During a new developer update, Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan sat down to discuss the Overwatch roadmap and the next priority for the development team. With the Overwatch World Cup coming up, Kaplan wants to assure fans that watching the event will be made easier by the use of new tools.
Debuting during the BlizzCon event, the new eSports tools will allow audiences to clearly distinguish the different teams, see from different angles using a “smart camera,” watch instant replays and more.
Here’s the full list of features that Blizzard is looking to implement and showcase during the Overwatch World Cup:
- In-game team uniforms. Beginning at the World Cup, all teams will have uniforms in different colours depending on whether they’re the home or away team. Depending on who you’re watching, the HUD will match, as will visual effects and explosions. “We want to make it super obvious which player and team you’re watching at all times,” said Kaplan.
- A top-down interactive map for broadcasters. Broadcasters will be able to pull this map up over the action and observe where everybody is, how much ult charge they have, whether or not they’re stunned, and things like that. In theory, this one is for commentary folks and observers—the people on the other side of the camera—but Kaplan said broadcasters have the option of showing it to viewers and thinks it can be really useful that way, too. “We’ve had our observers and casters out here to work with it,” said Kaplan. “They say it makes their job a lot easier.”
- A third-person “smart” camera. This is a third-person camera that knows where action is taking place and smooths it out so that it’s not all herky-jerky like when a person is moving it. “It knows where the action is at all times and is smartly following that action,” said Kaplan.
- Instant replay tools. Broadcasters will be able to select any moment from the kill-feed, re-position the camera, time-scale it, and basically make it look really good and readable. In theory, this will make it much easier for commentators and analysts to break down plays.
- An automated tournament interface. This will allow tournament organisers to set up matches with little chance of human error. It also means that if a player disconnects mid-match, the game will auto-pause and hopefully, once they’ve reconnected, be able to resume right where the action left off.
You can watch the full 10-minute developer update below:
In other Overwatch news, the player count recently hit “35 million players and counting,” a copycat game by the name of “Heroes of Warfare” is being sued by Blizzard, and Halloween skins were revealed and are now available to earn.