Why Are Diablo 3 Buildings Bigger on the Inside?

A fan points out that magical inconsistency you see most obviously in Cain’s House and the DiabloWikiSlaughtered Calf Inn; the structures in Diablo 3 are much larger on the inside than they look on the outside. And since Diablo 3 buildings are not the Weasley’s tent, that’s mildly objectionable.

I can understand artistic license for size, having the interior bigger than the outside of the building would suggest, but they aren’t even the same shape.
Lylirra: Just hit up Dave Adams, our Lead Level Designer about this (because hey, why not?). Here’s what he had to say:

Dave Adams: We decided a long time ago not to worry about completely matching up interiors and exteriors because of the gameplay and scale issues. We just wanted to make interiors that felt cool. So, we built a set of components that allowed artists to construct walls, floors, etc, and you just put them together to make interesting layouts. Interiors often have an entryway area that should be free of monsters so that you can assess the situation before an attack. The outside does not have anything that resembles that. As a result, some of these places are like one-room-shack looking things on the outside, but when you go inside there are three or four rooms.

Interestingly, our early attempts to avoid those scenarios were called “cellars”. We thought, well, if you just went down through a storm cellar type opening then you really did not have to worry about the exterior façade and the fact that it did not match up at all. Old Tristram has lots of these. We later decided we were way overthinking it and that creating what was best for gameplay outweighed the notion of matching up the interiors and exteriors.
Lylirra: So there you have it! (Alternative answer: a wizard did it.)

when blues decide that this is the kind of post that deserves an answer over all the others that really do need answers, i kinda feel like someone just gave me the finger.
Lylirra: We respond to topics we possess answers for (or in discussions that help promote the community). We unfortunately don’t have answers for every topic, which means some threads aren’t going to receive a response–at least not yet. Similarly, not all topics need a response from us if other players have already answered.

This topic I had an answer for, so I responded. Like a boss.

800px-Adria-hut1I think they made the right choice. It’s a minor suspension of disbelief and it would be cheesy if every structure you entered in Diablo 3 was basically Adria’s Shack; phonebooth on top, capacious cellar below.

Furthermore, there’s an obvious downside to making the structures correspond to physics; either the buildings you could go into would be really small, or else the towns would be really big. (Or both.) Imagine if the Inn in New Tristram was the same size on the outside? You’d hate the location right in the middle of town every time you had to run around it to get to the DiabloWikiJeweler or DiabloWikiMystic. It would also be cheesy if every structure you could enter was at the edge of a map, so it could be large and not force you to waste time running around the perimeter.

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14 thoughts on “Why Are Diablo 3 Buildings Bigger on the Inside?

  1. That’s one of the things that gave charm to Diablo 2. Lut Gholein, Kurast… There were no different areas for the inside of buildings, and the game gained from it.


    • Ahh, the rose-tinted D2 memory parade continues on. I distinctly remember conversations with friends as we ranted about how stupid it was having to run across a huge Act 2 town, between the palace and waypoint and docks. That’s not specifically related to the size of interiors, but it was a common complaint for that town and for Act 3’s spread out dock town as well.

      Also, the list of ones you could enter in D2 was really short. None in Act 1, just the tiny upper level of the Palace and the Inn in Act 2, two tiny NPC huts in act 3, none 4, and just the tiny infirmary in Act 5. I always remember wondering and wishing you could enter more buildings in Acts 2 and 5.

  2. So this is where the complaining has gone to now? For real? Ban his account and consider a beating with a tack hammer. D3 may be far from perfect but I think we as community have definitely bored a hole right through the bottom of the barrel. I’m at a loss and probably worse is that the CM gave this an ounce of attention. I’d rather hear their opinion on US-China relations in a random thread then give something like this any attention. Like a boss? Whatever.

    • Tiago Sá is digging a hole for himself so deep, he’ll shortly be emerging in Australia.

      I mean, he seems fine with the town portals, because, hey, every settlement in the real world has a town portal … righhhht?

      Or let’s rip that out too, in aid of realism and we’ll all *walk* across five acts. I’m sure we’ll thank Tiago Sá for it.


  3. Moste fun of the blizzard diablo3 team that, they dont listen to players feeback, they only follow the blizzard style to say that we are better then you and the designers for this game is the best in the world.. Thats how i feelt when read this kind of answer. COME on blizzard diablo3 sucks, your designers sucks, if y want players back start listen to gamers outhere!! Path of exile own this game in all levels, and GGG always listen to gamers put in that in the game, that why Path of exile have now 3, half milions players!

  4. If you count players the way PoE seems to do, then Diablo 3 has 11+ million players or something like that 🙂 Not very reasonable.

  5. I never really cared for the inside/outside difference in d3 but I will say, Blizz have got their hands on a pretty cool CM with this Lylirra. Which probably explains why I get the feeling Flux has become a little infatuated with her. Professionally, of course..

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