In the latest quarterly update for Diablo 4, Joe Shely introduced himself as the new Game Director. He takes over the position of Luis Barriga, who left or had to leave the company in the course of the lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and the reappraisal of the events. Shely was previously the “Design Lead” of the open world action RPG. Before that, he worked as Senior Game Designer on Diablo 3 and Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls – including the monsters and bosses, the adventure mode and the balance of the large nephalem portals. He describes himself as a huge Diablo fan. Diablo 2 would have encouraged him to go into the game industry.
Otherwise, the quarterly update was about sound design – an extremely important game element that deserves more attention in almost all games, especially in relation to the graphics. For more detailed information on hero fire skills, monster voices, monster movements, and ambient noises in the open world and in dungeons – including long examples – please visit the Battle.net blog or listen to them there.
The following are excerpts from the descriptions by Kris Giampa (Sound Supervisor): “For games, sound and music are the invisible glue that holds the narratives together and binds you to your character and their actions in the game. Developing the sound for a game is an exciting artistic challenge that cannot be seen, but only heard. However, you can literally feel the sound filling your body – depending on what you are playing the sound with. It is an incredible medium that can influence what you feel while playing. Often it is very subtle, sometimes it is Exaggerated, but the sound is always there to support the gameplay at every moment. We hope you enjoy this glimpse into the various aspects of the game’s soundscape. You can expect a lot more of it when you finally get the chance to yourself to play! (…)
“Finally, I would like to talk a little bit about the isometric camera. It presents an interesting challenge if you want to bring all the elements of the game together. Since you are viewing the battlefield from a certain angle and from a certain distance, we have to make sure that that the monsters on the screen make noises without the overall mix sounding too cluttered or too empty. Taking into account the priorities of the players, there is a lot of back and forth with the sound reproduction in real time. “
“For Diablo IV, we can direct the sound mixing in real time more than ever before. Because of the isometric camera view, everything you see must make sound. But we also want you to focus on the most important sounds that require your attention. We honing audio mixes and a system that focuses on the essential tones so that the most important monster sounds stand out when needed. It is difficult to get a clear audio mix when there are several heroes and many different monsters in the game Since we also have detailed background sounds, we have to create different audio mixes depending on the situation. “
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