In Overwatch, heroes are everything. They are the game’s identity, the expressions of its core themes and values. Every character has a unique backstory, visual style, and personality. The fact that no two of them look or act the same is the very essence of Overwatch’s design philosophy.
The game team used Overwatch’s four main art principles as a road map to ensure that every hero was diverse, symbolized a bright, hopeful future, was visually dynamic in proportions and movements, and felt handcrafted. These guidelines established cohesion among the soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities who live in the Overwatch world. They also laid a foundation for many more heroes to come.
Creating the brilliant inventor and engineer Torbj?rn was another chance for the Overwatch team to experiment with the game’s art style. How stylized could they make the character while still having him fit in the game? This was among the questions the team asked as they carved out a special place for Torbj?rn in the Overwatch world.
CHARACTER CONCEPTS—Torbj?rn’s ultimate ability, Molten Core, makes him capable of faster attacks and greater engineering feats. The game team wanted this transformation to feel as extreme as possible, not only for gameplay reasons but also to play up the fantasy that the tech-savvy hero was a living forge.
The “Dragons” short film contains a story within a story, a fairy tale told through illustrations inspired by traditional Japanese art. The process to create these images began with storyboards, which were then redrawn and fully rendered in color. Limited animation, such as moving clouds and fiery embers, was added to further bring the paintings to life.