Warcraft Rumble devs on Onyxia’s new aesthetic & 'massive presence'

Warcraft Rumble devs on Onyxia’s new aesthetic & 'massive presence'
Image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Written by 

Amy Eastland


16th Oct 2023 11:05

Warcraft Rumble is the newest mobile game on the scene created by Blizzard Entertainment. This game brings the most loved characters from World of Warcraft, to this toy-like tower defence game where you have to take down foes from all over Azeroth, with the end boss being the fearsome Onyxia.

Warcraft Rumble is similar to a tower defence game, where you have to battle familiar bosses from the Warcraft franchise, including Warcraft 2 and 3. You have to create a careful strategy in order to succeed, as you fight minions who are only susceptible to certain types of damage. As you level up and progress through the game, you can choose new minis to add to your team and create the perfect team to take down any boss you come across. Every new boss requires a different strategy, keeping the player on their toes!

With such a huge boss like Onyxia, how did the devs manage to add such a huge dragon to the game without making her seem insignificant? This is what developers Justine Hamer and Brendan Farrell, a Senior Artist and Senior Game Designer, had to say about bringing the monstrous dragon to the game on the small screen.

Building Onyxia’s presence

Gnoll level up in Warcraft Rumble
Click to enlarge

Onyxia is famously a huge part of World of Warcraft, and making her presence in Warcraft Rumble significant was imperative to the devs of Warcraft Rumble. “A big challenge was Onyxia. We wanted her to be this massive presence, this goal you want to work towards since she’s the final boss.” Hamer explained, “When we’re working with the scale of toy minis, how do we really sell that?”

When playing the game, the characters are small and meant to look like toys so that players can get the feeling that these characters are tangible toys that you’d be able to hold in your hand. 

Compared to most minis, Onyxia is considerably larger than the others. “She takes up a whole quadrant of the screen. She is ten times the size of the biggest mini.” Whilst she is the biggest mini, it was imperative that she still fits in with the stylisation of Warcraft Rumble, and her detail is in line with the other minis. 

Designing the Minis

Warcraft Rumble battle
Click to enlarge

Justine Hamer plays a huge role in the designing of the minis, being the Senior Artist for the game. Conjuring the intent of the game and bringing Warcraft to a mobile audience is a work between all of the teams, but making sure that the design was true to Warcraft style and also making it work on a smaller scale was important. Hamer explained, “There were quite a few different philosophies, we wanted to bring the Warcraft universe to the mobile audience, which means making it into a format that looks and feels good on a mobile device."

For Hamer, the most important thing was making sure it looked good and the “sensation of engaging with the Warcraft universe is present.” They did this in a manner of ways, but including well-known characters that will have their own quests and missions to do was an element that came to the forefront. 

For more World of Warcraft, have a look at our homepage. Or, check out what the WoW devs had to say about 10.2's new features.

Amy Eastland
About the author
Amy Eastland
Amy was a Guides Writer for GGRecon. She has a BA (Hons) in Creative Writing and Journalism, and has previously worked for companies such as Gfinity and HITC. Her favourite games include Dark Souls 3, Elden Ring, and Crash Bandicoot Warped. When she's not at work, she's hanging out with her black cat, Shelby.
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