Diablo designer David Brevik's full GDC post-mortem is now online

We learned some interesting things about the seminal action-RPG Diablo at this year's GDC, thanks to a talk by David Brevik, co-founder of Blizzard North and senior designer and lead programmer on the game. For instance, Battle.net, the heart and soul of all things Blizzard, originally ran on a single PC, and Diablo itself was initially conceived as a complex, turn-based game, before evolving—against Brevik's vision—into an action-RPG.   

We covered a few highlights of the talk, as you can see above, but there's nothing better than the real thing, and today the GDC folks posted Brevik's full talk on YouTube. He starts off with a brief recounting of how the name was actually inspired by Mount Diablo in the San Francisco Bay area, which he lived near as a teenager, and then moves into the nuts-and-bolts of the game's creation, from the early design doc—which you can see here—to the final days of crunch that led into the game's launch. He also shows off some footage of the alpha demo, which while very clearly Diablo, was nonetheless a good bit different from what was ultimately released, and touches on a few of the ideas cooked up by the “strike team,” some of which were clearly better than others.

It's a fairly lengthy video, clocking in at well over an hour, but a fun watch, especially if you have an interest in the intricacies of game design. Enjoy!

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.