Diablo III Interview

Diablo III lead designer Jay Wilson fields more questions about the action RPG sequel in a new two-page interview on Eurogamer. I like his answer here:

Eurogamer: Why do you think so few RPGs have gone with the isometric perspective – and why did you choose to stick with it?

Jay Wilson: I think people mistake camera view with technology. A lot of times people say – we had a few people, not very many but a few people in the company who said this – why do you even bother with a 3D engine if you’re going isometric? That doesn’t make any sense to me. A lot of people really saw it as a tech choice, and we saw it as a gameplay choice.

Because our industry is a technology industry and is very focused on innovation, there’s this push to always advance. For us, yeah, we want to advance too, but the camera has nothing to do with that. The camera is a gameplay style, and a vastly unexplored gameplay style, especially with RPGs. It’s so under-explored, and it makes for such good gameplay, it’s so approachable, it’s so eloquent.

This is the mistake I think a lot of developers make. They don’t make it about the game they want. They make it about the tech they want to run, or the new engine, or the cut-scenes that they want to make. Somebody else asked: doesn’t it restrict your scale and scope? Well, we use our cinematics for that, that’s what they’re for, that’s why we make them, so that the game can be what it needs to be on its own.

So no, there was never a doubt. In my mind there was never a doubt that we were going to go isometric at all, it wasn’t even under consideration, because it had to be Diablo. For me, that was one of those things – people look at the art style and say oh, they’re not Diablo any more – if we’d come out and we weren’t isometric, then I would agree with that.

Are you listening, Bethesda?

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