Blizzard held some media events in NYC this week and gave a lot of interviews on their ongoing gaming projects, so expect a lot of news to pop up in the next couple of days. A couple of good articles just went up on Kotaku and Mtv’s MP Blog, and both have generous quotes from D3 Lead Designer Jay Wilson. The Mtv one is a bit more detailed, so I’ll quote from it below. In it Jay talks at length about the art direction and the “too colorful” controvery.
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We’re very happy with how the art style is. The art team’s happy. The company’s happy. We really like this art style, and we’re not changing it.
But fans take note: The decision to add color to the macabre world of Diablo didn’t come lightly. It’s actually the thing we struggled with the most, Wilson said. When Wilson joined the project two and-a-half years ago, the game was similar-looking to what fans of the old games might expect darker, desaturated and a lot of brown and gray tones. However, translating the game from 2D to 3D with a dark color palette didn’t make for the best gameplay experience. The first and second iterations of the art direction had a modern, gritty look but made it difficult to distinguish enemies from the environment. When you have 30 creatures on screen and four or five different types target prioritization is a factor, he said. You need to be able to tell those things apart fast, and you can’t do that when your world is gray and your creatures are gray.