Overwatch artists reveal how they decide which heroes get event skins - Dexerto
Overwatch

Overwatch artists reveal how they decide which heroes get event skins

Published: 13/Aug/2020 0:21

by Bill Cooney

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Since Overwatch came out, one of the biggest questions players have had is how developers decide which heroes get new skins for the game’s seasonal events. Now, we finally have an answer, thanks to the concept artists who design the cosmetics themselves.

Hero skins are a topic that comes up every time a new event is announced in Overwatch, with most people wondering why their favorite hero (read: D.Va) has been passed up yet again for new cosmetics.

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Now, more than four years after release, we’re finally getting some answers from the Overwatch team themselves about how they go about determining which heroes are next in line for new skins.

In an official Blizzard blog post, Overwatch concept artists Kejun Wang and Daryl Tan talked about how they go about deciding on each new skin’s theme, and what inspires them to create cosmetics for specific characters.

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Blizzard Entertainment
Lifeguard Pharah is arguably Overwatch fan’s favorite skin from Summer Games 2020.

“Usually, I review different themes to figure out which ones will work for certain characters,” Wang explained. “If we take, for example, the Overwatch Summer Games event, I will lay down pictures of different sports or summer activities and see which one of those has recognizable aspects.”

“Then, I will create some ideation sketches to see if any of those themes have the potential to work for the character we pick,” he continued. “For instance, if we are designing a skin for a more armored character like Brigitte, maybe a swimsuit won’t work very well.”

There are several different factors that go into deciding which hero gets which skin, as well, including visual appeal, how appropriate it would be for the character, and how the final product will look.

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Blizzard Entertainment
Where a lifeguard skin might not suit Brigitte, a heavy fishing outfit certainly does.

“We decide on each theme based on a few things: how engaging and strong the theme is, how visually appealing the end result could be, and how appropriate the theme is for that particular hero,” Tan revealed. “For Pharah, we were initially inspired by the water pressure jetpacks in hydro sports, which we thought would be a strong visual for her. Layering the lifeguard theme on top of that tied it all together, as it was a great fit for her character and added a lot of interesting visual elements for us to play with.”

While that’s all well and good, it still doesn’t explain why certain heroes have never been blessed with event skins before. Take D.Va for example, who has never seen gotten a Halloween Terror skin. You’d think there would be plenty of spooky ways to make her MEKA appropriate for the season, but apparently they just haven’t found the perfect one yet.

Overwatch

Overwatch meets WarCraft with epic RTS custom game mode

Published: 7/Oct/2020 0:12

by Bill Cooney

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Overwatch and RTS games like WarCraft and StarCraft might seem like complete opposites, but the two styles have been combined into a very promising-looking Workshop mode that lets you control multiple heroes as if they were individual units.

If we look at Blizzard games like one big family tree, then the StarCraft and Warcraft franchises could probably be considered something like Overwatch’s grandparents.

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Back in the day StarCraft especially was one of the biggest esports on the planet, but the RTS genre has sadly fallen to wayside in recent years. Both still have dedicated communities though (even after the disaster that was Reforged) and it’s safe to say a good number also play Overwatch now as well.

Irish Overwatch manager Andygmb clearly hasn’t outgrown his love for real-time strategy, not that one ever does, decided to take the top down style from those games and apply it to all of our favorite heroes using Josbird’s cursor tool in the Workshop mode.

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Demo of a MOBA / RTS style control scheme in the Workshop! The possibilities with the workshop are endless! from Overwatch

You can scroll around the map, and drag the map to select multiple units and control them all at once. Like an RTS game, you can tell them where to go, and when to attack something.

Right off the top of our heads if they ever were to make an Overwatch game like this, we’d wager that Roadhog rush would be a great opening build to start with.

But it doesn’t take much to imagine a League of Legends-style game as well being made playable with this type of game either. Sure, Blizzard already has Heroes of the Storm, but that only features a few Overwatch heroes to choose from, where this could add the whole roster.

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Overwatch heroes 2020
Blizzard Entertainment
Overwatch has over 30 different heroes that could make all kinds of different units.

With Heroes of the Storm already existing (and producing cooler skins for D.Va than Overwatch itself) our chances of seeing an official RTS featuring the game’s heroes are unfortunately slim to none.

That has never stopped players before though, so we’d keep our eyes out for some kind of League clone to appear before too long on the Custom Game browser. Until then, you can always waste more time playing Among Us there as well.