I modded Mei from Overwatch into Duelyst

Modding is easier than you might imagine, and you could start today.

I've spent the last few days recreating Mei from Overwatch in the style of a Duelyst general. It was primarily just a fun project to get better at pixel art in my spare time, but my first experience of creating a mod has given me the taste for more. You can watch the video above to see how she looks in-game (against a bot), and the gif below shows all the animations I had to make.

To get Mei into the game I decided to re-skin the Vanar general Faie, who's a snow-themed character that has one deck archetype all about building ice walls. Note that the changes are only local, so any opponents I play won't see a difference. I made the art and all 70 frames of animation in a program called Aseprite, then lined up the corresponding frames on Faie's original sprite sheet file with my custom ones and replaced them. 

I feel like I did a good enough job replicating the Duelyst art style for my own satisfaction, but I now have new admiration for the animators at Counterplay Games. They cram an amazing amount of detail into very few pixels. I didn't have the skill to make Mei's arms and legs only one or two pixels wide like they do, but it was a fun challenge.

Combining two games I love for my first ever mod was a great motivation to learn. The whole process has given me an even bigger appreciation for the amazing work modders and artists do. I never really thought about how many different animations a character needs until I had to recreate them, and in this case I was able to use a few of Faie's base animations as a template for some of the harder stuff.

Honestly, you should try modding one of your favorite games. It's not nearly as hard as I was expecting it to be, and it's a unique way to feel more connected to a game you like. Avoid the idea that you need to make a perfect mod that will get a million downloads and just try making some fun tweaks for yourself. The results are definitely worth the learning curve.


Tom is PC Gamer’s Associate Editor. He enjoys platformers, puzzles and puzzle-platformers. He also enjoys talking about PC games, which he now no longer does alone. Tune in every Wednesday at 1pm Pacific on Twitch.tv/pcgamer to see Tom host The PC Gamer Show.
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