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Video: Defining and evolving the art direction of Overwatch

At GDC 2017 Overwatch art director Bill Petras & assistant art director Arnold Tsang share insight into the origins of the game's charming art style, and how they design its characters/environments.

Blizzard's latest, the hit team-based multiplayer shooter Overwatch, has won a good bit of acclaim for its colorful, character-filled art style. So how did the Overwatch visual aesthetic come together, and where is it headed?

At GDC 2017, Overwatch art director Bill Petras and assistant art director Arnold Tsang shared insight into the early stages in the development of the game's charming art style. They discussed early challenges, such as how to develop an art style for a new universe among a family of established franchises (from Blackthorne to Warcraft.) 

They also dug deep into the key points of Overwatch's art direction that were established early on (diversity, a hopeful future, a vibrant world, etc.) as well as walking through the process of designing some of the game's heroes and maps.

It was a thorough and illuminating talk, one that you can now watch entirely for free over on the official GDC YouTube channel!

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas

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