Videogamer.com talked to Bill Roper about his current job working on Star Trek Online, but of course they had to ask about Diablo III and the Blizzard days as well. They’ve only posted a tease now, and promise the full interview later this week. Here’s a quote from their tease, in which Bill lightly fans the ever-simmering flames of the color controversy.
He said: “One of the things I always enjoyed about that separation between Blizzard and Blizzard North was that the Diablo games had a very distinct art style. They had different art directors, they had different people working on it, they had a different sensibility about them. Diablo was I think grittier and darker and a little more leaning towards the photo realistic. Whereas the Craft games that were being built down in Irvine were bigger and broader in scope, brighter colours, just different pallets and different presentation. Both of those were very strong from that visual standpoint, for example.
“But it makes complete sense to me where they went because they basically took the Diablo universe and then approached it from the Blizzard Ivine stance for the visuals. That’s the way they approach things. It wasn’t that I looked at it and went, oh my God that looks terrible. I was like, that looks like Blizzard. The guys in Irvine. That’s what it looks like to me. Their interpretation of it.”
When asked if he was disappointed or pleased with Diablo’s new art style, Roper, who is now design director and executive producer of Atari-owned Cryptic Studios, and in charge of Champions Online, a superhero MMO due out on PC this spring, said: “You know, I liked the darker grittier. I liked the differences in art style, to be honest. So, I think I would personally from a player standpoint prefer that.
“I think that one of the things that we always tried to get across was that Diablo was Gothic fantasy and I think there was just a need that was put in there from the visuals that I didn’t necessarily get. I got it from the architecture and to a degree from the character design but not the feeling of the world. I can’t say that I dislike it. I didn’t look at it and go, oh my God that’s horrible. But I looked at it and went, it’s not really… to me as a player it just didn’t really ring with Diablo.”
Not-coincidentally (Bill’s doing a media blitz this week) we’ve just conducted our own interview with Bill through our parent site IncGamers.com, and will be posting that in a day or two.