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MECHS VS MINIONS

Lead designer Chris Cantrell reveals how Riot Games brought the world’s most popular video game out of its digital universe

In the world of online gaming, nothing is bigger than League of Legends. A team-based strategy game of magic and stylised cartoon violence, it boasts over 100 million active players per month. Top-level competitors battle in front of online audiences rivaling those of professional sports, and industry analysts value the game’s publisher at more than $1 billion.

Given this level of success, it came as no surprise when US developer Riot Games announced plans for a tabletop game set in League’s fantasy world of Runeterra.

Video games including Civilization, Age of Empires, Bioshock and XCOM have already made the jump from screen to table, and League’s army of fans offered a ready-made market for a cardboard crossover.

The result was Mechs vs Minions, a frenetic co-operative game that became one of 2016’s most acclaimed releases. We spoke to lead designer Chris Cantrell about the game’s creation, and how a digital studio produced a breakout analogue hit.

Mechs vs Minions designer Chris Cantrell.

“This wasn’t a bunch of suits sitting in a board room saying: ‘How can we milk more money out of our IP?’ It was a labour of love.”

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FREE BOARD GAME INSIDE: BARBARIAN HACK EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW EVIL DEAD 2 We get groovy with the designers of the cult movie adaptation MECHS VS MINIONS Behind the making of Riot's spin-off to the World's top video game RIVER HORSE Bringing Labyrinth, My Little Pony and Hunger Games to the tabletop PLAYED Seafall, Arkham Horror LCG, Scythe and more! PLUS • How to build an RPG world • Reiner Knizia • Diversity in board games • Introduction to Magic: The Gathering • Delta Green • X-Wing
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