Overwatch

How authentic sounds were captured for the Busan Overwatch map

by Joe O'Brien

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Busan is the latest map to join the main Overwatch playlist, having arrived on the live servers on September 11.

As the name suggests, the Busan map is set in the South Korean city of the same name, and as a Control map features three different locations: a traditional-looking Sanctuary, the MEKA Base (as seen in the Shooting Star animated short) and Downtown.

The map was revealed alongside the D.Va Overwatch animated short ‘Shooting Star’, alongside which came a host of other D.Va-themed content such as the Nano Cola Challenge.

Though obviously based on the real city of Busan, the futuristic world of Overwatch in which the map is set means the similarities between it and the real world need not be extensive. Despite such creative licence, when designing the map Blizzard apparently recorded real sounds from Busan to give the map an authentic feel.

In a video posted on the official Overwatch Twitter account, Overwatch Sound Design Supervisor Paul Lackey explained how the team went about collecting those sounds for use in the map.

Lackey explains that for a location as unique as Busan, sounds taken from a library weren’t going to cut it. To capture the atmosphere of the real thing, Blizzard sent out teams to record various aspects of daily Busan life, from the markets to the subway announcements.

In addition to the ambient noise of Busan, the team also recorded some unique instruments with the help of the Korean National University of Arts to capture sounds unique to Korea.