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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Diablo 3 - Jay Wilson on Art Direction and Necromancers

Default Diablo 3 - Jay Wilson on Art Direction and Necromancers

August 6th, 2008, 07:53
A fascinating article at MTV sees Diablo 3 lead designer Jay Wilson commenting on a bunch of fan-modified screens preferred by the "change Diablo 3's art direction" lobby. Not everyone will agree with his conclusions but I'd love to see more interaction with designers like this. A sample:
Wilson: I think one of the things that these lack is if you stuck every one of these re-done shots right next to each other you would not be able to tell that they’re in different areas. One of the things that’s key to “Diablo II” — and I’ve gone through and done timing on it — it changes environments every 15 minutes, and every 45 minutes they give you an environment that looks completely different than one you’ve ever seen before. And when they change environments, the contrast is huge. It’s like I’m in green lush fields, and now I’m in the darkest dungeon you’ve ever seen. I’m in a bright sandy desert, and now I’m in a completely dim mummy tomb. There are these vast shifts in look, and it’s one of the things that keeps people interested in playing the game.
It’s a very simple game, and [you need to ] constantly vary what you throw at the player — big look changes in the environment, creature changes with different behavior. And not just behavior; we spent a lot of time trying to make creatures show up and die more interestingly. Because those are all the things that keep you going. Each one of those things is a reward. When you pull all the color out of the environment and you make it too homogeneous across the game, essentially what you’re doing is you’re pulling away the player’s reward of feeling like they’ve progressed because the area they’re in now looks like the area they were in 30 to 45 minutes ago.
Also at MTV, Jay explains why the Necromancer class was dropped. Apparently it was controversial internally:
“There’s a lot of people on our team who aren’t happy with our class choices,” he admitted. “But after we’ve established ‘Diablo III’ as its own game with its own type of gameplay and experiences, I wouldn’t be opposed to looking at old classes. We are trying to design [the Witch Doctor] class so that if we did bring back the Necromancer, there’s room for him. We’re looking out ahead of time at what our expansions are going to be, so we’ve got to keep room open for some of those other classes down the road.”
Wilson added, “It’s one of those things where, unless we put like 30 classes in the game, people are going to be unhappy. But if we put 30 classes in the game, we’d hurt the game. I think that of the classes that we’ve chosen, there will be something for everyone. I’m not worried that people won’t be able to find a class that they like to play.”
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August 6th, 2008, 07:53
mmm I have to say: I had my doubts about the colour seme too.
After seeing all those pics and the darkened pics, I have to give my compliments to Blizzard: It is better like it is now.
I still fear that it will loose a bit of the creepyness, but I am sure they will make it great

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August 6th, 2008, 09:17
Originally Posted by titus View Post
mmm I have to say: I had my doubts about the colour seme too.
After seeing all those pics and the darkened pics, I have to give my compliments to Blizzard: It is better like it is now.
I still fear that it will loose a bit of the creepyness, but I am sure they will make it great
They said that the game world will turn considerably for the worse as you progress through the game. I for one wouldn't want to spend every hour in dark and grey environments. I like color and I like diversity.
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August 6th, 2008, 09:47
Originally Posted by danutz_plusplus View Post
I for one wouldn't want to spend every hour in dark and grey environments.
Yah, that's what "work" is for.
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August 6th, 2008, 11:12
In several of the dungeons in Diablo 2, I had to turn up the brightness just to see where I actually was and what I was doing. I don't consider that kind of darkness "creepy", I consider it frustrating.

I certainly don't mind the current colours at all.
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August 6th, 2008, 11:27
Jay gives a good and detailed explanation of the character class trait clashes ie: necromancer and witch-doctor. I agree that to reintroduce the necromancer at some later stage may cause not only in-game confusion but developer chaos, its best decided from the outset. Why have two very similar trated characters? - by omitting one, gamers will more appreciate the new identity emphasis and character distinction thus leaving the necromancer as he was best known in the Diablo 2 archives while promoting the Diablo 3 witch doctor.

I personally don't mind the necromancer being dropped as long as the replacement witch doctor is still able to wreak havoc and mayhem mainly by the use of pets, a main trait of previous Diablo's.

Yep, the game is looks great, yay! for the witch doctors, bring em on.
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August 6th, 2008, 13:07
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
In several of the dungeons in Diablo 2, I had to turn up the brightness just to see where I actually was and what I was doing. I don't consider that kind of darkness "creepy", I consider it frustrating.

I certainly don't mind the current colours at all.
Indeed, for me I find most of the creepiness, in any game and not just in Diablo, actually comes from the sound/music, not from the darkness of the image. The only thing that image darkness gives me is physical eye pain. But a well placed scream, bats flying and most of all an excellent soundtrack that's all I need. My biggest pleasure in reaching The Den in Fallout 2 is just hearing its excellent music track.
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August 6th, 2008, 20:17
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
In several of the dungeons in Diablo 2, I had to turn up the brightness just to see where I actually was and what I was doing. I don't consider that kind of darkness "creepy", I consider it frustrating.

I certainly don't mind the current colours at all.
Well, there was a light magic for something. Turning the brightness up is a means of cheating… Well, sort off. It's pitch black in some dungeons, and it's meant to be like that.

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August 6th, 2008, 20:30
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Yah, that's what "work" is for.
too true…
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