Nobody likes talking about Overwatch more than Jeff Kaplan, the head designer, and I don't think any of us are ungrateful for all of the opportunities to hear about how the game was created or what's going on in the background. 


His interview with screenPlay posted yesterday is just the most recent chance for us to learn more about how Overwatch came to be. 


Though Blizzard has a reputation for never having a release date for their games, Kaplan dispelled the rumors during the interview. Every Blizzard game has a date, we're just never informed of it. Overwatch had a pretty tight release schedule, according to Kaplan, and the team borrowed heavily from the Hearthstone development team's lessons on stripping away extraneous details to get it out on time. 

While Overwatch is a first-person shooter, Kaplan mentioned that the team drew a lot more inspiration from MOBAs than they did from other FPS games. Most shooters, in Kaplan's perspective, caused players to be way more interested in their own KDA than in the team's success, while MOBA players were much more focused on the match win. Team play ended up being a core tenet of Overwatch's design as a result. 


The other major feature of Overwatch that stems from MOBAs is its dedication to treating each playable hero as an individual character.


"Reaper is a guy, he's Gabriel Reyes, he's gone through all this terrible stuff and he has a backstory and relationships with the other characters," Kaplan said. "It's that personal relationship that exists with the player and who these heroes are and wanting to either know more about them or simply identifying with them is what made Overwatch resonate for a lot of people." 


Kaplan also confirmed that a lot more animations are on their way, and, if you're paying attention around the 1:50 mark, you might notice a brief clip of Tracer running around in Horizon.