D3 lead designer Jay Wilson sat down with the folks over at Mtv’s Multiplayer to go through some examples of player-modified D3 screenshots. Jay talks about how the effects were created, how they resemble earlier art design passes on D3, and what’s wrong with using that darker, grittier, desaturated style of art for the final game. It’s a fascinating read, and here’s one example, with Jay’s comment above the shot in question:

    Jay Wilson, Designer of “Diablo III”: The key thing to remember here is that this has been Photoshopped. This isn’t created by the engine. Though it looks really cool, it’s almost impossible to do in a 3D engine because you can’t have lighting that smart and run on systems that are reasonable. If we could do that, we probably would in a few of the dungeons.

    Now in terms of the actual texturing, this texturing, where they grayed out everything and it’s very flat and the monsters are all kind of a similar tone — that does not play well. It’s very boring to run through more than a couple of times, and it’s very difficult to tell creatures apart and pop them out of the environment. So those things don’t really work for us. A lot of the lighting stuff I think is very cool, but it’s also not very doable for us.

    One other interesting tidbit, when discussing this shot. Emphasis added:

    Wilson: A lot of this change is adding noise to the screen. If [the characters] weren’t centered on the screen — like find the witch doctor. Especially think about him as a friend [in co-op play]. Standing over there, you can’t even tell the difference between him and the zombie. And that’s another player, and when you can’t tell the player apart from the creature, that’s horrible.

    You’ve got to think that there’s potentially up to seven other people in addition to yourself, and several dozen monsters. All that noise just translates into unplayable, especially when this starts moving. This texturing was actually very similar to one of our previous art styles. But when you started moving and the whole screen just kind of shimmers, you can’t really tell anything that’s going on.

    Slip of the tongue, or confirmation of 8 players in the game?  The designers said it would likely be just 4-5, for better gameplay/party size, during the WWI panels.

    Remember to check out the Diablo 3 Media Coverage archive for all interviews and previews related to Diablo 3 from all over the net.

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