Is This What Diablo III Used To Look Like?

By Ishaan . January 7, 2011 . 5:00pm

Two years after the release of Diablo II: lord of Destruction, Blizzard North had a falling out with Blizzard’s parent company, Vivendi, and its employees went on to form new companies like Flagship Studios and Hyboreal Games.


Before the fallout, however, around 2003, Blizzard North were working on their next game — a game that, judging by some character models we unearthed from the blog of ex-Blizzard employee, Alan Ackerman — looks awfully like a Diablo game.


Here’s a model  of what we’re assuming is an enemy — the Flayed Hound. Diablo already has enemies and items with “Flayed” in their names as a prefix or suffix, so it isn’t too much of a stretch, especially given the art style, to imagine that this could have been for a Diablo-related project.


The mystery gets even more interesting if you read what Mr. Ackerman has to say about the dog’s texture map, pictured above:


“We [were] using pretty simple texture maps; at the time, massively multi-player engines limited the technology that could be used on models. It also did not make much sense to use normal maps and such objects that were going to be pretty small in game (at the time there was no planned zoom or camera controls).”


Massively multiplayer engines? Does this mean Blizzard were potentially working on an MMORPG based on Diablo after all? Or perhaps, the game simply ran on the World of WarCraft engine.


Here’s another model by the same artist, this one of an “Immolated Warrior.” Call it what you will, but ultimately, it’s a bloody (literally) skeleton, and skeletons are all too common in Diablo. Oh, and “Immolated Arrow” just so happens to be one of the Amazon’s skills in Diablo II as well.


After a large number of Blizzard North employees left the company, Vivendi shut the division down. At the time, they were rumoured to have been working on Diablo III, which, as we now know, went through several reiterations before Blizzard settled on the final, more colourful style.

Read more stories about & & & on Siliconera.

  • Blizzard has so much money that they wanted to be lazy…each game should have its own engine if they have that much cash stowed away and are bringing in (or maybe they wanna make it for consoles)

    I wish it said they were working on a console version.

    • These are models from 2002!

    • read tittle D: they are old models

    • You’ve been reading too fast more often than usual lately.

    • Tom_Phoenix

      Blizzard has always developed a brand new engine for each of its games. Diablo III is no exception.

    • Testsubject909

      I’d like to see Diablo 3 on the Playstation Move.

      WAIT! Before you think anything good or bad, look at the following. It’s my thought experiment of sort. What kind of control scheme would you have on the Move:

      Analog: Movement
      Move Wand: Replicate mouse with pointer/reticle on screen
      Move Button: Right Click
      R1: Left Click
      L1: Open hotkey, halts movement. Select skill with Analog, right or left click to change assigned skills.
      Hotkey circle consists of 8 skills, possibly 9 if you assign another one to the center.

      X: Interact/Accept/Pick up
      O: Cancel
      Square: Change Equipment Set (Set 1, Set 2)
      Triangle: Run on/off
      L3: Map

      Left/Right: Select Potion Column
      Down: Use Potion
      Up: Use Portal Scroll

      Start: Options menu/Exit game
      Select: In-game Menu
      R2/L2: Switch In-game Menu pages: Equipment/Inv, Status, Skills, Quest, Etc

      L3: Map on/zoom-in/off

      Now… I ask, how playable would Diablo 2/3 be on the PS3? Just think about it, imagine that control setup… Am I the only one who would honestly feel comfortable playing Diablo 2/3 on the PS3 Move?

  • CAN THIS GAME PLEAAAAAASE be out before i graduate from the university?! (4 years left)

    • Testsubject909

      Hopefully we won’t watch and marvel as it becomes Vaporware.

    • Let’s all hope that leaked Blizz document from China was accurate and that they’re aiming for the end of this year…

      • Woa that would be good lol, i respect works patienlly made so they will end great, and that they are taking this much time probably means they are doing a lot.

        But lol, there is a limit in how much they can make us suffer xD

      • Wait they leaked it? Did it confirm a console version?! Come on Mr Ishaan, I must know!!!!

  • Hell! Good thing they weren’t super lazy and actually changed it(there are enough games that don’t), otherwise I would have death hard nightmares from this..

  • shion16

    COOOOL *0*

  • PrinceHeir

    this game will never be released along with HL EP 3.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos