Game company Blizzard has recently released new information about upcoming video game Diablo IV with its Quarterly Update for June 2020.
The game company revealed that the development team has reached a milestone, which was focusing more on blocking in all elements in a region known as the Dry Steppes, complete with campaign content, open world elements, itemization, a PvP subzone, dungeons, and a cinematic. Their goal was to then have a team play the game from home over the course of two full days, then spend time analyzing data and discussing the reactions.
The team does note that other regions of the game are now underway and the playtest was not just the one thing they have accomplished. The Dry Steppes was just a region that they made a lot of effort to create a complete and cohesive experience, which could use for observations and make improvements.
Several screenshots and models were revealed as well, but they are not final. It showed a winged demon from concept to blockout to in-game art versions.
The narration of the game has now evolved since Diablo III. The conversations have now changed and the team is experimenting with a mix of tool-generation and manually choreographed cameras to tackle conversations. Simple interactions with NPCs will bring the camera closer to the character and use a library of animations to deliver the general gist of the conversation. Complex conversations will have a similar style, but the character’s movements and animations are more deliberately hand-crafted. This allowed them to tell the story moments more complex while keeping players in the world as much as possible.
The second storytelling method the team is currently developing is the real-time cutscenes. Players will see these cutscenes like a watching a movie. They are reserving this technique for the most important story moments. Having them real-time has advantages for them, which will allow them to show a character with their currently equipped armor as part of the scene. This allows them to display the scenes on current resolution, which will make it more seamless and like part of the game.
The early work on real time in-game cinematics during the BlizzCon demo showed how much progress they have made at that time. Since then, the teams have made more improvements. They will be showing more progress later on and would not want to spoil the details of what is to come.
Diablo IV will launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.