Mafia 3 World Designer Joins Blizzard as Senior Designer for Diablo

Mafia 3 World Designer Joins Blizzard as Senior Designer for Diablo

Some recruitment news specific to the Diablo franchise. Former Tales from the Borderlands creator and Mafia 3 world designer Harrison Pink has joined the Diablo team.

Pink was previously at Telltale Games working on The Walking Dead before joining Hangar 13 as a world designer to work on Mafia 3, a game which received quite a mixed reception. The game world was one of the better aspects of Mafia 3, and as that was designed as an open-world game, you have to wonder if Blizzard is thinking along those lines for a new Diablo.

Pink announced his involvement with Blizzard on Twitter.

Thanks fMulder

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    13 thoughts on “Mafia 3 World Designer Joins Blizzard as Senior Designer for Diablo

      • I know, right? A high paying job in a fascinating industry for one of the premier companies in a hell-hole like California? Guy must be DEVASTATED.

        • Money is not everything, mate.

          And Blizzard’s games leave a lot to be desired nowadays. So… I pity him.

    1. If only they had hired David Brevik as Senior Designer. Now they are probably gathering yet another team that don’t really know what Diablo is about.

      • Even a Game Director position is below David Brevik. The guy has always been the head of game companies. Owner, President and CEO positions. And you think he’ll come as a Senior Designer?

        On top of that, what makes you think he will accept any position at Blizzard? As far as I know he could very well be working with Blizzard right now but he wanted Blizzard to open a new studio at where he lives. When Blizzard bought Condor and renamed it as Blizzard North, they didn’t move the studio and Brevik was still working near his home.

        He probably never worked outside of SF Bay Area.

        • Well, you are probably right about the position. My statement was more a wish for him to return to the Diablo franchise. But in doing so, he probably would like full control over the game development and hirings, to make sure like minded people work on the game.

          Blizzard has chosen their path, and gathering people of intelligence isn’t on that path. A bland mega corporation that has settled in comfortably with dumbed down games for the big masses. Which in turn leads to dumb developers working for them. Probably just like this Mafia 3 guy, who can now settle in comfortably as “living the dream in CA”, contributing to making the game world a dumber place.

          If Mike Morheime was serious about changing the direction of Diablo, I am sure he could work things out with Brevik. Brevik has been keen on returning, it’s mostly about him not wanting to relocate. But I am sure if the will was there, they could find a solution.

          Anyway, all will be revealed at some BlizzCon.

          • Everything you’ve said is complete crap.

            Brevik isn’t the all knowing Diablo god. He’s a smart dude for sure, but if he had his way all the time, Diablo would not be at all what it is. Watch his post-mortem on Diablo 1, it is available from GDC on Youtube. IF he was to make the game he originally wanted to, Diablo would have been a turn based rougue like. It was Blizzard that pushed to make the game a real time ARPG. His team (of all those “like minded” people you mentioned) then out voted him to also make it real time when he put it up for a vote within the studio.

            And for all the trash talking of people who don’t have ARPG development experience, do you know who else didn’t have ARPG development experience? The Diablo 1 team, because that genre didn’t exist at the time.

    2. Senior Designer is a useless position as far as fans concerned. Especially in Blizzard. There’s an Executive Producer that dictates the concept and red lines of the game. Then there’s a Game Director that directs the team. Then there are a few lead designers. Then there are more than a few senior designers.

      So for us, this is nothing.

      • There is something there for us. It’s a movement in the Diablo 3 team, which implies….. something more than nothing. Something’s happening, maybe. That’s what’s there for us.

    3. Regardless of this guy working on D4 or not, expectations for a worthy successor for D2 are very low.

      Because (almost) the same company that made D3 will be making D4. Yeah, there have been some personnel changes along the way but at least in my opinion, I can’t see the right mood anywhere. The recently-released Necro pack is just another little band-aid, and the problem is that D2 was all about having the “right atmosphere”. Not any other game in the current rooster of Blizz games are near that.

      I remember reading somewhere back in the day that the original Diablo designers played tabletop RPGs, and they took inspiration from them. Now, from where does the “inspiration” of the current blizzard team comes from? I don’t know, but their output (warcraft/starcraft franchises) have been heavy on jokes and goofy stuff from the beginning. You can also attest this by recalling the amount of jokes D3 currently has: the chicken idea for a WD build, goofy items (cluckeye, pig sticker), goofy zones (whimsyshire), the colorful palette, the shrek-like current pop-culture references that completely break suspension-of-disbelief (deadmouse amulet), well… this people are still in charge of the IP, and while I think the whole D3 game should’ve been as serious from the beginning as the current necro character, I have many doubt about this matter.

      If you look at the rest of blizz’ games, everything is colorful and family-friendly too.

      I always felt that D3 was copying D2’s style in the same way as a professional cover band covering somebody else’s song: you’ll end up with a decent attempt, but you won’t ever mistake it for the original. Maybe it’s because you lack the cultural background to do so, or the cultural references. Or maybe it’s just company policy. The point is, for a company that has thrived for so many years on jokes, bright colors and family-friendly values, it’s too hard to have hopes for a dark Diablo successor.

      D3 is a good hack and slash ARPG dungeon crawler with pretty music and cheesy voice acting and storyline, that tried too hard to be something that was not. Playing this game feels like putting on a costume for halloween.

      Although anything can change, I think that asking Blizzard to make a Diablo game with atmoshpere would be like asking Adam Sandler to play Ed Gein.

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