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Wednesday, August 20, 2008
 

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Bill Roper Discusses Diablo III's Art Direction
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

1UP.com has published a new interview with Bill Roper about the demise of Flagship Studios, developer of Hellgate: London. The former Blizzard North VP also took time out from detailing the tribulations of the ill-fated Flagship to briefly discuss the controversy over Diablo III's art direction.

GFW: Have you followed the little minicontroversy about the art direction?
BR: Yeah, it's...not surprising. Only from the standpoint, as we touched on earlier, that the Internet is a place where people like to rail on everything. But it's the art direction they chose to go with. It's a whole different group of guys that worked on it when we were there. So it makes sense [that] they'd probably think about giving you some better visibility, make it easier to play, [and] get a broader audience.

GFW: What was your own gut reaction to the art direction?
BR: I just thought it was different. I think the thing I always liked about the Blizzard North and Blizzard HQ constructs is the fact that they were two very distinct groups. At Irvine, we had a way that we approached things -- game development, art style, from color to character shapes, everything -- that was very distinct from the guys at Blizzard North. I think that it made it pretty compelling when you bought the Diablo titles. You got something that was markedly different from what you got out of a WarCraft or StarCraft. I think now, because everything's down there, you're seeing the Irvine take on the Diablo universe. So it's just the direction they're going with the people they have and the mindset there. I always liked the fact that Diablo was very dark and Gothic and gritty and edgy, but I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with the direction they've gone. They just chose to go a different way.

I think the core Diablo fans are saying, "We really like the dark, edgy, gritty look of that game!" We had people impaled on spikes, for god's sake. And now it's kind of bright and airy and doesn't quite feel the same. But I dunno. I look at it, and it's got high production quality, and it looks like it's going to be really fun to play. I think that wall of zombies is the coolest concept for a spell maybe ever. It's not any different in terms of gameplay mechanics, but it's so cleverly thought-out. I'm gonna raise a wall of undead! Oh my god, why didn't we ever think of that! It's genius! So I look forward to that. Again, it's a take on something, even if it's different.
Visit the page below to read the rest of Roper's comments.

1UP.com: Bill Roper Interview
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Archives  News  Bill Roper Discusses Diablo III's Art Direction