Diablo 3 Producer: 'Color is Your Friend'

By Aaron Linde, Jul 02, 2008 11:35am PDT In a preemptive strike against community outrage, Diablo III (PC) lead producer Keith Lee explained the merits and practicality behind the game's new art direction at last weekend's Blizzard Worldwide Invitational.

"One of the things that we considered when we were working on the visuals for Diablo III is the fact that color is your friend," Lee told MTV Multiplayer. "We feel that color actually helps to create a lot of highlights in the game so that there is contrast. A great analogy is like in Lord of the Rings—not everything is dark."

Following the debut of the game at the Worldwide Invitational, fans displeased by the game's vibrant new color palette issued a petition declaring that they "seriously want some changes in the artistic direction of the game so it could be more coherent and familiar with the Diablo universe."

Lee explained that the original Diablo had players "basically in a dungeon the whole time," whereas Diablo III brings the users outdoors, in dungeons, and numerous other areas. The team's goal, Lee said, is to bring variety to the game while ensuring that environments don't look too similar.

"What we also tried to do is create very clean textures so that you can really focus. It's a stylized feel and in that sense, it's very sort of a Blizzard philosophy," Lee added. "We think that Diablo III is going to be better in so many different ways. We're just building and improving upon the the first and second Diablo games."

"We're very involved, because everyone's very passionate about our games," he concluded. "We really want to get as much feedback as possible so that we can improve on the game and ensure that we meet Blizzard quality for our fans and for ourselves as players."

The new color palette isn't the only element of the game to spark heated discussion—a dedicated fan went to great lengths to analyze the sun's position relative to rainbow and shadow angles.

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74 Threads | 267 Comments

  • It's amazing how much collective free time the masses of people on the Internet have. Forming an angry petition because of screenshots with overly joyous color palette? Why not just sign a petittion called "God please smite us from this Earth because we are lame and have WAY to much time on our hands".

    D2 looked good at the time... but the game had static 2d backgrounds with low resolutions and what looks like a 16-bit color palette. You could literally see the dithering in images. Is that what people want to go back to? Why not just go all the way and fall back to Apple IIe's 12 color palette or whatever it had. I think the game looks gorgeous and I can't wait for it. People have way to much complaining time on their hands. (I guess I'm complaining myself here... but... at least I'm not signing a petition about it).

  • I prefer this look over the Diablo 2 look. i've been playing Diablo 2 again and i can't see a damn thing. but with this you can actually see whats happening, things look sharper and stick out. Before everything was blended in and most of the stuff you couldn't see unless you were lucky and your mouse scrolled over it or you had the Alt key taped down. i'm tired of going into Maggot Lair and not being able to see something 4 feet away, with the way it will look in Diablo 3 I will actually know whats coming up, and not just because i have a huge light radius.