David Brevik announced at GDC last week that he planned to release the original Diablo design pitch at some point in the future. He hasn't kept us waiting for long because here it is: a modest, eight page .pdf about a turn-based roguelike RPG called Diablo. Things obviously changed before the game hit shelves – Diablo is a realtime action RPG and it's definitely not a roguelike – but Brevik still managed to develop the game within 12 months.
"As games today substitute gameplay with multimedia extravaganzas, and strive toward needless scale and complexity, we seek to reinvigorate the hack and slash, feel good gaming audience," the pitch reads. "Emphasis will be on exploration, conflict and character development in a dark quest for justice." Some things never change, huh?
There are a bunch of interesting tidbits in the document, including how Brevik's studio, Condor Inc, hoped to finish the game in the specified period. Character animations seemed to be the studio's biggest concern, with each of the pitched 16 enemies needing their own movesets, and the playable character needing considerably more attention.
It's worth a close read, even if you're not a huge fan of the series. Brevik presented a retrospective look at Diablo at GDC last week and, among other interesting insights, revealed that Battle.net originally ran on a single PC – completely unthinkable in this age of Overwatch, World of Warcraft and (gulp) Hearthstone.