Update: Read on to find the full transcript of the Art Panel Q&A session.
As DirectTV are only covering some things, Flux is now live blogging the Diablo 3 Art Panel now in our live feed. Hop in and find out what’s going on. We are also filming this but it won’t be up today.
This transcript is a formatted and slightly cleaned up version of Flux’s live blogging from the show floor. Neither the questions nor the answers are exact quotes.
Q: How often they does something awesome that won’t work for technical reasons come up? Too big, slow to load, etc.
A: It comes up sometimes, but they sort of know going in that they have to keep things limited and reasonable or it won’t work. So they keep it in mind going in and don’t get into too much trouble, and if they really love how something looks they’ll find a way to make it work. lots of iteration Not afraid to throw out if it doesn’t work.
Q: Question for the exterior team about the world of sanctuary. We’ve seen a map on the main website but how much of the world map will we see in the game?
A: Diablo 3 is set in the diablo universe, so a lot of the locations you’ll see hints of it here or there. We want fans to get their money’s worth. (Ed- Jay’s previously said areas on map won’t be seen in the game.). Anything we do we’ll make as awesome as we can!
Q: About diablo 1 dungeon art. Very dark gritty atmospheric. Are we going in that direction in D3?
A: we take a lot of inspiration from D2. Do what it did right, build on that, retain mood and atmosphere and stay true to diablo universe. (ed – that answers sucked.)
Q: How do you integrate the character art and monster art? How does it comes together?
A: It’s about the back and forth with everyone. Everyone on the team is talented and all have a say on how things fit together. Eventually design has to make decision, here are the areas we want to show, here’s what we want to see. We go back and forth and make sure everyone is aware of what’s going on.
Q: About item art. Disappointed about d1 and d2 unique items that had great art in the inventory screen, but didn’t show up on character. Does art for items = unique in d3, and show on screen?
A: Glad you brought that up. Plugging Mike Nicholson who does weapon icons and item art. He can’t say for sure if everything matches up. Wants it to match up in this game, effort put into it. Before BlizzCon they had whole char team working to match weapons to weapon renders. Its also a big deal to make sure weapons feel right. Inventory has had an overhaul recently and we’re working on that, making art better and size-appropriate.
Q: Barb redesign. How did you get concept of art? Back to d2 or restart from scratch?
A: We looked at a lot of d2 stuff, but the guy who designed the Barb has an eye for it. Lot of it was just what he thought would have the best vibe. He’s the d2 barb but bigger and more bad ass. Also a lot of iteration on the heroes, it goes back and forth a lot. Concept team spends much time on every little aspect of it going over it with fine tooth comb. Nothing is done easily. make sure it all works and make it the best we can possibly make it.
Q: I’m impressed with the combat in d3. Amazing. You guys just do moves on the art and try to fulfill design goals but what are those design goals? How do you work together to achieve them?
A: It’s collaborative. We try to make it work. Design goals are easy but its hard to get skills perfect. It takes a lot of time to get the combat feeling right. We get an idea for a skill or a move, we do that, collaborate on making it work, mix it together. There’s a design meeting and we all throw ideas out in meetings, see what crazy ideas can be made to work.
Q exteriors team. Showing map static work? Or multiple to choose from like in d2?
A: Yes and No. Static and random in the game mixed together. Design team determines how much and where randomness. One ting we loved about D2 was how random and replayable it is. We want random for replayable. random quests and dungeons. random stuff in exterior, but some static. A mix of everything!
Q: Where do you get inspiration from? D1 and d2, but what else? Literature, Movies?
A: Speaking for the concept guys, there’s a lot of different inspirations. films, other artists, we looked at Bhrams stuff. (bronze?) Brams working at Blizzard now, collaborating on some stuff.
They have a book of "extraordinary roosters" in the Blizzard office. it’s very useful to inspire crazy monsters. Yes, roosters.
Q: Forest area in D3? Does it have a variety of environments?
A: Yes, lots of variety. What you’ve seem so far is very little snippets. Not representative of final game.
Q: D3 is very painterly.How did you do paint textures and new techniques? Other Blizzard games use same technique?
A: We have most talented painters. No special tools, just very talented guys. Blizzard is really good and committed not to using tools or pictures, just original work by talented people
Q: I’ve heard the game as the whole went through multiple art iterations. Tell us about previous looks?
A: 3 iterations of art style, Before current. Why? Lots of reasons. Early ones when Blizzard North was working but what would support the gameplay best? What made it more fun? Which is why we have the current art style. We’ve had good feedback. and people like it. Earlier art styles were great, but not perfect. Now it is better.
Q: Diablo team specific question. Describe or expand on relationship between character models and environment models.If particular creature doesn’t work with environment. What then?
A: Everyone could answer that. Lots of customization. Ultimately, we design creatures to fit into one area. We also want replayability Tieing more monsters and creations to one environment gets predictable. Ultimately, it’s a collaboration and we go back and forth.
Q: Can we see more environments from previous games Tristram, etc. with new art?
A: Maybe…..you’ll see some of them, yes. Can’t talk about that yet.