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Diablo 3: More RPG and isometric is a gameplay style

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Diablo 3: More RPG and isometric is a gameplay style

Interview - posted by DarkUnderlord on Fri 22 August 2008, 12:06:28

Tags: Diablo III

EuroGamer interviewed Jay Wilson, Lead Designer of Diablo 3. He says a lot but here are some interesting bits I managed to stuff into a blockquote:
And then on the role-playing side, we've been focusing on more story. We want people to be able to ignore the story if they want, but we still want there to be a denser story, we want there to be a lot of scripted events that support the story, we want the story to be better formed and more interesting. Plus we want there to be some elements that allow players to feel like they're in a role-playing game. I think that one of the differences between Blizzard North and what we sometimes call Blizzard South is that Blizzard South, led by our creative director Chris Metzen, is just a little bit more story-focused. That's not a knock, but it can't help but be something that gets into the game now, because it's also a value that I have.

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

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.

Just to re-cap, Jay says that if you change the camera style, it's not the same game anymore. Time will tell whether changing camera styles works for Bethesda.

Spotted @ GameBanshee

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