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New Diablo 3 Images; Design Wins Over Darkness 243

Posted by timothy
from the beyond-none-more-black dept.
KingofGnG writes "The new Diablo III screenshots highlight the strong chromatic variations existing between the dungeons and the various stages ... It appears obvious, however, that all those details enriching the scenes, the crumbling parapets of the paths within the dungeons, the plants and the ragged drapes lightened by candles, would lose the best part of their raison d'etre if put in monochrome palettes inclined to black."
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New Diablo 3 Images; Design Wins Over Darkness

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  • Screw blackness (Score:4, Insightful)

    by runlevelfour (1329235) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @06:44PM (#25097481)
    I am all about games having dark and brooding atmospheres, and maybe even a bit scary. But I am more about a game being a damn fun and well designed one because the developers had a vision and weren't playing appease-the-fanboys during the development process. Plus the gritty, dark, angsty look has been done to death. I like color.
    • Re:Screw blackness (Score:5, Insightful)

      by narcberry (1328009) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @06:58PM (#25097599) Journal

      If all the levels and scenery are dark, the game doesn't feel so dark after a while. You need the bright colorful levels to appreciate the dark depths of diabolical devils and demons.

      • Re:Screw blackness (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jimmux (1096839) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:43PM (#25097905)

        Sometimes I wonder if all these people complaining ever played the original Diablo. It was much more colourful than the sequel. I mean, the palette seemed to be limited to grey and red for environments, but some of the enemies were practically fluorescent!

        In a way this even made certain enemies scarier. It's one thing to have dark enemies appear out of the shadows (also annoying), it's another thing to have enemies that send a clear visual signal: Don't fuck with this!

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          I remember running into bright blue and green enemies in Diablo 2, even.
          • Re:Screw blackness (Score:4, Insightful)

            by e2d2 (115622) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @09:20PM (#25098631)

            I actually went and played Diablo II in the past month, picking it up after hearing great things and seeing the new screen shots. In most dungeons it's not dark at all, but darkness did play a part in some places, with specific gear created for adding "light radius" to your character. I have assumed this was to create a sense of surprise in some places, but not too many. That same surprise can be maintained in other ways in a new 3D environment. I think people concentrate too much on it when the first two were more about story line and fighting large groups of mobs in an RPG setting, gearing your character up, and truly unique environments, especially when you include the expansion.

            Since Diablo II is fresh in my mind and an overall great game even today (I play it maxed out at 800x600!) I welcome the new one regardless.

      • Re:Screw blackness (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 21, 2008 @08:35PM (#25098295)

        If all the levels and scenery are dark, the game doesn't feel so dark after a while. You need the bright colorful levels to appreciate the dark depths of diabolical devils and demons.

        Agreed. If you're outdoors, during the day, it should be relatively bright. If you're in a cave underground with no lights, it should be dark. If the two look the same it blurs the distinction between them, and you don't have a good feeling for where you are.

    • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:13PM (#25097697)
      Depends on whether the color is used right, though. Some of the original screenshots did look a bit weird - one dungeon appears to have blue ambient light, even though there are no blue light sources. For some reason it really did look like World of Warcraft. In those cases it might be a good idea to tone down the ambient light's chroma a bit. Of course if they put blue torches everywhere things look a bit different.

      What I don't get is the outcry over the magic effects being too cartoonish. Diablo always had magic effects in all the colors (and with the gravitas) of a well-stocked candy store and a poison attack wouldn't be a proper poison attack if it didn't have a bright green glow and preferably an inexplicable skull somewhere.


      Of course, Blizzard could easily appease the color-hostile fans by adding a graphics option that reduces chroma by 90% and brightness by 50% everywhere but the HUD. And maybe changes all spoken text to goth poetry.
      • by RichardJenkins (1362463) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @09:13PM (#25098581)

        Looks good to me, the foreboding blackness of the text ('Error establishing a database connection') contrasting relentlessly with the bleak and brilliant white background.

        Magic.

      • by srothroc (733160)
        On one hand, I agree that it would be simple enough to appease the fans by doing that, and of course it would probably get a few more people to buy the product in the end, but the other thing to consider is that it compromises artistic integrity.

        Sure, it's what the people want, but in this case, the game designers are the artists trying to present their particular view of THEIR product to the world; it's not supposed to appeal to everyone, as much as it would be nice if that happened, from a commercial p
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Perhaps an author is writing a sequel to a popular series -- just because fans are clamoring for a scene they've always wanted to see or something they want to learn doesn't mean the author is obliated to put that stuff in to satisfy them. It's ultimately made by the author, not the fans.

          One word. Misery

        • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @10:08PM (#25098989)
          Actually, my last paragraph was firmly tongue in cheek; I thought the bit with the goth poetry made that clear. It's their game and they get to decide how it looks. Even if they decided to turn hell into a giant 70s disco and put Diablo into a leisure suit and platform shoes - it's their game. It'd also be kind of awesome, but that's beside the point.


          Also, I think an "ugly mode" would actually serve to piss off the yammering fans rather than make them happy. I can really see it - the option would have the name "Ugly Mode" and the tooltip "How the game should have looked. Not WoW gay at all." And the game would have a TTS engine just for this mode so every goth poetry line (why, of course they'd implement that idea, too) could be randomly generated and they wouldn't actually have to record all that stuff.

          Yup, that would be one of the most awesome insults in video game history.
      • by greymond (539980)

        ...What I don't get is the outcry over the magic effects being too cartoonish. Diablo always had magic effects in all the colors (and with the gravitas) of a well-stocked candy store and a poison attack wouldn't be a proper poison attack if it didn't have a bright green glow and preferably an inexplicable skull somewhere...

        I couldn't agree more with this, in Diablo your character WTFPWNS massive amounts of mobs on a screen at a time, if they want something with a bit more realism (I use that term VERY loose

    • Re:Screw blackness (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:23PM (#25097787) Homepage Journal

      Plus the gritty, dark, angsty look has been done to death.

      And the shiny, glowing, neon-stylized atmosphere hasn't? Besides, since when is trying to make a game feel realistic considered overrated?

      I like color.

      Then go play Warcraft III or World of Warcraft or Starcraft II or... Hm, anyone else notice a pattern here?

      The Diablo series has always been about the stark contrast between good and evil, light and dark. The "gritty, dark" look was there for a reason: True evil and it's effects are not clean, nor are they pretty. You can have light and color in the natural and "good" sides of things, and with effects like magic and buffs, but the environments and equipment (unless possible enchanted) should reflect their likely rough and possibly sordid past. Diablo II felt very real; it was anything but stylized.

      I'm not advocating such dark environments that you can't see anything, and I don't think that was really a problem with Diablo II (with the possible exception of a small light radius). I don't think they need to replicate the style of previous Diablo games directly, but I DO think they shouldn't just throw them away for the new "oooh, shiny colors!" motif of all Blizzard's newer games. My biggest concern over Diablo III isn't poor gameplay or a bad story, but rather that it's just going to become Warcraft IV and/or Starcraft With Demons.

      • by LearnToSpell (694184) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:44PM (#25097915) Homepage
        Besides, since when is trying to make a game feel realistic considered overrated?

        Yeah, I hate when a game feels unrealistic as I cast chain lightning on a bunch of frog demons.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Know what happens to a frog demon when it gets hit by chain lightning?

          Oh god, I'm so sorry!

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Know what happens to a frog demon when it gets hit by chain lightning?

            The same thing that happens to anything else?

      • by e2d2 (115622)

        What game were you playing? I just played Diablo II and the level that you actually fight Diablo on is entirely bright red and Diablo looks like a cartoon. Same with the Mephisto level and the Baal expansion levels.

      • Re:Screw blackness (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ozbird (127571) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @09:25PM (#25098681)
        The "gritty, dark" look was there for a reason: True evil and it's effects are not clean, nor are they pretty.

        The more likely reason: CRT monitors and gamma settings. Try playing Diablo II on a modern, bright (sometimes too bright) LCD monitor and it might not seem so "gritty, dark" any more.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        My biggest concern over Diablo III isn't poor gameplay

        Well there's your problem.

      • Re:Screw blackness (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Eskarel (565631) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @11:01PM (#25099351)
        The problem with things being "dark" is that you get Doom 3 where everything is really pretty and uses lots of video resources, but you can't see any of it because it's dark, or you get Quake which was the brownest game ever.

        Making truly gritty environments is rather difficult and uses a lot of system resources to do properly. A truly gritty environment for a game like this wouldn't just be gray walls and shadows. A truly gritty environment would be whatever wonderful shiny, colorful environment the place was originally, covered in dust, ash, and general damage.

        That's the ideal Diablo environment, the beautiful temple of light corrupted and destroyed, not some dingy dark cave.

        Unfortunately doing that is somewhat technically difficult, and personally I'm sick to death of dark dingy dungeon crawlers.

      • Re:Screw blackness (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Roger Wilcox (776904) on Monday September 22, 2008 @12:51AM (#25100013)
        World of Warcraft pretty much is Diablo III.

        Blizz did give WOW a Warcraft theme and story, but the gameplay is identical to that of Diablo, and it was released chronologically right where you would expect Diablo III to be.

        Diablo III, therefore, is actually Diablo IV. It should come as no surprise that the game will look and feel a lot like WOW, which is not only its immediate logical predecessor, but has also been a hugely successful (and profitable) game for Blizzard.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I'm sorry, but you're talking out of your ass.

          The gameplay, and "feel" in WoW are -not- identical to that of Diablo except on the most superficial of levels.

          (you click buttons to activate skills oh my! IT'S DIABLO 3)

          Seriously.

          • Re:Screw blackness (Score:4, Insightful)

            by torchdragon (816357) on Monday September 22, 2008 @01:17PM (#25106865) Homepage

            Simple gameplay requirements wrapped around plot used as quests to further a "story"?
            D2 Check, WoW Check

            No actual change to world within persistence of software?
            D2 Check, WoW Check

            Carrot and Stick Item Collection with non-guaranteed psychology reward system?
            D2 Check, WoW Check

            "Lots of options" that enable you kill everything in the game in the same end result (0 hp)?
            D2 Check, WoW Check

            Repeating content for lack of anything better to do?
            D2 Check, WoW Check

            Increased difficulty of game in "epic" areas accomplished by giving the bad guys more hit points and making them do more damage (or letting them just kill players outright)?
            D2 Check, WoW Check

            Expansion packs claiming new awesome features that don't actually add new awesome features and really is just a rehashing of the same game with different graphics?
            D2 Check, WoW Check

            And the last, but you get the point...

            No way for the players to ACTUALLY influence the progress and development of the world?
            D2 Check, WoW Check

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Cornflake917 (515940)

              I don't really agree with the negative tone of your post (I think both games are great), but you forgot one of main similarities between the two games: Skill trees.

      • Re:Screw blackness (Score:4, Insightful)

        by houghi (78078) on Monday September 22, 2008 @04:46AM (#25101083)

        I like color.

        Then go play Warcraft III or World of Warcraft or Starcraft II or... Hm, anyone else notice a pattern here?

        Yes, that apparently looks is more important then gameplay.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nine-times (778537)

        True evil and it's effects are not clean, nor are they pretty.

        If you really want to talk about reality, then evil things are often pretty, seductive, and seem harmless if you don't know any better. If evil always came after you with a pitchfork, horns, and glowing eyes, then it wouldn't be so dangerous. We would just identify it, kill it, and be done with it.

        Making evil dark and gritty *is* stylized.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Chyeld (713439)

          If you really want to talk about reality, then evil things are often pretty, seductive, and seem harmless if you don't know any better. If evil always came after you with a pitchfork, horns, and glowing eyes, then it wouldn't be so dangerous. We would just identify it, kill it, and be done with it.

          Never been married have you?

    • Penny-Arcade... (Score:5, Informative)

      by semiotec (948062) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:35PM (#25097851)

      This came up weeks ago.

      The article on the comparison between Diablo III design and fan "improved" colours:

      http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2008/08/04/diablo-iii-designer-turns-tables [mtv.com]

      and Penny-Arcade's take on the "protest":

      http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/8/6/ [penny-arcade.com]

    • by semiotec (948062) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:39PM (#25097871)

      maybe these people who want "darker" designs should just play with blindfolds, or if that's too much, try using pantyhose, stocking or a pair of crappy sunglasses instead.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Fred_A (10934)

        I've always thought that those games were kind of lame but suggesting that they be played in pantyhose or stockings certainly is over the top as far as I'm concerned. You should probably take your strange fetishes elsewhere.

        *Hmpf*

    • Re:Screw blackness (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tdelaney (458893) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:45PM (#25097923)

      Fall^H^H^H^HOblivion with Guns. Sometimes it's a good idea to appease the fanboys, because the previous games are already damn fun and well designed.

      In the case of Diablo III though, I've looked at Blizzard's reasoning, and compared the images, and overall I think Blizzard has made the right choice. The basic gameplay doesn't appear to have greatly changed - this is nitpicking over a small change in look.

      Plus I trust Leonard Boyarsky. He says the colour palette changes in later parts of the game. Kinda like going from pre-Searing Ascalon to post-Searing to Kryta in Guild Wars.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mike610544 (578872)
        Well said. That's probably Blizzard's greatest skill: knowing how to ignore the loudest talking 1% of their fans in favor of everyone else. If you read the WoW forums you'd think the game was a total failure, but they still manage to retain all their millions of subscribers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lysergic.acid (845423)

      one doesn't exclude the other. as narcberry already mentioned, you need lighter and more uplifting atmospheres in a game to contrast with the darker moments. variety is an important factor in creating an engaging game with long-lasting return value.

      this is something that the game developers already mentioned when they ran the photoshop contest. since this is an RPG, players will be expected to put in a lot of hours playing the game--much of which spent level-grinding and doing generally the same repetitive

    • by Amazing Quantum Man (458715) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @08:41PM (#25098345) Homepage

      I want my Duke Nukem Forever!

    • by tftp (111690)

      Plus the gritty, dark, angsty look has been done to death. I like color.

      Try Scrapland then :-)

    • Re:Screw blackness (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BountyX (1227176) on Monday September 22, 2008 @01:16AM (#25100131)
      For everyone complaining about d3 not being dark enough, just lower your gamma.
    • Re:Screw blackness (Score:4, Informative)

      by fiendie (934679) on Monday September 22, 2008 @02:21AM (#25100413)
      I played Gears of War some time ago where you could actually fiddle with the post processing. On "muted" it was nearly unplayable even if the game isn't as fast-pased as a first person shooter. The color makes the opponents stand out from the background.
  • The ironic thing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @06:46PM (#25097495) Journal
    The only people complaining about the art style are the ones who would buy anything Blizzard boxes. The style is attractive enough to bring in new players.

    It's absurd such a small outcry has gotten this much press already.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      > The only people complaining about the art style
      Me!

      > are the ones who would buy anything Blizzard boxes.
      Also me!

      It's true. I'm concerned it won't be as neat as it could be but in the end I trust Blizzard to make a great game well worth the money and not crippled with computer-breaking DRM*. It's why I own [at least] one copy of every Blizzard game I've played.

  • I don't care! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by thermian (1267986) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @06:47PM (#25097499)

    Just release the damn game so I can play it!

    Artsy discussions about screenshots aren't something I care about.

    There are, as I see it, two possibilities, either the game sucks, or it doesn't.

    • Re:I don't care! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mhtsos (586325) on Monday September 22, 2008 @01:04AM (#25100071)
      I can see it now: Blizzard thinks the new feel is great, and will delay diablo III another 6 months in order to implement it. In other unrelated news the inspirer of said change has gone into hiding for reasons unrelated to the angry torch-and-pitchfork wielding mob outside his house.
  • Good for Blizzard (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Sunday September 21, 2008 @06:47PM (#25097505) Homepage

    I'm glad Blizzard is sticking to their guns.

    I first found out about this when that video was released a week or two ago in which a fan tweaked the official video to show what the game "should" look like instead of the "colorful" look that Blizzard is going with.

    I watched the video and thought only one thing: it was ugly. Look, I understand this game is supposed to take place in dungeons and such, but you are allowed to have SOME color. It really pointed out that argument I've seen a few times over the last few years about the recent consoles. They are so powerful and push so many polygons, but they only seem to work when you disable any non-yellow, brown, or grey color.

    I've got to say, I really like the look of the Diablo III video and screens Blizzard has made. There are colors. You can tell what's going on. Enemies stand out, the art stands out. It all looks quite good. But at the same time, they didn't go overboard making it look too cartoony. I mean, it doesn't look happy.

    I'm glad Blizzard is sticking to their guns despite what some group of hardcore fans says. I'm actually interested in Diablo III. I've never played the previous games, but I'd like to give it a try.

    But if it had been that nearly black-and-white mockup a fan made, I'd avoid it. I don't have such a nice computer so I can only view dimly lit colorless environments with very little visible detail.

    • by esocid (946821) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:14PM (#25097717) Journal
      I'll admit I didn't like the idea of Diablo 3 looking how it does right now until I was informed of the time frame. It's supposed to be 20 years after the end of Diablo 2 when everything has been put to rest and all that evil has left Tristram. It only had that ambiance due to what had happened just prior to the first game. It had a gothic look and feel because that was how/when it was taking place.
      My qualm was really that I felt WoW was bleeding over into Diablo's turf from the looks of the screenshots, but now that I have it in context of the story line I'm not much against the color scheme.
      • Re:Good for Blizzard (Score:4, Informative)

        by Myrcutio (1006333) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:59PM (#25098019)
        To be fair, Diablo bled into WoW long before diablo 3 was even in development. The whole idea of soulbound items didn't exist prior to wow, and was a direct response to all the item trading that was going on in Diablo 2.

        For that matter, WoW's item system is noticeably decedent from that in Diablo 2. The random drops, sockets, the uncommon, rare, unique classifications that has become ubiquitous now. Even the bag/bank space is am obvious evolution from diablo 2 days.
      • by morari (1080535)

        My qualm was really that I felt WoW was bleeding over into Diablo's turf from the looks of the screenshots, but now that I have it in context of the story line I'm not much against the color scheme.

        You were right in your original reservations. It's not just the oddly colored ambient lighting throughout the environments that make the game feel like WoW however. If you look, you can see that the characters have been stylized to such an extent that they exude the same cartoony feelings and comic book proportions that any WoW player would. This is a far cry from Diablo II's fairly realistic designs.

        • by e2d2 (115622)

          This is a far cry from Diablo II's fairly realistic designs.

          Okay everyone keeps saying this and I could not disagree more. Look at any of the boss characters in Diablo or Diablo II and tell me they look "realistic". They look like cartoons IMO. Then look at the other mobs. I mean just look at the jungle flayers in Diablo II with their cartoon like sounds, looking like little "ikari warriors" with spears, and tell me that is realistic!

          • by morari (1080535)

            Look no farther than a comparison shot between Diablo II's barbarian and Diablo III's barbarian. If nothing else, the proportions seem content to stand in the same over stylized arena that World of Warcraft is in. That is most definitely not what Diablo should look like. With pretty much the entirety of the original team gone however, it's no wonder this new installment to the franchise seems iffy.

      • It's supposed to be 20 years after the end of Diablo 2 when everything has been put to rest and all that evil has left Tristram.

        In other words, the Worldstone was a fluffy bunny prison made of candy. And that bastard Tyrael let them all out!

    • by ShakaUVM (157947)

      Eh, Diablo is supposed to be a pretty dark series, metaphorically. The D3 screenshots *were* too bright and colorful for my taste. The fan-goth-boi was a bit to grey (it's easy to go into Photoshop and choose 'greyscale'), but I think something in the middle would be ideal. It's not a battle through Strawberry Shortcake Land.

    • A lot of the reason Halo looks so good is its vibrant palette, used to color enemies, vehicles, buildings, and surroundings uniquely. Maybe a bright orange pylon or a huge shimmering blue ship. Colored laser blasts everywhere. It looks very nice and nobody's complaining about that game, which shows that if done well, it can please gamers and stand out as well.
  • by milkasing (857326) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @06:52PM (#25097535)
    Diablo III Designer Defends New Look and Feel http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/08/04/1858250 [slashdot.org] Personally, after spending way too much time on Diablo 2, I must say I now prefer darkness --accompanied with sleeping
  • Darkness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Renraku (518261) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @06:52PM (#25097545) Homepage

    The game shouldn't be so dark its hard to see. It should be slightly shadowy in some areas, but otherwise alright as far as seeing goes. Torches/lights should overbright the area a little, rather than making it normally lit. If it were real, you'd be pretty used to the dark, but torches would damn ear blind you.

  • Any mirrors? It seems to have gone down the second it went up. Or perhaps even prior to being posted.

  • by FornaxChemica (968594) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @06:58PM (#25097589) Homepage Journal
    Crafty little site... who went to take some pictures [blizzard.com] and artworks [blizzard.com] from the official site, added his watermark on it, submitted a news item and got slashdotted. Bravissimo! It's grand to see Arthur from Ghouls'N Ghosts announcing Diablo III.
  • Anonymous Coward (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Site doesn't work, and this topic was already posted. Why is someone submitting an unoriginal article that links to their own website, which crashes because it isn't set up for slashdot front page traffic?

    Sounds fishy and inappropriate.

  • by incripshin (580256) <markpeloquin AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:03PM (#25097637) Homepage
    'It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black.' -This is Spinal Tap
  • by meist3r (1061628) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:06PM (#25097657)
    The current art style give it that weird World of Warcraft cartoonish look. Doesn't quite suit what I am used to from the other Diablo games and not really what I expected. But overall I don't care as long as it comes out soon.
  • Hey! (Score:5, Funny)

    by sw155kn1f3 (600118) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:16PM (#25097729)

    I don't need no more diablo images in my head, if you insist, I'll just wear tinfoil and the cross. Now go away, let me ponder that female elf. Thank you, thank you, don't let your horns damage my door. Thank you, bye.

  • Just do it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:23PM (#25097775) Homepage

    I fail to see why they couldn't add a toggle to activate a desaturating filter. That would shut up the art-school dropouts, and frankly I think it would be interesting to switch between the bright/colorful and dark modes.

    Is it that difficult to implement brightness/contrast/gamma ? I'm thinking of Far Cry, which offered different rendering modes, some of them cold and bluish, others hyper-saturated and cartoony. It was a unique feature at the time, so why can't Blizzard just copy that ?

    • Re:Just do it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by amdpox (1308283) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:39PM (#25097879)
      Far Cry's "rendering modes" were just hsv/gamma shifts, it was all a single postprocessing multiplier applied to every pixel. But, you make a good point - better to have the game in viewable colours with a slider for the deep, brooding, dark-wanting people than to make the game in brown-on-black and leave those who like to see with a washed-out palette.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by billcopc (196330)

        Well there was a bit more to it in Far Cry, as there were differences beyond just color tweaks. For example, Cartoon mode had exaggerated outlines and a subtle cel feel to it, while Paradise had super-bright blooms, more translucent water/leaves and more progressive shadowing. These were pixel shader effects that did much more than simple gamma adjustment.

        The same thing could be added to D3, as they almost certainly have some sort of shader-based postprocessing already in place. It would be nice to have

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kenoli (934612)
      Maybe the way the game looks isn't a matter of personal preference, and they don't want players making their own little adjustments to the carefully constructed visuals.
  • I like Isometric. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:24PM (#25097791)

    I quit gaming a few years ago because I was tired of pour my life energy into the bottomless pit of interactive illusions, but it hasn't stopped me from appreciating a nice bit of design.

    --I really like the isometric approach; it allows the design team to use artwork generated by actual painters and illustrators rather than 3D engine-workers. It'll be a neat day when you can create in 3D the same kind of evocative visual character in a tree stump or a bit of masonry as an artist can do with a pencil and few tubes of gauche, but that day hasn't arrived yet. And so, Diablo III is going to look oh-so-much prettier than any 3D game can at the moment.

    -FL

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by GradiusCVK (1017360)

      It'll be a neat day when you can create in 3D the same kind of evocative visual character in a tree stump or a bit of masonry as an artist can do with a pencil and few tubes of gauche, but that day hasn't arrived yet.

      Perhaps the 3D artists just need to use more tubes of tactlessness to catch up with their pencil-and-paper peers?

    • You've never played any of those fully 3D with a rotatable camera Diablo clones on the PS2 have you?

    • by syousef (465911) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @09:53PM (#25098873) Journal

      I was tired of pour my life energy into the bottomless pit of interactive illusions

      So why are you posting on slashdot? ;-)

  • by Pav (4298) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:30PM (#25097823)

    The elephant in the room is that the Blizzard guys probably would have preferred staying true to the dark and brooding atmosphere, but it's no longer possible with todays technology. On panels black is really gray... often not even a dark gray, and then there's the trade-off most panels make in giving up a few bits per colour channel for speed. "Dark and brooding" looks pretty awful on your average modern rig.

    • Actually, they said that players who have forced themselves through a difficult dungeon to reach a new area deserve the greatest sense of accomplishment a game designer can possibly bestow: A palette swap.

      I wish I was dumb enough to make up something like this.
  • by Vexorian (959249) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:45PM (#25097925)
    You know, I've been playing doom lately, and that's quite a colorful game... Then I saw some people playing diablo 2 it is actually very colorful as well, I am glad blizz didn't waste their time pleasing a bunch of people that just remember diablo being darker than it really was...
  • Lightened? (Score:4, Funny)

    by pushing-robot (1037830) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @07:49PM (#25097953)

    the plants and the ragged drapes lightened by candles

    Lightened by candles? Lightened by candles? That's it, KingofGnG will never be my Dungeon Master.

  • Art over Atmosphere (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fullymodo (985789) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @08:12PM (#25098121)
    Is it just me, or has there been too much argument over the brightness of Diablo III? I would think everyone's individual monitor setting preferences account for more difference to the levels in the game than the fine tuning done on the development end.

    I browsed the screenshots and was happy to see, not the brightness -- or the contrast or the bleed or gamut or the bloody candle-power, but the artistic design of the creatures and the scenery. I'd much rather have attention to detail in the area of creativity and originality of visual style, than attention to the brightness of colours I can simply adjust on my screen. Take Heroes IV and Disciples II (click here [disciples2.com] if you're not familiar with Disciples), as examples; I found Heroes IV really uninspired and boring, whereas Disciples II, although very similar had such incredible artistic design that it was much more enjoyable to play.
  • by blahplusplus (757119) * on Sunday September 21, 2008 @08:28PM (#25098249)

    ... is really about atmosphere. I admit that I never personally had any interest and didn't care either way for such things. But I know that lighting really does have an effect on atmosphere. Doom 3 had great atmosphere because of how the lighting was, even the original Diablo was dark and grey, it had some levels that were really bright, but it also compensated by levels that were really dark (as you go into the last dungeon to fight diablo in teh first one).

    One of the cool things about the original diablo (for it's time) was lighting effects from spells/arrows, etc across floors and whatnot and going 'oh shit oh shit oh shit' when monsters were coming or were firing your way and you were trying to make an escape.

  • Seems like a quick hack can be done to allow the alternate colorization just using extensions that are already there in opengl/directx. I'd just make it a check box, and then the big whiners can be satisfied.

    • Or you could just adjust your monitor settings. You know, these little knobs that are all set to 105/100 right now.

  • by neostorm (462848) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @09:24PM (#25098671)

    It's about the art direction overall. Diablo was gritty and realistic. They could make the whole game black and white, but you've still got characters running around in cutscenes and combat that look like they came from Warcraft.

    This http://www.diii.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=871&size=big&cat=563 [diii.net] and this http://www.diii.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=703&cat=565 [diii.net] are much more in the style of Warcraft, which aside from the bright and happy palette is the primary reason a lot of folks were surprised when D3 was unveiled.

    I know I personally also wanted contrast to Blizzards other work, because that existed before now. Blizzard has amazing artists and they're going to make an amazing looking game, but when all your franchises start looking the same, they become kind of redundant from one another. I think most Diablo fans wanted something hellish, and dark, and corrupt. Gritty and realistic. While the game will look, and most likely play, just fine, the atmosphere is what will be different due to the changes in the look.
    I dunno... Something like this http://www.worldart.com.au/images/kris-kuksi-sculpture-surreal-deadly-sins1.jpg [worldart.com.au]

    Right now the game looks like it was Disney's take on Diablo, rather than Geiger's.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CronoCloud (590650)

      God save us from HR Geiger freaks.

      You think that color scheme is bright and happy? What, do you wear sunglasses at night to make everything look darker so it's "more gloomy". That sculputure picture you link to is only black and white with perhaps a bit of grey and ivory! Do you really want to play hundreds upon hundreds of hours of a game that's just black and white? No sun? No grass? No rivers running through an autumn wood? No tropical island with sand and frog-things? No mist green-swathed swamp l

  • You will buy the game, and pray they make another. End of story. Whether or not Diablo 3 is "pretty" will not cross your mind as you hand over the cash unless you were simply not going to buy the game anyway. This has nothing to do with your opinions, you just want to bitch, bitch, bitch. This is aimed at the bitch in all of you.
  • Game Psychology (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tikal2k (1233052) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @11:22PM (#25099491)
    I think the game is resembling Warcraft simply because Blizzard designers are learning a lot from the game mechanics specifically behind World of Warcraft.

    They're expanding the color palette most likely to assist with the pacing of the game, and that constantly shifting contrast ("first you're in a really bright desert, then you're inside a really dark pyramid") propel that sense of progress that players have as they move through the game.

    It's one thing to have that gritty, dirty visual style in a dungeon instance that's supposed to last for an hour or two, it's another to have that exact same gritty visual style for the entire several hundred hours that you'll be playing the game.

    One of the ways that playability is enhanced, and monotony is prevented is by having that really extreme sense of contrast, as well as the bright color palette.

    Furthermore, I understand that most Diablo players don't want a color palette that looks like it was extracted from a Night Elf starting zone, but by the same token I feel like Blizzard wants to reach out to the millions of folks in the WoW contingency that might want to start playing Diablo for the first time if it looks and feels like something they are already very familiar with.

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