Diablo 3 Art Panel from GDC 2012

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.)

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

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.

 Diablo 3 GDC 2012 Diablo 3 GDC 2012

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.

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

Tagged As: | Categories: Artwork, Blizzard People, Gear Sets, Other Events


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  1. So no one was filming this? 🙁

  2. What’s Sauron doing amongst that artwork?:|

  3. The Diablo holding the body and with the wings is very impressive!! They had some nice ideas for Big Red!

  4. The final design for the Siege Breaker is the worst of the three.
    Also notice that having three heads/faces/mouths is a part of almost all of Diablo’s designs, along with a more feminine figure. Leading credence to both the theory that Blizzard is going to pull a Lich King and make Diablo the embodiment of all three Prime Evils, and the theory that Diablo will be using a woman’s body as his vessel this time.
    Still not a fan of a lot of the armor sets (or in-game monster models for that matter). Environments look good though.

  5. The concept in between the snakeman/naga and winged version is my favorite. The one they settled on looks disturbingly feminine and reminds me of the xenomorphs from the Alien movies.

  6. Wow… most of those Diablo concepts look far better than the final version IMO. I especially like the two concepts in the middle and right side of one with the snake-ish version.

  7. I liked the winged Diablo the best – the one they’re going with for the game looks too insect-like. I loved in D1 and D2 how the big guy looked really feral, almost like a lion or tiger demon. The original design for Azmodan has a deliciously creepy head, but I think they did a good job with him overall and have settled on the right look for him. I also loved the sketches of Belial in the Book of Cain…

  8. WOW, awesome armors!
    Oh wait…

  9. now that’s ghay-tastic!

  10. http://diablo.incgamers.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/0311.jpg
    Take a look at the final concept art. It has a second diablo in the background, much more manly and bulky
    That suggests that either it was the old model or that there might be some plot twisting and/or multipple diablo hosts throughout the story or a second/stronger form
    (inb4 diablo with glowing white hair)

  11. “…do we really need Barbarians colored like jelly beans?”
    Probably not, but some people do like to stand out in a crowd.

  12. 1 – when will we get the non-neon/pastel dies?
    2 – giant shoulders and point hats, I hate you all.

  13. Im happy with this like a dog with a bone…

  14. I liked the first version of Azmodan. He looks fukn badass and in fact, looks EXACTLY how I imagined him to be before I saw the Mr.Waternoose (Monsters Inc. Reference) version. That will forever bother me. Just like the first iteration of the Archer class that became the Demon Hunter…Sigh..

  15. I agree with *YOUR*, final art of Diablo is awesome. Mainly because the pic behind chick D is big and bulky like he was in D1/2. If you notice too. The horn style is completely different. I think they poped this in as a spoiler. Which is awesome. Cause I always had a feeling he would show up in his *True* form at the end. He needs a host. Thus he might take a chick. Then loses them and becomes *True*. Omg I can’t wait! So many secrets in this story already! 😈

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