Blizzard North’s Almost “Diablo in Space”

The final preview (next week they’re posting a full chapter and author interview) from David Craddock’s book about Blizzard North is now up on Shacknews. This preview talks about one of the many Project Xs that were underway (briefly) at Blizzard North in the 2000-2003 time frame, while most of the company was working on Diablo III.

“The project earned the nickname Starblo for its mix of a space setting and the action-RPG formula that made Diablo so successful,” he said. “Like Diablo 2, Starblo would take place over several acts, but rather than journey across a single world, players would board their customizable spaceship and travel to new planets, killing and looting the space creatures they found there. By the time Dave Brevik and the Schaefers left Blizzard North in summer 2003, the Starblo team had produced a few playable builds of the game, but still hadn’t come up with a proper name.”

Not mentioned in the piece, and it might be a weird coincidence, but Elly and Rush have long talked about a very weird Diablo Space Opera live action presentation that Blizzard put on at the ECTS trade show back in the early 90s.

Elly –  I remember Rush and I walked into the press “show” thinking “What is all this about? What does Diablo have to do with an Alien Opera? Why is Andarial messing about with laser pistols?”

It was most odd, but perhaps all of the above sheds some light on this. To prove this was not some sort of hoax, and that fact that we have all sorts of Blizzard memorabilia lying around, we found the actual event ticket which you can see below.

What is interesting is that this ticket is from 1998 which is a lot earlier than David’s timeline of events. Perhaps this project was on the cards even earlier.

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11 thoughts on “Blizzard North’s Almost “Diablo in Space”

    • Merging those is a copyright infringement 🙂
      Because Terran Marines + Demonic influence = W40K’s Traitor Legions, and Orcs + Zerg = W40K’s lichen Orks!

    • THIS. I’ve been waiting for over a decade for someone to make an action RPG in space. Well, I guess there’s always Phantasy Star Online 2 (which looks AMAZING, and I’ve been playing them all since PSO1 on Dreamcast,) although it’s not EXACTLY what I’m referring to.

  1. you could kill the space monkeys in Mass Effect 1 and the native wildlife in several planets in ME2, so…….why not? weird-ass wording on the ticket though, sounds like a live sex show with Andariel. as if she needed a worse rep than she already has.

    • Well, much SciFi is basically just fantasy with different sets. Hand to hand combat, laser swords, big slow xbow-like weapons, weird aliens for mounts and cavalry charges, etc. Envision an Amazon with an air bubble helmet and a Paladin with some air tight seals around his armor?

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