We chat with Blizzard's Overwatch team to talk about their new map, BlizzardWorld. Read on to see how the map came about...
We chatted to Overwatch's Principal Game Designer Geoff Goodman and Lead Character Artist Renaud Galand about the new map, BlizzardWorld.
AusGamers: What drew you into creating a map based on a theme park like BlizzardWorld?
Geoff Goodman: Blizzard World's been kicked around for a while now. Actually wasn't it Chris Metzen who kind of leaked it a little bit last year? So, it's been kicked around for a while and we were like "God's sake, Chris! We don't know if we're going to do it, yet!
You know, yeah, that's Chris for you, but we've been excited to do it for so long that... I mean, you know we're all big Blizzard fans, a lot of us have actually worked on multiple games, too, so we have sort of insider knowledge of, like, "yeah we should do this thing we kinda... there's a lot of champing at the bit to get at that".
AusGamers: Were people eager to work on the map as fans of Blizzard?
Renaud Galand: Absolutely. I think that, that actually shows in and of itself because we have a lot of artists who actually worked on the map who worked on StarCraft, worked on World of Warcraft, worked on Diablo and they were super-excited to be able to work on that map.
Geoff: It's also cool, like, Blizz... Blizz is a big company but everyone knows each other so we're all "let's get art the director from Hearthstone over here and he can come over and check it out", everyone was sort of helping us out, "This isn't quite right," or "what do you think about this?" So it's kind of just this whole fun process the whole time, like there's little Easter Eggs everywhere.
Renaud: Oh my god, so many! So many. I don't think we have a map that's had that many Easter eggs.
AusGamers: Why make BlizzardWorld a Hybrid Map? Is that for competitive considerations?
Geoff: I think it's just... We felt like we could use more Hybrid maps in the game and they're some of the most popular maps.
Renaud: It's also cool because the fact that it's Hybrid means that there's more flexibility as far as the team compositions and how you run it. So, we're big fans of Hybrid maps in general.
Geoff: I would look at all of our maps be considered competitive really. I think it was definitely some concern originally about how this control map was going to work or how this hybrid was going to work, how's this all going to work together. But, I think that's part of what makes Overwatch so exciting is you have all these different heroes and all those different things. Maybe certain heroes are good for some maps and maybe certain heroes are better for other ones. That's kind of part of what makes Overwatch work as a whole. Some maps... you watch the pros play and Widow comes out on certain maps, like, every time and it's just like, oh yeah, great sightlines on this map."
Renaud: It's all interesting [because] you're, like, a new map and then the pros are going to get really excited about it and they're going to find ways to watch you play that map, ways that we didn't even think about. So, I really like that about the fact that each time we introduce a map, we think that, yeah it is definitely esports ready and we can't wait to see what players are going to do with it.
Some fantastic insight into what goes into creating a map. Next week we'll share our discussions about the newest character in the game, Moira, with you. And don't forget our scoop reveal - there's an Overwatch Easter Egg in BlizzardWorld.