The team at IGN has put together a 20 year retrospective article which includes comments from the different Diablo teams. Rob Foote, Joe Shely, Julian Love, Russell Brower, Erich Schaefer, and David Brevik all took part to provide some historical commentary.
The article is a couple of pages and there are some interesting quotes from people involved in all the Diablo games. Here are a couple of snips as a primer:
“I think that over the years we’ve just gotten better and better at taking that moment-to-moment aspect of the gameplay and bringing it up to new, higher heights.” Love continues, summing up the transition from the core game to the Reaper of Souls expansion and on to the release of the Necromancer this year. “We really cranked it up in terms of the amount of reward that you get in terms of the effort that you put into it. What you get back from it. I feel like it’s now a game that always gives you way more back than what you put in. And that has just steadily improved over the years.”
“A lot has changed in twenty years,” says David Brevik, looking back at the legacy of the series. “Diablo III is a very different game than Diablo II and Diablo I. Also, Diablo II is a very different game than Diablo I. There’s different people involved and things like that, but the thing that has stayed the same is that people love Diablo. And people love the Diablo franchise. No matter which version is your favourite, people know Diablo. People play Diablo and masses of people love Diablo.”
There’s an interesting note regarding how Blizzard wanted to create a team that could develop the franchise from Diablo 3 and beyond. As most of us know, some key players from the original Diablo 3 team have since moved on.
“There were two goals,” Julian Love says of the transition away from Blizzard North. “One was to make a great Diablo III game. But the second goal was to make a great Diablo III team. One that could go on and keep making Diablo games. That was a big hurdle, and we really needed to be smart in the way that we assembled the team, and be careful and take great care to not just build the next Diablo. But build a team.”
While most of you already know the development story of the series, it’s worth a read.