Diablo Artist Interview

WarCry has posted a three-page interview with Ben Boos, a former Blizzard North artist who worked on Diablo II, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, and an early version of Diablo III. Topics include his Diablo-related history, his upcoming SWORDS: An Artist’s Devotion book, whether or not he’d be willing to join Runic Games, and more.

WC: What games did you work on while in the industry, and in what role (or roles)?

I worked on Diablo 2, Diablo 2 Expansion (Lord of Destruction), and an early version of Diablo 3. During those years, I created quite a variety of work, and had the chance to go artistically wild. It was an absolute blast. I enjoyed sketching monsters; creating environments; designing weapons; painting user interface art or some box art… I wore several hats, and jumped here and there as needed.

WC: Can you elaborate on the art design process? What sort of work goes into getting a weapon (or piece of armor, etc) from concept art into the actual game? How much input do other artists have (or how much input did you have on the other artists)? On average, how many revisions did you go through from first sketches to final design?

Naturally, the art path for a game will differ wildly team to team, or project to project. I can recall how our methods evolved over time. We had a variety of people who’d enthusiastically sketch stuff out, and then members of the team would usually take the sketch and model, texture, animate, import etc… We were a really tight-knit group, and I fondly recall lots of friendly group input and collaboration. Most of us tweaked our work based on this feedback, until things just felt right. A common revision that I remember being involved with was the effort to make stuff look aged and gritty. When art assets looked too clean and new, I’d often be called in to paint grime and grit on them, whether it was dungeon walls, or weapons.

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