At reddit Riot CapoFerro have answered a lot of questions from reddit users, the questions is about everything but as hes employed as senior software engineer at Riot Games most of the questions are related to his work postion. I have scanned through the whole reddit thread and tried to put his answers to different topics. Capo Ferro regulary checks the thread and answare new questions so if your questions isn’t below go there and ask him!
Link to reddit thread www.reddit.com
About League of Legends and game developing
tanplusblue: What’s the big secret coming this week?
CapoFerro: It’s really big. And secret. And it’s coming this week.
PagingCraig Can I assume before Saturday?
OrderChaos: Have any of the champions (or are any champs being worked on) that came from/were inspired by the community Champ Development forum?
CapoFerro: I don’t know for sure. I know the champion team reads the forums so at the very least it contributes to overall inspiration.
Kaphix: I don’t want to put you down or anything, but you guys are setting yourselves up to fail. At this point no matter what you release some portion of the community will be disappointed, unless its magma chamber; then maybe. notliam I disagree, I’m really looking forward to Summer BBQ Teemo.
CapoFerro: Dude, he’s got a spatula and everything.
PolygonMan Do you guys realize just how high expectations are? We already expect stuff like spectator, replay, and a new map… you guys have just announced so much stuff and then (for whatever reason) been unable to deliver them, that there’s this huge backlog. Should I be getting my hopes up? Will this live up to the extremely high expectations? Should I be expecting the unexpected (something completely new?)
CapoFerro: I’d say so. I’ve seen it personally in all it’s glory and it’s pretty damn sweet.
domis: Tell us a bit about the Riot office’s local LoL server. Is it a mess of bugs and crashes?
CapoFerro: Depends what stage of QA you’re talking… generally a developer will test and retest his own build of the game before kicking it out to anyone else. There still might be bugs, but it’s usually not too bad. Once it hits company wide playtest, it’s mostly stable (or should be…).
domis: How many upcoming champions are being playtested at any given time?
CapoFerro Depends. Not sure on what, but it depends.
domis: About how many patches ahead are the games being played on it? How far ahead is the UI/are the game features?
CapoFerro I don’t know how far ahead the game or PvP.net team are. I do know champions are being worked on months in advance.
domis Is the implementation of the upcoming-announcement-thing holding back further development?
CapoFerro Not really. People are either working on that or working on something unrelated.
domis: What sort of client/tool changes have you made for recently released champions/features? What sort of client/tool changes have you made for as-yet unreleased champions/features?
CapoFerro I work on deployment infrastructure tools, so none.
domis: What about your job keeps you up at night?
CapoFerro: It’s usually my 1.5yr old dog that keeps me up at night… Riot isn’t ridiculously stressful, especially not internal tools. If my tool has a problem that prevents a deploy, though, that’s something that might keep me up. I never want to be the reason LoL was down longer than scheduled cause I want to play too.
artemizmahou: Is the work enjoyable? Or is it a drag to deal with something like LoL that’s constantly changing all the time, especially given all the complaining people do(can’t be easy with all the demands thrown around)?
CapoFerro: Riot moves fast which makes work more interesting. The biggest drag is when we promise things that we later realize were bigger than we thought and aren’t able to get them out the door in a reasonable time. I think we’ve learned our lesson about announcing things too far in advance, though… least I hope so. As a Rioter, you learn to deal with whiny community members very quickly… that is to say: you learn to parse out the people with legitimate concerns to those who are whining cause they can’t seem to win with their favorite champion.
Tosskey: What aspects of the game do you program? PvP.net? UI? Gameplay mechanics? Hero creation? All of the above?
CapoFerro: See here
Apocza: Ok firstly, kudos to you, the dev team, designers, artists, QA and researchers – the game is incredible, has grown leaps and bounds and isn’t just a great MOBA, but a great game.
Secondly, as a software developer myself I would like to hear about the nerdy side of the job:
What development methodologies do you practice (agile, waterfall, top down etc.)? I assume it varies between game dev, pvp and internal projects like yours?
What source control do you use?
Do you have dedicated QA resources or does everyone jump in to test?
What is your favorite piece of tech at the moment?
What tools/languages do you use? Elaborate on some languages, IDEs and frameworks you use.
CapoFerro: The default methodology is agile, but it could be Kanban or something else depending on what the team needs. Occasionally a team will have very specific needs, so they’ll invent their own highly specialized methodology to tackle a specific task then revert back to agile when that task is completed.
We are in the process of shifting from AccuRev to Perforce as the primary SCM. My team uses Git, which can kick code to Perforce through git-p4.
We have dedicated QA, and some very good QA, at that, but everyone enjoys playing the game anyway so most Rioters are QA in some respect or another. I’ll often submit bug reports as I encounter them when playing LoL on my own time.
I love Rails. I am impressed with how smoothly web applications come together when skilled Rails developers start working.
I write Ruby in emacs on OS X. I don’t really need much more than a terminal to do my job. OS X is a new thing for me, as Riot issues MacBooks for Ruby devs. I’ve traditionally been a hardcore Linux dev and have never owned a machine for development that hasn’t run either ArchLinux or Ubuntu.
phi2one: How does it make you feel when someone complains about or suggests a new feature (or bugfix*) claiming they know how to program and “it would be so easy to implement, like just add a variable yada yada. Seriously, it would only take me like 15 minutes.” It always amazes me how people think that since they understand a concept that the implementation must be just as simple. Not to mention the administrative/qa/deployment/etc overhead that is involved. I have to deflect that kind of thinking at my job from time to time, but at least it doesn’t come from random dopes on the internet.
CapoFerro: Learn to ignore them… it’s the same as any internet posturing, just with a technical flare. If bugfixes were that simple, we either don’t know about the bug or it’s not that simple.
snopromise: I was at a Riot panel at pax and I walked away with the impression that most of the major investments were in art and design and that the software engineers were there almost as support. Is this the case?
CapoFerro: Engineering is a huge part of the company. I don’t know the numbers, but we take up a large proportion of the office. A video game company is a software company, just specialized.
Wishta: how important are the european servers for you? (like how many people work on maintenance and stuff compared to US)
CapoFerro: Very important. We have tons of players in EU, so the EU split consumed a lot of our resources to get completed. The long queue times were not acceptable in the slightest, so we dedicated a lot of resources to defeat that problem.
eMan117 :Heyllo, thanks for taking some time out for us “r/LoLers”, awhile back there was a shaco bug video being passed around the internets, I was wondering if there was someone at Riot HQ working on this since hes a dying champion (atleast I rarely ever see him anymore) and the bugs are outlined pretty well in the video.
CapoFerro: I know Guinsoo talked about getting fixes in for Shaco on Twitter… no idea where they are in prioritization, though.
Phatnoir: Any chance you could allow chat between both teams during loading? Also, is there a chance you guys can allow camera positioning?
CapoFerro: Chatting during loading would be really cool, though I’m not sure what it’d take to get that working. As for camera positioning, other than unlocking the camera from your champion, the camera position is part of the game play in MOBAs. Not saying it can’t be done differently in some new MOBA, but it plays in to the balance of the game if you can only see a certain portion of the screen at any given time.
DeliciousNoodle: On behalf of the people that truly enjoy the job you guys do, thank you very much for doing such a great job. Also, I apologize for what seems like the vast majority of your subscribers that stomp their feet and whine at the slightest hint of a bug or simply something they don’t agree with. You guys do an amazing job and have created a game that I have devoted more time than I should probably admit to
CapoFerro Key word there is “seems.” The term “vocal minority” applies in many cases.
Phrost_ What do the technical designers do as far as coding is concerned? I’m planning to become one once I’m done with school
CapoFerro: They are game designers that understand the code that goes into the mechanics they’re trying to create or tweak and are able to write said code themselves when necessary. They’re there to be a hybrid of designer and engineer and often support the nontechnical designers when they’re trying to build something new.
Phrost_ is that a job in high demand? At Riot do they work exclusively with the champion interactions?
CapoFerro: They are designers first and foremost, they just have technical background. They do work exclusively with champion mechanics and balance. I don’t know how in demand that is, however
NickPaul64: As someone going to school for game programming, what exactly does your job include? =)
CapoFerro : I’m primarily a Ruby developer working on OS X building tools that deploy to Linux. The tool uses Rails, Redis (for Resque) and acts as a wrapper for Chef and Capistrano. I’d have to get someone from the game team to drop by to give more info on what goes into the game itself.
megadeus: Does this mean LoL on Mac/Linux without hacky workarounds is coming?
CapoFerro It means the tools I write run on Linux… not the game. Sorry dude.
eduardofusion: does LoL game servers run into riot’s own datacenter, or into an 3rd party datacenters like amazon “cloud” web services ? (website appears to be hosted at amazon)
and is possible to dream about more “regional” servers at other places in the world ? (im brazilian, 10mbps connection gets 200 ping at LoL here :~)
CapoFerro: We own servers that are colocated in 3rd party data centers. NA servers are in NA, EU servers are in EU. Brazilians are a fair distance from NA, so you’ll have to deal with the ping for now.
MilesLoL: Any idea if Riot plans to purchase additional servers in other parts of the world? ie, Australia?
CapoFerro: We just launched public beta in China. Can’t imagine we’ll stop there.
neurosnap: what is the status of the Mac version? I found the beta online and it works but it’s a little buggy.
CapoFerro: The status is exactly what you say: the OS X client works, but it’s a little buggy. Right now we don’t have a timeline for when we can get back to work on fixing it due to LoL growing too fast and needing our engineers on more pressing issues… like keeping the servers up. :/
scam_radio: Why do I always get matched with people that don’t speak my language?
Questions regarding programming
Frekkon: As a high school student I don’t know which college would be good if I want to learn software programming and development. Which college should I see to apply? if you don’t know could tell me which career should I take for then seek the college for myself?
CapoFerro: To name a few:
- Stanford University
- UC Berkeley
- Carnegie Mellon
- Rochester Institute of Technology
mothracaused911: I’m interested in software engineering, and was wondering how to get started in going towards that career.
CapoFerro: As for software engineering, my best advice is to just do itTM
By the time you finish Rails for Zombies, you’ll have built a complete web application and can start building something on your own.
Dark-Aries why are you using adobe air?
CapoFerro: It made us quicker to market in it’s original implementation and hasn’t held us back enough to make us rebuild it. Anyone with experience in startups will tell you that this is one of the most important things when selecting technology: get to market fast cause you have no idea what your users actually want until they start using the product. Don’t make something scale until it needs to be scaled. So far we haven’t outgrown Air.
fedekun: Do you guys consider replacing the Adobe Air client at some point?
CapoFerro It’s not my team, but I’m sure they have and continue to talk about it as a possibility.
NilsLandt: How do you script your champions?
CapoFerro: Many of the balance related logic is in Lua so it can be changed on the fly by our designers using a tool we wrote to help nontechnical designers piece code together. Anything that’s not in Lua is in C++.
asybakeevan:Does adobe air have anything to do with the game engine or just the client that you use to matchmake and buy runes etc.?
CapoFerro : Just the lobby and champion select pieces. Once the loading screen pops up, that’s purely C++ with a Lua scripting layer.
Narroo: I got a question! How well IS league of legends programed? Minecraft, for instance, is a great game with terrible coding, or so I’ve heard. What about League of Legends? Are there any fun facts about it you can share?
CapoFerro: It’s programmed well enough to be an awesome game. One important thing to learn as a programmer is that you need to optimize the process of completing the project and making it awesome moreso than you need to optimize every last data structure and algorithm.
Jonathan Blow has an excellent talk on this: http://bluepojo.com/post/7160693752/jonathan-blow-on-writing-software-im-a-big-fan
Spitfirre: As a future Software Engineer or designer (still in school, not sure what direction to head), I’m always looking for input as to what I should be learning and practicing on the side to further my skills. I’m looking into the field of game development a little bit, so this would be helpful as well. What languages and tools would be best for me to master/get familiar with? And what could make or break an employee at Riot or some similar company? Any help or guidance is appreciated! Very excited to start playing LoL again (internship has taken over my summer)
CapoFerro: Depends what you want to work on. You’ll need C++ if you want to work on most games. Ruby is a great language for doing web application development. C# is a good language for desktop applications. You’ll need Objective C for OS X or iPhone dev… generally learn a lot of languages. Learning one language makes the next language easier to learn, so you’re never losing out by learning something new.
smeek: Really hope you can answer this question. Is there any hope in the future for a native linux client?
CapoFerro: I have no idea. :/
Torshed: So what are the best languages to learn if you want to go into game development in the near future?
CapoFerro: More important to learn is the process of software development and learning how to learn new technology. Languages and technologies change. You need to learn how to stay current.
That said: most game dev is done in C++ and Lua with a few outliers like Python, Java and C#.
Baturay: What is your favorite programming language? Python?
TikiTDO: A few more technical questions just to satisfy my own curiosity regarding what I feel are a number of shortcomings about the game. As a software engineer, playing LoL is at times a rather negative experience for me, since I am often seeing what I feel are shortcomings in the design. How is the situation with the number of programmers, development environment, and the QA and release processes? Do you have the time to focus on the overall design and plan for the game, or is it more often a mad rush to fix specific issues in time for deadlines? I dislike confronting programmers with negative aspects of their software project, but I really am left wondering regarding the health and utilization of the software team at Riot.
My first and foremost concern stems from what I feel are unjustifiably long loading time for a game with what is effectively a whole lot of static resources. I can never really understand why I can load a complex Star Craft 2 map full of long scripts, a wider range of resources, a near infinite variety of maps, and a P2P connection system in half the time that it takes me to load a game with a grand total of two maps layouts, some 30 odd models, and a server managing game states. Can’t most of that be cached from game to game to get loading times down to seconds? Am I missing some of the complexity of what LoL does?
Next, I am well familiar with how sometimes changes just don’t make it to the patch notes. However, given how often I see notes full of changes that should be made by interns, and how rarely I see any new features endemic of any sort of architectural improvements, I am left wondering whether Riot just does not care to improve the game beyond its current point. How much time does a Riot engineer get to spend on new features and improvements, and what fraction goes into QA work and maintenance?
Finally, what sort of tools does the software team provide for QA, balancers, artists, managers, and community moderators? Perhaps some time could be freed up if Riot could focus on optimizing existing processes to reduce the amount of shared resources that have to be shared among the various task groups, and let people focus on their area of expertise?
CapoFerro: First: make a note of all the things (like you did here with these few) that bother you about the game and either post them on r/LoL, PM them to me, or some how bring up the issues. The more we hear about issues, the better we can prioritize what needs to get fixed next. If you PM them to me, I will personally go through the list and send out bug reports/suggestions to the respective teams for them to take a look.
I’d say the biggest problem Riot has as an organization is that we got really popular really fast. This means scale issues are of higher concern than many of the things that bother us about the game itself. If people can’t play at all (like it was in europe until we split the environments), we need to fix that first before we move on to fixing things that are not game breaking or game blocking. Slow load time means it still loads… eventually. 2 hour long log in queues, however… that’s a bit too long of an “eventually.”
We have entire teams on new feature development and we try not to burn those engineer’s time on triaging live issues, however recently, a lot of those “new features” were supporting things like splitting EU and launching 4+ environments in China… things you don’t notice if you only play in NA, but consume massive amounts of engineering time.
We are hiring new engineers at a blinding rate. We have several interviews per team per week and we’re not slowing down. Having new engineers has alleviated some of our inability to catch up on some of the problems you see, but we’re not very close to our hiring goals yet.
The problems we’re having are good indicators for the success of Riot, but I know it sucks when things that are directly relavent to you aren’t dealt with.
Questions regarding applications to Riot Games
Dun1007: I’m currently attending to BCIT, Canada and am willing to work in game industry as Game Designer after graduate(which is probably 2 years after or so). Playing League of Legends was certainly one of the most satisfying gaming experiences in my life and I would really like to start my career at Riot Games. So here are my questions :
1 . I’m currently at 2300 elo(first page np) and would finish making my own MOBA-ish map in SC2 platform. Would such experiences help getting me a job at Riot Games? I’m also knowledged in C++, C# and Lua, though I had no chance to use them in practical businesses. 2 . Would there be any opportunity of internship for summer vacation? I don’t mind flying over to CA for summer. 3 . How do you feel about working in Riot Games, or say, Game Industry? I’d really like to hear an opinion from senior.
Sorry for bad English.I was originally Korean and still need some improvement.
CapoFerro: Yes to all your questions. Send me a PM with your email address and I’ll see what I can do about getting you on track for applying for an internship.
Riot is a fantastic company to work for and it sounds like it’d fit you perfectly.
It’s great you speak Korean, too. We are a multinational company, so it’s useful to have people on staff for many different languages.
Mecha1: Hello! I’m currently a Junior working towards a Computer Science degree. However, the University I’m attending, unfortunately, doesn’t have a very developed CS department. Are there any good online sources you could recommend to someone who is interested in some day getting in to the video game industry?
CapoFerro Gamasutra is probably the best general resource for gaming industry news if you want to stay current on what’s happening. Beyond that, I’d suggest getting involved in game development.
Build something (anything…) so you can get practical experience working through the issues that come up when building your own game. The modding community is also a good place to start if you don’t want to build a game from scratch.
Some of the best games out there started out as mods… like DotA.
Do all that and you’ll probably be set up nicely to break into the video game industry.
domis: I am extremely handsome. Will you hire me?
CapoFerro: I’m married, sorry.
kayina: What was applying and interviewing for Riot like? I hear the process takes a while and they are very thorough.
CapoFerro: From sending an email to getting an offer it took about 2 weeks total, including being flown out for an onsite interview. I hear that’s not typical, though… I had extra constraints that encouraged them to hurry me through the process
ergoiam: I’m extremely interested in Riot Games as a company. I am currently a computer engineering student from Canada who has worked for big profile companies like Lockheed Martin as a software Engineer, but have no experience as a game developer as the nearest game development studio is about a 10 hour flight away. How would someone like me get into a position to be potentially hired by Riot? Be it through an internship or for an actual position? There’s zero potential for me to land a job with a game development company through conventional means. I have the skills and experience needed, just not the right jobs.
CapoFerro: I came from Oracle, which is about as far from the game industry as Lockheed Martin. We hire a lot of non-game industry engineers.
Go ahead and apply… can’t hurt.
Sikul: I want to echo this statement. I was recently hired by Riot and I also came from a company that is very far from game development. In fact, the local branch of Lockheed Martin works on very similar things to what I worked on at my company. Also, I didn’t develop any games in my spare time, but I did have a ton of side projects, several of which were game related.
ciawal: This sounds like my dream job! Any openings in that department?
CapoFerro: We have tons of open positions. Do apply
Blitzkev: Is Riot actively hiring entry level programmers? Or are most newer hires experienced? I’ve applied to a few entry level jobs that I’m definitely qualified for but haven’t really heard back besides the automated messages so I’m wondering if you guys are more head-hunting or what.
CapoFerro: We do hire some people straight out of college. Those that we do are typically self starters and show a lot of effort to get experience (either from internships or personal projects) and a passion for games.
ssesf: How did you land your job at Riot? Where did you attend University/college, if any? What would be your biggest advice for aspiring programmers?
CapoFerro: I went through the regular resume submission email address posted on the jobs page. I went to Drexel University.
Build software on your own time and prove you can complete a project. That’s a really valuable part of your resume, even if the project isn’t huge.
I personally got involved in open source software which gave me lots of experience and projects I could show to recruiters.
Cevian: Any tips for a CS major looking into be part of the next tidal waves of nerds attempting to get a job working on Video Games?
CapoFerro Pick a side project and build it, start to finish. If you work on what you’re interested in in your free time, you’ll be exactly what your dream job needs due to the skills you’ve acquired in the process.
Foxboro223:Any tips for someone who is almost out of school and wanting to apply to riot?
CapoFerro: Build software on your own time. Show that you are capable of taking a project from concept to completion, even if it’s something that only you care about. That’s probably the single best thing to see on a resume from my prospective.
Pr3vention: I will be graduating with my BS in Software Engineering from Texas A&M University and have been coding for a variety of online MMORPG servers for many years (primarily games like Ragnarok Online through the eAthena project) and smaller JAVA-based projects. Everything I’ve done was mostly C, C++ and JAVA and committed to servers remotely through a subversion repository. Does Riot require its developers to work at a Riot office? If not, what kind of requirements would one have to meet should they work remotely?
CapoFerro: We have lots of remote workers. They’ll come out to LA and work here from time to time, but will do the majority from where ever they live. We have another development office in St. Louis as well, where a lot of Java developers are. If you’ve done a good amount of game server dev already, that’s a big help when you apply… we need those sorts of people.
DevilDare: Most job listings, including the ones at Riot, require past experience. Now I completely understand why that is, but how is one supposed to get into the gaming industry when he leaves college / uni if everyone wants experience? Any help appreciated.
CapoFerro: Apply anyway. Past experience is a bonus and we do want that, but it doesn’t mean we don’t consider everyone. Experience could mean you built something on your own or you contributed to open source software too. There are tons of open source games out there if you want something games specific. Battle for Wesnoth is a lot of fun, for instance.
Lavatis Is Riot actively searching at conventions and the like for new additions to the team, or is the company only searching through applications?
CapoFerro: Both. We’ve met people we’ve hired at conventions and through the job submission email box.
Lavatis: Would I have a better chance at an internship or hire by coming to meet you guys at the office/at a convention or tournament?
CapoFerro: Coming to the office will just get you turned away, unfortunately. No one will have time to say hi except the receptionist. At a convention you might have better luck, though.
How many of your internships go on to become full time employees?
CapoFerro: It’s definitely happened. I don’t know how many.
Lavatis: Do you also hire part-time employees?
CapoFerro: Not sure. Not for software engineers, I don’t think.
Lavatis: Are you more comfortable with hiring new employees who don’t know as much as potential others, but are actively learning and looking to learn from Riot, or seasoned programmers or modelers who have their own specific ways of working?
CapoFerro We need both. We need some seasoned engineers to hit the ground running and start new initiatives and we need some engineers that are willing to learn from the veterans and become good engineers over time.
Lavatis: What type of knowledge (programming (web or software?), animation, modeling (max or maya?) is needed the most at Riot?
CapoFerro: Not sure, but we do use Maya, I know. For internal tools we are hiring Ruby developers.
Lavatis: As a company, are you more interested in a just-graduated student, eager to learn or a person with a shiny portfolio?
CapoFerro: Definitely both. If you’re good, we want you.
Lavatis :Thanks for the quick reply. The programming classes in my program teach C# and XNA. Would you recommend learning something different if programming is what I’m interested in doing for the company? I can see how XNA wouldn’t serve a purpose.
CapoFerro: XNA is a solid framework and lots of games are built with it, especially indie games. Learn that as a starting point so you can choose something else with some experience behind you dictating why you are choosing that something else. Learning XNA will make learning the next framework vastly easier.
mrstevenla: I’m a Computer Science student at UCLA. Are you looking for interns on the software-y side of things? I will live on campus this coming year, so Riot HQ isn’t that far away.
CapoFerro: We have a number of interns at any given time. Feel free to send an email to the department you’re interested in:http://www.riotgames.com/careers/job-openings-0
Even if the job doesn’t say “intern”, send an email anyway. It can’t hurt.
Cylintz Knowing how the game works from the inside out, do you feel like Neo when you play the game?
CapoFerro: The primary difference is when I’m sucking at something, for instance I used to suck at laning against Mordekaiser, I can ask around the office and someone will have tips on how to improve cause we all play the game even outside of work.
The one weird thing is knowing what champions are about to be buffed or nerfed or reworked due to internal company playtests… so when I get wrecked by some random dude in a matchmade game, I think: “JUST WAIT TILL NEXT PATCH AND SEE HOW STRONG THAT Q IS”
magmastonex: Give kennen a teemo skin and teemo a kennen skin
CapoFerro: The horror.
robronie: Back to the question, what do you work on for LoL?
CapoFerro I work on internal tools. The tool I’m working on now is making the deployment system smoother and less error prone. Ideally this’ll make patch days less scary and less likely to cause downtime.
Bitch_Im_a_bus: What’s your opinion on rocky terrain? How: is your relationship with Thibault? Do you study your Agrippa?
CapoFerroActually, yes, I do study my Agrippa.
I’m certified with a recommended pass in single sword, rapier and dagger, sword and shield, longsword and quarterstaff with the Society of American Fight Directors. Because the above is theater related, rocky terrain is dangerous and should be choreographed carefully. I don’t have a personal relationship with Thibault.
OrderChaos: Just out of curiosity, but have you read the book or just seen the movie? Inigo is a much darker, but awesome character in the book vs the movie.
CapoFerro: Just saw the movie… I should probably read the book one of these days, though. Reading through Game of Thrones right now.
NilsLandt How did you decide between Chef and Puppet? For the life of me I can’t choose one over the other :/
CapoFerro: Chef does more out of the box than Puppet does. They’re both solid, though… use whichever you’re more comfortable with and don’t stress over it.
thedevilsdictionary: Who es #1?
420Warrior How long have you worked there? Did you have any previous experience working for a gaming company? Do you browse reddit all day instead of working??
CapoFerro: Riot is my first game company, but it’s been awesome enough that I don’t think I’ll ever leave the video game industry. I started May 8th. I’m on Reddit often… not unlike many Rioters.
3Erots: What are your credentials? What type of degree do you have? CS I’ll assume. Did you work anywhere else prior to Riot? What does it take to be a Senior in your field? All I know is they make way more money than your regular engineer.
CapoFerro: I have a BS in Software Engineering and I worked at Oracle before coming to Riot.
“Senior” means you don’t need too much help working through problems in the code. It means you can be given something new to build and are capable of building it start to finish. It doesn’t mean you do build it by yourself start to finish, but you know enough that you could.
Fallorn: What is your favorite food? What is your favorite beer? Do you play any of the Custom formats that have come around (aram, adam, draft racing)?
CapoFerro:I love sushi. For beer: lately I’ve been enjoying Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat, but the best beer I’ve ever had is from a brauhaus in the center of Munich, Germany.
I tend to just play matchmade games, very rarely custom.
Remsiag: Seen numerous reds saying they love sushi. Is it a Riot thing? Like a sushi restaurant beside Riot’s main office where everyone goes after work and for lunch or something? Seems likely.
CapoFerro LA is the sushi capital of the US…. some say the world.
We have really good sushi here.
tyranicas: I manage 11 ping from my university dorm in Claremont, CA. How close are you guys from there?
CapoFerro One of the data centers isn’t too far from where you are and your university probably has a very fast connection not unlike the connection we have to the data center. My school, Drexel, would download games from Steam at something stupid fast like 40mb/s. Your school is probably similar.
Mahale: What part of the game do you wish/day dream about working on? Do you wish you could do a champion design? Maybe play around with lore? Also how big a fan were you before being hired?
CapoFerro: I knew about LoL before being hired, but I didn’t really play it. After being hired, though, I can’t stop playing. I had no idea what I was missing.
Riot has an open design process that lets anyone in the company submit ideas for skins or champions or anything, really. The champion team asks for ideas at just about every company wide meeting.
Brawle: Lately I feel the community of LoL has just been non stop offencive and harassing. Most the time i feel like its not worth having even having the chat box, idd rather have no communication about strategy then deal with more trolls/rage/crap. I would love a function to hide the chat window. Is there any plan for this, or do i have to forever tape a index card over my screen. Also to all those people who just say “deal with it,” its honestly the last thing i want to deal with after work or a hard day when im real stressed.
CapoFerro: You can drag chat off screen… not ideal, but it works.
tisitoj: How much of a sausage fest is it around the office? Who’s idea is it to give all the powerful female champions big boobs?
CapoFerro: Making a game is pretty cross disciplinary, so it’s not as male dominated as a pure software shop. I don’t know the exact split, but it’s not a terribly unbalanced ratio.
zling why is riot invading reddit?
CapoFerro: Cause I saw Udyr post and was all “me too!”
s1medieval: How beast are you at this game?
CapoFerro: I went 15/4/21 with Kennen yesterday.
shadytradesman: Slightly less on topic than some other questions: What upcoming games are you looking forward to if any?
CapoFerro: Other than the obvious ones like Eldar Scrolls and Diablo, Firefall looks really cool. I got to see the game in action when I visited Red 5 and it looked really nice.
shadytradesman: Oh yeah. I saw a preview video for Firefall a while ago, but it sort of dropped of my radar after that. I’ll put that back on the “anticipating” list (along with whatever you guys at Riot have planned for this week. Are you anticipating any of the upcoming big MMOs such as SWTOR, Guild Wars 2, or Terra?
CapoFerro: After burning out on WoW years ago, I can’t get excited about MMOs too easily. SWTOR looks cool, but it’s still a traditional style MMO with skills you trigger in sequence a la WoW, just with a Star Wars flavor. I’ll probably check it out if there’s a demo…
Sc72: How excited should I be in the upcoming 2-3 days?
CapoFerro: As excited as you deem fit for your current health and doctor’s recommendations
matt36: If there was anyone else in the world awesomer than you, who would it be? Can we ask about salaries or do they have numbers posted somewhere on LoL’s site?
CapoFerro: My wife is awesomer than me. She’s a scientist and has worked on giant lasers at CERN and room sized microscopes at IBM T.J. Watson. Now she works on a project to create artificial photosynthesis for fuel generation. Salaries are a fickle thing and aren’t ever posted anywhere for any company. Glassdoor is something, however imperfect.
matt36: How’d you meet an amazing gal like her, then?
CapoFerro New Years party
kevikev: Before a Rioter starts an AMA, do you have to run it by your boss and/or community?
CapoFerro: I didn’t. I posted cause I saw Udyr posting and thought it might be interesting to have a technical perspective on Riot/LoL.
Fearfully Did you code before going to college? Because I’m actually really interested in pursuing a career in video game design ect, however, I have little knowledge of coding or whatever else I assume you need to get a job at Riot. Is there still hope for me if I go through college majoring in a computer based major? Or will the general lack of experience entering college cripple me?
CapoFerro: I was a programmer for a long time before college building little websites and such as a kid, but I would say my college education and internships contributed vastly more than my pre-college self taught programming did. I know people who didn’t learn to program till they were in their late 20s or older and are now excellent engineers. It’s never too late to start, I’d say.
whyborg Do/can you play any other game than LoL at work? Can you get into/are you banned from betas of some games because you work at Riot? (lets say, like SWTOR)
CapoFerro: We don’t get any specialized privileges from other companies so far as I know… but we can play other games at work so long as we don’t fall behind in our work. I was playing Splinter Cell: Conviction the other day.
Ziddletwix: Out of curiosity, does your LoL account get special stuff because you’re employed by riot? Do you get everything unlocked for free? just wondering.
CapoFerro: Yeah, we need to test the game completely, so we unlock everything in Riot accounts.