With Torchlight racing towards its late October launch, the media coverage is heating up. We’ll have some cool stuff coming up here and on IncGamers in a week or two, but for now you can check out exhaustive interviews with Max Schaefer and Matt Uelman. Max was one of the creators of the Diablo series and the co-founder of Blizzard North, and his new and quite detailed interview is on G4TV. (Ironically, this quoted bit is by one of the artists, not by Max himself.)
G4: The art style for Torchlight is definitely unique—very stylized. Can you tell me a little about where that was born out of?
Jason Beck: It was building off of what we thought we were honing in on with Mythos and definitely analyzing what we thought worked, what didn’t work, getting around the pipeline that we had for Mythos. It’s definitely a lot more efficient and effective for the tools we have now for Torchlight. The biggest thing was, we tried to experiment with a few things out [and] by a tiny coincidence, the D3 [Diablo III] stuff came out and we said “well, we can’t go that route.” We’d already built on the somewhat casual look, so it just pushed us more towards the classic animation-type setup where you’ve got these painterly backgrounds and really crisp, stylized, almost comic book-style characters on the top of it. Again, our art team shares a certain sensibility about what we link and it did seem like a pretty natural fit for us.
Matt Uelmen composed the music for Diablo 1 and 2, along with a great deal of the WoW soundtrack, and he’s creating all of the music for Torchlight. This lengthy interview by Original Sound Version covers Matt’s entire career, recording methods, preferred musical equipment, and much more, and is a great read for anyone interested in game music or composition. Here’s a quote, and if you click through you can listen to some of the music of Torchlight, as well as Matt’s most famed composition.
OSV: Hello Matt. It?s been a long time since we?ve heard music from you, so most people are probably wondering what you?ve been up to since the release of The Burning Crusade back in 2007. How did you come to work at Runic Games and on Torchlight?
Uelmen: I try to stay in touch with many of the guys who were part of the Blizzard North crew, and seeing what the Schaefer brothers were up to after Flagship was part of that. I worked with that team through just about all of my twenties, so I have a pretty strong bond with many of them. So, talking with Max, a funny thing happened – I was trying to convince him that he needed to be up in Seattle to work with his team there, and he ended up convincing me that I could actually do it from L.A. Max has Jedi powers like that.
I haven’t seen any links to large samples of Matt’s music from Torchlight, but you can hear a few minutes of it played during the various gameplay movies Runic Games has so far released. Here’s one embedded:
Matt’s best known work is one of the most popular video game tunes ever. The town theme from Tristram, from Diablo 1.