Friday, August 20, 2021


 The serpent fighter. Samurai. Two soldiers fighting for the opposing sides of the revolution. Four distant characters, united by a brush of talented artists from all over the world, in this year's "Archives" event. Overwatch has teamed up with Yusuke Kozaki , a Japanese character designer who has worked on games like Fire Emblem, Pok√©mon, and No More Heroes, to create new historical skins .

All of the Legendary Skins added in this year's Archives event are inspired by the different historical eras of each character's home country. Zarya, as befits one of the most powerful characters in Overwatch, has turned into a mighty and brave hero-serpent fighter. Genji donned artfully forged samurai armor from the Sengoku era, a period that followed the collapse of the feudal system in Japan, when the samurai warlords and various military clans fought for power in the country. And Tracer and Soldier-76 at this time occupied opposite sides of the American Revolutionary War, wearing cocked hats and bright uniforms of the respective armies.

Kozaki and Overwatch Concept Artists David Kahn and Daryl Teng will provide details on the backstory and process of creating the Cavalier for Tracer, Soldier 1776, Samurai for Genji, and Raspberry for Dawn.

Yusuke, tell us a little about yourself. How did you begin your career as an artist in the gaming industry? How is your daily life going?

Yusuke Kozaki : I dreamed of drawing comics since I was 10, and when I was about 19, I was finally able to release my first comic in one magazine! After that I started my own illustration website, and gradually more and more orders for character design and illustration creation began to come in. And so it all turned out. As for my daily life, I have a new job - looking after my two daughters. I really love to cook, and I often do it at my leisure. I consider art to be both cooking and painting; for me there is nothing more pleasant than immediately seeing the result of my efforts when I prepare food for my family. Also, I like to ride my bike. Last year I covered almost 600 kilometers - from Tokyo to Osaka!

What is your favorite thing about Overwatch?

Kozaki : I really like the team aspect of Overwatch. Getting together with friends and going into battle together is very exciting. But perhaps my favorite part of Overwatch is the strong character imagery and visuals. While there are limits to the possibilities of art, there is something about Overwatch's graphics that allows it to push those boundaries. I never cease to be amazed at how art can simultaneously have visual beauty and influence the unconscious of the human mind.

What was the most fun part of your collaboration with the Overwatch developers?

Kozaki : For me, the most interesting was the cycle of attempts to bring the character's image to match the overall style of Overwatch and the continuous process of improving and improving the images. [Overwatch Character Art Director] Arnold Zahn, who commissioned me to design these skins, used to visit my site a lot as a student, and although we didn't have much contact with him back then, I was still glad to have the privilege of working with him on such a big project. !

What kind of historical imagery inspired all of you to create these characters?

Daryl Ten: When creating the Samurai skin for Genji, we tried to focus on those types of samurai armor that were designed more for combat than for beauty. When we studied samurai armor, we devoted most of our attention to the Sengoku era, but were also open to other ideas.

David Kahn : For Zarya, we did the initial sketch ourselves and then sent it to our talented freelancers who refined the sketch and created the final look. Designing for her was a lot of fun. The look of "Polenitsa" was created in the image of Russian heroes, heroes of many fairy tales and paintings. Our producer Natalia was a huge help in creating the overall impression and armor for this look, because she is from Russia. During the development process, Polenitsa went through many changes.

Yusuke Kozaki : [For Soldier-76 and Tracer] I added additional design details to the skins based on the soldier's uniform from the Civil War and the Revolutionary War.

How do you think the theme of each of the skins matches its character?

Ten : I think Genji fits very well with the image of a samurai from the era of the warring provinces. It is easy to imagine how he, in armor shiny in the sun, hits enemies on the battlefield with his "Lightning Strike", covered in blood from head to toe. Speaking of the design of the Samurai skin, first of all, I decided to decide on the type of his mask. I didn’t want to use an oni or demon mask; it would be too similar to his "They" appearance. When I figured out the design of the mask, everything else went like clockwork.

Kahn : I think this look is great for Zarya, because she already resembles a modern hero in futuristic armor. Therefore, the heavy battle armor sat on her like a glove

Thursday, August 12, 2021


 The cuddly onion octopus, Pachimari is solemnly returning to Overwatch in a luxurious suit for his most dedicated Hogwig fanatic. His quirky new look was designed by David Kahn, a designer with extensive experience in creating mascot creatures and hero skins.

Kahn, the creator of the pachimari and one of the creators of the new look, talked about the onion octopuses, the design of the roadhog skins and the most extravagant costume ideas for the main pachimari fan.

Every detail in Hogwarts' new look screams his love for the pachimari, from a collection of badges and a giant tentacle to a cute propeller hat that makes him look even funnier. He owes all of this to concept artist David Kahn and other Overwatch skin designers. “We loved the idea right from the start,” says Kahn, who spearheaded the redesign and turned Hogwarts from a mad tinsmith to a pachimari fanatic. “We've been hatching this idea for over a year and have already made some sketches. The pachimari-related event provided us with an opportunity and we decided to give it a try. And I'm just delighted with the result. "

The original concept for this look was a Hog in an amusement park, dressed in full pachi parade in all purchased souvenirs. When preparations began for the event, the team tried to add as many unusual little things as possible, without which the main fan of the pachimari would not have done.

Kahn explains that the hardest part was choosing the design of the Hog's signature mask. Turbosvin could not do without her, and it was decided to change her color scheme to a typical pachimari - repainted from black to white and painted a blush on her cheeks. “In the guise of the Roadhog, we always have to figure out what to do with the mask. We haven't revealed his real face yet, so we always come up with something interesting with a mask. "

As a result, the designers agreed that it was necessary to supplement the usual model of the Roadhog with special elements that would distinguish this look from others. “I especially like the Roadhog's hat,” says Kahn. - This can only be a passionate fan of pachimari. The huge tentacle on the shoulder is also a very cool and unusual detail. Some Pachimari Land would definitely sell them. "

Five years have passed since the creation of the pachimari, the Blizzard store is full of different products with pachimari , and this character has actually become a symbol of Overwatch, but Kan is still amazed at the popularity of his creation. “I still can't believe how famous pachimari is. It’s impossible to imagine a game without it, ”he says. - For Overwatch, he is like a murloc. Pachimari always reminds me of the early days at Blizzard and the development stage of the game, when our then small team was looking forward to the day when we can show Overwatch to the world. "

The Pachimart trial has begun! From now until March 22, earn exciting new rewards for winning matches and become the ultimate pachimari connoisseur - not counting the Roadhog, of course. Collect tons of new Pachi items, including a Junkrat emote, Pachimari sprays as different Overwatch heroes, and a Pachimari skin for Roadhog!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021


 The Overwatch 2 team went into great detail about the development process and shared exclusive content from the unreleased game, such as new maps, role changes, hero missions, updated character designs, and further storyline.


Overwatch Voices

Voice actors Darin de Paul (Reinhardt), Fred Tatasciore (Soldier 76), Charlette Chang (D.Va), Matthew Mercer (McCree) and Gianni Bole (Echo) discussed how they fit into the role of Overwatch characters , talked about recording in home studios and performed an impromptu performance, showing off their heroes.


Music Creation

Blizzard Music Director Derek Duke spoke with the creators of Overwatch's most famous tunes, immersing players in the universe of the future.


Overwatch League: Shock Against All

San Francisco Shock, two-time Overwatch League champions, played against an unusual team of professional players, broadcasters, famous community members and other unexpected guests.


Creations of community members from the "Workshop"

Overwatch Software Engineers Dan Reid and Zach Metcalfe interviewed the game's most active modders - the creators of McCree's Hot Potato, PMAJellies Aim Trainer, Conquest and more.


Overwatch League: Crafts with Zoe

Watchpoint host Zoe Gshwind gave a masterclass on creating the perfect pachimari and showed you how to mold an octopus out of clay yourself.


Blizzard Art Workshop: Overwatch

Overwatch artists Arnold Tsang, Morten Skaalvik, Qiu Fan, and Andrew Menhivar showed you step-by-step how to draw Tracer , Roadhog , Reaper and Zenyatta .

Saturday, July 31, 2021



In Overwatch 2, players will visit even more famous areas in different parts of the globe, defending them against the attacks of the Null Sector. The Overwatch development team is eager to share the Rome-based battlefield with the romantic architecture of the ancient world and famous landmarks such as the Colosseum and the Seven Hills of the Eternal City, naturally blended with Overwatch-style futuristic elements. In addition, we showed the Art Deco city of New York as it appears in Overwatch 2. This battleground combines high-tech play style with the shops, fire stations and family pizzerias that are familiar to the city's residents.

Screenshot showing the Grand Grand Central Station on the New York map in Overwatch 2.



In Overwatch 2, the familiar PvP modes will undergo significant changes with new battlegrounds, redesigned character roles and updated mechanics that breathe new life into in-game battles. One of the changes under consideration is the passive abilities inherent in heroes depending on their role. Passive abilities are different: tank heroes are less susceptible to knockback effects and charge opponents' superpowers less when they shoot at them, fighters receive a bonus to movement speed to better sneak behind enemy lines, and support heroes can heal automatically if they do not receive damage. Also, the developers want to change the parameters of the tanks to make these defenders of the team more versatile and allow them to take an active part in dangerous skirmishes. For example, Reinhardt can gain a second charge of Flame Strike, as well as the ability to change direction during Dash, or cancel this ability. The listed changes are not final and may appear in the game in a modified form or not appear in it at all.

The development team is also working hard on changes that will make the battles in the game even more exciting and intense. Sound and visual effects, game mechanics and other aspects of skirmishes have been carefully reworked and improved so that even simple melee attacks are perceived as meaningful and immersive. One of the game's standout new features was the convolutional reverb system, which allowed developers to simulate the acoustics of a digital space and accurately convey sounds in the game. Wherever players are - in an open area, in a city, in a closed warehouse or in a narrow tunnel - the sounds of their shots will be heard in accordance with the surrounding space, creating an accurate picture of the battle and immersing the players in its atmosphere.

An animated gif of Reinhardt using Fire Strike twice in rapid succession.



Since we showed Overwatch 2 at BlizzCon 2019, the team has done a great job adding new mechanics, improved opponents and a progression system to the Hero Missions that allows you to develop your heroes in different ways. Hero Missions is a new mode that builds on the co-op PvE modes that have already appeared in Overwatch during Seasonal Events. The task turned out to be incredibly large-scale, because in order to make such a mode truly interesting, tasks should be verylot. From the very beginning of development, the goal of the team was to create as many such tasks as possible so that players could participate in hundreds of operations around the world, playing as their favorite characters. Quests will demonstrate the character of the characters and reveal some of the details of their history. They offer players battles with different types of opponents, new challenges, new areas that complement existing battlegrounds, and dynamic environments that make the world of Overwatch truly spectacular.

The gameplay in the first version of the game, shown at BlizzCon 2019, did not seem to the developers fun enough. Since then, they have made the operations more dynamic, added many new opponents and updated the hero progress system. Players will have to face new and more formidable omniks from the "Null Sector", which have been significantly improved over the past year. Unique and elite enemy units, a convenient combat system and a variety of missions will not let players relax, suppressing the actions of the "Null Sector" around the world. New for players will be an improved system of hero progress, which will provide them with a whole arsenal of different talents to fight enemy omnics. Break the rules of the game, experiment with combinations of abilities, like in an RPG,

An image of Junkrat's talent tree in Overwatch 2.



In Overwatch 2, each hero will receive a new look that will reflect the events that happened to him, while retaining the key features. The team has shared new designs for four popular heroes. McCree kept his cowboy hat, swapped out his red Mexican cape for more tech clothes, and grew a beard that made him look a little older. Farrah has donned new armor with a transparent visor, whose colors are reminiscent of the blue and white uniforms of the old Ove

Thursday, July 22, 2021


 Christie Golden has immersed herself in a multitude of fantasy worlds and has written over 50 novels and novellas set in different universes, but she speaks of the Overwatch universe the most.

“I love that everyone in this world can feel at home,” says Christie. - In it you can be proud of your culture, appearance or worldview and get acquainted with the culture and worldview of other people. Here, everyone treats each other with respect and can become friends and teammates. It always seemed to me that people are united more than they are divided. "

She tried to cover the theme of friendship and camaraderie in her story "Stone by Stone" , where readers can see how our favorite architect for working with "hard" light, Satya Vashvani (Symmetra), embarked on the path of compassion and understanding. We met with Golden and discussed with her the process of writing the story Stone by Stone, her first work in the Overwatch universe - and her sense of oneness with the Sphere.

First, let's talk about you and your creativity. How is working with Overwatch content different from working with Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, and StarCraft?

I've been writing professionally for almost 30 years now, and almost everything I've done in that time has been related to different franchises - game worlds, book series, and so on. If I'm not mistaken, I've already worked in thirteen different franchises! Therefore, getting into an unfamiliar world and looking for something in it that will please me is not the first time for me. For me, it's like walking up to a building and trying to find a door that swings open in front of me.


What parts of the story do you enjoy working on the most?

I've always liked writing dialogues and thinking through the characters of the characters. In my youth, I dreamed of becoming an actress and learned to understand dialogue well, and now it helps me. Readers of novels from game universes know perfectly well how their favorite character speaks and what vocabulary they use, so if you don't get into the character, they will definitely let you know about it! But I had to learn to convincingly describe the battle scenes and the place of action. Nowadays I often write scripts for videos, and it gives me a lot of pleasure - this is what I do best. And the description of the setting and actions can be provided to the director and artists!


How do you define the characters that other Blizzard employees like the Overwatch team will develop further on?

My first work was a novel about the Ravenloft universe - Vampire of the Mists , one of the first books in this series from TSR. It seems to me that a very successful first experience came out: I immediately got used to the fact that not only a couple of editors are watching my work, but also many other people. When you write a book in your own universe, the publisher gets your book to work . But if this is a book on a universe already created by someone, you and the publisher get a franchise book to work.... Games are like living organisms, the creation of which is the result of the work of many people. They are constantly evolving and changing. In your novel, you come up with a wonderful hero, and then he can become an important character in the game ... or he can die at any moment or just forget about him. This is the price to pay for the opportunity to work in an exciting universe with people who also love it. And for me there is nothing more pleasant.


How do you usually start working on a new piece? Do you get inspired and get down to business right away, or is this process clearer and more structured?

In the case of novels based on gaming universes, the idea is usually provided by the company itself, but Blizzard has always listened to my own ideas. In this company, I felt at home even before I was officially hired. First, the main idea of ​​the novel or story is determined, then negotiations begin with the developers who say what key events should take place in the novel. Then the writer collects all these ideas and draws up a sketch of the future work. The development team evaluates it and gives its opinion, after which the writer gets back to work. The process is repeated until both parties are happy with the result. After that, the writer begins to write a draft of the novel, which is also regularly read and evaluated by the developers.


If you could write a story about any character or event in the Overwatch universe, what kind of story would it have?

Probably, "Walking in London with Tracer" is my favorite character and, perhaps, my favorite city - but there is already a comic strip "London is Calling" , it is just about that! Besides Tracer (and, of course, Symmetra!) I also really like Ash, Angel and Junkrat. It would be very interesting to write a story where they have to work in the same team. Look at them ... Are they capable of being a team at all? This adventure promises to be fun!


Let's talk about the story "Stone by Stone

Wednesday, July 14, 2021


 According to Overwatch Chief Designer Scott Mercer, the main question for developers has always been "How do you make Overwatch even more enjoyable for players?" He will tell us about the impact on the game with a new feature introduced by Jeff Kaplan in the latest Dev Newsletter : We're talking about the so-called "Priority Pass", which is currently being tested on the PTR. Mercer hopes that he will help reduce the difference in the number of players choosing the role of tank, fighter or support.

The introduction of a priority pass should have a positive effect on the waiting time for the match for those who choose the fighter role. If such a player agrees to play a game or two in the role of a tank or support, then the system will quickly select a suitable match for him when he wants to play a hero-fighter. But before you head out to test the new feature on the PTR, we encourage you to read the details and read Scott Mercer's story about how it was developed.

Can you tell us briefly what is a priority pass?

In Overwatch, you can play as a tank, fighter, or support hero. In quick play and competitive play, there is a role limitation. This means that in every match there must be two tanks, two support heroes and two fighters. For all these roles to have the same wait times, the number of players who choose them must also be the same. However, as it turned out, almost everyone wants to play as fighters. 

Because the fighter role is so popular, players who choose it have to wait longer for the right match. We thought about how to deal with this for a long time, and came to the conclusion that a priority pass may be a good solution. If you choose a universal role (that is, agree to play as a tank, support hero or fighter), then in return we will give you a priority pass. You can then queue up as a fighter and spend your passes to reduce the waiting time in this overpopular role. The more people choose a universal role, the more evenly the distribution of players across all three roles will be, which should ultimately have a positive effect on waiting times for everyone.

Depending on whether your team wins or loses, you will receive several priority passes (we may change the number of them). Once you've played one game in the Versatile Role, you'll be able to use your Priority Passes to cut down on waiting times as a Combatant. In total, you can now accumulate up to 40 passes. 


How does the priority pass work for those on a team?

In order for the group in which the player chooses a role with a long waiting time (most often the role of a fighter) to be considered a priority, he will have to spend his priority passes. For example, if you and I are in a group, and you choose the role of a tank or support, and I choose the role of a fighter, then only me will have to spend the passes in order for our group to be considered a priority.


What do you think affects the waiting time for a match for those who choose the role of a fighter?

Part of the popularity of the fighter role was due to the fact that initially there were much more heroes-fighters than tanks or heroes of support. Over the past few years, we've tried to combat this by adding more tanks and healers. Also, players often ask us if we want to make these heroes stronger in order to play for them more interesting? To be honest, they are already strong enough, and those who choose a tank or a healer often get a lot of pleasure from the game. It's just a matter of personal preference.

Overwatch is a first-person shooter game, and many players want to play as heroes with high precision aiming. This is why they came here and will choose their favorite role regardless of balance changes and specific mechanics. We believe that priority pass is just one way to address the issue of waiting time for a match. In this way, we give the players the opportunity to decide for themselves when to play in a universal role (and whether to perform at all).


How is Priority Skip different from other solutions you have used in the past to distribute players more evenly across roles?

We used to try to tweak the matchmaking system and change the lineup, but it was like putting a plantain on a lacerated wound. The main problem is that the number of players willing to play in each of the roles is very different. From a mathematical point of view, it is quite difficult to get around it, so the main task of the priority pass is to reallocate the number of players between roles. 

You can choose whether to use the priority pass or not. For our part, we will show players the waiting time in the queue with and without a pass, so that it becomes clearer for them why it is worth choosing a universal role from time to time.


How do you test similar features before submitting them to the PTR?

Through math and statistics. We worked on the matchmaking function for a very long time and in the end we created our own system that emulates the number of players, their skill level

Saturday, July 10, 2021


 You probably did this too: sculpted a cloud of "Sorry" on the enemy's corpse after a brilliant murder that hit in the best moments of the match; pushed the load and littered it with a pixelated copy of their hero; turned the Wanted poster with McCree so that the face on the graffiti of a friend was right in the middle. Graffiti is found in Overwatch at every turn - like the crooked face of cute Moira on that rock in Hanamura, like snide messages in the replay player. The Overwatch development team has invited artists from the fan community to create truly spectacular graffiti dedicated to a wide variety of events.

Overwatch artist and player JaviDraws talks about the artist's craft, Symmetra, and the creation of graffiti for Symmetra's Restoration challenge .

How did you get involved in drawing professionally and why exactly comics and illustrations?

Since childhood, I liked to draw, I started uploading my work to the Internet at least ten years ago. After spending so much time in the online artist community, I wanted to turn my hobby into a career. At first I was more attracted to concept art, but over time my style and creativity gradually changed, and I was drawn to illustration and comics. I am very happy with my choice.


How do you manage to complete projects for your customers, devoting so much time to the games for which you create illustrations?

I work most productively in the morning. I take at least 5 hours a day to work, and leave the evening for games and other rest. I don't have days off, but I finish work earlier. For me, this kind of daily routine works best.


Why did you start playing Overwatch?

I never really liked first-person shooters, although I heard about Overwatch - when the first animated video came out, I immediately remembered it for its bright colorful style. Then my brother bought the game and gave it to me for a while, and I immediately ordered another copy for myself. Overwatch was awfully fun to play, and I wanted to try all the heroes.


What is your favorite character to draw?

All the characters are fun to draw in their own way, but to be honest, I love May the most. She is very cute, unlike many of the other characters, and my art style goes well with her design.


Who is your main character? Do you have a favorite role or do you play equally for everything?

I mostly play Angel, so it turns out my favorite role is support. It seems to me that this role is easier and calmer to play for, although many would certainly disagree with me. I also sometimes choose the role of a tank and play with pleasure as D.Va, Zarya or Winston.


What influences your creativity?

I feel inspired every morning when I scroll through the news feed and see the amazing work of artists who put their work on the web. I have watched Disney and Studio Ghibli since I was a kid and read a lot of shoujo manga, so they also greatly influenced my style. I also seek inspiration from photographers and fashion designers. 


Do you prefer illustration or comics?

I suppose both serve as a means by which I implement my ideas. The most important thing for me is to tell a story through creativity. Every time I decide what works best for expressing my feelings - an illustration or a comic strip. But when I draw comics, I enjoy the process more, because I can relax and not worry about mistakes. And if I draw illustrations, then I cannot overcome my perfectionism and advance with great difficulty.


Was working on the graffiti for the game different from your usual creative process?

I tried to make the graffiti stand out like stickers. That's not how I work on large illustrations. It seems to me that such small images are better not overloaded with details, because in fast-paced games like Overwatch, players should immediately recognize them.


How did you choose the theme of each of your graffiti for Symmetra?

I worked with the Overwatch team, and together we decided what all this graffiti should be about. I proceeded from both their advice and from the episodes from the story about Symmetra, which inspired me personally. As a result, we got 6 graffiti, which illustrate the story well and also demonstrate the character and image of Symmetra.

6 graffiti to challenge Symmetra "Restoration", artist JaviDraws


Where would you like to see your graffiti first?

I always put a bunch of graffiti on the door before the match and, of course, on the cargo. Therefore, these places are the first to come to mind. 


Which of your Overwatch works do you love the most?

Probably this picture of "Slasher-76" .

 Slasher-76 drawing by JaviDraws


What real world would you recreate in Overwatch?

I'd love to see a South Asian-style map in Overwatch. I myself am from Pakistan, this country has an incredibly rich and diverse culture, and the development team would have a lot to choose from. A map like this would look amazing.


What does Symmetra mean to you personally?

Being able to draw something for Overwatch i


 The serpent fighter. Samurai. Two soldiers fighting for the opposing sides of the revolution. Four distant characters, united by a brush of...