GDC Diablo 3 Soundtrack Panel Available to Watch


A GDC panel from 2015 called Soundtracking Hell featuring the Diablo 3 team including Russell Brower, Derek Duke, Neal Acree, and Joseph Lawrence is now available to watch.

Just how do you create a soundtrack for a Diablo game? The presentation looks at the distinctive audio found in the franchise starting with Matt Uelman’s excellent original score which is one of the finest and most regonisable sounds in gaming. Moving on to Diablo 3, the panel shows images from the orchestra and choir used to create the audio. It’s well worth watching this one as it highlights the amount of work required to create fantastic audio.

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  1. Matt Uelmen is indispensable when it comes to Diablo music if you ask me. D3 has absolutely no memorable music, sounds, or dialogues. I really hope that Matt Uelmen will be hired to do the music and ambience sounds for D4…

    I also hope D4 will step away from the streamlined, dumbed down, and simplified WoWablo 3. I hope Diablo 4 will do everything it can, to be loved again by Diablo players. No more trying to “catch” the leaving WOW players, no more Disney humor and feel, no more micro-management of character power, no more Developer-Builds that we have to use…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vzHKWhgr-Q

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    • True, except for the Health Globe sound. The health globe sound is awesome & totally memorable.

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      • I personally really dislike the “health-globe” concept because its too “action-oriented” and pushes the whole pace of the game, while reducing the need to “think” tactically and strategically. I prefer “Potions that slowly replenish”, which you can re-use after two seconds, but only by the amount they could recover in those two seconds, so you can use the potion when you actually need it. In D3 you use potions either because you are playing in a difficulty for which you are not ready, or because of spike-damage due to poorly balanced monster-damage mechanics.

        D3 has introduced people to “not have to stop or slow-down to pick up things” like gold and health globes. At first this seems great because people in general are lazy, but in the long run you are nurturing and yielding to a very negative human weakness (laziness). It’s the reason why the casual D3 community now demands that death breath and other mats are to be auto-pickup as well. Instead of Gold-Auto pickup, they should have made gold valuable and a scarce resource as well as increase the quantity of gold that drops at once in individual bigger piles. They could have allowed for targeted farming where certain areas would yield more gold where as other areas and monster types would yield less, but be better for other types of items or objects.

        I also very much dislike the massive amount of cooldowns all over the place in D3. You can easily create a Diablo game without cooldowns IMO, and there is no need for spells that essentially let you do 1% damage for 95% of the time and then 5000% damage in a 5 second window. That’s just WOW BS meant for raid situation, but D3 is not WOW. This trend also has damaged the “feel” of Diablo IMO. As a Diablo player I prefer to be able to pick a skill that I think is cool and then boost that skill through Skill-Tree-point-allocation and leveling up, as well as finding items that push it even further, while choosing other skills that either support my first skill of choice or complement the first skill by rounding off my character in other important areas. D2 did this masterfully (yes D2 also had flaws, but overall D2 is designed masterfully IMO).

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  2. That was a pretty bad talk… Felt highly unorganised compared to the usual GDC content. Zero take-aways to be had from it, which is really bad for a conference aimed at developers.

    If you want to watch a good talk on music, watch this years talk on the music of Doom with Mick Gordon. Far better talk, lots of interesting information and all around much more watchable. It is available on GDC’s youtube channel as well.

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    • I liked when the presenter said its obviously very important to give Doom fans the feeling that they are in fact playing a Doom game, and that the past is very important as it allows fans to remember the feeling they had with Doom 1, 2, and 3.

      Diablo 3 clearly failed in that regard, but arguably not only in terms of music and ambience-sound, but also through the profoundly different art-style, game-mechanics, progression and many other areas.

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      • I think the fact that Russell Brower was “laid off” by means of a “sound de-centralization initiative” is great news for the future of Diablo and Blizzard in general. I think Blizzard realized that their individual games must have their own music styles. Having one person like Brower being in charge of all music across all games means that all music will sound somewhat the same, as every musician has an individual style. Diablo 3 has clearly suffered a lot under the WOW-Music style, and this initiative is one of the few steps to fix this issue. Key-People “leaving” Blizzard (Wilson, Pardo, Brower, Metzen, Mosqueira etc) are all steps in the right direction I think, as long as they will be replaced with “the right people”, even if appealing to the “right people” is a very difficult task for Blizzard I would imagine. Blizzard is a great place to start your career as a newcomer to the industry, but if you are a veteran, Blizzard does have a lot of “stigmata” IMO.

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        • Well from that talk they changed directions with RoS as they had all of the music get filtered through one person who was composing it all. So that was a good start as RoS feels a bit more on track with where they should have been going from the start. (well as much as they could change directions at least). I think that kinda shows that Blizz are wanting to fix things up in future.

          As to the “stigma” of Blizzard, that’s largely true. You hear a lot of stories about strong internal politics of that company causing issues. But the same is generally true for any long running studios (Valve is another one you hear rumblings about).

          Reply
  3. New video up on the GDC channel today of Rob Pardo talking about staying on brand with their core values from 2010.

    Reply

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