Tracer was not only the first hero to be “implemented” for Overwatch but at one time, she could shoot lasers from her eyes.
In a recent Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit, game director Jeff Kaplan revealed how Tracer’s attack options were very different from the dual-wielding style she currently boasts in the game.
In the beginning, the development team was yet to add any form of weaponry or animation models to Tracer. Hence, Blizzard decided to make her eyes the source of her attacks. This wasn’t because someone on the team was a hardcore fan of the X-Men franchise. Rather, Overwatch faced slight technological limitations at the start.
Tracer is one of the most iconic heroes from the Overwatch universe. She was selected as the official logo of the upcoming Overwatch League because Blizzard wanted to find a mascot that would read Overwatch without having to use any form of text.
Elsewhere, Kaplan revealed that Bastion at one point was able to shoot through walls. In addition, the battle-bot was also able to use remote mines, fling grenades, and bring down artillery barrages on a wide area.
Interestingly, many of the Overwatch developers are from the previous scrapped Titan MMO project. When Blizzard decided to shutdown the sci-fi title, Kaplan’s team was given six months to pitch new ideas, else the workforce would be divided between other projects like World of Warcraft and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Rather than let their work go to waste, Kaplan and his team salvaged to create Overwatch.
We were working on a game that got cancelled. We had 6 weeks to pitch new game ideas to the studio. If we didn’t come up with something compelling, our team was going to be redistributed to work on other projects (WoW, HS, HotS, D3 etc). Arnold Tsang was drawing these amazing characters. And during some of our game idea sessions Geoff Goodman was pitching really cool class ideas for a class-based MMO. We merged these concepts into what was to become Overwatch.
It’s amazing to know that a game birthed by a scrapped project went on to win multiple accolades. It bagged the 2017 GDC Game of the Year award earlier this month, a week after winning in multiple categories at the DICE Awards.