BlizzCon 2018 Overwatch: What’s Next Panel Transcript

B.O.B.

Jason: You can’t talk about Ashe without talking about B.O.B. Guys, I’ll be honest. B.O.B. is my life coach now. Yeah. He’s going to be my mascot. We love B.O.B.

 

B.O.B. was something that just kind of came out of like you saw the storyboard, I gave a description, Mio drew that first pass, then the hat came on; and he just became this character so quickly; and everybody was just like grabbed it. We love B.O.B. and to kind of show you this was JungAh Lee’s, one of her initial concepts for B.O.B. and that’s the approved design for B.O.B.

 

So not only is B.O.B. my life coach, he is also apparently a unicorn, because he’s so rare in production to have something go from just an idea to a final design so quickly. It’s almost unheard of. So… go B.O.B.! Just to kind of show you again how close things went with B.O.B. This was a storyboard, an early storyboard for B.O.B.

 

This is the final frame.

 

So B.O.B. was just meant to be. With Ashe’s design, and the animators are animating her, and she’s coming together great, and we know B.O.B. is just… you know… B.O.B. … there was one final piece of the puzzle, and that is… what does Ashe sound like? Who’s her voice? Who portrays this character?

We knew in this piece even we’ve got a McCree, which is– it’s Matt Mercer. Like Matt Mercer (Audience cheers loudly)… I see his family’s here… Matt is so strong and so talented, and just gives such a great performance that I really– it was like we need somebody to go toe-to-toe with him; and very early on in the process, I had an actress in mind; but I was also the director. I didn’t want my personal bias, my personal opinion to kind of take over, and be like: “I’m forcing this on you guys.”

So it’s good to just come explore the space, and maybe who knows what you’ll find. And so we brought in a bunch of actresses, all of them phenomenal, we’ve been lucky to have so many of them. Again… oh there’s a lot of stuff I’m putting in my back-pocket from like: Yea, yeah. I’m going to remember this voice for something lighter; and then basically, we got about auditions down about 10 auditions left for Ashe.

And I have my editor Nathan run clips of Ashe, and he just started running the dialogue and not telling me who the actress was. It was about the fifth or sixth take, I’m like “that’s it, that’s Ashe.” That’s without a question; and he just started laughing at me. He’s like: “You know what? That was your orig–” and he just started laughing at me. He’s like: “You know what? That was your original take. That was the original person you wanted. That was Jennifer Hale.”

So, clearly, Jennifer is just a powerhouse in the industry. Even if you don’t think you’ve heard her, you’ve heard her; and she is just a– not only the sweetest woman out there, but just she can just bring so much personality into her character, and just so much strength. Just that extra little spice that really brings a character alive, but the other plus we had on this piece is… we have them both in the booth together.

 

And so having them ad-lib, and riff, and just improvise this was just a– to me, this was a fantastic day just to watch this happen. So I cannot wait to see what the rest of the game team does with Ashe, and in the future, or maybe not so far in the future. Who knows.

But something else happened while we were making this cinematic, and when we were making it I started to hear whispers in the hallway. Like “Hey, Ashe might actually– the game team is thinking about making Ashe as a character.” I was like “Really?” I thought maybe we would put her in a comic book, or something like that. After the fact. But a character? That’s awesome; and then, it just gaining steam; and to talk about how that happened, I’d like to hand this over to Geoff.

NEXT: ABILITIES

BlizzCon 2018 Overwatch: What's Next panel transcript
1. Story2. Cinematics3. B.O.B.4. Abilities
5. Concept Art6. Skins

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Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

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