Riot Forge and Double Stallion talk Convergence and Runeterra lore

Riot Games
Riot Games /

Convergence: A League of Legend Story is an innovative 2D platformer, born out of the collaboration between Riot Forge and Double Stallion. As both an avid gamer and League of Legends fan myself, I’ve previously talked about how much I enjoyed the game and found it reminiscent of the old-school 2D platformers that I used to play with my sister.

I recently had the opportunity to chat about Convergence with Rowan Parker, the Creative Director at Riot Forge, and Double Stallion’s Creative Director and Co-Art Director, Eric Angelillo. They were absolutely lovely and offered intriguing insights about Convergence and what it means to the League of Legends lore.

While chatting about the game mechanics, the standout aspect of the game for Eric himself, as well as for a lot of players, was the essential time-bending abilities that allow Ekko to fast forward or rewind time. Eric mentioned games with time-manipulating techniques such as Braid that served as a bit of inspiration for the game. But Rowan says the real influence was obviously none other than the man, the myth, the legend – Ekko.

Ekko was added to the MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) League of Legends’ roster in May of 2015. Born on the wild, untamed streets of Zaun, Ekko is a maverick, a prodigy of sorts. Blessed with an intellect far beyond others around him, he harnesses the powers of time, twisting and shaping it to his whims, always tilting the odds in his favor. The Zero Drive, which Ekko himself invented, is nothing short of a technological marvel – it’s a tool that allows him to tap into the endless threads of reality, exploring its countless offshoots in a delicate dance between the present and the infinite “what-ifs”.

From the very first glance, Convergence captivates with its distinctive art style, wrapping players in a visual spectacle that’s hard to resist. The game’s presentation is gorgeous, flowing seamlessly and making it a sheer joy to play. Double Stallion has given the beloved characters of League of Legends present in Convergence and the city of Zaun a distinct style that effortlessly blends with its original content. The dynamism of the game expands through vibrant environmental interactions, lively enemies, and allies. Every aspect of the game, from movement to the rich auditory experience, sings in perfect harmony with this refreshing and lively style. When asked about the distinctive art style, Eric spoke about how the early concept art drawings for Ekko actually had little notes from the original artist, who went on to call him a “Punk Hero,” which Double Stallion clearly nailed.

The narrative also provided rich lore for League of Legends fans. With Convergence and Mageseeker released within a month of each other, players have had a lot of lore content to dive into and explore. And there’s good news for fans – there are plans for more games that explore different champions’ lore, with Song of Nunu: a League of Legends Story by Riot Forge and Tequila coming out later this year. (I’m trying not to squeal out of excitement over here.)

The development process presented its fair share of challenges. One interesting revelation was that the game was developed entirely remotely, making it an impressive feat considering the high level of communication and teamwork required. The entire development process took nearly two years, a timeframe that emphasizes the amount of work put into creating the game. Development started in 2019. Once pandemic hit, they couldn’t do VO so Riot Forge sent the voice actors a “studio in a box” package with everything they’d need to soundproof a room and record their lines. But even then, there were still challenges. The voice actor for Ekko had some maintenance going on in the apartment above his, so he could only record at a certain time.

I wrapped up the interview by asking what the developers would like players to take away from the game. The key takeaway, delivered by Rowan, actually gave me goosebumps. How do you deal with things that you can’t change, even by manipulating time? For Ekko, that’s a real thing he has to deal with throughout the game, and it does stick with you after you’ve beat the game, especially if you’re familiar with Lullaby.

Convergence: A League of Legends Story isn’t just a successful collaboration between Riot Forge and Double Stallion – it’s the perfect way to tell Ekko’s story. Better yet, to let you live through Ekko. It delivers not only an engaging time-travel platforming experience but also provides deeper insights into the lore of the League of Legends universe. It stands out as a remarkable blend of nostalgic gameplay elements and innovative mechanics, leaving players eagerly anticipating what the incredible developers at Riot Forge and the talented studios working with them will come up with next.

Convergence: A League of Legends Story is out on every platform! Be sure to grab it for your favorite one.