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Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
08-02-2006, 07:08 PM
Post: #1
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
Psst, over here!

Did you ever take a look at the Diablo MPQ files and found some unused graphics or speech files and thought "Damn, that's really interesting...I wonder if there's more stuff like this..."?
Did you play the PreRelease Demo, wondering how Diablo has changed during the development process?
Have you ever heard of quests that didn't make it into the final version of the game, wondering if there's any truth to that and what these quests might have been like?

If your answer to any of these questions is "yes", then you should take a look at a unique website, that has been in the works for almost two years now. We've put a lot of work into this project and hope that we've created something new and exciting for the Diablo community.

Diablo Evolution! Here you'll find a unique collection of everything that's related to the development process of Diablo.
It is a real chore to find all the information about early Diablo versions, as it's scattered throughout the web with many false data on the way. We've started almost from scratch on this topic and on the way we've discovered many things that should be new to everyone.

We'd appreciate any additional input you might have. Corrections, suggestions or additions...everything is most welcome as it's the only way we can improve our work.

And we've still got updates coming, as there's quite a huge amount of content that's not yet implemented, so check back regularly!

Well, I guess that just leaves the matter of the missing link;)

So, here it is: http://www.diablo-evolution.com

Thank you for your time and interest,
Mystery and the whole Diablo-Evolution team!

http://www.diablo-evolution.net
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08-02-2006, 07:25 PM (This post was last modified: 08-02-2006 07:26 PM by LennyLen.)
Post: #2
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
That's a great repository of information.

The only suggestin I could make at this point (I'll take another look when I have more time), is that the small black text on white background is quite hard on the eyes (especially for those of us who weren't that young when the game was released;)).

"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?"

-W.C. Fields
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08-02-2006, 08:54 PM
Post: #3
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
Thanks for the link, and congrats on finishing the project! There certainly is a wealth of information there.

I enjoyed looking through the 3 alpha builds and pre-release demo builds of the game. Its interesting to see the transformation from a basic half-turn based RPG to the diablo we know today.

Cheers,

Munk
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08-02-2006, 08:59 PM
Post: #4
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
The changes are significant, and as a potential game designer I love seeing the stages of evolution of the game.

Very nice work, and thanks for taking the time to compile all of this for us. =)
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08-03-2006, 12:34 AM
Post: #5
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
Many thanks for the link --- great site!
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08-03-2006, 04:38 AM (This post was last modified: 08-03-2006 04:41 AM by LemmingofGlory.)
Post: #6
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
I am curious as to why my name is not mentioned on your credits page when the transcriptions used on your site were lifted from my site -- thus saving your asses a lot of work.

For example:

From [url=http://geocities.com/lemmingofglory/removed.html Wrote:http://geocities.com/lemmingofglory/removed.html[/url] ]
Light be praised! You found the cursed demonblade! Only its destruction can ensure the safety of us all! Wait, what treachery is this? Ow! It burns! Hellfire... consuming me! You must take this to the Hellforge and cast it in before a *GASP!* (howls) Nooo!!!!!!! (trails off)

From [url=http://www.diablo-evolution.com/index.php4?pageid= Wrote:http://www.diablo-evolution.com/index.php4?pageid=q1b10[/url] ]
Light be praised! You found the cursed demonblade! Only its destruction can ensure the safety of us all! Wait, what treachery is this? Ow! It burns! Hellfire...consuming me! You must take this to the Hellforge and cast it in before a *GASP!* (howls) Nooo!!!!!!! (trails off)

Unlike the rest of the text, the language used in transcribing the bold text is entirely in how the transcriber decided to explain what was going on in the sound file. Clues like that are how I know it was my work that saved you work. And I really don't mind you folks saving yourselves work, but damn if I don't feel unappreciated.

Otherwise, nice site. I'm glad somebody took an interest in what did and didn't make it into the game.

-Lemmy
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08-03-2006, 05:07 AM (This post was last modified: 08-03-2006 09:09 AM by Mystery.)
Post: #7
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
Quote:I am curious as to why my name is not mentioned on your credits page when the transcriptions used on your site were lifted from my site -- thus saving your asses a lot of work.
Read the introduction of the quest section, we explained the whole situation there.
We're also working on a new credits section, but I included your name in the credits:)

Quote:For example:
Unlike the rest of the text, the language used in transcribing the bold text is entirely in how the transcriber decided to explain what was going on in the sound file. Clues like that are how I know it was my work that saved you work. And I really don't mind you folks saving yourselves work, but damn if I don't feel unappreciated.
We discussed the matter of the transcriptions very carefully and came to the conclusion that it wouldn't make any sense to write this stuff down again. We originally wanted to contact you before putting this online, but somehow it slipped through our "to-do" list. My bad. On the other hand, we tried to use as little of the original transcripts as possible. And even if we did the transcripts ourselves, it wouldn't have changed much;)


Thanks everybody for the positive feedback!
Remember, you all can contribute to the project and there's still more coming!

http://www.diablo-evolution.net
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08-03-2006, 12:32 PM (This post was last modified: 08-03-2006 02:30 PM by trimayne.)
Post: #8
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
Diablo-Evolution Act 1/Scene 8

Trimayne steps on the scene, right after a set of 5 minutes, which he has taken to get an idea of the whole situation.

LemmingofGlory Wrote:I am curious as to why my name is not mentioned on your credits page when the transcriptions used on your site were lifted from my site -- thus saving your asses a lot of work.

It appeared to us, that if we we would just have mentioned you within our info-section, which is our credits page, it wouldn't really describe how precious your work actually was to us, which is why I've written an introduction to the quests-section, that hopefully makes it clear, that I wouldn't have been able to come up with that work of mine, if yours hadn't existed in the first place.

But well it was finally decided, that at both places your name and achievements should be presented.

[Info-Section Sentence:]

LemmingofGlory - He did an awesome job in writing the transcripts for most of the quest speech files, thus saving us a LOT of work!

The Introduction to the Quests-Section - Readme.txt

About this section

The first thought, that came to my mind, while I’ve chosen to write a new Quest-related article, was ‘where would I start from’… from scratch by searching the MPQ-Archive for the soundfiles? It was in that exact moment, that the memory supplied me with the right piece of information “You’ve already read an extensive text concerning them by a person under the nickname of LemmingofGlory, so go search the TheDark-Forums for the link”…looking at it again, it was clear, that if there’s any writ, that I can base my work on, then it’s cleary this one. You’ve the destinction between Quests\Tasks, the Quest-Template(Trigger\Gist\Reward) giving you the idea of the Quest and the transcripts of the related soundfiles with some useful notes. So, rather than creating an alternativ I meant to expand this wonderful contribution by adding details from the other Diablo-Versions (+Hellfire) and mentioning possible interpretations, which do either appear under Additional Information in the Template or Notes in between Npc-speeches or after them. Decide for yourself, if I’ve managed to do both LemmingofGlory and the Quest-Topic justice, but remember it really was the intention:)Trimayne

--------

Furthermore Ychiju took the time to compare the transcripts with the soundfiles and thereby discovered, that it's possible to transcribe one or two additional ones (as those 1-2 soundfiles remained overlooked, which isn't surprising, considering how many files one needs to check), which fitted perfectly into my vision, I wanted to extend your work, not offer an alternative and certainly not let this become some lousy uninspired act of thievery.

As this is how progress is made, someone brings up a topic again, which has been discussed a while ago by a person, who definitely knew of what he was talking back then (and still does), by basing his work on the shoulders of his predecessor, as more heads equals more brains and more brains most likely spawn more ideas, which hopefully cover up as much as there is to cover up concerning a topic (at least for a while).

Let's for example take a look at the one passage, that you've quoted:

With that interpretation of yours it was clear, that Tremain vanishes into thin air at this exact moment (dies), which created a conflict => He dies at this point, but still has to offer the Lazarus-Quest (= in every version of Diablo the next to last Quest of the Game)..... hundreds of concepts were discussed until we've finally agreed on Onyx's approach, which says, that there's just one real intepretation of this situation, those two quests can't happen in a single game, either one or the other is chosen radomly by the quest-generation-code, making Tremain the extraordinary Npc, that he deserved to be. ( You'll find, that the Tremain, Master of Randomness Part of the Quest-Section will be updated soon to provide clearer arguments for the 'That's random' - Interpretation, not that the current ones aren't alright, but why not improve something, that you can improve easily:)+ A new appendix will follow soon as well, which might contain some extra-info on Tremain... go see for yourself... then;))

Finally, I hope, that this leaves you a bit less angry, as it wasn't my or our intention to make you angry in the first place... it rather was to compliment you on your brilliant work..

Greetings,

Trimayne
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08-03-2006, 11:27 PM (This post was last modified: 08-04-2006 12:47 AM by Taem.)
Post: #9
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
So you guys finally finished this? I remember when you started this on The Dark forums. Oh, looks like its still a work-in-progress. Nice site BTW. I like what I've seen so far. Why are some of the screenshots full-sized and others thumbnail sized, even when blown up? Also, I didn't see any mention of the "Trapper" in the quests folder (trapper, or traveler, I can't remember - I think he was dressed in brown furs). I think I remember seeing so info. on him on The Dark site, but not on your site. Was this intentional or am I delusional?

"What good fortune it is for governments that the people they govern do not think." - Adolf Hitler
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08-04-2006, 05:15 AM
Post: #10
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
Quote:So you guys finally finished this? I remember when you started this on The Dark forums. Oh, looks like its still a work-in-progress. Nice site BTW. I like what I've seen so far. Why are some of the screenshots full-sized and others thumbnail sized, even when blown up? Also, I didn't see any mention of the "Trapper" in the quests folder (trapper, or traveler, I can't remember - I think he was dressed in brown furs). I think I remember seeing so info. on him on The Dark site, but not on your site. Was this intentional or am I delusional?
You're talking about the wandering trader. Everything related to him is in the quest section (a picture of him will be added soon).

About the screenshots:
As we don't actually have all the old versions we're talking about, we've got to make the best of the material we've got, which is screenshots from various sources which have been released within the lase 10 years. So if a particular shot has just been released in a very small size, there's nothing we can do about it;)

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08-04-2006, 05:21 PM (This post was last modified: 08-04-2006 08:09 PM by the Langolier.)
Post: #11
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
Quote:- How to read the tables:
1. PR = Beta <span style="color:#FF0000">(Retail)
2. PR <span style="color:#FF0000">(Beta = Retail)
3. PR = Retail <span style="color:#000099">(Beta)
4. PR (<span style="color:#000099">Beta,<span style="color:#FF0000">Retail)
5. <span style="color:#FF0000">Retail=Beta
6. <span style="color:#FF0000">Retail only
7. <span style="color:#FF0000">Retail (<span style="color:#000099">Beta)

Ok this just does not work. Not at all. Even after 10 minutes, I can't be certain I accurately duplicated the key. As I go through the tables, I can see stats that are different between versions, but I have to keep going back to dechiper the key. In the process I gain no persepctive on the numbers and have learned nothing.

For example, when looking at a toad demon, I see its hitpoints are 135-200 <span style="color:#FF0000">(135-160). Now I have to go back to the key and see what this means. Ok, so it had lower HP in the beta and retail (but now if it were italicized it would only have had lower hp in retail). Now, with some concentration, I realize that the developers must have thought the HP range was too great from the original values, therefore they lowered the max HP in the next release, the Beta. Aparently they figured that was good because it remained unchanged into the retail release. OK. Now that is something that is interesting which I did not know before.

Now herein lies the problem. The goal should be to get an overall "feel" of how the enemies changed through development, which is of course the whole concept of the site. In fact, that is one of the few things new things that I can learn about enemies. As the table is now, however, the process of figuring out the differences in the versions is not direct enough to really put the numbers in context. So while there is thousands of factual numbers, they communicate very little meaning. So how is this solved? Well, there are two different ways that I think would make the most sense to Diablo players. For starters, that stats for the PR and the Beta need to be separated into two tables at a minimum. Now, for anything to have any meaning to us, we need something to compare it to; some reference frame. By separating the PR data from the beta data you will be able to compare each to only one other set of data so it won't lose it's context. The question is what to compare the data sets to?

1.) Compare each to the retail data. This will be the most intuitive since we have all played diablo and we have a good feeling for the monsters. The most useful information we want to get is: are the monsters (or this particular monster) tougher or weaker than what we play? This would be very easy to tell by glancing at the numbers and determining which data set is greater than the other. Once we are thinking along those lines, the numbers simply quantitatively demonstrate how much tougher/weaker they are. The structure of the table would not have to change much. I would keep the stats for the particular version you are reviewing all in normal type as it is now. If it were different, the retail data (once again, as it is now) would follow in parenthesis and have a different color. Color can be very effective in communicating the degree of difference. The most obvious is choosing two different colors to show if the enemy is tougher or weaker than the retail version, like red and green. After reviewing very few rows of the table with a color scheme like this, our brains will register the visual connection pretty quicky, the result being that users will be able to get a good idea of the overall difference of the version just by browsing the tables. Since this scenario is comparative to the release that we are familiar with, we will have a good overall impression of the two prior releases.

The only problem with organizing the tables this way is that while we will have a good understanding of how they compare to what we know, we don't get any information about how the prior releases compare to each other, which would tell us how they changed through the development and fits the theme of your site much better, which brings us to:

2.) Compare Beta to the PR and the Beta to Retail. In this scenario, the data for the PR demo is taken as the benchmark, NOT the retail data. It's the data the developers and game balance started with. In the first table, the beta data is listed. Again, the PR datat would follow in parenthesis with different color where it differs. This format would quickly show monsters changed as developers thought enemies were too tough/weak/misplaced through playing. From there, we could then see the additional changes from the Beta to what we have now in Retail.

Like I said before, this format would not only apply to the monster tables, but those for items, spells, etc. as well. Both solutions show slightly different information, so maybe you'd like to do both. Either way there's a few more reminders/suggestions I have for you:
  • It is much more important that the tables communicate visually than numerically.<>
  • Rows that have comparable data (i.e. stats from a different release compared in the parenthsis) should stand out slightly more than those rows that do not. Perhaps a smaller font or slightly grayed-back color for the latter. <>
  • Meaningful color should be used for the comparable data. It can simply be two colors that show higher/lower values. Gradient color coding can also be used to easily show degree of difference. For example, blue could indicate a slight increase, green a moderate increase and red a large increase. If this is the case, don't use too many colors and keep it consistent. Once our brain relates color to degree, it is very effective.<>
  • Perhaps seperate or distinguish the content that did not appear in-game from what appears in the code for each version. Also make clear what content was included/removed (at least from in-game) from version to version. For example, "Bone Demons" have stats listed for retail and beta, but they don't spawn in retail (or beta as well?), so make this clear. Also, IIRC, incinerators were never working?<>
    [st]I am quite thankful for your site, as I like to collect anything related to Diablo, and this info will add quite a bit to my library. I just want to be able to read it a little bit better:)

--Lang

Diabolic Psyche - the site with Diablo on the Brain!
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08-04-2006, 07:41 PM
Post: #12
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
Thanks for taking the time to think about a way to improve the website, we really appreciate it! We'll certainly discuss on how to implement your ideas, to make the website more readable for everyone.

And I'm glad that you liked our site, especially since I'm a regular visitor of http://www.dpsyche.com/;)

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08-04-2006, 08:32 PM (This post was last modified: 08-07-2006 12:02 AM by trimayne.)
Post: #13
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
As the general answer is already served in that 'reflective of actualities' - way:), I mean to supply you with one concerning a more specific mention of yours, the incinerator:

Non-Working is true for two versions of Diablo, PrDemo & Retail, still the related reasons do differ a lot from one and another, as in the PrDemo we firstly do not have the Incinerator-graphics implemented and secondly his unique attack-type wasn't defined, leaving him pretty much non-selectable by the connected generation-code (no graphic equals no display-option, right?;)), in the Retail it more or less comes down to the fact, that his attack-animation was somehow screwed up.

One might wonder why I've said "somehow", well simply because that wasn't the case in the Beta: The Incinerator's Beta-Attack-Animation (omleTTooo's Post)

So, could Retail-Diablo benefit from that?

Yep, one would just need to convert the animation to Retail's Standards, since with Retail-Diablo the CL2-Format
was introduced, before that only grouped (Monsters, Player-Characters & Npcs... some famous examples would be Hellfire's Trader & The walking animations for Gillian, Griswold & Ogden) and ungrouped CELs were in existence (btw it appears not only useful to the Retail, but that's a story for another time).

Of course (switching back to the Beta itself) that doesn't prove, that the Beta had the Incinerator working, but as we can't really run any tests for now, I would say, that the assumption is at least likely to be true.

Finally, I hope, that this was more or less, what you would have expected from an answer regarding that creature of flame:)

Greetings,

Trimayne
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08-05-2006, 05:29 AM
Post: #14
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
Quote:It appeared to us, that if we we would just have mentioned you within our info-section, which is our credits page, it wouldn't really describe how precious your work actually was to us, which is why I've written an introduction to the quests-section, that hopefully makes it clear, that I wouldn't have been able to come up with that work of mine, if yours hadn't existed in the first place.

But well it was finally decided, that at both places your name and achievements should be presented.

Finally, I hope, that this leaves you a bit less angry, as it wasn't my or our intention to make you angry in the first place... it rather was to compliment you on your brilliant work.

You were doing well until you described me as angry. That would be your perception, which I caution you against projecting onto others. For one, it's rude. And when you assert as fact your own perception, it begs questions about what else you've said. For example, since you perceived me as angry, I wonder whether you truly think transcribing wav files is "brilliant" (I don't, personally) or if you simply said so to get me to "settle down." So, you've unwittingly added to my confusion. Had you gone by what I said rather than what you read, you may've merely noted that my dumb ass missed an entire page where I was mentioned and I would've bounced away in an embarrassed glow of appreciation.

Put another way: You don't have to go through all that silly verbal nonsense. All I did was transcribe wav files, and since you used mine, thanks for mentioning me. (It's happened before that folks didn't.)

-Lemmy
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08-05-2006, 09:58 AM
Post: #15
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
Okay, seems like we had a little misunderstanding here:)

You didn't see the paragraph about your work and so you felt unappreciated. Completely understandable, I'd feel that way too if I saw my work somewhere else without my name anywhere to be found. And it's not obvious that we'd cover this in a special part of the quest section instead of the credits/info page, so I can see that you missed it when visiting the first time.

But: We honestly think that you've done a good job writing the transcripts from the wav files, that's no verbal nonsense, we really mean it, because it really helped us to get started with our quest analysis right away!

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08-05-2006, 10:48 AM (This post was last modified: 08-07-2006 12:00 AM by trimayne.)
Post: #16
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
When we're not talking about facts it does come down to one's interpretation of another person's statement, since except you no one is able to know, what kind of emotion you've intended to transport via your message.

I've sensed certain phrases like "saving your asses a lot of work" & "but damn if I don't feel unappreciated", that lead to the conclusion, that you couldn't have been that ecstatic, considering, that there are other ways to get us informed about that, ways, that do not include 'asses' and 'damn' (those served as key-words for my unmeant misinterpretation), still you thought, that you had been forgotten, which is why there's really nothing to say against your reaction.

So, I meant to show you, that there is a note about yourself findable at our page + that there are much more friendly-presented yet true words (as much as I can't really tell if you were angry or not, you can't do so, when it comes to whether or not I've supplied you with verbal nonsense - intentions stay foggy, you might catch a glimpse of them via an illuminating light beam, but then you may claim to have seen, what isn't to be seen;)), that I can share concerning the worth of your work, since you didn't only transcribe the wav-files, you also came up with a frame for them (quest-template) and gave interesting notes, even if you reduce your work to wav-file transcribing, it appears brilliant to me, simply because you made it possible for me to start from a point, that is located quite some steps away from the beginning.

Keeping in mind, that it almost took "me" (I've always had a lot of input from the rest of the team) two years to compile that analysis, calling your massive preparatory work 'brilliant' is the least I could do, since I do not dare to think about how long it would have taken, if it wasn't in existence, as I may get "You would have given up in the early stages of development" as an answer.

Greetings,
Trimayne
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08-10-2006, 04:54 PM
Post: #17
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
Quote:You were doing well until you described me as angry.

I wouldn't say angry, just heavily defensive. When you say "I am curious as to why my name is not mentioned on your credits page when the transcriptions used on your site were lifted from my site -- thus saving your asses a lot of work" that does sound angry. You could have been a bit more diplomatic about what could (as they claim) have been a simple oversight. I understand your position that you wanted to be recognized for your tedious work. When something happens that you don't agree with you stomp on them like they're dirt. I call it The "it's my website" Syndrome.

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08-10-2006, 08:40 PM
Post: #18
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
Great site. Almost made me want to dust off the old disk.... almost.


Thanks.



-A
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08-11-2006, 01:13 PM
Post: #19
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
Quote:I've sensed certain phrases like "saving your asses a lot of work" & "but damn if I don't feel unappreciated", that lead to the conclusion, that you couldn't have been that ecstatic, considering, that there are other ways to get us informed about that, ways, that do not include 'asses' and 'damn' (those served as key-words for my unmeant misinterpretation), still you thought, that you had been forgotten, which is why there's really nothing to say against your reaction.

I can see why you interpreted it that way. In this situation, though, I explained why I was upset, so all that need be done is show that I need not be. Going beyond that isn't necessary, since I'm already supportive of what you're doing.

Quote:Keeping in mind, that it almost took "me" (I've always had a lot of input from the rest of the team) two years to compile that analysis, calling your massive preparatory work 'brilliant' is the least I could do, since I do not dare to think about how long it would have taken, if it wasn't in existence, as I may get "You would have given up in the early stages of development" as an answer.

Doing tedious, monotonous work (like transcribing wav files) is most easily accomplished by finding a way to frame the work that makes it move along. In such a way, a lot of work can be done rather quickly. For example, at work the other day a coworker and I assembled 30 office chairs in about 2 hours time, but doing that was all about finding a way to frame the work (we chose an "assembly line" approach). With the wav files, I treated it as a speed-typing exercise, which arose from a nerdy desire to be able to type as fast as people talk. I still can't type that fast, but it made the work more interesting. I don't remember how long it took me to transcribe the wav files, but it didn't require more than a few evenings, courtesy of my then-nonexistant social life.

-Lemmy
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08-11-2006, 04:21 PM
Post: #20
Proudly presenting: Diablo Evolution
With respect to the assembly of office chairs project, all I can say is that your method was......brilliant!
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