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Tuesday, September 22, 2009
 

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The Making Of Diablo III
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Gamasutra has published a new interview with Blizzard Entertainment's Julian Love and Kevin Martens about the eagerly anticipated action RPG, Diablo III. In the interview the developers discussed the game's long development process, staying true to the game's history, and integrating the game into the new Battle.net.

Diablo III was announced last year; it's been playable twice at Blizzcon now. Mike Morhaime suggested it probably won't be out until 2011. Does it feel like the development time has been extended to a surprising degree? Do you ever think, "Oh God, this really will be a while longer now?"

Kevin Martens: Here's the secret to Blizzard games, and this is a secret that won't help any of our competitors: endless iteration. We'll take something, we'll put it in the game. Maybe we'll like it when we put it in, maybe we won't. We'll leave it in there for a while, we'll let it percolate. We'll play it and play it and play it, and then we'll come back. We might throw it all out, or we'll throw half of that out and redo it.

It can be a long time, but it is fun to work on as well. That's the thing that keeps you going. Multiplayer always works, and the builds are always playable. We've played them constantly, and it's fun. You actually look forward to the weekly play session even though the game is still in progress. That's what keeps us going, and that's also why it takes so long. We'll do it over and over again until it's just right.

On the topic of Blizzard North and Blizzard Entertainment though, I do feel there was a difference in style between the Blizzard North and South games. The Diablo titles had a more baroque, intricate look, more tilework and stonework "along the grid." Diablo III is more of a blend of that style with the current Blizzard South style. How long did it take you to settle on the look for Diablo III?

Julian Love: Well, it took a while for us to settle on the actual style, but I don't think it was due any kind of difference between Blizzard North and Blizzard South philosophy. It had more to do with the fact that we were moving the game from a two-dimensional technology platform to a three-dimensional technology platform.

Issues like lighting and separation between the characters and the backgrounds are handled in entirely different ways -- ironing out how to get what we felt was a Diablo vibe while still managing to get the characters to pop.

Looking at D2, for instance, those characters are super bright, super colorful. They pop out of the backgrounds. So, we had to try to bring that forward, but at the same time we don't want to just rest on that art style and do the exact same game.

We want to elevate that. We've got to look at the other games that Blizzard does, learn from the things that they've done that make those games better, and really progress. I think what you're seeing in the art style is our idea of the actual progression of the Diablo universe.

We're heard a lot about some of what Battle.net is doing for StarCraft II -- a deeper league system, a mod community, and so on. Can you speak at all about how Diablo III will take advantage of the new Battle.net in gameplay terms?

Kevin Martens: We're definitely using it. A lot of the things that StarCraft is doing, we're paying really close attention to. We've got coders from the Diablo development team working on Battle.net to make sure that they're laying the groundwork for the things we want to do.

Primarily at this point, we're interested in trying to make the co-op game as fast and as easy for players to get into as we can.

More co-op support is our primary interest, and the rest of the Battle.net stuff, we'll develop as StarCraft II develops it. We're watching that process, and we definitely like what we see.
Visit the link below for the rest of the Q&A.

Gamasutra: The Road To Diablo III
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
Buy Diablo III


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Archives  News  The Making Of Diablo III