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Thursday, July 24, 2008

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Diablo III: Head Biting, Outdoor Environments
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Once again commenting on Diablo III, the eagerly awaited next installment in the action RPG series, Blizzard community manager Bashiok has answered a few more fan questions about the game. Among other things the discussion covers decapitation by bite and the difference between indoor and outdoor dungeon generation.

The awesome biting off of heads and such...does it relate to game play in some way, or is it a visual effect?
Well the way we imagined the final fight going down when thinking about the flow of the presentation was to have a few heroes killed off, and thought it would be cooler to see someone get ripped in half by a giant demon than just fall down. While it was an event made for the presentation it could definitely be worked in to the actual end-product. We try not to spend time on anything that can't be incorporated in some way. If there's a mockup or some cool flavor added in somewhere to show something off, we want to build it so that it can actually be used.

Outdoor environments. Are they for the most part randomly generated like the dungeons? I've been getting the impression there are more static areas , excluding cities, in the outdoors as opposed to the dungeons.
They're for the most part static. With the outdoor environments we felt we could get a lot more out of them by crafting large and visually impressive scenes, which random map generation really just doesn't allow for all that well. By that same token one of the main goals with Diablo III is to flesh out Sanctuary, to make it feel more like you're in this living and breathing world. With towns shifting around everywhere you do sort of lose a sense of cohesion, and an attachment to the places you're visiting.
On a very slight technical note - for random map generation you're essentially creating a bunch of rooms that can all fit together in various ways. It works quite well for a dungeon which is essentially a series of rooms any way. For an outdoor environment though it tends to make it either fairly bland, or fairly linear just by how the edges have to line up. You're either running zig-zag patterns to find the map edges, or you're running down a narrow pathway. Neither are extremely compelling, and at the same time you're losing the visual grandness that could come from a fully hand-crafted and artistically realized environment.
That said, the outdoor areas aren't completely static.

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Archives  News  Diablo III: Head Biting, Outdoor Environments