Stay Awhile and Listen

    imageFor those who are painfully familiar with this phrase and who still got into the head the chords of “ Tristram Themes ” back in the 90s , and for everyone who loves Blizzard games, another small holiday is coming. This time it’s not about the game, but about a book dedicated to the history of the company and telling about one of its legendary game series.

    The three-volume “Stay Awhile and Listen: How Two Blizzards Unleashed Diablo and Forged a Video-Game Empire” tells the 12-year history of the Blizzard North division, which is responsible for Diablo and Diablo II, along with Blizzard Entertainment (“South”). The first book will be released on October 31 as an e-book in versions for Kindle, iBooksand Nook - it will be dedicated to the founding of both Blizzard and will follow the developers of the first parts of the Diablo and Warcraft series; the following will tell you in more detail about the creation of World of Warcraft, shed light on the real reasons for the closure of Blizzard North in 2005 and tell about the development of the remaining parts of Starcraft, Warcraft and Diablo - and, nevertheless, the focus of the story will return to one of three parts Diablo series. Readers will meet developers, artists, musicians and designers whose ideas and vision have made the company's games the way their players saw and remembered. As the author writes, “due to the fact that each volume is concentrated around one of the parts of Diablo, I managed to convey the spirit of the era in which each of the games was created, and to tell about the people behind them, and also to track

    The book is based on hundreds of hours of interviews with more than eighty developers working for Blizzard Entertainment and Blizzard North, or closely associated with the studios. Therefore, it is not surprising that the book will include hundreds of pages of unique bonus materials, including: full versions of interviews on all topics discussed in the book, game design lessons necessary for readers, and developer stories about how they made their way into the gaming industry. Well, the most interesting thing is the details that shed light on the canceled Blizzard projects (like the two versions of Diablo III made by Blizzard North) and the reasons for their closure.

    Incidentally, the closure of the studio is one of the darkest episodes in Blizzard's history. Blizzard North's permanent composer Matt Ullman spoke in an interviewthat the Blizzard North version of Diablo III , developed from 2000 to 2005, was already almost at the early alpha stage - this is confirmed by imagescreenshots from the game published a couple of years ago , in which the studio’s signature style is immediately guessed.
    “I wouldn't call it“ the game that never was ”, however, it was basically just the game that was eventually released, but in an early phase. If you were to see D3 circa 2004, you would recognize is as being the final game in an early form, only with less backgrounds, effects and character art. "It was actually pretty fun as of summer 2004, and had about an hour of a solid single-player game experience for a player that knew the genre, maybe two or three times that for a new player."
    Moreover, former Blizzard North developers said that the third part of the series was supposed to develop in the direction of MMO, which at that time did not fit into the plans of the “rest” of Blizzard, which then made a completely reasonable bet on WoW and neither the budget nor the desire to develop Diablo in this direction didn’t. According to another version, the developed game did not meet the high quality criteria accepted by Blizzard. However, in September last year, Matt and co-founder of the studio Eric Schaefer said that these reasons are complete nonsense, and the fact is that Vivendi ignored the financial needs of the developers.


    A small excerpt from the middle of the book is already available here . As usual, nothing is known about the official Russian translation; however, there will certainly be enthusiasts who will engage in "free retelling."

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