Blizzard Announces New Workshop Mode for Overwatch

Blizzard Entertainment has announced the Workshop for Overwatch, a mode that expands customization features available to players in the game browser.

Announced through the official Overwatch website, the Workshop is a “simplified game scripting system that expands the customization features available in the Game Browser.” The Workshop is available through Overwatch’s public test region (PTR) server.

On top of already established Overwatch game modes, players can create a script and add rules and unique play conditions to their games. These rules can be applied to movement speed, abilities, damage and healing mechanics, displaying text under certain conditions and more. One specific theoretical mode described was Molten Floor, where a hero will catch fire if they’re on the ground, necessitating players to frequently jump and look for objects to move across.

To create a script, players must first add a rule. Rules contain an event (which defines when the rule will be executed), a condition (an optional list of things that must be true for the rule to apply) and actions (what happens when an event and conditions are met). A share function will allow users to generate a code to help access their creations. A fully detailed description of this process can be found here.

In the Workshop introduction video, game director Jeff Kaplan explained the Workshop, saying it’s robust enough to even “prototype your own Overwatch hero using this system.” He described it as more of a “power user feature” that will apply largely to players with programing backgrounds and some experience scripting engines. He stressed that the Workshop isn’t a map editor, and won’t allow players to add geometry or import art into the game.

For more on Overwatch, check out the currently available Storm Rising event, which seems to tease the game’s next hero.

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Colin Stevens is a news writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.

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