When Developers Speak Up


When we posted our interview with David Brevik a few weeks back we never imagined it would cause such a  storm as two well qualified developers spoke their minds on the development on Diablo 3. Jay Wilson’s original Facebook comment being less eloquent of course than David Brevik’s interview responses.

In a new article on Gamasutra they use the Jay Wilson incident as an example of  how more developers in recent months have been giving their opinions on other games and publishers and how it is a good sign that developers are sharing their thoughts.

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  1. Devs put down on each other all the time, but mostly professionally and that is a good thing. All the Dave/jay controversy just shows what douche-bags the D3 devs really are and how they are living in a self invented illusion of thinking themselves as the “Paragons” of creativity. When a DEV can’t take criticism, you they are morons.

    • breviks “criticism” was biased and unprofessional as hell. he obviously didn’t even played the game long enough to have any clue wth he is talking about.
      one can say that the d3 devs, in this case, had their idea of the sequel and put a lot of effort in it and be thankful that the diablo series gets this much work put into it OR one can say that “the team lacks experience” etc…you know the interview.

      I yet have to read a similar disgusting rant on _any_ game by “the so called paragons of creativity”…maybe i missed it, would appreciate if u get me a link so i could reconsider.

    • So true. There was absolutely nothing biased about brevik’s comments. The man was going out of his way to speak the truth about the shit the D3 devs released. And if anyone “attacked” anyone else, it was that douchebag Jay Wilson

      • Except Brevik attacked his own crew … because a LOT of the people that worked on D1 and D2 STILL work for Blizzard.

        The fact even the SC1 crew needed to help them out back then showed how much this Brevik is full of himself.

        D1 was even supposed to be a turn based game when Blizzard HQ’s intervened and said they should make it a real time hack & slash.

        In fact as stated below: the history of the last 9 years proved Brevik couldn’t deliver without the support of Blizzard.

        9 years lack of a successful product proves the man’s ego is bigger than his capacity for creating games independant of big brother Blizzard. Same as Bill Roper who is now the joke of the industry.

        TLDR: Brevik insulted old team mates publicly, you can’t do that without getting the anger of your old co workers.

        Jay Wilson defended rightly his team: stating the obvious. Because Wilson DID make 3 successful games in the 9 years Mr Ego Brevik left Blizzard.

        While Mr Ego Brevik was going from one disaster to another.

        • You are a joke. There aren’t more than a couple devs from core D1, D2 team in Blizzard. Don’t lie like a fool. I even doubt there is more than one.

          Real-time idea was merely a suggestion. Blizzard North was completely autonomous. They responded to Davidsons (owners), not Blizzard South. So in the end, Dave Brevik was the one decided to go with real-time.

          Those devs from South that helped them in the development of Diablo I are already gone. And their help wasn’t about design ideas, art style or game concept etc. They worked on installer, additional art, addional coding, manual etc.

          BTW David Brevik created the greatest game of all time (Diablo) and the greatest sequel of all time (Diablo II). What did Jay Wilson create? JW simply has no talent and his intelligence is below average.

          • Jay Wilson was – among other – the lead designer of the very succesful and highly acclaimed Dawn of War games at Relic. One of the most succesful RTS series to date.

            While Brevik failed in all of his work after he left Blizzard some 9 years ago.

            The complete disaster “blue screened” Hellgate London (60% score on IGN professional review) was his only testimony to the gaming community in 9 years.

            It obviously proves both Brevik and his “lead producer” Bill Roper didn’t go anywhere without the back up of the Blizzard support and philosophy.

            Rob Pardo has more talent in his left finger than these 2 combined.

            The complete Blizzard design staff had to constantly intervene and help with D1-D2 or it would have been just another Hellgate.

            The proposed Diablo 3 was so pathetic that Morhaime ditched the project from the start, letting these “heroes” go stand on their own feet showed he was right all along.

            Since these dudes left Blizzard, they did NOTHING in this industry except create one dud after another (Bill Roper says hi once again).

          • In reply to Thrall:

            I thought Blizzard North developed Diablo I and II entirely autonomously with Blizz South only contributing the cinematics for D2, which supposedly there was VERY LITTLE communication about those.

            So, you said, “The complete Blizzard design staff had to constantly intervene and help with D1-D2 or it would have been just another Hellgate.” which I believe is false.

        • “The fact even the SC1 crew needed to help them out back then showed how much this Brevik is full of himself.”

          This is inaccurate. The SC1 team went working on D1 because they were far more excited by this project than by another WC-like RTS (which SC1 was at the time before being completely revamped).

          I totaly agree with Brevik, as me and most of D2 players spent hundreds of hours on D3 and saw exactly what he said.

  2. Brevik attacked the present day Diablo 3 crew by saying “his” crew was better and that Blizzard Irvine has no clue.

    The problem was that more than half of these guys worked in both games.µ

    I think the lowest you can do is spit into the face of ex co workers.

    Certainly when you have proven NOTHING during these last 9 years after having left Blizzard.

    It is one of those co workers that still works for Blizzard (who felt insulted) that made to call to Wilson after which Jay clearly stated: screw that guy.

    All logical and IF you didn’t deliver antyhing worthwhile in 9 years after leaving Blizzard, you are a big fat ZERO in this industry. Along with Bill Roper.

  3. i don’t see how it is biased since blizzard acknowledged them-self that the item-hunt in d3 is not enough. so how does it come that the itemhunt in d3 is not enough when it was in d2 ? is it that the entire gamerbase has become more sophisticated ? or is it that itemization-design in d3 flat out sucks ?

    second; unprofessional – i really dont see how david was unprofessional unlike Jay wilson he stayed on topic and criticized the game design for its obvious flaws – and he didn’t made any personal insults.

    generally speaking i find this american attitude towards criticism mind boggling. it appears to me (from personal observation) that most people rather say nothing of any substance than talk about what they honestly think – out of fear they could offend someone. maybe they should learn to man up when it comes to criticism – because when criticism stings it is usually because there is truth to it – or because your skin is too thin.

    http://imgur.com/gallery/SjXAB

    • criticism in an productive surrounding can sting too if its nothing more than destructive. a sentence like: \i wish i could have worked on the sequel too and share my input and experience with the other (500+ ?) people who worked on this project\ would have given this whole mess another, a constructive touch. then, btw, he could have added what he actually would have imagined to be in the game, instead he fills the interview with some north and south conspiracys (we’re all on the same boat, so screw that) and states that games change with different devs..whoa surprise! yes sir, things in general do change over time.
      obviously there some ego-beef going on here, wich the end-user will probably never get to read objective facts about it. that’s a pity.

      anyway, i was insanely curious and would have appreciated if he just had talked facts about his visions of d3, and i’m sure some blizz devs would have appreciated that too.

  4. I think the first comment on Gamasutra deserves a repost here:

    “Should developers be able and willing to speak their minds? Yes. However, I find any sort of magnification of the drama on the part of journalists highly distasteful. Developers are creators, not some pitiful soap opera sideshow.

    Don’t lead with inflammatory headlines. Print quotes in context of the larger discussion. Avoid accentuating only the emotional aspects of feedback even if it creates a temporary uptick in page views. I realize that there is intense pressure for improving site metrics, but a little journalistic integrity is surprisingly effective at helping creative people open up.

    The best developer conversations about their art are not the ones that happen in either on twitter, Facebook comments or (on the other extreme) in PR junkets. Instead they are the ones that happen between two thoughtful, educated and respectful people with time and space to explore their ideas. Be more like the Economist (or even Rock Paper Shotgun interviews). Be less like TMZ.

    Yes, the marketoid suppression of expression is bad, but the gleeful gossip mongering in the other direction is equally horrid. I’d rather shut up and make great games than get sucked in the poisonous mix of poor journalism and the small minority of gamers that need someone to hate.”

  5. I am team jay. I was not a fan of what Brevik said. if he wanted to judge, judge the game and not the crew.

  6. Anyone who thinks what Brevik said was unprofessional or was in any way an “attack” is either a Blizzard fanboy or a complete idiot. He didn’t say anything we haven’t already said or figured out already, get over it.

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