Overwatch

Overwatch Assistant Game Director Breaks Down the Creation of New Map Rialto

by Joe O'Brien
Blizzard Entertainment

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Overwatch Assistant Game Director Aaron Keller breaks down new map Rialto in a recent video from Ars Technica.

Rialto is an escort map based on the Venice location that hosted the “Retribution” Blackwatch mission that was added to the game as part of the 2018 Overwatch Archives event.

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In a recent video, Aaron Keller talks about how the team decided to make Rialto into a PvP map, some of the considerations they had when designing it, and the various checks, tests, and iterations they went through to create the final map.

As well as talking specifically about the design process for Rialto, Keller talks about Blizzard’s general philosophy and approach to map design.

Keller also touches on how they update and maintain existing match, balancing statistical data on a map with community perception. For example, the first point of Eichenwalde was notoriously considered difficult for the attacking team, but Blizzard’s data suggested no noticeable skew compared to other maps.

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Eichenwalde ultimately received a minor update to make the point feel less oppressive for the attacking team, without shifting the actual balance of power significantly.

Keller also reveals that Rialto contains some easter eggs, although he doesn’t give any hint as to what they might be other than to state that one piece of artwork in the map was drawn by a designer’s six-year old kids.

The video offers an insightful look into the various aspects of creating a map for Overwatch.