• Un Jeff Kaplan incontenibile ha illustrato minuziosamente la composizione del team di sviluppo di Overwatch e dei dettagli sulle tempistiche per i contenuti del gioco, il tutto in due lunghi post sui forum ufficiali. Se siete interessati ai retroscena, sono una lettura da non perdere.
    Riassumiamo alcuni punti salienti:

    Composizione del team
    • La squadra di sviluppo è chiamata "Team 4" all'interno di Blizzard;
    • I componenti sono circa 100;
    • Le discipline su cui lavora il team sono: Audio, ingegneria, Designer, Arte, Produzione e Progettazione, ci sono anche due persone a tempo pieno che seguono le operazioni commerciali e un direttore per l'ambito eSport;
    • Il team eSport interagisce con gruppi come ESL e altre realtà simili;
    • Oltre ad un gruppo dedicato alla qualità del gioco, c'è chi si occupa quotidianamente di tutti i social su cui è presente Overwatch ( facebook, twitter, instagram, ecc. . .)
    • Un team di avvocati rende più sicuro il lavoro in tutto il mondo per evitare la violazione involontaria di alcune leggi ( un esempio è il consenso ad utilizzare il segno "Hollywood" nell'omonima mappa);
    • Un ruolo fondamentale lo svolge il gruppo anti-hack, anti-cheat e di sicurezza.

    Jeff Kaplan ha scritto

    The Overwatch Team (internally at Blizzard we are called "Team 4") is comprised of about 100 developers at this point. The disciplines who comprise the team are Audio, Art, Engineering, Production, and Design. We also have two full-time Business Operations people and an esports director who are part of the team. Our size fluctuated throughout development from around 40 developers to about 75 at launch. Around launch we brought our audio team onto the team full time (they were technically a shared, central resource although primarily focused on OW). We love that group way too much to share them with anyone! We also brought our automation group onto the team (thus bringing us to our current number). The automation team is particularly awesome -- true unsung heroes. They had literally hundreds of thousands of "players" playing the beta for most of the time that the beta was running. The reason we were able to have such a smooth launch and keep the beta small was because of their fantastic work.

    We also have two amazing "embedded" groups that sit with us and we consider them part of the team as well. This is our dedicated Quality Assurance team and our dedicated Community team. Quality Assurance makes sure everything works and is stable. They call us out on our bugs and try to get the game as rock-solid for you guys as possible. The Community team does all of our community outreach activities from our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc...) to influencer interaction to scheduling stuff like developer presence on streams, our "Developer Update" series and generally, telling me to capitalize and punctuate my sentences.

    So that's the "immediate" team that works on Overwatch. But we're just a small part of a bigger picture. We get amazing support from so many groups. Blizzard Animation makes those AMAZING animated shorts you've been enjoying. They are part of a larger organization called Story and Franchise Development that does so many great things like the Overwatch Comics, the awesome collectible statues (like 76 and Tracer), our gameplay videos, our training videos, our developer updates... etc.

    We have a licensing group who makes all of the cool products that you can get on gear.blizzard.com (wow, shameless plug!). We are lucky to have an entire group in Battle.net that maintains the launcher, keeps our games running, allows for cross game chat, hosts the web and mobile teams, helps make voice chat a reality, allows for cross-region persistence and the list goes on... We have an amazing team of lawyers who makes sure that all of our "real world" representations are fair and legal (for example the Hollywood sign in the Hollywood map). They do amazing, unspoken work to keep our game safe from cheaters as well. Which brings me to our anti-hack, anti-cheat and security group. This team is constantly hard at work and yet we can't really discuss their success publicly at all.

    We have a centralized esport group that helps organize our esport activities and interacts with groups like ESL. We have the world's most amazing marketing team who did cool stuff like the Colossal Collectibles around launch. We have a whole IT/Networking/Live Ops organization that makes sure Blizzard servers are running worldwide at all times. We have a public relations team that interacts with the press and schedules any interview you see with a OW team member. We have a BRILLIANT business intelligence group who provides us with statistics and analysis. We also have a great executive team running the company who help guide the high level strategy of Overwatch. Many of these guys like Mike and Frank (CEO and Chief Development Officer) spent many years as game developers... so they really understand what we do.

    There are even more groups here at Blizzard that are helping us all the time. We have the world's best Customer Support team known to existence (fact). A great HR team... I know I am leaving out some well-deserving-of-praise folks -- and I apologize. But you can see, we get a lot of support.

    But at it's core, it's about 100 gals and guys trying to make cool stuff that makes you guys happy.

    Tempistiche di sviluppo
    • Le tempistiche di sviluppo di una mappa o di un eroe richiedono in media qualche mese di lavoro;
    • I prototipi creati, molte volte frettolosamente, vengono sperimentati tuttavia ci vogliono mesi affinché vengano rilasciati al pubblico;
    • A metà sperimentazione della beta il team ha ricevuto numerose richieste di alcune importanti modifiche per evitare il fallimento di Overwatch, il team ha così abbandonato lo sviluppo della modalità competitiva per lancio del gioco;
    • La maggior parte del lavoro per la Stagione 2 è stato fatto in circa 3-4 settimane
    • Il team elenca una lista di piccole cose da aggiungere in fase di sviluppo, un esempio la barra della vita dei propri alleati.

    Jeff Kaplan ha scritto

    This question is more difficult to answer because it depends on the task.

    Something like a new map or hero takes months for us to get into a polished state that would be acceptable for release. We can get new map and hero prototypes up extremely fast, but these look very ugly and often re-use existing art assets. When we prototype things, they often are created hastily and in a way that is very buggy and unoptimized. So even though we can stand something up very quickly, if we decide it's fun and want to see it through, it can be a very long time before it gets released to the public. We're held to a very high standard so we cannot just "rush something out" and not get called out on it.

    We always have a high level prioritized list of features and content that we are working on. But at the same time, we leave room in our schedule to be agile and adapt reactively to new tasks that we might not have planned for. For example, we had always planned to do competitive play as our first patch following launch. However, midway through the beta, there was a high level of demand from the community that "the game was going to fail" if we did not have competitive play in at launch time. So we shifted on to work on a competitive mode. We thought that once we were complete with that work, there might be some minor iteration (there always is) but for the most part, we'd be moving on. What we had not accounted for was the negative reaction we got to the feature. So now everything on the schedule got pushed back so we could work on a new version of Competitive Play (Season 1). Again, we expected minor not major iteration after this release but it turned out that we needed to fix more than we originally planned for. So Season 2 became another major chunk of "discovered" work that was not part of our original plan. The majority of Season 2 work was done in a 3-4 week period.

    In addition to the "big" reactive stuff we have to sometimes do, we have our lists of "low hanging fruit" that we like to sneak in between major tasks. For example, in 1.3, Geoff added the ability for all allies to see health bars. This was a pretty easy task for him to implement and an oft requested feature but it was never worth pulling Geoff off more important work (like Ana for example) to move onto this. If you constantly make developers do "low hanging fruit" tasks, they get into a "death by a thousand cuts" syndrome where they really don't have time for those big, meaningful tasks. So you try to balance a mix of scheduled/strategic planning, urgent/reactive tasks and "quick and easy" quality of life tasks.

    It's interesting because things you think might be really easy (like "let me pick a skin before the match starts") are actually a lot of work. It's not always obvious which things will take a lot of time. We're basically always prioritizing and re-prioritizing. At all times we have a plan, but we're also expecting the plan to change.

    Hope this helps answer the question.

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