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January 16, 2021
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Video: How Blizzard designed and built Overwatch's replay tech

April 26, 2019 | By Staff

April 26, 2019 | By Staff
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More: Console/PC, Design, Video, Vault

From its inception, the replay system for Blizzard's multiplayer shooter Overwatch needed to support a variety of customer-facing and internal needs.

In a fast-paced, team-oriented first-person shooter like Overwatch "kill cams" help you understand how your hero died, Highlights and "plays of the game" celebrate individual prowess and team excellence, and replays prove invaluable in reproducing bugs.

At GDC 2017, Blizzard's Philip Orwig gave an illuminating talk about how these systems were built, digging into (among other things) how to develop a replay system in parallel with your network model, how to generate and transfer reels within a hard respawn deadline, and how (and why) Blizzard refactored their game client architecture to support an interruptible kill cam.

It was rich in technical details, and now you can watch it (completely free!) over on the official GDC YouTube channel!

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its accompanying YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC or VRDC already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

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