Overwatch Maps Before Release


Hello, everybody! Disciple here with Overwatch Curios! Have you ever thought about ways that you would change
some of Overwatch’s maps? Whether a new flank route, an atmospheric
or environmental change, or maybe an entirely new concept? Every map in the game goes through tons of
iterations and changes before it ever makes it to the live servers, however in this video
we’re going to take a look at some original map concept art and talk about some of Overwatch’s
most famous maps before they were ever released and what they could have been. The first concept art we’re looking at is
for what is probably Overwatch’s most iconic map, King’s Row. Interestingly enough, this concept art looks
almost identical to the King’s Row that we play on today, but it definitely raises
some big questions towards potential gameplay and how the map could’ve played differently,
and not for the better, if this image came to life. The first big difference here is that the
wall that creates the choke point before the capture point isn’t present in the art,
and the bus is moved back quite a bit towards the capture point. Probably because a wall like that has no practical
function in a real world. When you think about it in terms of gameplay
however, this difference would have seriously changed the fight over the control point in
some really bad ways. King’s Row Point A has always been one of
the hardest points to defend. This is because the attacking team’s spawn
point is so close to the control point that teams on defense struggle to make it back
in time to keep it contested when facing a wave of constant respawns. If the bus in game was placed here with no
walls to provide a choke point, the street would be far more open and create an even
shorter route for dive compositions to head straight to the control point. With no good choke to set up on, defending
the capture point would just feel hopeless. Thankfully, defenders still have a chance,
albeit slim. Now probably the coolest part of this concept
art is seeing how much of the original idea actually did make it into game, however. The statue to Mondatta(*Not sure if that’s
who it is*) appears in game exactly how it does here, although mirrored and just pushed
back instead of towards the center and creating a roundabout. Much of the skyline and buildings remain unchanged
as well, including the ticker outside of the movie theater, which was oddly carried over
despite building to the left, PR, losing it’s name but keeping a very similar interior. This art perfectly brought to life the atmosphere
of King’s Row and clearly laid all of the ground for the level design team to bring
this scene to life. The next concept art we’re looking at takes
us to Hanamura, specifically what looks to be the ground between the first and second
capture points on the map. Now this art raises some interesting questions
as well. First off, we see these stone monuments that
have been replaced in-game by… boulders. These stone formations definitely had the
option to play into the lore behind the Shimada Clan and Hanamura, because we see the same
decorative formations on the entrance to the shrine as well. Why would Blizzard choose to remove them in
favor of some boulders that provide little cover or aesthetic value? Now in terms of gameplay, this temple would
have been an utter nightmare to attack. Both the left and right flanks look closed
off in this concept, meaning that attackers would have to run through the middle, which
is split by this partition. Attackers would be funneled through a narrow
corridor where heroes like Junkrat, Pharah, Torbjorn and Mei could completely deny access
to the final control point. Area denial would have been a huge strength
for defenders here, and it’s not hard to see why additional routes were added on the
sides to break the bunker. With no city skyline in the background and
a more secluded and ceremonial feel with the stone walkway and sigils, this could be a
really fun environment to see added in the future as an elimination or even capture the
flag map. Exploring more of the historic Hanamura could
be a gateway to more lore behind the Shimada clan and it’s beloved brothers Hanzo and
Genji. Concept art number 3 gives us a look at the
early concepts for Volskaya. At first glance the map looks relatively unchanged,
but it provides a glimpse into the evolution of Overwatch lore over time. Most notably, there are no mechs patrolling
the city like we see now. This just goes to show how Blizzard is constantly
evolving the story and the world behind the game, because the map later came to build
an entire story behind this factory. Volskaya Industries is responsible for producing
the machines that now stand so tall in the current map’s background. Designed to defend Siberia from an onslaught
of Omnics, the mechs are not present in this concept art and the only sense of fortification
we see is this weaponized looking turret in the bottom of the image, which sits where
the elegant house is today, just to the right of the attacker’s exit. Could this have been a designer toying with
the idea of mountable turrets in the game, or is it just for added flair? The only other noticeable differences here
are the wall on the back side which seemingly prevents an attacking flank from over the
frozen river, and what looks to be a more narrow choke point leading towards capture
point A. That would certainly be a nightmare to break through. Even the environmental lighting and snow in
this image is nearly identical to what we currently play through, which is
a testament to the level designers and the environment artists behind the scenes working
together really well. So this next image of Watchpoint: Gibraltar
provides us another glimpse into how the evolution of Overwatch’s lore and world has shaped
the world that we play in, and possibly more-so than in any of the other early concept arts. In terms of level design, this part remains
fairly similar to the Gibraltar we play today, however there’s one glaring difference. There’s no ground level entrance to the
upper defensive platforms, unless this door (just to the right of the words Lab 2) was
intended to function as an elevator, which means if this form of the map had made it
to live, attackers would have a very hard time contesting the high ground at the first
corner of the map. What’s more interesting than that, though,
is how this iteration of Gibraltar sells it as a scientific research facility and not
a launch platform. As we know from both the Recall animated short
and the map in-game, Watchpoint: Gibraltar is essentially a hanger for Overwatch operations,
and Winston is specifically using this base as a means of launching a satellite into space
in order to recall the agents of Overwatch in a time of crisis. This concept art shows a world before the
launch, maybe when Gibraltar was still in development. We see Lab 1 and Lab 2 and a less advanced
infrastructure. It could even be possible that Blizzard was
working on the animated shorts and the story behind the game as early as 2014, since the
level design is almost identical despite the environmental changes. Our next concept art gives us a glimpse at
something that could be completely different for the Overwatch world, and that’s Peter
Lee’s early concept art of Numbani. In this picture we see the familiar Numbani. A wildly-adorned and decorated metropolis
that remains rooted and inspired by the wild place that developed it. The buildings are decorated brilliantly but
still very inspired by the animal kingdom outside, however there seems to be much less
of a commercial influence. The most striking part, however, is this small
road on the bottom of the image. First of all the road is still unpaved, but
is clearly a path well-traveled. And then we also we a string of huts leading
all the way up to the city. Is it possible that the utopia built in Numbani
today is just a safe haven for the commercially-driven wealthy who live there? Conspiracy theories aside, this image really
makes you think about what it could be like to have an Overwatch map that was very earthy
and wild. Imagine if instead of escorting the payload
through Numbani’s streets, players were tasked with escorting the payload up a makeshift
road through a string of villages to deliver it to the gates of Numbani. Each village would provide a ton of options
for defensive characters to hide in or fortify, but would trees provide enough cover for aerial
support to break the bunker? I’ve always wondered what a forest map could
be like in Overwatch and this concept art provides a beautiful look into it, even if
we may never see it come to life. The final concept art here is easily the craziest
difference compared to what the map is today. Peter Lee’s early Anubis concept art blends
the egyptian desert and the technological age together in an amazing way. We still see the same idea of houses built
of carved stone with egyptian-themed statues symbols, and glpyhs, however in this art we
see a lively city complete with cars and… mechanized camels? The houses are lit up in this picture, there’s
neon lights highlighting the architecture and the buildings, and there’s a fresh breath
of life to a map that in it’s current state feels much more forgotten and abandoned. The busy city environment is a pleasant and
unexpected change of pace. In the background we can still see the iconic
pyramid from Point B, but the sphynx that sits off to the side and out of bounds is
now lit up in neon green and dominates the skyline and is a bigger focal point of the
map. With all of the color and activity in this
image, it really makes you wonder what it could be like to play in a bustling city in
Egypt with a night theme, with all of the city lit up and the attention to egyptian
mythology and history. And besides being beautiful to play in, a
busy cityscape with shady corners and flank routes could pay homage to some old first
person shooter classics with narrow streets, multiple story buildings and really tight
combat throughout the map. Maybe in the future we could see this concept
expanded upon and brought to life as part of an assault map in the same region. So that does it for this video of Overwatch
maps before release. Which of the concept arts was your favorite,
and why is it Temple of Anubis? Is there any of this art you wish was in the
game today? If you could make any changes to a map in
Overwatch, what would it be and why? Let me know in the comments section down below. And as always, make sure to like the video
if you enjoyed it, and consider subscribing to Overwatch Curios for more content like
this in the future. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you all
next time.

100 thoughts on “Overwatch Maps Before Release

  1. I liked seeing all the concept pieces, but I feel like there was too much speculation on how the maps would play. Each concept was only one angle. I think its kind of impractical to assume how attackers might get to high ground, etc. when a bunch of the map we're not seeing.

    Seems like most of the concept art was just to capture the feel of the level and decide how some game elements (statues, buildings, etc) will look.

  2. The only major change I want to make to any of the existing maps, would be to move the payload on Eichenwald to right outside the spawn, then move the wrecked spider tank to the area right of the first choke so the payload could be pushed all the way around the central building. Then, the payload would actually stop after battering down the main gate of the keep, and you'd assault a final capture point in the throne room instead of escorting the payload inside. This would convert it into a reverse hybrid map, escort/assault instead of assault/escort.

  3. For the original hanamura you might of been able to through the top as Genji doomfist pharah reaper sombra junkrat hanzo widowmaker dva winston mercy lucio

  4. This isn't related to the video but when you log on, you have the play, highlights hero gallery and stuff. But there's always a map in the background with a hero. If you get Hanamura with a some hero, behind the character, the little building with the big health pack inside isn't there. There's just a stone platform with stairs.

  5. Whenever you login to overwatch, you have the games, highlights, options, hero gallery. And to the right of the screen, there's a map with a hero in the background. When you get Hanamura by any chance, look behind the hero the little building with the health pack between point A and B isn't there. Go to 4:38 in the video and you see the building is there. The only thing behind the hero is a stone platform with stairs.
    If it is normal please don't call me stupid or anything. I'm just pointing something out I think people should know..

  6. Should have used the concept art map for king's row for the Uprising event considering it was in the past and things could have changed. I think it looked more believable.

  7. You do realize the concept art is only meant to provide a tone and design outline, with no considerations taken for gameplay, right?

  8. You know nothing about overwatch. You say kings row is hard to defend cos there's a lot of ways to get to the point? Wrong it's easy cos there's (basically) one way

  9. "I would enjoy to see a forest map in overwatch"
    Cleary you havnt ever done lockout elim or custom games on the black forest

  10. i would love if it would be a kind of dark abandoned city, like the one from halo odst cus i love that game so mutch

  11. Concept art is so much better then the current trash maps I hate all of them they need to add new maps fast

  12. I have an idea. What if for anniversary 2018 they change all the maps to the ones in the early concepts. That would be cool

  13. Dude, I think they should've kept Temple of Anubis the way it is. It's gorgeous, and actually wouldn't mind playing on it.

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