Sunday, November 9, 2014

Overwatch Trailer and Artists

The art and the animation for Overwatch is just plain beautiful, with this game showing one of my favorite aspects about Blizzard, which is that they create beautifully stylized art, instead of trying to be realistic like many games do.

Overwatch itself seems to be a piece of the MMO Blizzard had been working on called Titan. The challenge with MMO's is that they cost a lot of money because they are so much bigger than typical games. Which is why I think that many games, namely "Secret World," and the now failed "Kingdoms of Amalur" would have benefited if they had focused initially on creating smaller games, rather than going all in.

One of Blizzard's VPs recently spoke on this;

"I'm not going to get into what [Titan] was going to be or what we wanted it to be. I can tell you what it was, in a way, it was frustrating. It was a big, giant idea; it was almost like six video games in one. It was the most ambitious game ever. It was fun to try to tackle it, and boy did we tackle it. We wrestled with it for a long time. And it sucked; we couldn't figure it out. It makes you just [clenches his fist], we couldn't crack it.

"Imagine this amazing team just frustrated. 'Why can't we do this?' It's trying to fret a chord and write the song. 'We can't write the song, why can't it just sound awesome?' Can't find the harmony, whatever. And when we decided to go another way, like Jeff was saying, we've got this hook, 'Why aren't we doing that? We love that.' And we decided to do it and, suddenly, 'Boom!' The music just exploded. And we started looking at [Overwatch] for what it was, and it unleashed this tidal wave of passion and certainty and distilled, clear ideas. And this world idea. It was just this monstrous thing of energy.

Disney discovered when making "Snow White" that even though the movie was only 10 times longer than a short it ended up costing 40 times as much and took exponentially longer to make as well. The larger you try to make something the more difficult it becomes.

Artistically the goal should never be to make something giant, the goal should always be to make something great. Typically when this is done the great business comes. Just as Pixar decided early on that they wouldn't worry about making toys, or profitability, just making great stories, which paid off big time.

This isn't to say that audacious goals shouldn't be tried, just that perhaps greater caution should be exercised before hundreds of millions are spent.
There are clear differences, between them and making computer games, of course, however, the point still stands that sometimes something great has to be established before a company can worry about moving on to MMOs.