Great ideas have a way of coming from unexpected places. That's why we’ve developed a little ritual we call Thunderdome. Every so often, everyone in the company with an interesting idea for League of Legends will assemble a crack team and join the hackathon. The challenge: build a prototype in 30 hours.
At the last Thunderdome, over 150 Rioters got together to work on 25 projects ranging from new server architecture to 2D fighting games featuring champions of the League. We saw engineers write, animators paint, writers lead teams, and producers code. And we saw them take massive, ambitious projects from a twinkle-in-the-eye to a fully functional prototype in less than two days.
Of course, not everything makes it through the door. Sometimes our projects are just a little too out there, and most of them actually wind up getting shelved. But the real point is to throw out convention, remove all constraints, and entertain any idea no matter how crazy it might seem. Every so often, a few of them turn out to be great.
A couple important projects forged in the fires of Thunderdome were the Linux version of our server software and the Proving Grounds, one of our most popular maps. Not a bad showing for a handful of Rioters, a bunch of crazy ideas, and a whole lot of Red Bull.