“The first hero we implemented was Tracer…she shot laser beams from her eyes.”
Overwatch’s game director completed a brief Reddit AMA yesterday evening, revealing a number of fascinating morsels of information about the game’s development.
Inevitably, the conversation also covered Project Titan, the doomed in-development MMO that was shut down in 2013, and ultimately paved the way for the Overwatch project to be greenlit.
You can read the whole thing on Reddit, but we’ve summarised the Overwatch and Titan-specific elements of the chat for you below:
- The team was given 6 weeks to pitch new game ideas in the wake of the failed Titan project.
- Had the Overwatch pitch not been picked up, the team would have been distributed to other Blizzard projects.
- Tracer was the first hero they implemented but she had no gun animations or gun models. As a result, she fired laser beams from her eyes.
- Jeff does not have a favourite Overwatch hero, but moves from main to main.
- The initial idea for a new hero comes from the Art, Game Design or Story departments. The team then uses placeholder assets to test the concept. Widowmaker assets were used to prototype Ana, for example.
- In development, Bastion’s Ultimate went through many changes. He used to have grenades, a remote mine, he could even shoot through walls.
- The team loved making Junkenstein’s Revenge and would like to make more encounters like this.
On Project Titan:
- Development on Titan was in development from 2007 until May 2013.
- It was a class-based shooter/MMO with a class called the Jumper who used abilities such as Tracer’s Blink, Recall and Pulse Bomb. There were twin-pistols too!
- As it was an MMO, the Jumper kept getting loads of progression abilities to cover the levelling process though, and so it became cluttered and confused.
- When simplifying the concept for Overwatch, they focused on abilities that worked together and made a hero with a backstory and a character, rather than being a class.
- Most Overwatch heroes as we know them were never in Titan. Reaper was though, and had a crossbow.
- Bastion, Soldier: 76 and Widowmaker evolved from a Titan character called the Ranger.
- Symmetra and Torbjorn were based on the Architect.
- Reinhardt evolved from Titan’s Juggernaut archetype.
- Genji and Hanzo were developed from the Assassin starting point.
- Numbani was originally conceived of as a location for Project Titan.