamland that welcomes you with kisses on your cheeks and a lullaby floating by on the breeze.

Like unfurled sails that suddenly puff and billow with a POP as wind catches their cupped hands of canvas, pushing your boat into the great unknown of the golden horizon. A fresh slate, all your mistakes forgiven and a new world of adventure awaiting your arrival. You don’t even look back. The future is that exciting. You can’t take your eyes off it. You feel the momentum of your boat slide easily into a smooth groove atop the green sea, as if your whole life were leading up to this exhilarating moment. You stretch your arms out and let the sea spray mist your skin like fluttering confetti.

Like mustering all your courage from the deepest wells of your heart to finally confess, “I love you,” expecting heartbreak and disappointment to follow your words like a shadow. But instead, your love’s eyes glisten, their lips tremble as they take your hand in theirs as they reply, “Why didn’t you say so sooner?” pressing their rose petal lips to yours in the kiss you’ve longed so long for.

But all that only lasts a moment.

And when your dream curdles and sours into a poisonous nightmare you can’t be woken from, when dark waves crash over you, sinking your soul to the bottom of some forgotten abyss, and your love begins to laugh, the cruel, pitying shake in their voice that you’ll never unhear—you’ll know. You’ll know what it feels like to be swallowed by the demon you bargained with. For you are but a morsel to his mouth, an aperitif to his tongue, and when the sweet slide of being swallowed is over, he will surely make a meal of you.

Riot Tiger Lily
Editor, R&D

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Ping and a Stolen Key