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Riot Games is coming to MIT to talk with us about how data and research influence the design of their game, League of Legends. We have two speakers:
(A Week in the) Life of a Data Engineer
Speaker: Chris Kudelka
Ever wonder what an average week looks like for a big data engineer at Riot Games? Chris Kudelka, a data engineer at Riot Games, will share his personal experience breaking into gaming, how League of Legends and data thrive together, and what a typical week might look like for a big data engineer.
Chris Kudelka has worked on both the Big Data and Analytics teams at Riot Games since 2011. In his current role, he supports engineers in game and platform, game designers, and other feature teams as they integrate with Riot’s data ecosystem and analytics tools so that they can understand how they reach the player from a system performance and a gameplay perspective.
Prior to Riot, he was a researcher and developer at Washington University’s Cognitive Aging Lab. He received his degree in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology from Washington University in St Louis, with a focus on Linguistics. He used to play Super Smash Brothers Melee competitively, in addition to being an avid RTS and FPS player. He’s played LoL since it was in open Beta and continues to play every day (his favorite champion is Shaco — don’t judge!). In his spare time, he studies and practices Tai Chi and Yoga and is an avid cyclist and hiker.
Designing a Champion for League of Legends
Speaker: August “gypsylord” Browning
August Browning, designer behind popular League of Legends champions Vi, Jinx, and Gnar, will speak to the process and challenges of creating a new character in a constantly evolving, competitive game
August “gypsylord” Browning is a champion designer at riot games. He spends waaaaay too much time at the office prototyping spells and abilities for his current and future projects. In his free time he enjoys climbing, dancing, and (of course) playing games.
Before Riot, August was a humble econ major studying at Dartmouth College with starry eyed dreams of working on Wall Street. A summer at a hedge fund offered a terrifying revelation: Finance, while profitable, was going to suck his soul out through his nostrils. He immediately began applying for positions in the games industry.