Just a couple of weeks ago, the official forum site of 'Overwatch' was filled with discussions about a new map. The latter, in particular, was not like any other in the game. Basically, players wanted to have an underwater setting to experience a different kind of fun.

As expected, 'Overwatch' director Jeff Kaplan presented himself on the forum site and addressed the discussions. However, to the dismay of expecting fans, Kaplan said that the aforementioned map is unlikely to happen although the idea was definitely interesting.

What if it is possible

Actually, the idea of an underwater level setting has been eagerly discussed in the community way before Horizon Lunar Colony was revealed. Fans just love the thought of seeing the heroes dip themselves in the body of waters. Of course, this would be a beautiful sight, not to mention how the character's movements would be affected by the ocean current. Unfortunately, this was merely a product of imagination.

Kaplan did explain why the aforementioned map is impossible to create in 'Overwatch.' First off, he iterated that every hero in the game is animated by hand using a technology called “key frame animation.” He and his team believe that this technology, in particular, brings out the deepest and interesting personality of a character.

Since an underwater setting requires swimming, each of these heroes will have to undergo “an intense amount of animation.” This is just the base locomotion, as the developers also need to consider the updates of every ability as the map progresses in the game.

The rule of animation

For Kaplan, adding more animation work in 'Overwatch' would result to less animation work for some parts of the game.

Some of these would be the highlights and emotes, although they are just a tiny part of the entire struggle. The game’s director explained that heroes would have to take a great amount of time in development, something that would greatly affect the game’s overall progression. For instance, hero deployment will become scarce.

Simply put, adding an underwater map, at this moment, is impractical.

This reasoning from Kaplan can actually be connected to an area in the newest 'Overwatch' map called Horizon Lunar Colony. Remember, there is an area in the map where gravity is low. It sounds and feels cool, but Blizzard did not really put significance into it, not because it is impossible to do, but because of the legwork it requires. This alone explains why animation in games like Blizzard’s tend to use a developer’s time and resources.