Finding ways to build on the foundations of the original game was a significant part of the process of updating the graphics. The team decided to overlay 3D models on top of the original's 2D sprites, which they described as a "painstaking process" that resulted in "crazy spreadsheets of item lists," according to the team.
"It was a completely irrational thought."Although we had a feeling it would work, nobody could say for certain. It was pretty exciting to play for the first time and see how the 3D world came together while killing monsters and picking up items," says Michael Bukowski, senior director of technology at Electronic Arts.
According to Bukowski, the art team used a concept known as the 70/30 rule to ensure that the game's original look, sound, and ultimately gameplay were preserved. As far as the visual design and even the audio were concerned, 70 percent of the content was left in its original form. Additionally, the content had a 30 percent margin of creativity to be enhanced or modified."
This results in an experience that is fundamentally similar to its predecessor in terms of look and mechanics, though Diablo 2 Resurrected Items PC has been significantly improved in every way since the first game was released. According to Gallerani, "every single thing you see in the game is present twice – it is present in the standard definition version and it is present in our remaster" – this includes everything from audio to visuals to all of the game's mechanics.
Players have said things like, 'Oh yeah, that's right!'Because they've returned to the game after a long absence, they've been able to zoom in and toggle, among other things. This is similar to them discovering an old toy that they had forgotten about and had been hiding in their grandmother's basement for years, and that they used to play with for hours at a time when they were children."
According to Bukowski, the team took a very deliberate approach to preserving the essence of iconic moments from the game's history. It was important to us that we got the timing of certain scenes exactly right. So, for example, when you first go into the character creation menu and select the campfire scene from the original game, we wanted to make certain that we accurately recreated that scene as accurately as possible. The team wanted to make sure you could switch between the original campfire and a 4K version of the same campfire, so you could see how the 4K version compared," he explains.