UPDATE 11am Paris Time: Special thanks to Kazo for transcribing the Q&A session. I was able to pass one of the questions to the Diablo III developers onstage. This is the transcript:
Q: We destroyed Diablo, how do you justify him coming back again?
A: You don''t know for sure Diablo is going back. Too complicated to answer at this point without going too much into the story.
Q: In the previous game we had a quest to get the Horadric Cube, will it be there again or similar items acquired through quests?
A: We want the lore to drive gameplay. With certainty there will be quests related to lore.
Q: What all places from Diablo II will we see and how they changed in 20 years?
A: Game starts in New Tristram - outside of Old Tristram. Cain will be there with some other previous NPCs - no specifics at this point.
Q: Do you want to make new villains?
A: Yes and no. There are some new ones. There are seven lesser evil demons, and some are not accounted for that may be introduced.
Q: Are you going to add more easter eggs such as the cow level?
A: We don't have a full list but I'm sure there will be, there are in all Blizzard games.
Q: Inarius was the angel who was allowed to enter hell. Is he still there?
A: As far as we know, he's still there.
Q: What do we get to blow up and smash?
A: It's something we're constantly exploring, we want to hate as much as we can.
Q: How is it possible that people of the world forgot about the events that happened in D2 already. For example what happened in Kurast, it's hard to believe people would just let go.
A: Some through reason, some through denial ....
Diablo III - World Lore and Environment Art Panel
Leonard Boyarsky - Lead World Designer of Diablo III began the discussion panel for the
Diablo III World Lore and Environment Art Panel. Skovos and Caldeum are some of the zones to
be explored in Diablo III. Skovos is an ancient city where the rogues come from.
- Richer History and Deeper characters: NPCs will say where they come from to make it feel
like you are playing in a living world to reflect their culture and philosophies. Caldeum
population have a eastern kind of look.
Brian Morrisroe - Art Director of Diablo III discussed the following:
- Purpose of story:
Give context to player's actions
- Deepen experiene of the Diablo universe.
Player voice is a feature to be implemented in Diablo III, making the storytelling more
engaging. Your character will feel more involved in the action as often happens in most
Use environment to tell story. The story takes place 20 years after Lord of Destruction.
Story until now
Twenty years later
- Cain convinced Hell will invade
- Events of Diablo 1 and Diablo II seen as legend.
Some of the characters of previous games may still be alive.
Why hasn't Hell invaded?
What has happened to Tyrael? He was forced to destroy the Worldstone. Where has he been ever
since? Did it changed him as a result of this? Everyone expected Hell to invade Sanctuary,
but for twenty years nothing has happened.
Respecting the pastiablo II
- Expanded upon original
- Introduced new areas of the world
Updating a lassisc
- Exploring a new visual look
- Respect the Franchise
- Expectations set by the previous games
Stylization over realism
- Stylized does not mean cartoony
- Altered reality
- Consistency in style creates believability
Blizzard is exploring the idea of bringing a unique look to the Diablo universe, but not so
- Big bold shaps
- Adds to epic feel
- Helps overall readability
Adds to the epic feel. Everything in real life is so straight, but in the game Blizzard tries
adding odd silhouettes, and characteristics that highlight scenarious and make them
interesting and vibrant.
Don't be afraid of color
- color is used to convey mood
- Selectie pallettes establish horror vibe
- Accent colors draw attention
- Bring life to an otherwise static scene
- Background movement adds believability
- Destructible objects are just fun!
You can break stuff to help you harm or kill monster. It is freaking cool to break stuff in
scenes, stomping stuff.
Supporting the gameplay
- Philosophies to support play experience
If you don't know where you are going and can't distinguish monsters in the environment it
doesn't make the game more enjoyable, and that's something Blizzard is perfecting from the
ground up in the development of environment and gameplay.
- Design layout
The artists discuss how to create dungeons making a room at a time, and later glueing them
together with exits and entrances that interconnect each room.
Iterate until it's done