Overwatch has a massively huge community fanbase, after Blizzard Entertainment’s team-based shooter exploded onto the scene back in May 2016, and one of the most requested features that the fans want to see is a custom map editor.
Ahh, the glory days of using Map editors to make crazy new stages. I remember spending countless hours using Far cry: Instincts map editor on the original Xbox, as well as the map editor for Timesplitters Future Perfect.
For those of you that don’t really know how it works, essentially, the map editor would allow Overwatch to live on for years upon years as it would create an almost endless supply of new content and unique level designs, as the players would be the ones to directly create new maps based on their own creative imagination. Most map editors come with themes and tilesets so that you can choose the look and style of the map, tools to allow you to place down connecting zones to navigate the map, items, spawn points and objectives, as well as other special items or tidbits to add finishing touches to your custom map.
The only problem is that for most games that have a custom map editor toolkit, all the tools and features you would need are normally planned from the start so that the parts you need in the level editor are good to go and easy to use, and based on game Director Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch wasn’t one of those games that originally had custom map designs in mind.
But don’t despair! Just because it wasn’t originally planned doesn’t mean it is impossible, it simply means it takes more time and planning to get it done, and as you can see from the below quote, Jeff Kaplan is all for putting in the work, as he commented about it on the Battle.net Overwatch Forums on 3/20/17, saying-
We are extremely open-minded about releasing a map editor for Overwatch someday. But because Overwatch was made with a brand new engine, this is not a small task or one which can happen any time soon. We have this on our long-term road map and believe heavily in user-made content. But there are many challenges ahead of us and it will be a very long road before our editor can be made available to the public.
This reconfirms his earlier comment from last September when he mentioned before about having a schedule for exploring custom maps.
We’re very interested in the concept of enabling players to make custom games open to the public. We have time scheduled to explore this and we’re pretty excited about it.
So there you have it, folks! A custom map editor is being strongly considered and possibly even being worked on by the team at this very moment, but it’ll just take them some time to get it all up and running to be user-friendly.
Are you a fan of Overwatch, and more importantly, excited about its future with custom player created maps? Comment below and share your thoughts.
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