Diablo IV: Dev Update Shows Glimpses of Game's Overall Design

Diablo IV
Diablo IV Blizzard

While Diablo IV doesn’t have a release date yet, a recent developer update gave a short preview of what players can expect in the Sanctuary.

In a recent blog post, art director John Mueller, lead character artist Arnaud Kotelnikoff, and associate art director Nick Chilano have given their insights into Diablo IV’s overall game design.

Mueller said that their main goal is to ensure that the characters look as hand-crafted as possible by utilizing the latest tools and techniques. He added that it is a challenging endeavor because they do not want the characters to look too realistic.

He went on to say that his team is able to make massive improvements on the hair, fur, metal, skin, cloth, and eyes. The level of detail can show the complexity of item surfaces like cloth simulation and highlights of the eyes.

The art director hopes that everything they’ve done will enhance your overall experience.

PBR and the Dye System

Diablo IV Barbarian
Diablo IV Barbarian Photo: Blizzard

Although Diablo IV is rooted in dark fantasy, Kotelnikoff wants to meet this with a certain level of realism.

To achieve that, they’ve used a technique called PBR or Physically-Based Rendering. Simply put, the game’s overall design follows some basic rules of color value. As Kotelnikoff puts it: “...our materials look and react to light in a realistic way.”

He added that game characters look good in all scenarios, whether you are fighting monsters in a dark dungeon or outside with the sun shining on you.

The game will also employ a dye system where you change the color palettes of your armor. Your helmet, chest, gloves, legs, and boots can all have the same color, or each piece of equipment can have different shades depending on your taste.

More Demonic Than Ever

The game’s associate art director wants you to feel satisfied when you kill a monster. Besides PBR, they need to understand the shape language and secondary and tertiary details of all the elements in the game.

“Level of artistic detail is always a challenge. Details need to be readable for the game, colors need to group well, silhouettes need to stand out, as well as being built for performance and movement,” Chilano said.

Diablo IV is still under development and all of the things mentioned by the art team are subject to change. We may see even more refinements before the final release.

What do you think about the game’s development thus far? Do you like the overall design that the devs have come up with?

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