TFT’s Lead Developer Explains How a New Designer Revived the Headliner Mechanic in Set 10
Since TFT’s release in October 2019, “Lead Designer Edgar Serrano and his team have worked hard to deliver new experiences to competitive TFT players” according to Riot Games. Champion, item, and game mechanic changes can be expected in each new set. Set 10 of TFT, however, introduced a new developer in the form of Dainan Gilmore and the revival of an existing game mechanic in the form of the Headliner.
The Headliner mechanic was introduced in Set 4, and it was intended to gamify the battle pass and let players unlock rewards through engaging with the game. After its first release, it was removed in Set 7 due to the challenge of balancing it with the game. Upon Dainan’s introduction to the TFT team, he proposed that the mechanic be reintroduced and revised. With the help of the team, the mechanic was able to be tweaked in a way that would find a more natural balance in the current gameplay.
When asked about why he chose to reintroduce this mechanic, Dainan had the following to say:
“My goal has always been to create a unique and different experience than what most players are used to. The Headliner mechanic was my tension between creating something less convenient for players, but rewarding them for engaging in the game itself. We were able to accomplish this in Set 10 by revamping the mechanic into something more balanced and versatile for players.”
The improved mechanic works alongside the game itself to reward participating players with special rewards. With this new mechanic, players can complete certain criteria or challenges to progress their Headliner level rewards. With Set 10, the redesigned Headliner Experience is a fresh take on the existing mechanic.
We think this mechanic marks a great point for TFT’s development, bringing new ways to experience the game and involving players in more active ways. And with new sets planned to come out in the future, we look forward to seeing what creative ideas Dainan brings with him in the future.