BlizzCon's Saturday Diablo III Art Panel Coverage

Saturday's Diablo III Art Panel, an hour-long event at the BlizzCon from 1:00 PM PST to 2:00 PM PST, was covered by Mockery and Silversurfnstud (who informed me was quoting nearly all of this word-for-word via text messaging- good to have devoted staff here :D) of our own staff here at DiabloFans in the Live Chat on the Home Page. The Panel ranged in information from art direction, textures, models, monsters, and more to questions asked at the end by attendees in a bit of a "Q&A" session specifically for the Art Panel.

First we will start off with a little bit more information on the Fallen of Diablo III. You might recall a while ago when our website did coverage on the Fallen when they were announced with an official Diablo III bestiary update (here) and been surprised with how far the little guys have come since their short-statured and goblin-like appearance in Diablo II, when they all nearly looked the same except for the differentiation between Fallen Shaman and Fallen and some color variation that, admittedly, did not often look appealing or add replay value to the game. So, it might be good that Mockery has reported this:

Quote from "Mockery" »
They want demons to be easy to decipher. Easy to tell if you are fighting shaman or fallen.


We already saw a bit of their diversity with how many types of Fallen there were. It is good to see that Blizzard is striving, however, to make each of these distinct branches of the Fallen family as different, visually and mechanically, to players as a banana is from a bowling ball.

Often in Diablo II, gear on your character that was good to use did not always make your character look more powerful or intimidating, and most of it showed very little of what it's item icon was in your inventory. All of that, it appears, is going to change:

Quote from "Blizzard" »
As you get better loot, your character looks better and more powerful in Diablo 3.


And when asked about the appearance of the actual character model in the world of Sanctuary when interesting-looking unique items are equipped:

[QUOTE=Questioner/Blizzard]Q: Does every unique item actually change your in game appearance?
A: Majority of the items will. Can't promise all.[/QUOTE]

Blizzard stated that tons of artwork and artistic concepts never make it in to the final game, but did not say whether or not any of this would ever be availbile to fans. In Diablo II, in the disc files, you can find, for yourself, unused GIF and artwork files. It would be interesting to see if something similar happens with Diablo III. Or maybe even a collector's edition with it all in. Who knows?

On the detail of hero animation versus NPC animation, Blizzard stated that heroes will have an average of three times the animation depth that NPC's do. Whether we can be happy that heroes will have more animations, or sad that NPC's will have less, is left up-in-arms and for your interpretation.

On the detail of dungeons, Blizzard representatives were able to tell us a little more.

Quote from "Blizzard" »
Expect dungeons to be very detailed. Dust flies off old books 'n chests, etc ... items fly off tables if they get in the way of combat ...


It's good to see the developers are puting that Havoc physics engine to good use, I'd say :cute: Furthermore, on shadows in-game, Mockery had this much to say from his viewing of gameplay videos:

Quote from "Mockery" »
Shadows on the floor of all players in dungeons look really nice too ... Shadows move with items that are casting the shadow ... ie: something gets knocked over, you'll see the shadow move along with it realistically


On the development of the new desert area, the Borderlands, Mockery scooped up the following on the menacing feeling previously employed in Diablo II's areas and, even more so, in Diablo I:

Quote from "Mockery »
They want all the Diablo zones to be VERY hostile looking [.'] Lots of native dwellings out in the middle of the desert. There are some mutilated bodies in the desert area from the demo, saw some when I played yesterday


When asked just how gory and desecrated these corpses looked, though, Mockery had this to say:

Quote from "Mockery" »
I thought somebody spilled strawberry jam on all over certain areas on the screen.


In regards to how zones (like the forest area we saw last year, the Tristram area, and the Borderlands) are pieced together, since (I believe- correct me if I am wrong) it was confirmed that the acts will contain more than one area type:

Quote from "Blizzard" »
They use zone specific landscaping building blocks to piece together the various zones.


The Q&A section went on to say that Blizzard builds their own textures from scratch and that a large focus of the development process this time is on replayibility with the new game in the series.

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