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David Brevik, the man who created the original Diablo and an all-around veteran developer who's currently working on his one-man project It Lurks Below, has recently participated in a lengthy IGN Unfiltered interview where he talked about his decades-spanning game-making career. Here's it is in its full hour and a half glory:
And here's a transcribed excerpt that sheds some light on why it may be quite tricky to remaster Diablo II:
"I can say from a technical standpoint it's gonna be extremely difficult," Brevik said on the latest episode of our monthly interview show IGN Unfiltered. "You will not be able to capture it exactly the way it was, and the number one reason is because of the shape of the screen."
Brevik went on to explain that because the screens during the time of Diablo II's release were 800x600 resolution in a 4:3 aspect ratio—which is much different in shape than the 16:9 and 16:10 aspect ratio screens we have today—many of the programming tricks they used when developing Diablo II would no longer work.
"A lot of the ways that the AI and stuff activates is from off-screen," he said, noting that "if they were going to keep the same radius of awareness, you would get a whole bunch of [monsters] on the edge of the screen just kind of like, '[I'm] getting ready to do something here!'" However, Brevik explained that if you alter the radius, "then everything's coming from different angles and at different speeds and doing different things than you're used to and the way it's run."
Brevik also pointed out that "part of the reason that Diablo plays the way it does is because of the grid that's underneath, so you would have to mimic that kind of movement and grid that's underneath Diablo II in order for it to really kind of have the same feel." Whether or not you remove the stamina bar—which Brevik said is "kind of a useless feature in Diablo II"—would need to be considered as well.
There have been rumblings of a Diablo II remaster for quite some time, thanks to Blizzard job listings indicating the studio is interested in revisiting some of its classic titles and "restoring them to glory." Brevik noted that while he gets a lot of questions about it, he has no inside knowledge of a Diablo II remaster.