Sometimes you have to get creative with how you tell a story, and for video games, this is doubly true. And for video games that focus on gameplay over story, this is triply true. For the team behind Overwatch, they’ve acknowledged that when the game launched, there wasn’t a lot of story per se, but what there was were animated shorts that detailed the characters in the universe and gave you a voice, a feeling, and a connection to the characters.
Recently, their latest short focused on one fan-favorite character. Called “Rise and Shine,” it showed Mei awakening from Cryosleep and realizing that not only was she asleep for years, but that her co-workers were all dead, and that she needed to escape in order to survive. In a special video, Blizzard talked in depth about how this particular short was made.
Right off the bat, the team notes that though Mei is a very bright and cheery character, they wanted to show that in her backstory, there was a lot of tragedy, and that would tie into her personality. In fact, the team had been looking forward to doing a Mei short for some time, but they wanted to make sure they got the “hook” right.
One of those hooks was the view of science in the world of Overwatch. Because characters like Mei, or even Winston, rely on their brain power to help others, including building the tech you see in the game. If you look back at the previous shorts, none of them focused on scientists, so Mei gets to be the first in that respect.
The other thing they wanted to show off was Mei’s personality, and show how she never gives up even when she loses everything. And in the end, you realize why Mei is one of the favorites of the Overwatch crew.