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The Art of Diablo - New Book from Blizzard Entertainment
26/10/2019 à 09:43
Blizzard has unveiled
The Art of Diablo
, a 250-page tome with over 500 piece of concept art alongside quotes, insights, and ideas which shaped art and design for three decades of Diablo history. The Diablo series will be remembered for many things, but it's enduring legacy is the dark and gritty tone which few games have matched; Diablo is a world of darkness and terror, punctuated by brutal combat and horrific dread. In a game originally made up of small, almost detailess pixels, much of this tone has been conveyed by it's artwork, fueling the imagination of creators and fans alike.
While primarily made up of art, the insights and anecdotes contained within reveal a great deal of the design process behind shaping the visuals of the Diablo universe. These behind the scenes looks show the constant struggle between creating a world which is too dark, too colorful, too stylized, or too realistic; these conflicting interests would slow the development process, but ultimately create Diablo's unforgettable style, especially as advances in game development allowed for higher resolutions and more extensive designs. Twenty years ago, art stood largely separate from the game, a supplementary aspect slipped into instruction manuals and promotional advertisements; much of the game was finalized first, with art created after the fact to help fuel the player's imaginations. Modern game design has evolved dramatically since then, and art is at the forefront of development, rather than being stuck in post-production; teams work relentlessly to establish the ground work, defining the game world in order to inspire designers and players alike.
The book is separated into four main chapters covering the distinct artistic parts of the Diablo universe: the characters that players play and interact with, the loot which drives gameplay, the creatures which inhabit the world, and the environments explored along the way. Each section shares their design intents: the way each character should express a distinct archetype and how their visual design would express their unique story, how loot was designed to enhance class fantasy and fit within the gothic world of Diablo, the combination of unnatural and human details added to creatures in order unnerve players, as well as downward-looking isometric perspective which defined the player's view of the world of Diablo. All of these artistic aspects work in concert with one another, and each had to be reimagined over the course of the development as the series took players from the eternally descending depths of Tristram Cathedral, to the greater inhabited world of Diablo 2, and back again to many familiar yet irrevocably changed areas, creatures, and characters of Diablo 3.
While primarily a book of art and design, the book serves as something of a retrospective look at Diablo development; the trials and tribulations of expressing the Diablo theme as modern development improved. The original Diablo had very little visual definition, with most models being only a few colored pixels on the screen - little more than fuel for the player's imagination to fill the gaps. Diablo 2 expanded the single town and dungeon into an entire world divided into distinct acts of environmental storytelling. Diablo 3 became an opportunity to redefine many of these aspects with a modern touch, from jumbled pixels into highly detailed models, turning imagination into distinct visual reality.
Disclosure: While we're always excited to talk about art on Wowhead, this book was sent to us by Blizzard as part of a paid editorial.
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