Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan announced a surprise update to the game titled ‘The Workshop,’ which he describes as “A scripting mode which will allow you to make custom game modes within the custom game browser.”
The thinking behind this new feature was: “It would be super cool if we gave the players some of the power that we have as programmers and as game developers to make whatever they can come up with.” PC and console players can start creating their own game modes, and Kaplan goes on to say that players can even prototype their own heroes using the new system.
If you’re immediately interested in jumping into this PTR feature, you might want to hold off for now, as Kaplan warns that the Workshop is a “Power user feature” which is more suited to those with scripting engine experience or those with programming backgrounds, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty more for players to get excited about.
Jeff Kaplan makes it clear that this is not a map editor, but rather a feature that allows you to control game logic behind game modes which also allows players to tweak heroes as mentioned earlier.
As Kaplan goes on to describe how the service was made, he says the team behind the system “put a custom layer of interface and a custom scripting system on top of the one that we used to make the game, so that all of you on both PC and console can start creating your own game modes.”
Examples of these custom game modes will be available on the custom game browser for users to play with and tweak, some examples Kaplan mentions are: Molten floor – effectively the floor is lava as players will catch on fire if they touch the ground, and, Mirror Deathmatch – a free-for-all deathmatch where every player is the same character for one minute.
The Workshop includes a share functionality where players/creators will be able to generate a code which works on both PC and console.
This feature should be an exciting addition that might give new life to the Overwatch community, or encourage players to return to the game and explore the new feature. Overwatch undoubtedly has more to come in the future, with Blizzard announcing back in November that they are working on new heroes, some of which have still to be revealed.
You can view the latest developer update announcement on the PlayOverwatch YouTube channel, and you can also view the announcement on the PlayOverwatch website.