The setting of Overwatch is a mix of the dark and gritty from Diablo, StarCraft and Warcraft, while also being a world of color, sound and light. Ambience from “Overwatch”. Featured background sounds: Creatures, rain, future city, train, spaceship, thunderstorm, forest, ocean, mountain, winter wind, bird song and sandy wind. Relaxing white noise and ambient sounds 1 hour long for sleep or relaxation.
About the setting:
When work on Overwatch began, it was decided that the game had to take place in a new setting, and one would be inviting for players. Chris Metzen had specifically sought to create a superhero universe for years prior to the game. Although it was known that Overwatch would focus on multiplayer, it was also decided to embark in worldbuilding. The first reason was that this would follow in the footsteps of the Diablo, StarCraft, and Warcraft settings, all of which had detailed universes. The second reason was to not impose limits on the nature of the universe. By engaging in worldbuilding, there would be material for other projects to draw off (the game’s animated shorts are a result of this). Likewise, if a separate Overwatch game was made, the developers could draw off pre-existing material.
It was decided that the setting shouldn’t be binary, as, among other reasons, Warcraft had been defined by the Alliance-Horde dichotomy. When designing the game, Blizzard wanted the world presented to be as fantastical as possible while still being relatable to modern-day Earth. The developers wanted to move away from FPS settings of the past decade, which were predominantly modern military or near future. They wanted the setting of Overwatch to be a mix of the “dark and gritty,” while also being “a world of color and sound and light.” It was intended to be a setting that players would want to keep coming back to and be invested in. The cast was designed to reflect the “real” earth, where people aren’t all one race, athletes aren’t always lean and youthful, and people aren’t just stereotypes based on their ethnicity.
Events such as the Omnic Crisis were made up as the lore was developed rather than being pre-planned. It was decided to have the game’s setting post-both the Omnic Crisis and the golden age that followed, in order to leave it open ended, and allow creation of new heroes that weren’t part of Overwatch, but were inspired by it.
The team aimed for the game’s art style to remain “Blizzardy”, approachable with exaggerated proportions and an emphasis on color, while still pushing its visuals forward.
Unlike the Warcraft and StarCraft universes, the team wanted the world building to be done in a minimalistic way, kept at the same level as the characters, rather than world building being done for its own sake.
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