Digital Innovation Gazette spoke with Julian Love, presumably at Blizzcon 2011. The questions are more about how the developers work than what’s in the game, and thus it’s got some stuff we haven’t seen twenty times before.
Here’s a quote; click to read the full piece, which has more good stuff on Julian’s job responsibilities, tech tools, and how the Blizzard dev teams communicate and interact.
Julian Love: It’s actually a little more driven by concept. And the concept, in turn, does tend to allow us to have the kind of separation you’re talking about.
So when we sit down and design a class, we do talk at a really high level about what kind of themes we want to evoke with that class. And inevitably, there are certain color schemes that come out of that. And so we do end up with a little bit of a mental chart of colors that we would rather not have associated with a certain class. It’s kind of tough when you’re making runes — like a 150-some-odd skills per class — to avoid every color. But we do tend to exercise a certain amount of avoidance.
DIG: So the Witch Doctor is going to tend toward green or yellow.
Julian Love: But because of his themes more so than anything else. He’s going to be throwing bugs and frogs and stuff like that at you. So that does kind of indicate a certain color thematic — like acid cloud and those kinds of things. He’s got this big voodoo vibe, and so fire, poison and those kinds of things really feel like they belong strongly to him.
And when it came to something like the wizard, we are looking at it from a different angle — this sort of cosmic magic theme. We wanted to make arcane feel ancient and powerful, so we kind of pick cosmic themes. And that led us to a lot of yellow and purple combinations. And blue lightning-type combinations. That allows us to get some separation both in terms of color and shape.