Bill Roper Shares Diablo III Thoughts

1UP cut a great World-Exclusive interview with Bill Roper, former Blizzard North Executive & Spokesman that we all love. In this 8-shocking pages interview he faces the fans for first time after the Flagship Studios crisis with the facts behind the dissolution of the game studios; and the fate of the Hellgate: London and Mythos IPs. We get to see the other side of the coin after Handbisoft's claims that they had presented various offers which were rejected. Not everything was as colorful as Hanbitsoft painted it [And by Hanbitsoft, I mean T3].

This is a Diablo III fansite, so I am gonna try to stick to that. Below you have a couple of quotes from the interview. You can read other comments made by Bill Roper concerning the Diablo III art direction through page four and five. His opinion on Diablo III is very valuable. Personally, myself and all the crew (and fans) wish Bill Roper the best in the immediate present and future. I know these are very hard times. I held one of the first, if not the first, Hellgate: London fan site interviews with Bill Roper on August 27, 2005. And, prior to that, was surprised to get emailed by him for other personal matters. I have always been a fan of him and his work. As such, it pains me as much and as close as it would a brother.
GFW: Have you thought about how you would feel if they get some team together and actually somehow cobble it into a game? Are you going to have mixed feelings -- like you're glad that somebody was finally able to put this baby out -- or do you wish that it just got killed with you guys?

BR: I think what I would really want to see is that there was some way where Travis [Baldree] and his guys were able to finish their game. It's pretty different from, for example, how I feel about the Diablo III stuff. I'm excited to see Diablo III, because it's a whole new thing. They've got a whole new direction on it. They have a few of the guys that worked at Blizzard North still around, but there's a whole new team on it, and it's like, OK, it's their license, and they're trying to really move the bar and do something different with the Diablo license. Yeah, I'm excited when I see what they're coming up with.

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. With Mythos, it's a thing where...it's mostly done, and you want the guys who were working on it, pouring their vision into it, their heart and soul into it, to be the ones who complete it. Short of somebody else being involved with the project, I don't really see that happening.

Comments

  • #1 G.I.R
    First! I love the direction there taking diablo, just can't wait to see the other classes:P

    I also got the feeling that BR didn't like the direction diablo 3 was going, or maybe thats just me.
  • #2 Veltras
    I agree with Roper, people on the forums are complaining just because well that's what a lot of people on the forums do, and they chose the art direction because it's a cheesy topic to discuss.

    Blizzard North did a kickass job, but all they did was merely introducing the franchise. Truly Diablo III is going to be greater than I and II put together :thumbsup:
  • #3 Cureingangel
    Quote from "Veltras" »
    Truly Diablo III is going to be greater than I and II put together


    Totally agree Veltras diablo 3 is going to put diablo 1 and 2 to shame
  • #4 Kenzai
    Quote from "Veltras" »
    I agree with Roper, people on the forums are complaining just because well that's what a lot of people on the forums do, and they chose the art direction because it's a cheesy topic to discuss.

    Blizzard North did a kickass job, but all they did was merely introducing the franchise. Truly Diablo III is going to be greater than I and II put together :thumbsup:


    Quote from "Cureingangel" »
    Totally agree Veltras diablo 3 is going to put diablo 1 and 2 to shame

    (Bolded parts)

    Dont say that. Diablo I is something special.

    Only thing i can do anymore is to hope that theyll improve the game in a way that itll look a little more like Diablo.
  • #5 biff_exploder
    there's no doubt diablo 3 is going to rock pretty hard, but lets see if it will take my prize from Diablo 1 for greatest game ever :P
  • #6 Skaarj
    i dont get what so awesome with the wall of zombies
    its very cool concept, but it looked very cheap (zombies attacking the air)
  • #7 DaRkZOne
    It is a good concept ... This wall of zombies may be good on a Player vs Moster .. but in a PvP .. not .. i meen that a caster can easly deal with it .
  • #8 TheBloody-Nine
    Totally agree Veltras diablo 3 is going to put diablo 1 and 2 to shame


    You can't just compare new games with old ones like that. You have to compare them by the time of their releases. Sure, d3 is going to be great, no doubt. But when d1 came out, it was something completely new. It both looked and sounded so good, it was extremely moody and I remember playing it by my friends house. We were sitting there, in his parents basement, on our toes while venturing deeper down that dark, horrible cathedral. The deep, thundering drums echoing to the eery chorus in the background, It was just that scary.

    Maybe it was also because I was a kid then and felt it more vividly but still, that's how I remember it. And I doubt any future game can live up to that, no matter how good.
  • #9 shelledfade
    Well after reading that article I'm glad I never bought hellgate london lol. Looks like they just did not have enough money.

    Bill roper seemed very well aware that the art style was very different for diablo 3 than in 1 or 2. He seemed to skip around if he actually liked it or not by saying "its different", but I guess that's just him being nice :P.

    I am one of the people though that will never give up hopes for the art style changing though, even if its just a small change (i'd take anything over what they have now). I mean they purposely showed that specific trailer for what they were going to be making for D3 and it missed my expectations by about a mile. :(

    Blizzard should consider hiring him for art director for diablo 3 lol.

    Hell... hire anyone please, just take this version of diablo 3 and make it much more less like WoW and the warcraft chain in general. It needs to be more realistic and better graphics... I mean thats what diablo 2 was attempting to do and thats what seperated them from the other blizzard franchises.

    Please make it better someone! I really really dont want to play WoW 1.5. I'll buy it and play it anyway... but that doesnt mean a piece of me wont be left behind with the real diablo franchise.
  • #10 jewunit69
    You guys who complain about the art are seriously lame. If you want art go to a %&^#ing art museum for christ sake. You say it looks like warcraft games and isn't the separated diablo franchise anymore. YOU'RE WRONG because it's not the art that made diablo what it was. It was the gameplay and the fact that it's not MMO like WoW and GW and those type of games. It's unique GAMEplay is what makes it unique and that wont change very much thank you stop complaining about fancy arts and graphics. D2 is 2-D and I play it, I don't need better gfx
  • #11 shelledfade
    Quote from "jewunit69" »
    You guys who complain about the art are seriously lame. If you want art go to a %&^#ing art museum for christ sake. You say it looks like warcraft games and isn't the separated diablo franchise anymore. YOU'RE WRONG because it's not the art that made diablo what it was. It was the gameplay and the fact that it's not MMO like WoW and GW and those type of games. It's unique GAMEplay is what makes it unique and that wont change very much thank you stop complaining about fancy arts and graphics. D2 is 2-D and I play it, I don't need better gfx



    People keep saying that its the gameplay thats important. So if the game really looked like something from pokemon and pokemon was actually made by blizzard, you would not complain? Right. that makes a lot of sense. rofl.

    The fact is it looks a lot like WoW. When it could look a lot better with it staying in its own territory and not copy/pasting from WoW. WoW is a great game, but its visuals are very corny after awhile.

    And why should it be corny, when it can be great?

    Oh, and i still play D2/lod as well. And it looks nothing like warcraft.
  • #12 Creepsville
    These arguments from people complaining about the art direction are old, especially when they show up in every other thread.

    Your Pokemon comparison holds no weight because the new Diablo is nowhere near the same level of cartoony that Pokemon uses. Also, the game does not look like WoW. It does look like a Blizzard game though and it appears as if Diablo has evolved into a much more engaging and rich game environment.

    Change is good. Evolution of a game is inevitable if the people working on it have any talent. WoW has not been copy and pasted. That's lazy arguing from jaded kids who like to use the net as a soap box for railing against everything.
  • #13 LarryNC
    I agree so much with Bill - Blizzard North was not Blizzard South. Blizzard North was truely a different company (Condor actually, so actually not Blizzard at all) and Blizzard South (Blizzard) only really made Warcraft, and Starcraft - so now that Blizzard is now making Diablo III, and not Blizzard North (Condor).. they are putting a Starcraft / Warcraft artistic twist on it - genius.

    I also hope Hellgate: London gets back on its feet - I would love to purchase a subscription of it once it is fixed up - beta was fun, just not enough content and polish which was needed and not gotten, so I hope they get what the game needs. :)
  • #14 gyrextt
    I couldnt express my opinion any better, thanks Bill for saving me all the typing.
  • #15 Kwic
    Quote from "shelledfade" »
    People keep saying that its the gameplay thats important. So if the game really looked like something from pokemon and pokemon was actually made by blizzard, you would not complain? Right. that makes a lot of sense. rofl.

    The fact is it looks a lot like WoW. When it could look a lot better with it staying in its own territory and not copy/pasting from WoW. WoW is a great game, but its visuals are very corny after awhile.

    And why should it be corny, when it can be great?

    Oh, and i still play D2/lod as well. And it looks nothing like warcraft.

    Agree with shelledfade. I know that D3 will be great. But i'm afraid that it will be "only" great.. Heh. But i have to admit that, i'm not big fan of Diablo1. Not because of graphics, but because of inconveniences like lack of running, small stash etc. The biggest disadventage i remember is that i killed Diablo by 5 hits, coz i found great weapon. It shouldn't have been like that. But anyway, that means options mostly, not graphics.
    In Diablo 2 i loved everything, really. Atmosphere was amazing. You say that it was colourful as well, yeah. But it the colours were desaturated and it didn't look like painting. When i remind myself just a name "Lut Gholein", sth is squeezing my heart heh, really. The colours in D3 really could stay if there was not pastels :( And it could be more detailed, i mean the ground, not so smooth.

    I'm sure the game will be great, but can it be better than D2? (for someone D1) I don't mean option and solution which will make game better, coz i don't doubt Blizz will do it, but the atmosphere. I only worry about the atmosphere, nothing else.

    Ah, i wanted to add that Diablo1 had great atmosphere as well. It it weren't for options, the game would rock almost the same as D2 for me ;)

    Cheerio
    PS: how to bring "edit" and "reply" back? :'(
  • #16 FANSLOL
    Bill roper,Blizzard North that started the .Diablo universal will be missed for ever and will never be forgotten and will go done in my books as one of the . Best creative minds of the blizzard groups in the gaming industry and for the best .Game ever in its time and almost ever other great (hack an slash ) game that learn from it .


    In Respect to Bill roper


    BILL you will be miss most of all
    Blizzard North are Legends in There own Time
    Diablo will live on in Gaming History




    LONG LIVE BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT!
  • #17 Kenzai
    What in the Hells Kwic, why dont you have the edit button???

    I still do... :P

    You could try reloading the page or something.


    On-Topic:

    Quote from "Creepsville" »
    These arguments from people complaining about the art direction are old, especially when they show up in every other thread.

    Your Pokemon comparison holds no weight because the new Diablo is nowhere near the same level of cartoony that Pokemon uses. Also, the game does not look like WoW. It does look like a Blizzard game though and it appears as if Diablo has evolved into a much more engaging and rich game environment.

    Change is good. Evolution of a game is inevitable if the people working on it have any talent. WoW has not been copy and pasted. That's lazy arguing from jaded kids who like to use the net as a soap box for railing against everything.


    It doesnt matter how 'old' those arguments are because people still dont seem to understand. Thus reposting them is good sometimes.

    There very well IS WoW (or WC) influence in the greaphics of D3. You cant deny the fact that the models in the previous games were better in some way.
    Actually they even kind of admitted some WoW influence, but unfortunately not in which aspect so it cant be used as proof for anything.

    Also i think some people here have problems with understanding 'examples' or 'comparisons' properly. While the first person just said "Would you be happy if D3 had good gameplay and Pokemon graphics?", the second person is saying that D3 graphics arent like Pokemon.

    BTW you kind of admit that D3 is cartoony when sayin "D3 isnt as cartoony as Pokemon."

    (Im starting starting to think that your English is not very good because of your writing but maybe you wrote in a hurry. "... same level of cartoony that Pokemon uses." What in the Hells?)

    Sorry for the OT parts of my post.
  • #18 sayaf
    Quote from "TheBloody-Nine" »
    You can't just compare new games with old ones like that. You have to compare them by the time of their releases. Sure, d3 is going to be great, no doubt. But when d1 came out, it was something completely new. It both looked and sounded so good, it was extremely moody and I remember playing it by my friends house. We were sitting there, in his parents basement, on our toes while venturing deeper down that dark, horrible cathedral. The deep, thundering drums echoing to the eery chorus in the background, It was just that scary.

    Maybe it was also because I was a kid then and felt it more vividly but still, that's how I remember it. And I doubt any future game can live up to that, no matter how good.



    It was spooky! I was in college when it was released and I used to go to my friend's hosue to play it and man it was scary. I never played a prefect game like Diablo 1.
  • #19 InvincibleEMP
    anyone notice www.mythos.com is now a dead link? I hope that korean company hires some of the original employees to get that ip to its final state.
  • #20 G.I.R
    Quote from "Kenzai" »
    What in the Hells Kwic, why dont you have the edit button???

    I still do... :P

    You could try reloading the page or something.


    On-Topic:



    It doesnt matter how 'old' those arguments are because people still dont seem to understand. Thus reposting them is good sometimes.

    There very well IS WoW (or WC) influence in the greaphics of D3. You cant deny the fact that the models in the previous games were better in some way.
    Actually they even kind of admitted some WoW influence, but unfortunately not in which aspect so it cant be used as proof for anything.

    Also i think some people here have problems with understanding 'examples' or 'comparisons' properly. While the first person just said "Would you be happy if D3 had good gameplay and Pokemon graphics?", the second person is saying that D3 graphics arent like Pokemon.

    BTW you kind of admit that D3 is cartoony when sayin "D3 isnt as cartoony as Pokemon."

    (Im starting starting to think that your English is not very good because of your writing but maybe you wrote in a hurry. "... same level of cartoony that Pokemon uses." What in the Hells?)

    Sorry for the OT parts of my post.


    Blizzard doesn't really care, people are leaving the "omg it d3 has cartoony WOW graphics" side by the droves, why continue? I'm not saying you should quit or anything, I just wanna know why you continue to try and persuade people, seems a little futile at the moment.
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