A new look into how development progresses.
What you need to know
- Diablo 4 was announced back at BlizzCon 2019.
- Blizzard Entertainment is providing quarterly updates on the game’s development throughout 2020.
- The June quarterly update goes over the storytelling and open world design.
While Diablo 4 is still a ways off, Blizzard Entertainment is continuing to provide quarterly updates on different elements of development. While February’s update went over the UI design, the June quarterly update for Diablo 4 is focused on the storytelling elements, open world and multiplayer aspects.
As part of this update, the team is showing off some concept art of a demon, as well as going over the “blockout” process. This process allows the developers to very quickly iterate and test ideas without developing assets too far. You can check out the concept art, the “blockout” form and the finished asset below.
This update also touches on the storytelling process. Due to the size of the game, different storytelling moments get different levels of attention. In standard conversations, the camera pulls in slightly to focus on who is speaking while still maintaining an isometric perspective. The more important the conversation, the more detailed the animations in the scene will be. For the most important moments, in-engine real-time cutscenes will be used as they allow a greater level of detail while maintaining your character’s appearance, armor and weapons included.
For the open world, Blizzard shared that a new feature (and one popular with internal playtests) is Camps. These are locations that have been overrun by foes and when they are cleaned out, they turn into a small friendly outposts with NPCs.
Finally, Blizzard has shared that getting the balance for multiplayer has been difficult. As it stands right now, dungeons and “key story moments” are private, only to be experienced by the player and any friends in their party. After that, towns turn into social hubs, with a few players to be found. Occasionally, a player may be found wandering the roads. Multiple players will show up if a World Event is happening, such as the Ashava boss fight or a large cannibal horde.
Diablo 4 won’t be released anytime soon but hopefully eager fans will find this behind-the-scenes look useful. We’ll continue to provide updates and coverage as more news is released by Blizzard. When it finally arrives, it’ll be available on Xbox One, PC and PS4.
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