What if Overwatch’s existing in-game text chat was integrated into the custom games workshop? This chat could be a two-way channel, allowing players to receive messages from the custom game and send them back (if they send a valid command or input), much like our existing match, group, and direct message channels.
Benefits and Additional Information
This integration could revolutionize custom games in Overwatch:
- Simplified NPC Interactions: Instead of creating complex floating text or on-screen text for custom NPCs, you could code their interactions using chat messages with specific colors and names. This would streamline map creation and make it more efficient.
- Enhanced Custom Game Modes: Think about game modes where you need to type long codes to load progress from previous games or games like Pictionary where typing answers quickly is crucial to getting the most points. On screen keyboards can be finicky depending on resolution or FOV. This feature would make these modes a lot smoother for players.
- Better Chat Moderation: The Overwatch team would have a more effective means to monitor and control behavior in custom games, reducing toxicity and ensuring a more positive experience for everyone.
- Increased Game Longevity: By improving the workshop with this feature, Overwatch 2’s longevity could receive a significant boost. Think about how modding communities extend the life of games like Skyrim and Minecraft. This could have a similar effect on Overwatch, keeping the player base engaged for years to come.
- Effortless Activation of Functions: With integrated text chat, players can send custom commands to the workshop without compromising the functionality of their keybinds or communication wheel. This opens up a whole new level of customization and interaction within custom games.
- Reduced On-Screen Clutter: Think of all the custom games you have played where you where instantly assaulted with text all over your HUD the moment you loaded in. Integrated text chat would minimize the need for on-screen instructions and information, reducing visual clutter and creating a cleaner gameplay experience.
Closing Statement and Questions
My question to the Overwatch devs is simple, “Is this even possible?” None of us players truly know the inner workings of Overwatch, but it may not even be possible to integrate the text chat into the workshop if the text chat runs on a separate server that isn’t able to communicate with the server that runs the workshop in a way that affects the workshop’s running script. If it is possible, can it be done in a way that doesn’t break current workshop scripts?
To my fellow Workshop Creators I’d also like to ask what they think of this idea. Is this something they would use? Do they think it would be beneficial to the workshop community if this feature was implemented, and how so? How would they use this feature?
To the players of Overwatch who actively enjoy custom games, how often do you think you would benefit from this? Would you prefer to use text commands to avoid compromising your keybinds and communication wheel? I’m not suggesting we remove the ability to activate functions in the way we do now, just adding the ability to use chat instead if that’s desired in the game you’re in.