Blizzard Reveals Their Creative Thinking behind Overwatch Characters

Each Overwatch Character Comes about in a Different Mode

Anyone who’s played Blizzard’s unique fps has been exposed to some unique personalities in its characters. Overwatch offers one of the most dynamic rosters out of any multiplayer game, going that extra mile with fleshed-out stories that shine in increments during gameplay. But, you’ve no doubt asked yourself, how does Blizzard go about creating these characters for the game? Well, someone actually asked and got a response.

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Lead writer Michael Chu amicably arrived to answer the question about how characters come to be. And, creatively speaking, each character has their own origin. He pointed to three methods of inception: “art, design, or story (or some combination of them).”

While some characters came about to serve as arks for Overwatch’s lore, some started out as concepts or were drummed up as counter-weights to existing characters:

“There have been times when we’ve wanted to introduce a character to fill a specific gameplay space. Early on, we knew we wanted an indirect fire character to go against turrets and Bastion (enter: Junkrat), when we wanted a flying rocket launcher-using character (Pharah), or when we decided we wanted to introduce a sniper support character. Other times, characters have really come about because a really strong visual character design was dreamed up by one of the artists, like Zarya or Winston.”

Overwatch Screen

Among the aforementioned arks of Overwatch’s lore, Soldier 76 represents one specifically created to tie plot points together. Interestingly enough, he also serves as the game’s introductory character and represents a jack-of-all -trades for his user-friendly skill set. From the design process, we deduce that the act of balancing comes after creation (and even months after implementation if we take patching into consideration).

Thus, we have Blizzard’s creative process more or less unraveled, albeit, there were no technical details in Chu’s explanation. Perhaps their need for a counter-weight led to the creation of Orisa, a tank character that will be available in the game soon. And, perhaps, we’ll learn more about creation as time goes on. Until then and beyond, stick around COGconnected for more of the latest. Defend the payload.