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The challenge of designing Overwatch maps when players can get 'literally everywhere'

In an interview with VG 24/7, Overwatch lead designer Geoff Goodman looks back to early conversations he had with the team about designing future-proof levels.
"He was asking stuff like ‘How high can the players get?’. I was like, ‘Dude, imagine you have a hero that can just fly all the time, let’s start there.”

- Blizzard's Geoff Goodman recalls a conversation with another designer early into the development of Overwatch

Overwatch doesn’t shy away from introducing characters with a variety of movement ranges, but giving players the ability to fly, grapple, and slingshot themselves around a map brings up its own batch of level design challenges.

In an interview with VG 24/7, Overwatch lead designer Geoff Goodman looks back to early conversations he had with the team about designing future-proof levels and explores how excessively mobile new characters like Wrecking Ball influence the design of new maps. 

Goodman recalls one specific chat he had with lead level designer Aaron Keller when Overwatch was in development, warning him not to “cheat too much” and avoid placing objects in a way that would look odd from different angles.

“Everyone is going to be able to get literally everywhere. The bigger issue was containment, to make sure you can’t fly out of the map too far," Goodman explains. "That was way early because I knew we were going to get into this area where people can go basically anywhere, and pretty quickly we actually ended up making Pharah, which is pretty close to being able to free-fly. I kind of proved a point with her.”

Goodman touches on how this philosophy has changed as new characters and maps are developed in the full interview over on VG 24/7

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