One of the best parts of Overwatch is the epic ‘Play of the Game’ moment that is highlighted at the end of each match. It’s been pointed out by many players that the chosen moment can be incredibly random at times. In an interview with Gamespot, software engineer, Rowan Hamilton has discussed how the moment is chosen as well as how the mechanic is being tweaked using match information.
How they got a great balance:
“We also have a lot of cool systems internally where we can play with the algorithm that determines Play of the Game and play the same game back again, and be like, “Okay if I tweak these numbers, what’s going to be the Play of the Game that gets picked this time?” 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.”
On the variety of things taken into account:
“Yeah. There’s a lot of different variables. I’m not intimately familiar with the system so I can’t speak to all of them, but there’s obvious stuff like damage and kills. There’s stuff like healing, I think at point when we were tweaking it Zenyatta would almost always get Play of the Game every time he popped his ultimate, because he would just do this massive amount of healing and the algorithm would almost always freak out, but it was just Zenyatta just sitting there floating.”
On support players being able to receive the award:
“So a lot of support actions do come into it, 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.”