We sit down with Blizzard to talk about all things Diablo II, creating the remaster’s impressive 3D visuals and bringing the PC classic to a wide audience. If you're excited to play Diablo II: Resurrected later this year, you'll definitely want to read this.
A 3D Layer on a 2D Core
“It's a different kind of challenge,” Rob Gallerani, Principal Designer on Diablo II: Resurrected tells us when asked about the decision to go 3D whilst keeping the 2D core. “I will argue that it is easier than trying to rebuild brick-for-brick the entire game. I would rather take the Sistine Chapel and rotoscope over it then be like here’s a bunch of pictures, go build it over here. It does have unique challenges because we are seeing behind the curtain.”
For Diablo II: Resurrected, which includes the base game and the Lords of Destruction expansion, one way to think about it is in that rotoscope or tracing sense. Using the underlying assets and game as a means to drive the 3D layer. On top of taking each and every element and recreating it, animating it, adding textures, and lighting too -- the challenge mostly derives from the very nature of going 3D.
“It's the 2D to 3D world translation,” Rod Fergusson, Executive Producer on Diablo II: Resurrected adds. “When you have a sprite-based 2D world it's a flat thing on a flat thing. And now you have stairs with elevation, you have undulating ground that a sword has to fall onto. Even simple things like readability become a challenge, like a Paladin’s Aura. The way that you can see the Aura very clearly lets you know you have that particular Aura. What if you’re walking through a grassy field and the aura is being blocked by grass because that's 3D now and it’s physically on the ground and growing up through the Aura. Well, you’ve gained realism but lost a certain amount of readability and clarity. And there’s clarity in Diablo II’s 2D world.”
Our Full Diablo II: Resurrected Interview Feature