Behind the Scenes of Diablo III: Wrath

DiabloWikiBashiok‘s spidey sense has been revealed, and it was indeed Diablo related. This is an interview of the 2D short video called Wrath, which will be the 100% unlock for the Darkness Rises site. DiabloWikiChris Metzen joins the Titmouse team with director Peter Chung and crew to explain the reasoning and creativity that went into the piece we will be seeing in the near future.

The premise of the short film seems quite promising, as it will reveal much of the insight of how the DiabloWikiAngiris Council works together, and the flaws within their ability to retain a cohesive bond. It has piqued my curiosity as to how this may tie into the larger story in Diablo III, and the stylized anime-esque feature looks to have promise in its representation of the franchise. As Chris Metzen says, “it’s like watching this story through Peter Chung’s eyes.”

If you’ve visited the official Diablo III launch site, you might have noticed that there are a few items waiting to be unlocked. The final item is “Diablo III: Wrath”–an animated short developed with the help of Peter Chung, the creator of Aeon Flux. The video above offers a behind-the-scenes look at the development of the short with comments from Peter, as well as Nick Carpenter, Chris Metzen, and James Waugh of Blizzard and Chris Prynosk–president and owner of Titmouse, Inc.

Fans of Diablo III can help unlock “Diablo III: Wrath” by visiting the the launch site and participating in activities, such as creating banners and using various social media tools to share content created by other users. Diablo III is scheduled for release on May 15.

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    100 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes of Diablo III: Wrath

      • Yeah – I’m very glad that Blizzard seem to be learning from the mistakes of WoW and are making efforts to communicate the story of their games to fans outside of their novels. I don’t really want to have to read a based-on-the-best-selling-videogame novel in order to know what’s going on, so I appreciate things like this.

      • I like that 90% is wallpapers.  WALLPAPERS!

        Now maybe they’ll feature new artwork and be awesome, but given the past history of anticlimactic wallpaper prizes (1m FB likes springs to mind) I’m amused that they shows us this to get our hopes up for 100%, with still the wallpaper release between it and us.

    1. This is really amazing, I love the more stylized art style, it actually does fit with Diablo. Though I’m guessing a lot of people won’t particulary care for it’s somewhat anime-like style.

      • Being a big time fan of Diablo AND anime, I fully approve of this art style and associated short. Two thumbs up!!  😀

      • I wouldn’t say it carries any type of style because it’s very unique. I really enjoyed Aeon Flux mostly for the quality and uniqueness of the animation alone.

      • Calling Peter Chong’s style “anime-esque” really sells his artwork short IMO.

        He doesn’t just create & reuse a bunch of simple/blocky stills. 

    2. Why does the bearded president have his hood on?
      It’s like wearing shades in a dark room. 

    3. Looks good, anime always good too. But still prefer the bits from ingame that we’ve seen by far.

    4. @Eman “The uploader has not made this video available in your country”. I r sad. 🙁 

    5. Yes, thank you Titmouse studios and Peter Chung for the random-ass anime interruption. Now can we continue the regularly scheduled program?

      • The one that involves random people whining for no reason? That apparently was never interrupted…

        • must you whine about every comment you disagree with?
          Take a break, leave some rebuttals to others.

        • Hmm… Jumpy today, are we?
          I’m not whining, but I chose to jest about how disconnected an anime style is from the style Blizzard has put forth all the way up to this point (excepting the freaky armor that’ll no doubt appear different in-game than what most folks have seen).
          I feel this is just more ammunition to fight their potential uphill battle in Asian markets, and appease a niche in the US, all the while working with a celebrity and top notch artist. Good move, and I can’t wait to see the work, but again the style is a bit out of place amongst the somewhat realistic medieval-fantasy world we’ve seen thus far.

          • I’ve never watched anime.  That said, it’s been my opinion from seeing clips here and there that anime can be VERY dark and medieval-fantasy.   Sure the colors and drawing style is a little different, but the theme is still there.    It’s funny, you say “realistic medieval-fantasy” which is something that only exists in our minds and in some pieces of art (be it movies, games, drawings, etc).   So why wouldn’t it be able to exist in the anime world?  

            I’m looking forward to seeing this and broadening my view of the world.  The clips looked pretty awesome.   

            • Of course it can exist in a made up world… I’m just pointing out the FACT that VERY CLEARLY the style of Diablo’s art HAS VERY RARELY if EVER appeared in an anime sense. This is a huge 180 for art in the world of Sanctuary.
              Art may vary wildly, but like any art i.e. music, movies, games, it can be somewhat categorized. This is clearly a new take on Sanctuary.
              Hence me calling it “random-ass”.

    6. Am I the only one disappointed here? I expected a great cinematic like Ghosts of the past was. This anime thingie doesn’t even makes me curious…
      /me sad

      • I’m looking forward to this, not least since we get it as a preview in 3 or 4 days, instead of having to wait for May 15th.  But as we also get plenty of fully CGI cinematics, plus those stylized storybook 2D class introductions, and this anime-styled history of the Angels, there seems to be something for everyone in D3’s cartoons.

        • I wish you hadn’t described this as anime-esque Flux as it’s giving idiots that blindly bash anime an excuse to judge this before they’ve even seen it. Fact of the matter is, Titmouse’s usual style of animation is not really like anime at all. Look up Superjail! and Metalocalypse to see what I mean… Yes they’ve done some stuff for younger audiences which is more anime-ish I guess, but most of their work is commercials and adult oriented series on the late night Cartoon Network programming block (Adult Swim).

          • Well their loss then. I don’t know the work of the Titmice, but I loved the exquisitely poetic nihilistic action shorts that Aeon Flux began as, when they used to air on Mtv’s Liquid Television show back in the 90s. (The subsequent animated series was nicely weird, but the perfectly balletic violence of the original shorts wasn’t sustainable over 30m episodes with dialogue.)

            I don’t see a nice list of all the original shorts, but I think Tidal is probably the best, in terms of the bizarre scenario, awesome action, freakish S&M influences, and tragic, surprising conclusion.

            All that said, Aeon Flux can’t be described as anything other than anime, albeit Korean not Japanese, and very stylized and in no way kid-targeted. If there’s a problem with the term Anime in the mindset of some people today, it comes from limited exposure to only cheap dumb childish modern anime TV series, like DragonballZ or Pokemon.

      • Im not very excited for this either. I knew it was going to be 2D from one of the news here a while ago but i expected D3 intro type of 2D. I found those pencil drawings to be absolutly amazing (same style is used for the class intro movies which is great). I really dont like this style but than again…im the kind of guy who hates anime with passion!

        • You should’ve looked up Titmouse and Peter Chung before you made assumptions on the style of it…

          • Ahhh to watchful protector Scorch! Dude…i have seen bits of it in the video and i dont like it…voice acting was even worse. Is that ok or do i need some kind of written formal confirmation that i am allowed not to like it in order for you to accept it? If i do i could maybe get it…scan it… and email it to you!

      • Even as I like anime, that what we’ve seen in that preview was just “meh” for me. But, it’s blizzard, so in the end it might be good (hope so).

      • The Ghosts of the Past trailer was ridiculously spoilerific. The commercials we’ve gotten for D3 are still spoilery, but at least they present the spoilers in a non-linear, out-of-context fashion. The SC2 trailer basically said “This is what happens in the beginning, middle, and end of the game” which isn’t cool (even though I didn’t particularly enjoy the campaign anyway).

    7. It’s interesting the lengths Blizzard is going to to expand the Diablo universe. Maybe D3 won’t be WoW’s red-headed stepchild after all.

    8. Anime is the worst kind of thing in the world. If I had a choice between killing Hitler before his rise to power or killing anime I would choose anime every time.

      If I see a single big-eyed cutesy piece of shit in the short I’m going to print out several key parts of the short and wipe my ass with it.

      • But since you forge your identity by hating everything, in a world w/o anime Septar would be diminished?


      • Cutesy? Peter Chung? I don’t think so, buddy. Why don’t you go familiarize yourself with his art style before shooting off at the keyboard?

      • Well considering it was you who said it Septar, I guess that means that anime is the most awesome thing to ever be conceived form the minds of humanity… You clearly are an ignorant, prejudiced, stereotyping fool with no life and serious anger issues if that is your attitude. By the way, this is not anime in the slightest… It’s more of a comic-book-ish style, simple and chaotic, which is what Titmouse is well known for. And considering how much blood and gore they put into their Adult Swim shows, this may have a good amount of that…

        • I assumed he was just doing his Septroll thing, but as he got some upvotes and other people have made similar comments… do people really not know what anime is? I don’t expect like, my dad, to be familiar with pop culture and entertainment, but I figured people who read this site were up on modern animation and such?

          Anyone who says they hate anime because it’s for kids and full of pop-eyed cute stuff is testifying to their own inexperience with the genre. That’s equivalent to saying you don’t like vampires or werewolves because Twilight.

          • I don’t feel in any event that his comments about a certain reich leader can be justified under a basis of humor but hey, I’m not a moderator for a reason. That would have been a certain ban from me.

          • I agree. Anime indicates art style more than content. Anime has some of the most brutal imagery I’ve ever seen compared to any other style of cartoon. You generally don’t see clips like in Kill Bill as “cutesy” or “fun.” In fact, the style juxtaposed with content makes it possibly even more unnerving.

            I never cease to be amazed by the sheer amount of ignorance that permeates the internet.

            • The problem in my view – which is perpetuated by fans just as much as by people who know nothing about anime – is that people think of anime as a genre. It’s not – it’s a medium. Calling anime a genre is like calling “movies” a genre with no mind for the distinction between comedies, action movies, dramas, etc. Westerners see elements of Japanese culture in anime and assume that they are a feature of the genre, rather than being ubiquitous elements of their mode of storytelling. I don’t understand people who claim to like all anime – there’s so much diversity there that I can’t comprehend how someone could like all of it.

          • So when are you gonna call me a baka gaijin that wouldn’t be able to understand the deep, intricate plots that animes possess? 

    9. OMG…..ive been rendered speechless. Wow..this animation looks SO fucking SICK!!! I was getting little sleep as it is waiting for D3..and now there’s this!! This is too much awesome for my brain to handle, its about to ‘splode.

    10. I don’t care whether it’s 2D, 3D, storytelling or whatever – I just want more of the lore behind Diablo and will gladly accept it in any shape or form.

      But that’s just me, I guess 

      • I’m sayin’!! I don’t care if it’s 2D, 3D, anime, or stick-figures. I just want info on the new characters in the game.

      • Agreed. Can’t wait for the official dirty south beat with new story unvealed, but only if it features a big name like Young Jeezy!

    11. Dear God, It looks like Metzen is doing the voice over for imperiues. I love that guy, his voice is fitting for thrall but not for imperiues. I imagined his voice something similar to Tyrael voice in the D2 cinematics. 

      • I don’t think that’s Metzen’s voice… I’m pretty good at recognizing different voices (even if the person is trying to disguise their voice) and that doesn’t have Metzen’s distinctive gravely undertone… It definitely sounds processed and pitch adjusted, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t him…

    12. Shut up and take my money!
      For all that is holy, give me this video naow! Diablo AND anime? *faints*

    13. Definitely looking forward to that, unexpected incoming Diablo goodies are always appreciated. =)

      I have to say though that I am once again somewhat worried about the Diablo universe’s art direction. Anime? Seriously? Is there anything in the world that could oppose Diablo’s original slow, creepy, dark and gritty atmosphere, look and feeling more than brightly colored, high-velocity cartoons?

      Ever since Blizzard had decided to focus on comic/cartoon-style graphics for their games because it makes the depiction of violence easier to market, because it’s easier to maintain a stylized look through it resulting in lower hardware requirements, because it’s maybe cheaper to produce for them than highly-detailed realistic textures – all those arguments seemed like valid reasons to me, from a certain perspective. But producing Diablo universe content in a certain style just because they had some external artist to do it at hand they were a fan of? In my opinion, they should have exercised restraint regarding this particular opportunity and save it for their WarCraft / maybe Titan universes. They wouldn’t include laser cannons as a weapon class in Diablo III just because they recently hired someone who worked on Starwars special effects or something – they would certainly … uhm … ‘channel’ that kind of creative input towards their next StarCraft undertaking.

      It seems like the worst thing they could do in regards to maintaining a cohesive and original look for their game worlds. Good thing it’s only for a single marketing promo ––– so far … 😉

      • If you think this style of animation is like Japanese anime then you have no idea what anime is…

        • Probably, Scorch. I’m not claiming I have.
          What I’m trying to say is that this particular style, which appears very reminiscent to said style to me, is diametrically opposed to pretty much everything which fascinated me of the original Diablo universe’s presentation in the first place.

          • You’ve got the hyper-realistic CGI videos you want in the game, so just ignore all the other art and you’ll be fine.

            The only thing I think I agree with you on is it’s getting a bit difficult to see what Blizzard is judging to be canon and what isn’t. But that issue is present in almost all legends and story-telling…

    14. Man, those clips brought back memories of watching Aeon Flux on MTV back when I was like in grade school… Also reminds me of Titmouse’s stuff on Adult Swim like Superjail! and Metalocalypse… I hope it’s just as violent and bloody as those are…

    15. Ok so they save money couse they hire some low anime studio to make just crap 2d animations … you should check d1 d2 cinematics, thats what make diablo true atmoshere … bashiok ruins d3 even more and more

      • @desperx
        Have you missed ‘The Black Soulstone’ cinematic by some huge blunder of a mistake? That’s an in-game cinematic, this is ‘just’ (and I use that word lightly) used to convey some of the lore/characters they wanted to put into the game, but couldn’t find the time/place for…
        Wonder if you actually listened to a word said in the video…

        If you know as much as you claim to know of Diablo, I find it highly amusing that you can claim Bashiok ruins anything…

    16. Just have to say, I don’t feel there’s anything animé like about Peter Chungs style. 
      It’s unique and quite gritty.

      • Thank you!
        It’s like saying. “OMG It looks like it’s drawn by hand!! Only Pokemon is drawn by hand½! And it’s for kids!”

    17. Lol..i see Chris Metzen and on what for a person i must hink? Hehe, George Michael fur sure…

    18. EDIT: I didn’t intend to reply to Coolhawk. I had to solve two captchas… odd.

    19. Can we stop discussing about whether anime sucks/suits D3? The movie is about the Angiris Council, and the anime style looks very gritty and imo suits D3 as much as anime possibly can.

      I’m much more interested in the fact that the Angiris Council is sortof breaking up. In a way that alone makes evil stronger since the Three are always united. Sortof like Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde – in that evil is purely evil but good is not purely good. However, I for the life of me don’t see how Imperius could turn completely evil. Yes he may want to destroy Sanctuary and stuff but that alone doesn’t make him a convincing villain. I am curious to see what happens to Imperius to overthrow such an iron will and turn him over to darkness.

    20. “and the stylized anime-esque feature looks to have promise in its representation of the franchise”


    21. So I am now officialy dissapointed with whole reveal thing. When I first heard about it, I though it will be much more of a value in it, like special in-game items and so on. But no, instead we get glofied dev diaries, that almost every company does, but does not create so much hype about it. And final unlock? Some animated short. Meh.

      • +1 🙁 That is not epic at all. Maybe story-wise enchanting but…underwhelming… I even like the exclusive sigils more.

      • You did get special in-game sigils. Would you expect them to give you anything else? They’re not going to give you anything that would give you a combat advantage.

        • special in-game sigils? I wipe my ass with worthless crap like that. the lame-ass CE dyes included. adding some nice particle effects to flaming dyes or whatever the hell they call them, wouldn’t give any type of combat advantage.

          with all the time they’ve wasted on bullshit changes, I’m certain they could put half an hour’s worth of work to create something that everyone would like

          • You’re not going to be able to come up with something everyone would like. I, for one, don’t want particle effects included with armor dyes – I think the CE wings are bad enough in terms of making the characters look too bright and sparkly.

    22. Is it me or is it just insane that blizzard goes out and gets Peter Chung to help them?   It’s like Metzen called Peter up and said:
      “Hey man, I been Jamming with Titmouse about doing a 2D animation short, and we could really use your skills.  What would you say about coming over and riffin with us?”

      • “It’d be totally super rad to the high-octane extreme if you could do this with us bro” then does a brofist to the telephone receiver.

    23. Very disappointed we won’t be getting actual cinematic but with the full game 11 days away I’ll be ok. I have sky high expectations for the in-game cinematics and if this garbage replaces any of that I’ll be pissed. If this was just ‘extra’ stuff to keep Metzen busy then who cares I’m fine with it.

      • Fortunately, I’m pretty sure that’s all it was – just something extra, which is fine. The in-game stuff will be what is expected – Blizzard quality cut-scenes that always blow minds away.

      • in my opinion, this is even better.   Expanding on the lore is a big deal.  Doing lore stuff in a manner that is quick and easy to consume, I love it.  I’ll see plenty of cinematics in the game itself and honestly, the fewer I see before the game the better.  (it does kinda sorta spoil it)

    24. Reading your posts it looks like most of you here don’t like anime, and since this is animated and drawn by hand, you immediately think that it’s going to be like stereotypical animes out there. I’m an animator myself and can easily distinguish styles of animation. If this is anything like anime, it most likely be one of those that are highly produced, detailed ones that older kids or adults watch. It’s not the exaggerated anime kind that you see in Pokemon, DBZ, etc… The soul of japanese anime isn’t in here at all, however. It has the Americanized feel to it, which I think is good. Animated things like these made in here have this sharp, raw, style. Anime is softer, and usually isn’t that sharp. Anime tends not to be that detailed at times and often exaggerated, while these have a lot and not that exaggerated. That’s actually the reason why the Legend of Korra/Avatar:TLA series by Nick, while looks really close to anime in Japan, doesn’t really look like anime at the same time. I’m not saying that either styles don’t go out of those lines once in a while, but I’m saying that for most of what I’ve seen. I can elaborate more but, I’m feeling lazy right now. o_o 

      • Thoughtful response amidst a stream of gut-reactions put into text. I think everyone should read this and think about it when they watch animated shows.

      • No need to elaborate more. Pete Chung created Aeon Flux and did tons of character design for (read: drew) and directed lots of animated pieces. His style has been “mistaken” as anime.
        I really enjoyed Aeon Flux and his short in the Animatrix. However, that doesn’t mean a kneejerk reaction isn’t appropriate here. Just watch the video again. They say themselves it’s a totally different take on the art, and that’s where the confusion comes in. Why Diablo — animated? Why Peter Chung? It’s just totally opposite of what has made Diablo what it is.
        Surely this is a one time fling.

    25. ***Thread summary***

      Do you like
      green eggs and ham?

      I do not like them,
      I do not like
      green eggs and ham.

      Would you like them
      Here or there?

      I would not like them
      here or there.
      I would not like them
      I do not like
      green eggs and ham.
      I do not like them,

      • Right. If Metallica were Diablo, this video is a behind the scenes making of “Metallica – Down South an’ we don’ Give a F***” featuring Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy. Enjoy!

    26. what a short Diablo 3 anime clip ? give me more of that, i want a full featured film based on Diablo Lore or better yet a whole season…

    27. OK before anyone else says they dont like anime, can we please all just go find Ninja Scroll on the internet and watch that? If you still dont like anime after that, I will validate your opinion with my acceptance (which is obviously highly important to you.)

    28. Anime, anime, anime!! No one is even bothering to discuss what the movie is ABOUT! #randomobservation

    29. If you’re going to whine before watching it, then dont bother with it and let people have their fun.  They didnt have to do this unlock thing for you.  I bet more people will enjoy it and are thankful for it than not.  Geez, hipster gamers these days

    30. Watch the X-men Anime, it looks similar to this…  anime is just the japanese word for ANIMATION! I think you are thinking of Manga…

    31. This scenes are so funny and interesting to see.As i myself saw this things and gather many experiences from it.In this way i really admire his matter.     
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