The best design goes unnoticed. Well, sometimes. At least in games, there’s always a lot of information flying at users at once. A great developer finds ways to send information that is easy to ingest.
Blizzard’s stepping up and doing just that for Overwatch. This time it’s a nifty trick with audio. As heroes fire their weapons and approach zero ammunition, some audio cues engage to give that information to users. The heroes with the addition include Winston, Zarya, Mei and Symmetra.
Reddit user HexZyle spotted some aural changes to specific heroes in the PTR (Public Test Realm) for Overwatch. These changes aren’t in the full client yet. Here’s one example with Winston’s gun. Listen closely as he approaches low ammo.
Furthermore, Lucio’s healing song changes pitch when he’s critical. Another useful audio cue.
Blizzard demonstrates another neat design trick with Overwatch
As I’m playing tons and tons of multiplayer games that throw heaps of important information at users constantly, I look upon Overwatch with amazement. While it’s certainly a more straightforward shooter than, say, Battlefield 1, Blizzard found a way to cut down on complexity for gamers.
These aural cues, while admittedly minor, jump into a pile of already present user-facing features that make Overwatch a satisfying experience. I love that about this game.