The annual Game Developer’s Convention went off in San Francisco last week, and Diablo 3 was featured. The beta build was playable at the show, but of more interest was the panel presentation on Diablo 3.

    Diablo 3 at GDC 2012The lead presenter was Diablo 3’s Art Director DiabloWikiChristian Lichtner, and while I haven’t yet found video of the panel, there’s a decent write-up at Big Red Barrel, and better yet, Japanese site 4Gamers.net posted three dozen screenshots of the power point slides. (Which Fmulder was helpful enough to point us to.)

    There are some great views of concept and development artwork in the slides, and we’ve sorted all of the images into our Diablo 3 Monster Art, Character Art, Item Art, and Environmental Artwork galleries. Since just ing up a page of thumbs, or pointing you to the galleries would be a lame presentation, here are the images sorted and briefly captioned.

    Monster Concept Art

    Diablo 3 at GDC 2012
    First up, we’ve got five slides that give us our first look at the early concept versions of Diablo 3’s Diablo. These are fairly awesome, but seriously… were they really considering making him a snake man?

    I don’t have too many rules for the appearance of Diablo, but he’s got to be have spikes, he’s got to be red (palette-shifts on higher difficulty levels aside) and he’s got to have legs. Is that asking too much? (That pic was released previously, but as concept art for the DiabloWikiNaga demons.)

    Diablo 3 at GDC 2012 Diablo 3 at GDC 2012 Diablo 3 at GDC 2012Click through for lots more, including DiabloWikiAzmodan and DiabloWikiSiegebreaker concept art, a ton of new class DiabloWikiGear Sets, armor dye comparisons, weapons, and more.

    DiabloWikiAzmodan Concept arts, most of which we saw during Blizzcon 2011 panels, which is why I’m just thumbing them here. Check his wiki article for a huge selection of such images.

    Diablo 3 at GDC 2012 Diablo 3 at GDC 2012 Diablo 3 at GDC 2012Diablo 3 at GDC 2012 Diablo 3 at GDC 2012DiabloWikiSiegebreaker Concept Art. It’s a shame he won’t be biting off anyone’s head, since critical deaths were one of many cool features not to make it into the final version of Diablo 3, but he’s still large and happy to trample you as necessary. (Sadly, I bet the DiabloWikiSiegebreaker Snatch was another of those cool scripted events that we were shown in the WWI 2008 gameplay movie… and then never seen again.)

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    There’s even one stray pic of a DiabloWikiKhazra who appears posed to die for our sins. A scapegoat?

    Diablo 3 at GDC 2012

    Item Concept Art

    We don’t see a lot of these, but I enjoy the higher detail of weapons in such images.

    Diablo 3 at GDC 2012

    Class Artwork and Gear Sets

    Some nice views of Barbarian and Wizard costume prototypes. I’m glad they went with deeper colors for their gear; that bright blue/orange Wizard is not right.

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    We haven’t had much conversation about class DiabloWikiGear Sets since last year’s Gamescom, when Blizzard revealed some that were planned to be Inferno-only in availability, and the wild looks of the armor proved controversial. This batch of shots is unlikely to spur that kind of debate, since none of the gear sets are those Inferno types that look like anime robots or fiber optics Christmas trees. (Though that Barb in the center of the first pic is not far from qualifying as Mobile Suit Gundam cosplay.)

    Diablo 3 GDC 2012 Diablo 3 at GDC 2012 Diablo 3 at GDC 2012

    A nice comparison of different WD sets, here.

    Diablo 3 at GDC 2012 

    Finally, I’m not entirely sure about this image. I’m all for player options when it comes to customizing the look and play of your character, but do we really need Barbarians colored like jelly beans?

    Diablo 3 at GDC 2012

    Environmental Design

    Trees and rocks and lighting and stuff. This would be better if we had video/audio of the show, to hear the dialogue that these images were designed to illustrate. Alas.

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