Overwatch: Fan designs an awesome Thai character, competitive bans start soon

    
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Overwatch’s next great character isn’t a product of Blizzard’s labs at all but the imagination of a masters student who whipped up a Thai hero named Tara as part of a school project. The result is a 40-page document with concept art and design specs for the hero, her abilities, her outfits, her weapons, and even a Thailand-themed map called Arun Town.

“I created a female character as a support hero,” the student posted on the forums. “Her name is Tara (meaning ‘water’ in Thai). The character’s theme is a fish, a Siamese fighting fish to be specific, and a plaited bamboo fish which is a local product in Thailand.”

In response, Game Director Jeff Kaplan said that the project was “amazing!”

In official Overwatch news, starting on September 27th, permanent bans will begin to be handed out in competitive play. These are aimed at players who have racked up three or more seasonal bans on their accounts.

“Seasonal bans do not need to be consecutive to qualify for a permanent competitive play ban,” the team said. “Additionally, neither seasonal bans nor permanent competitive play bans will decay or reset over time; once an account is permanently banned, it currently cannot return to good standing.”

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rafael12104

Tara is pretty amazing. It is a MA project and as such shows this students skill in all aspects of design.

So, whatever the SJW might say, that was impressive and I hope this person can realize there work in real terms by launching a career as a concept artist or in character design.

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Tamanous

Brown haired white chick with a tan … or “How to draw Asian”.

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A Dad Supreme

I saw it and thought “Why is Tracer wearing Symmetra’s clothes?” but I don’t play Overwatch so I know very little.

semugh
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semugh

thai “girlfriend” with a surprise lol…

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silverlock

Before insinuating someone else racist you should probably check your facts. Many Thai have fair skin and brown hair.

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Tamanous

You are the only one insinuating that. You missed my point entirely. This is an industry thing and also an issue with identity perception and advertising which is a large issue in many Asian countries but especially Thailand.

White washing is a serious issue and detrimental to cultures who should be proud of their own beauty and not that of western perceptions. If you read the news you’d know of the controversy of “whitening pills” advertisements to lighten skin in Thailand.

I’ve been to Thailand (have you?). I know what they look like and of their regional diversity (from south coast to northern mountains). I am also well aware of the damaging impact western beauty standards has on their country and that this Blizzard sanctioned “Thai” woman with large eyes and near complete lack of Asian features is doing nothing to help this.

Show that picture of this character to anyone and what percentage of answers do you think would say “Totally Thai! So obvious!”. My wife is half Romanian, half German and has darker hair and skin than this and has about the same facial features (more pronounced facial curves from cheeks through jaw). The character lacks nearly any realistic Thai “average” features.

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Bryan Correll

Overwatch has a deliberately cartoonish aesthetic and none of the characters look particularly realistic.

Blizzard sanctioned “Thai” woman

I guess you missed the part that this was all done by a fan. If you want to take Blizzard to task over the depiction of Asian women why don’t you start with Mei who has brown hair, HUGE eyes, and skin that’s downright pale.*

*That was a rhetorical suggestion.

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Duey Bear

First, the design was drawn by a Thai woman, second, it needed to match the facial structure aesthetic of the game, third, Thai cartoons (and cartoons from most any Asian country) draw the eyes rounded, because eyeballs are round for EVERYONE. Many Thai have round lidded eyes without the epithelial, especially in regions closer to Malaysia and Burma, but they can be found everywhere.
The only place it is popular to portray Asians as having less round eyes are in western cartoons in order to make them seem more exotic. Big eyes have been perceived as attractive in every part of the world long before Europeans went conquering.

There are Asians with very narrow eyes, but that is not that typical in SEA, more of a Chinese and Japanese thing, and even there it’s not a universal feature.

Also Tara is quite a bit darker than many cental Thai (she could be Khmer). My dad was stationed in Thailand, I have grown up among SEAsians, and I currently live with Indonesians in an Asian majority neighborhood.

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Bruno Brito

Just found the comment funny.

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A Dad Supreme

” These are aimed at players who have racked up three or more seasonal bans on their accounts.”
======
Man, they sure are generous.

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Arktouros

But is it really a female character…? :thinking:

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Melissa McDonald

/insert glib witticism

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A Dad Supreme

Are you asking is it really a lady, boy?

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Melissa McDonald

Yeah, but only the male Siamese Fighting Fish actually fight.

Wait, this is Overwatch. How dare I try to impose a gender role? ROFL

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Duey Bear

Tara is my new main, please Blizzard… I need this in my life. Pops was stationed in Thailand for a few years so the country always has a special place in my family’s hearts.

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Alex Willis

Thoughts…

1) Amazing designs. I love the look of the gun, esp. the black and purple one.

2) Have the straw-man “SJW” complaints started? Because, you know, “actually, it’s about ethics in game design.”

3) Gazing upon this design, it is apparent that I have no cool skills at all.

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Armsbend

You are good at making numbered lists.

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Alex Willis

comment image

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DeadlyAccurate

That was really well done.

I want to see a Caribbean-themed map. Maybe set on a Belizean island beach, with a Garifuna character to go along with it.

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styopa

Blizzard says “thanks for doing what would have cost us probably $40,000 in design and planning work! We’ll cheerfully profit from your great idea!”

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Minimalistway

Oh it’s not that easy, so much legal issues here, they probably won’t use it at all, or they will buy the idea, but never use it without agreement from the artist.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

Yep, that’s the problem with these things. Artists and writers don’t like people sending them un-requested ideas, because it can put them in legal hot water down the line if that was something they already had (behind the scenes).

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Witches

If they can’t use good ideas, i’m sure some of their competitors can.

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Ket Viliano

It has to do with work for hire laws vs. royalties.
You would need to hire an IP lawyer to sort it out.

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BalsBigBrother

If they do I would hope Blizzard would give credit where it is due if not any monetary consideration. For someone who looks to want to get into game design having that credit on a CV might be better for them in the long term too.

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Armsbend

I’m sure they spend a lot more than that creating the concepts on a major character.