A new Overwatch Developer Update video has just been published, and the focus this time around is on improvements to the viewing experience for Overwatch esports.
In the video game director Jeff Kaplan talks us through some of the significant changes coming to the game, while stressing that most of the new features will only really be relevant to tournament organisers. Still, the benefits of these changes will be obvious to spectators.
Here's the video, followed by a quick summary of the main points:
- Team uniforms are being introduced. All teams that qualify for next month's World Cup finals will have a team uniform in both home and away colours.
- These different colour palettes will also apply to explosions and bullets too, making it easier to keep track of who's taking what action on the battlefield. The user interface will also incorporate these colours, to ensure it's very obvious which team you're watching.
- Broadcasters will have access to an interactive map that allows them to see all if the action at once, and know where every team member is at all times. It's a 2D overlay that sits over the 3D map and it can be shared with viewers if the broadcaster desires.
- A third-person smart camera is being added. This automatically follows the action and smoothes out the camera so it's not jerky like a human-operated camera would be. The camera knows where the action is at all times and will provide a much better third-person viewing experience.
- Broadcasters will also be able to interact with the regular kill-feed to grab instant replays of significant game moments. They'll then be displayed in a very cinematic fashion for the viewers.
- A new tournament interface will be provided for organisers so that it's easier to assign players to their correct teams.
- Should a player disconnect during a match, the game will automatically pause. There are other additional measures on their way to preserve the integrity of the game as well.
The video wraps up with an assurance from Kaplan that there will be a series of ongoing improvements for the Overwatch viewing experience, and they'll continue to work on the system over time.
You'll be able to get your first look at these changes during the Overwatch World Cup Finals, which are being held at BlizzCon on November 3rd and 4th.