Here’s how Blizzard is improving the Overwatch Play of the Game

By Sherif Saed, Monday, 30 May 2016 20:36 GMT

Blizzard is trying to teach computers how to pick the best plays in Overwatch, but that’s not easy.

Overwatch: Origins Edition_20160526225909

Here’s how Blizzard is improving the Overwatch Play of the Game

One of the best parts of Overwatch is a little feature that shows a short highlight clip at the end of every game. It’s called Play of the Game, but not everyone is a fan.

The highlight tends to favour damage heroes a lot of the time, and you’ve probably seen a few where Torbjorn was the star, even though he was dead and his turrets did all the work.

On the other hand, support-based heroes like Mercy or Lucio, don’t get it as often as they should, given how their unique playstyles don’t often help them score kills.

Blizzard, too, knows there are a few ways to make Play of the Game better. “From a technical standpoint, it’s a really hard problem to have a computer figure out what is cool. They’re not very smart,” lead software engineer Rowan Hamilton explained to Gamespot.

“They take some numbers in, they put some numbers out. It’s hard to figure out what is cool there.

“We constantly look at Play of the Game, and we’ve got a whole bunch of data on Play of the Games are actually happening out there in the wild, and we can kind of see patterns about this character getting a lot of PoTG for these killstreaks, they’re getting a lot of damage, or they’re getting a Play of the Game for that.”

“So a snipe of someone half a screen away who was just chilling out and waiting to be headshot won’t be weighted as heavily as a Tracer zipping across, barely in sight that you manage to pick off.”

According to Hamilton Blizzard would watch a PotG, mess around with the values that helped pick it, and play the same game again to see what they could change.

“So it might’ve been Widowmaker getting three snipes, but I change the weighting on some other aspect that we take as important, and it could all of a sudden its Mercy resurrecting everyone on the point two second before the match ended. It’s going to be an ongoing process, and hopefully we continue to improve it,” added Hamilton.

“We’ve added some stuff recently, such as determining how hard a shot was to hit based on how fast the target was moving, how far away the target was moving. So a snipe of someone half a screen away who was just chilling out and waiting to be headshot won’t be weighted as heavily as a Tracer zipping across, barely in sight that you manage to pick off.

“We’re constantly looking at different things we can add to that.”

You read the rest of the interview at the link where the developer explains how Blizzard came up with the idea for Play of the Game and more.

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