Now's art design stream was all about Overwatch's next hero, Hammond AKA Wrecking Ball. We discovered that the two mythical skins Hammond receives at launch will be Junkertown and Horizon Lunar Colony themed.
Blizzard's Arnold Tsang and Ben Zhang shared some fun facts throughout the flow, such as the fact that Hammond's favorite color is purple, and then got to work with drawing on the Horizon Lunar Colony launch skin players can unlock for Wrecking Ball. We also learned a great deal about the design process that led to Hammond, and also how he became Hero 28.
Players must find a good deal of different theories for the enthusiast would eventually become Hammond. From the beginning, they knew they needed a cute hero. At one stage, the gameplay hook in mind was a"free-flying flamethrower" hero. That ended up leading to Jetpack Cat, the notorious hero who was eventually fought for not being thematically appropriate.
The other layout track was"the demolitionist", who would eventually become Junkrat. One of these concepts turned to"Ball Guy", a chunk who could become a man and a guy who could become a ball. The group was not clear if this was a man or a omnic, but the spherical concept captured.
The team got to work, making up a concept for Ball Guy based around 1) being a ball and 2) magnetic powers that could be used for tanking and drawing on fire (quite literally). Eventually, Ball Guy was scrapped. There were also too many omnics from the functions, such as Bastion and Zenyatta... but the group returned to the idea of a cute hero and started to merge those tracks.
This is pretty close to the Wrecking Ball of today, but the group really needed the protagonist to be adorable. This omnic Hammond was cool, but what's cuter than a real life hamster you can cuddle?
Blizzard worked on many stylized hamsters, with Tracer as a concept. The artists mentioned Eastern artwork styles as inspiration for Hammond; the Overwatch art fashion is meant to be East meets West, and Asian artwork of critters ended up factoring heavily into the final style of Hammond the hamster.
Through the flow, we got to find a beautiful drawing of Wrecking Ball's Horizon skin come to life.