Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we continue discussing Blizzard Entertainment's 1996 classic Diablo. We look at tone, discuss art direction, dive a bit into procedural loot and how it has reverberated through games since, with other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.
Through the Catacombs
Issues covered: dark and brooding tone, gothic melodrama, using the palette to your advantage, having to address troubles with art direction to make the game play readable, choosing an unusual palette for the time, diving into the lore in the manual, character design through-lines in Blizzard properties, stuffing the retail box with stuff (including lore), having fewer quests and sticking to the essential quest of killing Diablo, the issue with lack of urgency in open world main quests, "pixel hunt," procedural loot and generation of items, the winner gets the credit ("Diablo loot"), procedural loot invading anything with even light RPG elements, the store, obvious future refinements to the loot drops, chasing the loot, entwining loot and difficulty, buying from the store to refresh it, the audio cues of drops, classification of loot value with colors, adopting colors for relative difficulty as well, the Butcher's Cleaver, having the experience of a gold drop, re-speccing your character around the drop you get, sorcerer changing spell types for the enemies you find, spatial management as the warrior, sub-speccing yourself, associating items with attributes rather than classes, the town music, game musicians learning the town theme, knowing you're safe from the music, Tim's golem spell and who's having the fun, the better implementation winning, clearing an area in Diablo and not being able to in 3, clearing to white in Republic Commando, having the initial experience in SWRC to move data to the hard drive, determining how long the initial scenes in SWRC are, remapping controls and how you do it and why you might not.
Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, Diablo III, DOOM, Duke Nukem 3D, Aaron Evers, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Disney, Starcraft, Overwatch, Starfighter, LucasArts, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Tomb Raider, Destiny, Borderlands, Freebird, Stairway to Heaven, Halo, Star Wars, Indiana Jones (a series of only three films I will *fight you* on this), Resident Evil, Red Sox, Lee Davey, Ultima 8/Ultima (series), Gears of War, Kill.Switch, Gauntlet, Raymond, Ben Zaugg, Republic Commando, Matt Alan Estock, Adam Piper, Jeremie Talbot.
Through the Caves
https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub