One incredibly important yet criminally under-appreciated area of game design is aural feedback. That is, the sounds games make to tell players that they’ve done something. Whether it’s the swoosh of a menu screen as it moves or the ding of a level gained in an RPG, great games usually feature great sound design.
Blizzard, in particular, is known for their wonderful sound design. That continues in Overwatch, as the sound the game makes when your bullets hit an enemy was created with something special. Beer.
The word comes from the Overwatch subreddit as Redditor Ohrwurms posted the text from an Overwatch book.
Another extremely challenging sound is the “hit-pip.” When you hit someone, you need to know you made contact. The sound needs to cut through the mix but not feel like it comes from any hero. It went through tons of iteration. Finally, one night I thought, ” It should be satisfying to hit an enemy.” Just think about what’s satisfying: beer. So I literally opened a beer bottle. pssht. The sound is reversed and tweaked a little, but that sound is our hit-pip.
Sure enough, when you listen closely, the hit confirmation absolutely sounds like a beer bottle being cracked open. I grabbed a bit of my recordings from the game. Listen to the sound that’s played when McCree’s shots land.