Machinima.com posts informative documentary style videos about lots of major gaming issues, and they’re current running a series of movies that cover the early years of Blizzard Entertainment. These are a more comprehensive (though only slightly less relentless in their flattery) than the 20th anniversary movie Blizzard posted themselves, and in part two Machinima covers the start of the company, with info on the making of their console games, and then their expansion into and success via Warcraft, Warcraft II, and Diablo.
It’s a well-done film, and I’m looking forward to part three (now available; thanks RobE for the tip), since part two ended with the “Orcs in Space” debacle of Starcraft’s debut at E3 1996, after which the game was taken back for a full reboot, and I’m interested in that aspect of a game I followed only distantly. (The movie also made me want to dig out my old War2 CD. “New troll here!” ) If you want more info on the very early days of Blizzard, watch part one. Here’s part two embedded for ease of consumption:
One thing to note about their Diablo discussion; it’s from the Blizzard Irvine PoV, and again stresses the early turn based nature of the game, and the weird “claymation” style visuals that were in use. This one asserts what the Blizzard 20th Anniversary video did, that Blizzard Irvine ordered those things changed, thus turning the game into the success we all know and love. If you want the rather different perspective on that from Blizzard North, check out the first half of my interview with Max Schaefer as presented in the first episode of The Diablo Podcast, two weeks ago. Here’s a partial quote from the show transcript:
FLUX: …I don?t know if you?ve been noticing, they [Blizzard] have this 20th anniversary thing they?re doing this year. …They had a 45-minute movie covering all of their game development and creation. And, there was like 9 seconds about Diablo or Blizzard North. It was all Warcraft and Starcraft and World of Warcraft. Pretty much the only thing they mentioned about Diablo or Blizzard [North] at all was? you guys had this early system in Diablo II. It was kind of a crazy claymation looking thing.
MAX SCHAEFER: Yeah.
FLUX: Bill Roper? other people have mentioned that a few times in the past; it wasn’t a new revelation. And yet it seemed like that?s all they mentioned in the movie.
MAX SCHAEFER: It?s a weird, bizarre, tiny, insignificant bit of trivia that I keep at? a very tiny part of what Blizzard North was. It?s a curious thing to point out.
FLUX: It seemed a little like? I guess in one way, you could say that was something that the people who are still at Blizzard Irvine had some direct input into. In them saying, ?No, this is terrible.? It?s how they portrayed it anyway.
MAX SCHAEFER: Which is bullshit. They had nothing to do with it at all.
Incidentally, we’ve added the transcript of part two of the Max interview, from the second episode of TDP. Thanks again to Varquynne for the stenography.