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Earlier this week, Jay Wilson, the director of Diablo III said he was leaving the title while still remaining at its publisher, Blizzard. There was a lot of cheering in the game’s official forums, because video games are not that different from sports, where fans openly root for people to lose their jobs after a disappointing year. And Diablo III, whose development history stretched more than a decade, was dogged by technical problems, a dissatisfying endgame, and an always-on Internet requirement deeply resented by those most likely to shout their disappointment.
Diablo and his minions will dole out the most extreme player punishment in Diablo III, thanks to its fourth, harder than Hell difficulty level known as Inferno. Blizzard revealed the harsh, high-level difficulty gameplay feature at Gamescom today, explaining what it means for the most dedicated of Diablo III players.
During last year’s BlizzCon, Jay Wilson was sporting the most glorious Diablo III t-shirt ever created, hinting that strong demand could lead to a public release. What happened?
Over the last couple of days I’ve briefly touched on Diablo III’s new rune system, but after talking a bit with the game’s lead can designer Jay Wilson I figured the system warranted it’s own post. You see, while past games have featured items that augment the powers of your abilities, the massive scope of the rune system sets it apart.
When Blizzard announced the first two classes in Diablo III, the Barbarian and the Witch Doctor, at least one fan of the series was taken aback by the class rehash. That would be me, for the purpose of this post. After enduring such a long wait for the third Diablo installment, why resuscitate the Barbarian, when there are plenty of perfectly good fantasy game archetypes still left to explore?
Diablo III lead designer Jay Wilson says the reason is simple. The Barbarian in Diablo II could’ve been better. He was a bit more diplomatic in his dissing, saying that the brute force attack class had “room for improvement”.
About a week after Blizzard sat down to talk about Diablo III’s art direction and tear apart some fan’s concept art showing how it could be improved, Blizzard is listing a job opening for Diablo III Art Director.
Art Director Blizzard Entertainment is currently looking for a talented, motivated, and experienced art director to lead the Diablo III art team. For this position, you must be highly organised with outstanding communication skills and proven experience in management. We’re looking for a proven track record of shipping AAA products in an art director role. Experience modelling and texturing assets for a diverse visual range of environments and a solid grasp of form, colour, and light for both 2D and 3D art assets are also essential. You must be experienced at mentoring a team, able to work well in an environment of artists who are passionate about making great games, skilled in another art task (illustration, modelling, texturing, animation, or concept drawing), and well-versed in related tools (Maya, Photoshop, etc.).
When he’s not taking the piss out of diehard Diablo II fans, Diablo III lead designer Jay Wilson is all about classes (and probably other topics, but classes for now). In a chat with MTV Multiplayer, Wilson explains the exclusion of the Necromancer from D3‘s lineup, and the possibility of its return in the future:
“There’s a lot of people on our team who aren’t happy with our class choices”, he admitted. “But after we’ve established ‘Diablo III’ as its own game with its own type of gameplay and experiences, I wouldn’t be opposed to looking at old classes. We are trying to design [the Witch Doctor]class so that if we did bring back the Necromancer, there’s room for him. We’re looking out ahead of time at what our expansions are going to be, so we’ve got to keep room open for some of those other classes down the road”.
Wilson also mentions that the team wanted to avoid having an excessive number of classes, and that main reason the Barbarian made a return was because it felt they could bring something new to the character.
I can understand not wanting to cover the same ground twice, I just hope the push to come up with completely new classes and mechanics doesn’t result in an overly convoluted design.
‘Diablo III’ Designer Explains Why Necromancer Was Cut, Hints At Return [MTV Multiplayer]