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9 hours ago, RaVaGe said:

stfu ?

no

2 hours ago, Interfearance said:

@fewseb I like it when they merge new and old; for christs sake you can play as a monkey, realisticity is not on Blizzard's radar. However, what I dislike is when they go too far to one side of the mix of generations like the helicopter pad in the final shot. Also Blizzard is super uncreative when it comes to having excuses for things to be where they are, reusing roads sandwiched closely by buildings over and over again for payload. In terms of actual map design, they are pathetic, considering that half the heroes can fly, yet 90% of their maps have no difficult skill jumps or really anything that makes a play on varied mobility. Its very call-of-duty esque, leveraging the tried and tested formula over and over, never pushing the envelope in fear of community push back:

  Reveal hidden contents

 

STRIKING RESEMBLANCE

Image result for overwatch map overheadImage result for overwatch map overheadImage result for overwatch map overhead

 

 

 

Listen I get its an appealing style, just why has it been that for the past 3 maps, there other things you can do with Venice / Paris / Havana other then "look old thing from the 50s!"

Im not asking why none of their door frames make any sense or why they dont have any actual doors, I get it they have to fit a wide variety of characters through those doors, so they have to be a square shape to accommodate those.

But why does a map called Route 66, not actually have a Route 66? I mean sure they can spam that sign prop all they want, but its not a route if it goes directly into a shipping warehouse with no other turnoffs. How hard would have been to get rid of that worthless and nonsensical deathpit over by the defenses first spawn, and just have the road continue on with a barrier in front of it. The road to the warehouse would be a turn off instead of being the one place the Route goes.

Why is Nubani set on top of an artificial plateau where the one road on the map literally only leads from the air port to the museum? It would just be impractical to design a city that way, instead of say having a layered city, which could make sense, they chose to have a giant concrete plateau in the middle of this city, that somehow houses an airport and the reason they did this was because that death pit on the right side of the map was so important to have in the whole two areas it was present.

Theres just these little things that you start to notice about every OW map when you arnt having fun. Good gameplay will distract you from how unrealistic a scenario is, but when your getting shield bashed by brigette every 5 seconds and youre spending half the time walking back to the battle from the respawn room, you start to notice, oh yeah how are people supposed to live and work in the map when theres only one road that goes two places and then ends, but theirs like 6 cars that could drive at most 8 blocks before hitting the other end of the road.

Id like to hear what their reasoning is on this, because based off their time-lapse vids from making maps, they seem to sacrifice grey box game-play for aesthetic a lot.

Also, slight tangent but what is with the naming schemes for OW maps? It seems like they dont want to name anything after real-life places, hence why its Kings Row not London, but then they have Paris and Havana, but they named the Venice map Rialto, even though Rialto bridge isnt even on that map.

Edited by fewseb

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I like to think that Overwatch maps are abstract virtual spaces (though I do my best to imagine they are a real place to make them feel as believable as I can). If we would just make "realistic" maps (sacrificing gameplay so the roads can go where it "makes sense") these maps would have the worst gameplay ever :P  Gameplay comes first, the map art is just a "skin" on top to make you feel like you are in a real place, but it's obviously not a real place, it's all smoke and mirrors and lots of little techniques to convey spatial awareness and navigation. It's all an illusion, so we can cram as many ideas as possible in a small place. For example, "in reality" the farm in Junkertown would be miles away from the city itself. But who would like to play that? Here's some food for thought:

Some of your feedback is very valid though and we will keep it in mind :)

 

Editing:

Btw, I completely forgot to post this here, but I gave a talk on Digital Dragons last year about how we blockout our maps and the power of keeping things simple, by using Junkertown as an example :)

 

 

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ahah, shit man, your tone's a bit a harsh, but hey I get it, those are good points. 

Basically, the answer to a lot of those points actually boils down to one word, authenticity. Not to be confused with realism or accuracy, those are usually boring, if you want realism you go outside.
Think about it, If we went for realism, Hollywood map would have been WAY different, if you ever visited Hollywood Blvd you'd know what I mean, we would have people dressed in shitty batman suits just standing on the sidewalks and you'd have shit everywhere. Instead, the map was built through the idealized lens of what Hollywood is, pretend you're a innocent child, close your eyes and try and idealize what Hollywood is, you'll see a beautiful sunny day, with green palm-trees, red carpet, hotels with art deco architecture, filming sets brimming with life and color. That's the kind of art we want to make and put out into the world.

Let's think Route 66, you close your eyes and imagine Wild West Canyons, old gas stations, old tarmack, bikers, hot sun. This becomes even more interesting when you add extra layers of interest, a hideout cave for a gang hiding in the canyons. Subthemes within a main theme that mixes with each other to create a idealized fantasy.

As for the architectural style of the different maps, indeed as time passes in big cities you start to have predominately generic and futuristic looking buildings that might look good on each own but have no soul whatsoever. The counter argument for that, specially from an artist standpoint, is that cities are actually creating legislation and laws to retain the style of the exterior facades. I was born and raised in Porto, there's very specific laws that you cannot change the facade of a building, and if you want retouch or fix portions of it, you need a city permit to do it, these legislation exist to respect and retain the heritage of the architectural style of the place, which is way better than seeing glass/modern buildings everywhere.

The Overwatch world's goal is to be authentically abstract and ideational, it makes people dream and it shows an aspirational world, you get my point, the theme is king and it needs to find a certain harmony with all of the pieces at play, and there's a lot of them, sometimes some of the believability needs to be consciously sacrificed so to let more important elements shine!

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2 hours ago, Minos said:

I like to think that Overwatch maps are abstract virtual spaces (though I do my best to imagine they are a real place to make them feel as believable as I can). If we would just make "realistic" maps (sacrificing gameplay so the roads can go where it "makes sense") these maps would have the worst gameplay ever :P  Gameplay comes first, the map art is just a "skin" on top to make you feel like you are in a real place, but it's obviously not a real place, it's all smoke and mirrors and lots of little techniques to convey spatial awareness and navigation. Here's some food for thought:

 

Some of your feedback is very valid though and we will keep it in mind :)

 

Listen, im not arguing that every building needs to be up to the structural code of the local area, or that realism trumps gameplay, to me however, an area should as the very least be possible.

Nobody looks at a counter-strike map, sees all the conveniently placed crates and thinks "yeah thats realistic", however in most modern counter-strike maps, while the crates are improbable, they are still possible. You take de_inferno for example, in older versions, none of the cover would be possible. You have player-height perfectly square wooden crates int he middle of an enclosed town with no feasible way of those crates getting there.

CSS version of Inferno, same story, except now the crates match a bit more thematically and now there's random broken down cars in the middle of stone footpaths, even the APC in the CT spawn area couldnt have feasibility gotten there because of enclosed the buildings are behind it.

Now you look at the latest version of Inferno in csgo, no broken down cars on footpaths, that meant also removing car from the spot called car because no car could actually get there. That apc in CT spawn now has an actual road that it drove on to get there. The man-sized wooden crates in A-site? They can be loaded onto a forklift, that forklift is able to get there from a wooden gate in the pit area, which is also used to explain how the hay cart got to the balcony boost. B-site, same story forklift can carry all the crates there, that forklift gets there from the road the apc came on.

Are any of those giant stacks of crates realistic? No of course not, in what part of the world would you ever see those giant crates, they'd be a massive inconvenience but they could exist. Would anyone stack those giant crates on top of each other out in the open? No of course not, but its still possible in the context of the map. Whiles its not probable, its still possible.

 

Here are three examples of what could be done to make a map more plausible, all of these replace what I believe are fairly useless death pits, of which the only one I believe has an affect on gameplay would be the Route 66 death pit because of the health pack, but im sure there are other ways it could be done and im not sure it really ever added to the fun factor of the map.

Also please excuse my photoshop paint skills.

eahcenwaldfix.jpg.db7de0aa43082b86e627ddaee7f41a35.jpgnumbanifix.jpg.721ca2fb6c497a19fd27827d990f8af4.jpgroute66concept.jpg.cbd056403c31e7025ab11782671cfec5.jpg

 

Edited by fewseb

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Ok, I'll bite.

In the first image from the castle map, you would put collapsed rubble and an unreachable path. But that path exists for two reasons, it's there to give you a side route / flank route in case you're being spawn camped and it also serves to show you a little bit of the backdrop. OW maps are very small, so any opportunity to show a backdrop is a golden opportunity because it makes the environment look bigger than it is, it makes it look expansive and vistas are usually a lot better to look at than a pile of rubble.

Second image, again I think looking down a beautiful vista of a techy city is a lot more interesting than starring at a toll booth or whatever blocker you decide to use like cars, etc. Furthermore, to do what you're pitching it would require to make an invisible collision, which we want to minimize as much as possible. You're all about realism, don't you think a invisible collision is unrealistic? :)

Third image, adding a side path to the right with rocks covering the way. It's unpractical to add a fork on the road and then turn it into a dead-end. The good thing about doing a continuous road is that it serves as a line for players to follow, you always know that the road leads to where you wanna go, therefor it helps leading players so they don't get lost. If you start adding random roads that lead nowhere, the readability of the map suffers, it starts looking busy and players don't know where to go.
And again, looking at a expansive big canyon vista is WAY more interesting than a few rocks blocking a dead end road which would make the map look claustrophobic.

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Overwatch's ability to meld modern art and environments with old school-style levels is pretty much my favourite aspect of the game . keep up the good work guys!

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@fewseb I like the point you're bringing about the roads, I agree that roads leading outside the map could add even more world-building in there. In fact it's there on a couple maps (King's row comes to mind, that gated road on the right immediately out of attacker spawn, also on Hollywood on the left side):

Image result for overwatch hollywood

but i don't think that kind of stuff is critical at all, especially since they are situated in pretty much to the least visited areas on each map, because attackers sprint out of the spawn as fast as they can and this is quickly behind them...

(in fact people are so rarely playing there that its freaking hard for me to find screenshots of it! Good thing it's actually visible on the loading screen image for Hollywood :lol:)

 

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10 minutes ago, MikeGon said:

 

but i don't think that kind of stuff is critical at all, especially since they are situated in pretty much to the least visited areas on each map, because attackers sprint out of the spawn as fast as they can and this is quickly behind them...

(in fact people are so rarely playing there that its freaking hard for me to find screenshots of it! Good thing it's actually visible on the loading screen image for Hollywood :lol:)

 

Exactly, it's relatively away from the gameplay area.

image.png.affecd794ba597535b2933419423b548.png

 

image.png.33dd000529183950c10d7ba82df4aae6.png

image.png.ee20e525dfd73c47919717a444f976ca.png

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Listen I never said at any point the that the map would vastly improve with these small scene changes, and youre right, @[HP] invisible barriers should always be minimized, but as was pointed out, there are several areas that already do blocked off out of map scenery, I also think you kind of missed the irony here

1 hour ago, [HP] said:

OW maps are very small, so any opportunity to show a backdrop is a golden opportunity because it makes the environment look bigger than it is, it makes it look expansive and vistas are usually a lot better to look at than a pile of rubble.

 

17 minutes ago, [HP] said:
24 minutes ago, MikeGon said:

 

Exactly, it's relatively away from the gameplay area.

These areas are so far out of the way from being noticeable I dont see how it would be any different visually if you replaced the vista with a road, sacrificing one vista that is hardly seen for making a location believable is a fair trade off in my eyes. I could maybe see how the canyon could get messier, but if the fallen rock are the same shade as the canyon walls, I dont agree that it would be all that different form the canyon vista.

I also understand why the roads and streets and paths are like that, I get that its a guiding line for the players to follow, acting like any side path that branches out to nowhere will confuse the players just kind of seems like dumb logic, one of the most basic tenants of level design is drawing the players eye, I cant imagine a team of professional level designers couldnt somehow figure out how to make side paths that dont distract the player but add to the world of the map .

This is also a symptom a larger problem OW maps seem to have, and ive got to ask, why are so many maps seemingly set on a large artificial plateau with a death pit on all sides of the map, Junkertown, Oasis, eichenwalde, Numbani, Castillo and Black Forest to name the most obvious examples.

1 hour ago, [HP] said:

You're all about realism

No im not, im about details, details that make a world or a map or anything believable, when the gameplay stops being fun in any game I start to notice all the little things that make the world less believable, these arnt critical flaws in the maps, but its surprising to see the same mistake? design philosophy? art choice? done again and again and again.

 

I also dont want to come of as a douche here, you guys do this for a living, you know way more then me and probably put a ton of time into these projects to make them the best they can be, but this is my two cents here, as someone who really used to dig the game, it just feels like somethings wrong when Havana immediately blends together with Paris and Rialto in my head less then a second after I see it.

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I think you figured out yourself why not more attention was spent on making the maps believable layout wise: it's not a critical flaw. So why spend time on it when you are working under a deadline and have plenty of other things to spend creative energy on?

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9 hours ago, fewseb said:

But why does a map called Route 66, not actually have a Route 66? I mean sure they can spam that sign prop all they want, but its not a route if it goes directly into a shipping warehouse with no other turnoffs. How hard would have been to get rid of that worthless and nonsensical deathpit over by the defenses first spawn, and just have the road continue on with a barrier in front of it. The road to the warehouse would be a turn off instead of being the one place the Route goes.

Lol.

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2 hours ago, FMPONE said:

Lol.

Its true ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

4 hours ago, Pericolos0 said:

I think you figured out yourself why not more attention was spent on making the maps believable layout wise: it's not a critical flaw. So why spend time on it when you are working under a deadline and have plenty of other things to spend creative energy on?

How much time could it take, you either work on the vista or you work on a road, both take time both and I would presume would be satisfying to work on. I would argue a vista takes more time because you have to work on a unique skyline, as apposed to a road where you can copy and paste some background buildings. Its really just down to the map maker and what they like more, clearly whom ever it is that actually does the art pass prefers the Vistas, if it was me I would do background roads or side paths, but im not the guy working for the AAA game studio, im a hobbyist at best and I dont want to tell these guys how to do their job, I just wanted to know why they do things the way they do. 

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6 minutes ago, fewseb said:

Its true ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

How much time could it take, you either work on the vista or you work on a road, both take time both and I would presume would be satisfying to work on. I would argue a vista takes more time because you have to work on a unique skyline, as apposed to a road where you can copy and paste some background buildings. Its really just down to the map maker and what they like more, clearly whom ever it is that actually does the art pass prefers the Vistas, if it was me I would do background roads or side paths, but im not the guy working for the AAA game studio, im a hobbyist at best and I dont want to tell these guys how to do their job, I just wanted to know why they do things the way they do. 

It’s not a bad point per se but it’s a game and a pretty silly game at that, the emphasis is more on the mood and evoking the sensation of being in a theme parky attraction rather than a realistic place.

I think you make an OK point, part of environment art is not being totally lazy about tying it to layout but earnestly critiquing a great, fun level like Route 66 by pointing out that it doesn’t really resemble a road is bordering on copy pasta. I’m here for it though, keep going, petty criticism is still criticism and it can be pretty amusing to read.

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9 minutes ago, FMPONE said:

I think you make an OK point, part of environment art is not being totally lazy about tying it to layout but earnestly critiquing a great, fun level like Route 66 by pointing out that it doesn’t really resemble a road is bordering on copy pasta. I’m here for it though, keep going, petty criticism is still criticism and it can be pretty amusing to read.

Route 66 is one of my favorite maps from Overwatch, when I played the game did I care that the road led to a warehouse? No because I was having fun, because its a fun level. Literally the only complaint I have about the theme for the map is just that, its not a real road and it doesnt make a lot sense when you think about it. I dont consider the absurd walkways all around the map a negative because its consistent across most maps and thematically matches the town, they arnt likely to actually exist but they are believable.

Aside from my first post about Havana, I dont think ive been that unreasonable in asking why they do things like that, why there are just a few glaring flaws that make the map unbelievable when you think about it. The game isnt absurdist like TF2, it trys to keep a sense of being grounded in the real world (despite the electric monkeys and engineer hamsters that jump around miles in the air) we are supposed to care about whats happening in this universe the game is set in, things are at the very least supposed to be plausible.

 

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