We may be swimming our way through a water-based map at some point in the future.
The possibility was raised in a official forum post, where game director Jeff Kaplan responded to a player who asked why water environments had not been added to game as of yet.
“While we might add more water and swimming at some point, we made a very conscious decision to avoid water gameplay for a few reasons," he began.
“The main reason is that we rarely found swimming gunplay fun in other shooters that we played. While the immersion is great, the actual moment to moment gameplay is usually underwhelming if not gimmicky.”
Kaplan also stressed that the addition of water gameplay would put a huge strain on the animation team, which would ultimately result in less hero based content in the future.
“Another reason -- and one we would easily go back on if we thought swimming added fantastic gameplay -- is that every Overwatch hero is animated by hand using key frame animation. We do this because we believe our animators can get the most personality out of each hero with this method. We really believe in the art form that is animation. Many games use motion capture and/or a single-body, shared animation across many different characters. This isn't the case in OW. Everything is done by hand.
"If we added swimming, every single character would have to get an intense amount of animation work for the base locomotion, plus animation updates for every ability. The end result would also mean that we would get far less animation work on other parts of the game (emotes, highlight intros etc.). But the really big down side would be that every new hero we added to the game would take significantly longer for us to make, thus resulting in fewer heroes over time."
“So while conceptually we think swimming is cool and adds to the immersion and fantasy of being in a cool game world, the practical reality of it has made us hold off for now. Maybe in the future!”
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