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David Brevik Answers a few Diablo Questions

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    david brevikEarlier today Kotaku held a comment chat thing with David Brevik. While the focus was on Marvel Heroes, there were also a few Diablo related questions that he answered that are worth highlighting for fun.

    Obviously the original Diablo was a fantastic game, a huge success, and continues to influence the design of many games today (especially in regards to ‘loot’ systems). Was there any realization/feeling during development of just how big a splash the game was going to make?

    Not really. When we originally made Diablo, we had hopes and dreams that we could sell 20,000 copies. If we did that, we would be golden! We would often (in a joking way) think, we could even sell 100,000 copies someday. Imagine that…

    Little did we know… Eventually, after the Microsoft Direct X Demo Disk, which was a demo CD that featured games that used the brand-new library Direct X, we got a lot of feedback and knew that we could have something bigger on our hands.

    That said, it still hard to comprehend how big it eventually became.

    I still remember making my way down to the second floor of the Cathedral in Diablo and running into the Butcher unprepared and dying after “Fresh Meat!” Actually its probably one of my first gaming memories, how did that line come about and did you expect it to be so effective?

    A classic line. I still get an emotional repsonse just thinking about it. The whole Butcher room and the Butcher himself came about late in the development of that level. We were making tiles and one of the artists created a really bloody room. From there we started joking about it and it turned into a butchers shop. Then we said “oh we gotta create a new monster for this called The Butcher”. The line wrote itself!

    David, the greatest thing i ever did in Diablo II was have a follower army and then play a necromancer for their army.

    What inspired that greatness?

    When we decided what classes we were going to make in D2, necromancer was the top choice for many on the team. When I think of necromaners, the first thing I think of is an army of the dead and we wanted to make that a reality. It was a concept that everyone immediately jumped on and made happen. We all thought it would be extremely fun. And we were right!

    Whose decision was it to make the cows clickable in Diablo?

    I don’t recall. There were so many strange, sleepless, crunch-filled nights during development, I’m sure that was a 3am decision. That said, it was probably the best 3am decision made.

    I’ve noticed you were involved in the making of Diablo 1 and 2. Were you also involved making the development of the unreleased version of Diablo 3 – the cancelled sequel that would have had the gamers fighting in Heaven rather than Hell. If so, why was the game cancelled and would the game had been a complete departure from released D games, including the released version of Diablo 3?

    Diablo 3 started development when I was still President of Blizzard North. We left about 2 years in and so I wasn’t involved after that. I would guess that the team wanted their own vision of what to make because it’s hard to make a product when the vision-holder isn’t part of the team. I would have done the same thing.

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