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Diablo Design Doc Shows The Action-RPG In Its Primal Form

by Jeff Cork on Mar 21, 2016 at 04:30 AM

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Last week, long-time game designer David Brevik gave a post-mortem on Diablo, a game that went from his original design to one of Blizzard's biggest franchises. If you missed his talk, never fear; he's posted the original design document on his site. While you don't get any of his additional commentary, it's a great, early look at the game.

It's a fascinating way to see how much of the game evolved, and also demonstrates just how much of it was there from the beginning. The original cast may have been whittled down from five or six races and three classes to the final three classes, but its strong Gothic setting was already a big part of the vision. There are also examples of the game's turn-based beginnings, which were thankfully scrapped in favor of the real-time action the series is known for. Curiously, some elements of the game's loot system was planned to be distributed via expansion discs. As proposed, they would have cost $4.95 and included a variety of rare, uncommon, and common items; monsters; hallway types; and other gameplay elements. 

You can download the document here.

[Source: David Brevik]


Our Take
I've been a Diablo fan since the first one came out, and it's great to see the game from its earliest days. It's interesting to imagine an alternate timeline, where players beefed up their core Diablo games by plunking down cash on expansions sold by the cash register. Knowing what hackers and dupers did in the actual game, it's easy to say now that such an idea would have been doomed.